Social Forces

Social Forces 81.1, September 2002

Articles

    Rosenfeld, Rachel.
  • What Do We Learn about Difference from the Scholarship on Gender?
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    Subject Headings:
    • Learning and scholarship -- United States -- Sex differences.
    • Women college teachers -- United States.
    • Sex discrimination against women -- United States.
    Abstract:
      What can the scholarship on gender teach us about studying difference and dealing with diversity in our professional and personal lives? Here, I first describe the expansion of research on gender over the last 30 years. This research has grown not only in its representation in our journals, but also in the types of differences it considers — between women and men, among women (and among men), and across national boundaries. Next, I discuss some of the lessons we learn from this research: to study difference in its own context, make real comparisons, look for similarities as well as differences, examine variation within as well as between groups, investigate exceptions, note failure to find effects, allow for equifinality, and move up a level in abstraction to go beyond gender as a category per se. These lessons about moving between the specific and the general can help us understand processes creating inequality. Finally, I illustrate how we can apply these lessons in our teaching and service.
    Moody, James.
  • The Importance of Relationship Timing for Diffusion
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    Subject Headings:
    • Social networks -- United States.
    • Interpersonal relations in adolescence -- United States.
    • Sexually transmitted diseases -- United States.
    Abstract:
      Relationship timing can have dramatic effects on diffusion through a network, as relationship order determines transmission routes. Though past research has modeled diffusion through static networks or developed methods for modeling change in network patterns, none has combined these factors to show how relationship change channels diffusion. This article formalizes the diffusion problem in networks with changing relations, identifies minimal bounds needed to measure diffusion potential in such networks, and provides a method for identifying who is at risk for diffusion. The effect of timing for diffusion potential is demonstrated with potential flow of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in an adolescent romantic network.
    Fine, Gary Alan.
    White, Ryan D.
  • Creating Collective Attention in the Public Domain: Human Interest Narratives and the Rescue of Floyd Collins
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    Subject Headings:
    • Collins, Floyd, 1890-1925.
    • Mass media and publicity -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
    • Social psychology -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
    Abstract:
      Building on Helen MacGill Hughes's News and the Human Interest Story, we examine how human interest stories create collective attention, essential for the establishment of a public or demos, and the limitations of that process. Although human interest stories are not unique in this regard, such stories encourage shared identification, important for social cohesion and the maintenance of a public sphere. However, since the embedded story is presented as one that is not perceived as having lasting societal impact, it directs attention away from political action. We present four processes through which human interest stories operate: (1) media placement — how media structure and occupational interests produce stories that capture reader loyalty, (2) identification potential — the creation of scenes and personae that audiences feel they "know" and with which they can identify, (3) narrative arc — the process by which a story maintains reader interest, exposing conflicts and changes in likely outcomes, and (4) discursive space — the role of moral issues, provoking discussion and the possibility of active involvement of audiences. To explore these processes we analyze the case of Floyd Collins, the Kentucky caver trapped for seventeen days in 1925, and detail the associated media frenzy.
    Woldoff, Rachael Anne.
  • The Effects of Local Stressors on Neighborhood Attachment
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    Subject Headings:
    • Neighborhood -- Social aspects.
    • Quality of life.
    • Urban ecology.
    Abstract:
      Various studies have hypothesized that neighborhood attachment — defined as a multidimensional concept composed of attitudes, neighboring, and problem solving — is linked to local stressors in ways that vary by the type of attachment under examination. My study analyzes the effects of four stressors on six dimensions of attachment and shows that social and physical disorder as well as experiences with victimization and crime do not uniformly decrease individual neighborhood attachment. Social disorder has the most widespread negative impact on different types of neighborhood attachment. My results also show that victimization and perceptions of crime affect only problem solving; indeed, they actually increase this form of attachment. This finding suggests that a multidimensional approach to neighborhood attachment is useful, especially when applied to theories of social disorganization and loss of community.
    Ainsworth, James W.
  • Why Does It Take a Village? The Mediation of Neighborhood Effects on Educational Achievement
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    Subject Headings:
    • Neighborhood -- United States -- Longitudinal studies.
    • Academic achievement -- United States -- Longitudinal studies.
    Abstract:
      The urban and educational literature has recently begun to focus on the increase of concentrated poverty in inner-city neighborhoods and the educational failure of youth often associated with living in these neighborhoods. The current study examines this issue by identifying which neighborhood characteristics influence educational achievement and what mechanisms mediate these associations. Using the National Educational Longitudinal Study of 1988 linked to 1990 census information at the neighborhood level, the current study finds not only that neighborhood characteristics predict educational outcomes but also that the strength of the predictions often rivals that associated with more commonly cited family- and school-related factors. When considering how neighborhood characteristics influence educational outcomes, theorists have proposed several mediating processes, including collective socialization, social control, social capital, perception of opportunity, and institutional characteristics. The current study reveals that these mediators account for about 40% of the neighborhood effect on educational achievement, with collective socialization having the strongest influence. Also discussed are the theoretical and policy implications of this study and directions for future research.
    Mayer, Susan E.
  • How Economic Segregation Affects Children's Educational Attainment
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    Subject Headings:
    • Income distribution -- Social aspects -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
    • Academic achievement -- Economic aspects -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
    Abstract:
      Economic segregation increased in the U.S. between 1970 and 1990. Three hypotheses suggest that economic segregation affects low-income children's educational attainment, but they provide different predictions about the direction of the effect. I combine census data with data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics to show that an increase in economic segregation between census tracts in the same state hardly changes overall educational attainment but it exacerbates inequality between high-income and low-income children. With overall inequality held constant changes in economic inequality within census tracts have little effect on low-income children's educational attainment. But changes in inequality between census tracts reduce the educational attainment of low-income children. Substituting segregation between school districts for segregation between census tracts yields the same conclusions.
    Santoro, Wayne Arthur, 1965-
  • The Civil Rights Movement's Struggle for Fair Employment: A "Dramatic Events-Conventional Politics" Model
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    Subject Headings:
    • Civil rights movements -- United States -- Public opinion.
    • Public opinion -- United States.
    • Discrimination in employment -- Law and legislation -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
    • United States -- Race relations -- History -- 20th century.
    Abstract:
      This study seeks to explain the adoption of civil rights legislation across periods of insurgency as well as relative quiescence. The historically grounded thesis I advance argues that within a context of public apathy, dramatic events generate the "first wave" of civil rights concessions. These early policy successes, however, set in motion a sequence of events that both diminish the role of dramatic events and heighten the role of conventional political processes in subsequent "second wave" legislation. Time-series analyses of equal employment legislation are consistent with this "dramatic events-conventional politics" approach. I find that black protests and segregationist violence prompted legislation up to the breakthrough 1964 act but that public opinion played the dominant role up to the passage of the landmark 1972 act.
    Katz-Gerro, Tally.
  • Highbrow Cultural Consumption and Class Distinction in Italy, Israel, West Germany, Sweden, and the United States
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    Subject Headings:
    • Intellectual life.
    • Social classes.
    • Consumption (Economics) -- Social aspects.
    Abstract:
      Although some sociologists still connect cultural preferences with social class, others argue that postindustrial societies are no longer class-based societies and that contemporary cultural consumption patterns do not simply reflect class positions. This article addresses several theories that characterize the association between class and cultural consumption in contemporary society. It goes on to analyze the effect of class position on highbrow cultural consumption — using both leisure activities and cultural tastes — in Italy, Sweden, West Germany, Israel, and the U.S. It asks whether differences in cultural consumption, given other salient cleavages such as race/ethnicity, gender, and religious observance, are associated with class. Results show that class correlates with highbrow cultural consumption in different ways in the cases studied. The dividing line for consuming highbrow culture is located at the top of the class structure in Israel, the U.S., and Sweden; it is located at the bottom of the class structure in Italy and West Germany. Gender, race, and religious observance are important in conditioning culture consumption, but they do not fully mediate the association between class and cultural tastes.
    Landale, Nancy.
    Oropesa, Ralph Salvatore.
  • White, Black, or Puerto Rican? Racial Self-Identification among Mainland and Island Puerto Ricans
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    Subject Headings:
    • Puerto Rican women -- Race identity -- United States.
    • Women -- Puerto Rico -- Psychology.
    Abstract:
      Recent studies have examined the implications of exposure to U.S. race relations for the racial and ethnic identities of migrants to the U.S. Most investigations are based exclusively on U.S. data. There are few, if any, comparisons of the identities of migrants and their offspring to those of nonmigrants in their country of origin. Using data from a survey of Puerto Rican mothers in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, this study provides such a comparison. Responses to an open-ended race question show that mainland and island Puerto Ricans most often designate their "race" as Puerto Rican, but responses of women who do not self-identify as Puerto Rican diverge between the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Island women primarily identify themselves as white, black, or trigueña, while mainland women identify themselves as Hispanic/Latina, Hispanic American, or American. Mainland-island differences cannot be explained by parental ethnicity, skin tone, demographic factors, and socioeconomic status. The findings suggest that mainland Puerto Ricans more strongly reject the conventional U.S. notion of race than do their island counterparts.
    Smith, Ryan Alan, 1962-
    Elliott, James R. (James Robert), 1924-
  • Does Ethnic Concentration Influence Employees' Access to Authority? An Examination of Contemporary Urban Labor Markets
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    Subject Headings:
    • Minorities -- Employment -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
    • Supervisors -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
    • Discrimination in employment -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
    Abstract:
      This article examines whether ethnic concentration in establishments, occupations, and industries influences the authority attainment of white, black, Hispanic, and Asian men and women. Data from the Multi-City Survey of Urban Inequality and the 1990 decennial census indicate that "horizontal" concentration among roughly equivalent coworkers and within local industrial and occupational sectors has little effect on minority chances of accessing positions of authority. However, "vertical" concentration in the form of racial/ethnic matching of supervisors to subordinate work groups exerts a strong and consistent effect among all groups, implying that authority attainment depends a great deal on the opportunity to supervise largely coethnic work groups. We conceptualize this "ethnic matching" of supervisors to subordinates as a kind of "sticky floor" that binds individual opportunity for workplace authority to the structural opportunity to exercise control over members of one's own race and ethnicity.
    Sanders, Jimy.
    Nee, Victor, 1945-
    Sernau, Scott.
  • Asian Immigrants' Reliance on Social Ties in a Multiethnic Labor Market
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    Subject Headings:
    • Asian Americans -- Social networks.
    • Labor market -- United States.
    • Asian Americans -- Employment.
    Abstract:
      We study how the social capital and closure properties of family- and ethnic-based social networks influence the incorporation of immigrants into their host society. In so doing, we examine the relationship between immigrants' reliance on social ties and their employment. Data collected through ethnographic depth interviews of Asian immigrants in Los Angeles indicate that reliance on social ties usually operates informally, as when job seekers consult their more experienced and better-connected friends, relatives, and acquaintances and ask them to serve as intermediaries. These networks provide group-based resources that assist immigrants in making headway in their new society. Yet reliance on social ties is most common for moves into jobs of low occupational prestige that have low human capital requirements. Because of linguistic and cultural competence, immigrants who seek jobs from coethnic employers are often more self-reliant in the job search than those who seek work more broadly. In this way, ethnolinguistic closure encourages ethnic segmentation in the labor market. By contrast, reliance on social ties, another form of closure, facilitates job hunting in the wider domain of the labor market, where prospective employers may be of any ethnicity. Reliance on social ties thereby provides a mechanism by which immigrants gain employment throughout the multiethnic metropolitan labor market.
    Mirowsky, John, 1949-
  • Parenthood and Health: The Pivotal and Optimal Age at First Birth
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    Subject Headings:
    • Human reproduction -- Age factors -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
    • Parenthood -- Health aspects -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
    • First-born children -- Health and hygiene -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
    Abstract:
      This study relates the health of U.S. adults ages 18 through 95 to parenthood and age at first birth, using data from a 1995 telephone survey. Health measures include perceived health, energy and fitness, physical impairment, chronic conditions, and aches and pains. Results show a generally positive association between health and age at first birth that is linear for men and parabolic for women, with maximum health predicted for mothers who had a first birth around age 30.5. The correlation of parenthood with health depends on age at first birth, switching from negative to positive with delay beyond age 21.8. The increments in health associated with delay up to that age are greater for mothers than for fathers, but significant for both.

Book Reviews

    Lacy, Karyn R.
  • Problem of the Century: Racial Stratification in the United States (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Anderson, Elijah. ed. Problem of the century: racial stratification in the United States.
    • Massey, Douglas S., ed.
    • United States -- Race relations.
    McVeigh, Rory.
  • Responding to Immigration: Perceptions of Promise and Threat (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Fry, Brian N. Responding to immigration: perceptions of promise and threat.
    • United States -- Emigration and immigration -- Government policy.
    Fry, Brian N.
  • Strangers at the Gates: New Immigrants in Urban America (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Waldinger, Roger David, ed. Strangers at the gates: new immigrants in urban America.
    • Immigrants -- United States -- Social conditions.
    Bean, Frank D.
  • The Handbook of International Migration: The American Experience (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Hirschman, Charles, ed. Handbook of international migration: the American experience.
    • Kasinitz, Philip, 1957-, ed.
    • DeWind, Josh, ed.
    • United States -- Emigration and immigration.
    Crosnoe, Robert.
  • Working Families: The Transformation of the American Home (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Hertz, Rosanna, ed. Working families: the transformation of the American home.
    • Marshall, Nancy L., ed.
    • Dual-career families -- United States.
    Azarian, Reza.
  • Markets from Networks: Socioeconomic Models of Production (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • White, Harrison C. Markets from networks: socioeconomic models of production.
    • Market segmentation -- Mathematical models.
    Whalley, Peter, 1947-
  • Professional Work: A Sociological Approach (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Leicht, Kevin T. Professional work: a sociological approach.
    • Fennell, Mary L.
    • Professional employees.
    Stevens, Mitchell L.
  • Dry Bones Rattling: Community Building to Revitalize American Democracy (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Warren, Mark R., 1955- Dry bones rattling: community building to revitalize American democracy.
    • Community organization -- Texas.
    Beyerlein, Kraig.
  • Cultural Dilemmas of Progressive Politics: Styles of Engagement among Grassroots Activists (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Hart, Stephen, 1946- Cultural dilemmas of progressive politics: styles of engagement among grassroots activists.
    • Political participation -- United States.
    Seidman, G.
  • Political Altruism? Solidarity Movements in International Perspective (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Giugni, Marco, ed. Political altruism? solidarity movements in international perspective.
    • Passy, Florence, ed.
    • Social movements.
    Smith, Jackie G., 1968-
  • Globalizations and Social Movements: Culture, Power, and the Transnational Public Sphere (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Guidry, John A., ed. Globalizations and social movements: culture, power, and the transnational public sphere.
    • Kennedy, Michael D., ed.
    • Zald, Mayer N., ed.
    • Social movements -- History -- 20th century.
    Burns, Thomas J.
  • How Claims Spread: Cross-National Diffusion of Social Problems (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Best, Joel, ed. How claims spread: cross-national diffusion of social problems.
    • Social problems -- Cross-cultural studies.
    Jindra, Ines Wenger.
  • Crossing the Gods: World Religions and Worldly Politics (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Demerath, N. J. (Nicholas Jay), 1936- Crossing the gods: world religions and worldly politics.
    • Religion and politics.



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