This article encourages sociologists to study gender as a social institution. Noting that scholars apply the institution concept to highly disparate phenomena, it reviews the history of the concept in twentieth-century sociology. The defining characteristic most commonly attributed to social institution is endurance (or persistence over time) while contemporary uses highlight practices, conflict, identity, power, and change. I identify twelve criteria for deciding whether any phenomenon is a social institution. I conclude that treating gender as an institution will improve gender scholarship and social theory generally, increase awareness of gender's profound sociality, offer a means of linking diverse theoretical and empirical work, and make gender's invisible dynamics and complex intersections with other institutions more apparent and subject to critical analysis and change.
Savelsberg, Joachim J., 1951-
Cleveland, Lara L.
King, Ryan D.
Criminology -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
Social control -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
Correctional institutions -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
Neoinstitutional theses are examined for the constitution of criminological knowledge during the transformation of penal regimes and the accompanying emergence of a specialized field of criminology. Effects of this reorganization, historical period, and research funding on scholarly journal publications are examined. Results are based on a content analysis of 1,612 articles published in leading journals between 1951 and 1993. Multivariate analyses support neoinstitutional ideas, as topical and theoretical foci are associated with themes suggested by the policy sector. The replication of the policy sector in academic organization tightens this association. Further, articles based on political funding are more likely to engage new preoccupations of the political sector. Theoretical conclusions drawn in the articles under study, however, are independent of institutional factors.
Literacy -- Government policy -- France -- History -- 19th century.
Social classes -- France -- History -- 19th century.
Crime prevention -- France -- History -- 19th century.
This research shows that the rise of public education in nineteenth-century France was associated with a declining rate of serious crime in the general population. The study finds that although a moral curriculum and the discipline of the classroom were intended to produce conformity, it was actually literacy that was consistently associated with declining rates of both serious crime crimes of violence and property offenses. In the case of violence, the impact seems to have been direct, consistent with civilization and control theories. However, in the case of major property offenses, occupation is an intervening variable, consistent with Merton's (1938) "Social Structure and Anomie."
At a lower level of analysis, as literacy grew in the general population, the rate of crime simultaneously increased in the subpopulation that remained largely illiterate. In this respect, the rise of public education and literacy may have inadvertently given substance to the idea of a "dangerous class" in nineteenth-century France, which foreshadowed Wilson's (1987) "truly disadvantaged" class in the inner cities of contemporary America.
The analysis focuses on primary and secondary education, literacy, and crime in France, 1852-1913, using time-series analyses (ARIMA).
Hipp, John R.
Bauer, Daniel John.
Bollen, Kenneth A.
Crimes of Opportunity or Crimes of Emotion? Testing Two Explanations of Seasonal Change in Crime [Access article in PDF] Subject Headings:
Crime -- Seasonal variations -- United States.
Aggressiveness -- United States.
Criminal psychology -- United States.
While past research has suggested possible seasonal trends in crime rates, this study employs a novel methodology that directly models these changes and predicts them with explanatory variables. Using a nonlinear latent curve model, seasonal fluctuations in crime rates are modeled for a large number of communities in the U.S. over a three-year period with a focus on testing the theoretical predictions of two key explanations for seasonal changes in crime rates: the temperature/aggression and routine activities theories. Using data from 8,460 police units in the U.S. over the 1990 to 1992 period, we found that property crime rates are primarily driven by pleasant weather, consistent with the routine activities theory. Violent crime exhibited evidence in support of both theories.
Our research aims to bring collective action back into the study of structural determinants of power in social exchange. Previous research has focused primarily on the bargaining power of actors whose locations in exchange networks confer different risks of exclusion. We argue that structural position affects not only bargaining power but also the ability of low-power actors to organize against unequal bargaining power. We hypothesize that collective action among low-power actors is facilitated by identification with others who are structurally disadvantaged. We test two identity-theoretic expected utility models that specify how actors in a mixed-motive coalition game might take into account the payoffs to others in structurally equivalent positions. In the utilitarian model, actors maximize the greatest good to the greatest number. In the collectivist model, actors also seek to minimize in-group inequality. Results show some support for the utilitarian model among female participants and strong support for the collectivist model among both males and females. We speculate about causes of gender differences and identify directions for future exchange-theoretic research on social identity and socially embedded collective action.
Sound recording industry -- Social aspects -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
Sound recordings -- United States -- Marketing -- History -- 20th century.
Mass media and ethnic relations -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
Popular music -- Social aspects -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
What shapes the diversity of media markets? A literature on the U.S. recording industry offers competing accounts. The cyclical account stresses the negative effect of market concentration, where high concentration dampens diversity. The open system account stresses a mitigated effect, where the logic of decentralized production reduces concentration's negative effect. However, both accounts contain notable gaps. This article fills these gaps and consequently advances this literature. Most notably, it adjudicates these accounts by analyzing time series data on two carriers of diversity: performing acts and recording firms. When decentralized production is low, as in the 1940s, high concentration reduces the number of new performers and new firms. When decentralized production grows more pronounced, as in the 1980s, concentration's negative effect is reduced and eventually eliminated.
This article reviews central problems in political opportunity theory and explores the implications of adopting certain conceptualizations of political opportunities for explaining the emergence, development, and influence of protest movements. Results from multivariate analyses of civil rights protest, organizational formation, and policy outcomes indicate significant variation depending on (1) whether the political opportunity structure is conceptualized broadly or narrowly, (2) the dependent variable concerned, and (3) the underlying assumptions about the mechanisms through which opportunities translate into action. We argue that the variation in results can best be understood by adopting a broader understanding of protest and the political process and that theory development requires more careful and more explicit — although not necessarily more uniform — conceptualization and specification of political opportunity variables and models.
Picou, J. Steven.
Marshall, Brent K.
Gill, Duane A.
Disasters -- Law and legislation -- United States.
Actions and defenses -- Psychological aspects.
Exxon Valdez Oil Spill, Alaska, 1989 -- Social aspects.
Disaster researchers have debated the utility of distinguishing "natural" from "technological" catastrophes. We suggest that litigation serves as a source of chronic stress for victims of human-caused disasters involved in court deliberations for damages. Data from the Exxon Valdez oil spill are used to evaluate a social structural model of disaster impacts three and one-half years after the event. Results suggest that the status of litigant and litigation stress serve as prominent sources of perceived community damage and event-related psychological stress. We conclude that litigation is a critical characteristic of technological disasters that precludes timely community recovery and promotes chronic social and psychological impacts. Suggestions for alternatives to litigation are provided.
Real estate investment -- Social aspects -- United States.
Income distribution -- United States.
African Americans -- Housing.
Hispanic Americans -- Housing.
Whites -- Housing -- United States.
This article assesses whether housing in predominantly minority and integrated neighborhoods appreciates more slowly than comparable housing in predominantly white communities, and if so, the extent to which inequality is due to neighborhood racial composition per se rather than nonracial socioeconomic and housing structure factors. I take a dynamic approach to the issue of housing appreciation, considering both racial, ethnic, and poverty composition at purchase and change in those characteristics over time. I examine differences in real housing appreciation across black, white, and Hispanic households by applying a hedonic price analysis to data from the Health and Retirement Study, combined with data from the 1970, 1980, and 1990 Census. While much of neighborhood appreciation inequality is explained by nonracial (particularly socioeconomic) factors, minority composition continues to exert a significant effect on appreciation even net of these considerations, particularly in highly segregated communities and those that experience large increases in black representation. Unequal housing appreciation has a large negative impact on the overall wealth holdings of mature minority households, and has important implications for racial and ethnic stratification.
Intergenerational relations -- Religious aspects -- Longitudinal studies.
Juvenile delinquency -- United States -- Longitudinal studies.
Integrating theories about religious influence, religious homogamy, and delinquency, this study examines religion's potential for both reducing and facilitating adolescent delinquency. Analyses of data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health show that the more religious mothers and their adolescent children are, the less often the children are delinquent; however, the effect of one's religiosity depends on the other. When either a mother or child is very religious and the other is not, the child's delinquency increases. Thus, religion can be cohesive when shared among family members, but when unshared, higher adolescent delinquency results. These findings shed light on how family religious dynamics shape well-beingand more generally emphasize that the influence of religiosity depends on the social context in which it is experienced.
Krueger, Patrick M.
Rogers, Richard G.
Hummer, Robert A.
To Help or To Harm? Food Stamp Receipt and Mortality Risk Prior to the 1996 Welfare Reform Act [Access article in PDF] Subject Headings:
Food stamps -- Social aspects -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
Welfare recipients -- United States -- Mortality -- History -- 20th century.
Welfare recipients -- Health and hygiene -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
We use data from the National Health Interview Survey-Family Resources Supplement to examine the relationship between Food Stamp receipt and prospective adult mortality, among eligible households. We specify a switching probit model to adjust for observed and unobserved factors that correlate with selection into the Food Stamp Program and mortality, and to estimate mortality under counterfactual conditions that we do not observe. The average individual, based on observed characteristics, has higher mortality when participating than when not participating. But due to unobserved differences between participants and nonparticipants, those who self-select into participation experience lower mortality than if they did not participate. Our findings suggest that Food Stamps provide an important safety net that protects the health of those who are most likely to participate.
The growing interest in public sociologies marks an increasing gap between the ethos of sociologists and social, political, and economic tendencies in the wider society. Public sociology aims to enrich public debate about moral and political issues by infusing them with sociological theory and research. It has to be distinguished from policy, professional, and critical sociologies. Together these four interdependent sociologies enter into relations of domination and subordination, forming a disciplinary division of labor that varies among academic institutions as well as over time, both within and between nations. Applying the same disciplinary matrix to the other social sciences suggests that sociology's specific contribution lies in its relation to civil society, and, thus, in its defense of human interests against the encroachment of states and markets.