Retail trade -- Social aspects -- Southern States.
Community development -- Southern States.
Southern States -- Social conditions.
The civic community perspective focuses on local social and economic institutions that buffer communities from external, often global forces. Important community organizations such as locally oriented business establishments, civic organizations, associations, and churches are emphasized. These critical entities are posited to benefit a community through an enhanced quality of life, more civic engagement by the citizenry, and a strong capacity for local problem-solving. This address argues specifically for the beneficial consequences of locally oriented retail businesses (single-establishment enterprises and local chains). The relative presence of these local firms is shown to be associated in a positive way with small manufacturing establishments, associations, public gathering places ("third places"), social capital, and voter turnout. Negative correlations are presented for the relationships between locally oriented retail businesses and rates of poverty, infant mortality, and crime. Throughout the presentation, concern is expressed that the South lags behind other U.S. regions in employment and wages derived from these locally oriented firms.
Welfare state -- Developed countries -- History -- 20th century.
Poverty -- Developed countries -- History -- 20th century.
This study investigates the relationship between the welfare state and poverty with multiple measures of the welfare state and poverty in an unbalanced panel of 18 Western nations from 1967 to 1997. While addressing the limitations of past research, the analysis shows that social security transfers and public health spending significantly reduce poverty. Less robust evidence exists that social wages reduce poverty, while public employment and military spending do not significantly affect poverty. The welfare state's effects are far larger than economic and demographic sources of poverty. The significant features of the welfare state entirely account for any differences in poverty between welfare state regimes, and these features have similar effects across welfare state regimes. The welfare state's effects on poverty did not change in the 1990s. Sensitivity analyses show the results hold regardless of the U.S. cases. The welfare state emerges as the primary causal influence on national levels of poverty.
Older women -- United States -- Economic conditions.
A key challenge facing western welfare states is that they offset income risks faced by those in breadwinner families. Social Security is an excellent example. It best protects individuals with lengthy work histories or individuals who get married, stay married, and are never employed. Most women fit neither model. Thus, I analyze "women-friendly" approaches (benefit improvements for parents or those divorced) and a social democratic approach (minimum benefit) to reform. Benefits disconnected from marital status (parent and minimum benefits) are most effective at insuring against the new risks women face. Women-friendly approaches, however, do tend to reinforce inequality among women. Ultimately, my results emphasize that analyses must account for the intersection of gender, race, and class to understand how the state shapes stratification.
Africa's dismal economic performance is directly attributable to its weakness in the production and use of modern technology. Even Nigeria, a country with immense human and material resources, coupled with significant scientific infrastructure, has not yet been able to manage the all-important technological leap forward. The situation was different in Biafra (1967–70), when indigenous scientists and engineers performed socially relevant science without the preconditions conventionally perceived as necessary for technological development. Anchored in structuration theory, this article explores the sociology of scientific and technological practice in Biafra, outlines the achievements of Biafran scientists and engineers, and offers explanations of why the Biafran technological success has not been replicable in post-civil war Nigeria. Discussion concludes with a suggestion for development-driven geopolitical restructuring.
Sanderson, Stephen K.
Heckert, D. Alex.
Dubrow, Joshua K.
This study tested three types of theories of gender inequality in preindustrial societies by using half the societies in the Standard Cross-Cultural Sample: militarist, Marxian, and non-Marxian materialist theories. The first phase of the research used simple cross-tabulations with chi-square as a test of significance and gamma as a measure of association. The results from this phase showed no support for militarist theories, some support for Marxian theories, and substantial support for non-Marxian materialist theories. Since the first phase involved no control variables, a second phase was conducted using multivariate analyses. These analyses confirmed that militarist theories must be emphatically rejected, and that both Marxian and non-Marxian materialist variables help determine gender inequality. Non-Marxian materialist variables, however, explain much more of the variance in gender inequality than Marxian variables do.
Bian, Yanjie, 1955-
Breiger, Ronald L.
Davis, Deborah, 1945-
Professional employees -- Social networks -- China.
Group identity -- China.
Social classes -- China.
China's class structure is changing dramatically in the wake of post-1978 market-oriented economic reforms. The creation of a mixed "market-socialist" economy has eroded the institutional bases of a cadre-dominated social hierarchy and created conditions for a new pattern of social stratification. Although conditions remain dynamic, results of a 1998 urban survey that measured strength and diversity of social ties among 400 households in four of China's largest cities documented networks of social exchange among 13 occupation-based classes that identify a class structure distinct from the cadre-dominated social hierarchy of the Mao era. In particular, analysis of visiting during the Lunar New Year celebration suggests an urban society simultaneously divided along two axes: one by economic success in the more privatized economy and one by distinctions in political authority at the workplace. Thus contrary to those who privilege market transactions as the primary engine for creating a new class hierarchy, we conclude that to understand processes of social stratification one needs theories and methods that work simultaneously with multiple dynamics of class differentiation rather than presuming linear hierarchy.
Finance, Personal -- Social aspects -- United States.
Saving and investment -- Social aspects -- United States.
Income distribution -- United States.
Despite the tremendous implications that financial decisions have for socioeconomic well-being, the study of financial decision-making has been left largely to economists. This paper places this topic firmly within sociological terrain and demonstrates that the search for financial information is embedded within broader systems of social inequality. Analyses of data from the 1998 Survey of Consumer Finances reveal that social networks are by far the most frequently used source of saving and investment information; however they are used most often by those with the least wealth. Wealthier households are more likely to turn to paid financial professionals and to certain forms of media for saving and investment information. Results indicate that those at the top of the socioeconomic ladder do gather information from multiple sources possibly to minimize the risk of making a poor decision; yet as socioeconomic status increases, networks are decreasingly likely to be among the sources consulted.
The origin and enforcement of criminal law are central to the sociological study of crime, yet we know relatively little about how the coercive apparatus of criminalization is actualized through prosecutorial and court practices. We use Bourdieu's extension of Weber's analysis of law to develop a perspective on fields of practice, the juridical field and the force of law at The Hague Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. Our research is based on four years of prosecutor interviews, courtroom observations and analyses of trials covering four prosecutorial regimes. Successive and competitive practices have created an interlocking and cumulative force that is a prerequisite to promoting international humanitarian law.
Industrial organization -- Social aspects -- United States.
Labor market -- United States.
Job satisfaction -- Economic aspects -- United States.
This study uses a mixed methods approach to workplace dynamics. Ethnographic observations show that the consent deal underlies an informal stratification that divides the workplace into an "informal periphery," a "conventional core" and an "administrative clan." The "consent deal" is defined as an exchange of autonomy, voice and schedule flexibility for intensified commitment, and is modeled as a single factor underlying these elements. When constructed as an additive scale, consent allows informal organization to be included in workplace models. Despite its derivation from subjective and informal processes, informal structure exerts an independent effect on objective job rewards such as wages.
Perreira, Krista M.
Harris, Kathleen Mullan, 1950-
Bollen, Kenneth A.
What Are We Measuring? An Evaluation of the CES-D Across Race/Ethnicity and Immigrant Generation [Access article in PDF] Subject Headings:
Center for Epidemiologic Studies (U.S.)
Depression in adolescence -- United States -- Longitudinal studies.
Minority teenagers -- Mental health services -- United States -- Longitudinal studies.
Health status indicators -- United States -- Longitudinal studies.
The sociological study of the mental health of racial-ethnic minorities depends on the measurement quality of the instruments used to evaluate mental health. A commonly used instrument in research on mental health disparities, the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D), has not been thoroughly validated for use in the multiethnic and foreign-born populations currently living in the U.S. Using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, this analysis provides the first multiethnic evaluation and psychometric analysis of the CES-D by acculturation level among youth ages 12–20. Correcting for the measurement problems contained in the CES-D improves the ability to detect differences in depression across ethnocultural groups, and to identify relationships between depression and other outcomes.
Housing -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
Homeowners -- United States -- Family relationships -- History -- 20th century.
Women -- United States -- Social conditions -- 20th century.
Using institutional ethnography we examine the Own-Your-Own-Home (OYOH) movement as a configuration of ideological practices designed to reorder gender, family and housing arrangements in the United States during the early 20th century. We describe the social organization of these practices — with particular emphasis on the coordinating activity of the OYOH Section of the Department of Labor — and provide specific examples from texts of the National Archives and Research Administration. These texts are part of an historic, ongoing process of work organization that coordinated other sequences of action at multiple sites of production within the housing enterprise. We demonstrate that the texts of the campaign organized white, working class, married couples with children as the owners of homes.
Iraq War, 2003- -- Prisoners and prisons, American.
Abu Ghraib Prison.
Prisoners of war -- Abuse of -- Moral and ethical aspects -- Iraq.
The outrage over revelations of torture and abuse at Abu Ghraib prison has faded from public discourse, but a number of questions remain unanswered. This paper criticizes official rationalizations offered for the abuse. We make the case that these abuses are systemic, resulting from dehumanization of the enemy and the long reliance on and refinement of torture by the United States national security agencies. We also consider the spread of torture in the current war "on terror," and we call on sociologists to become involved in the study of torture and prisoner abuse.
The derivative nature of public sociology resting on academic research and theory is widely perceived as a central challenge to establishing its legitimacy for faculty recruitment, promotion and graduate training. While public sociology can be derivative, it need not be. This brief essay explains how, with three illustrations of large public campaigns that succeeded in changing social institutions and also produced articles in major journals, grants and a book.
As an introduction to this supplement, which centrally deals with the responses of various Latin American countries to globalism, I clarify the reasons why Social Forces is devoting space in this journal as well as on the website, and then explain how this project evolved. This is important because it illustrates how international collaboration evolves around shared themes and complementary interests.
This article discusses the existing relationships between politics and society at the start of the twenty-first century in Latin America, a region that is characterized by its heterogeneity, and that is addressed as a homogenous whole. Politics are treated as an extension of democracy, the changing role of institutions, the weakness of political capital, difficulties of representation, and the new regionalist integrationism. When engaging in social analysis, this work addresses divisions among social classes, large and growing inequality, poverty, lack of security, and multiculturalism.
This article explores how the interlocking of formal and informal political institutions has affected the dynamics and performance of the Argentine democracy. Key institutional features of the Argentine political system have been a competitive form of federalism, loosely structured and political parties that are not ideologically unified, neopatrimonial practices, and client list exchanges. These features have interacted with the pluralist political landscape resulting from the vertical and horizontal constitutional division of powers. In combination with the distribution of power resulting from electoral results at different levels of government, these features have severely constrained the possibilities for coordination in and across institutional arenas.
Women -- Latin America -- Social conditions -- 1982-
Sex discrimination against women -- Latin America.
This article attempts to offer a general panorama of some issues related to political representation of women in Latin America. Specifically, it analyzes the advances made in the representation of women in politics during the 1990s. It offers a descriptive analysis of national cases in Latin America from an institutional focus. In spite of the importance that structural, social and psychological elements have in the different accounts of women representation in the developing countries, in this text emphasis will be made on the effects of political-institutional reforms. Results from reforms have varied considerably between and within countries. They have only been incoherent and disconnected policies implemented to increase female representation during the '90s. We can only deduce, therefore, the existence of intentions on the part of governments to enhance the status of women, notwithstanding that numerous political, institutional, economical and social constrictions continually reproduce inequalities.
The forced resignation of Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada from the presidency in October 2003 attests to the fragility of the process of democratization in Bolivia. A period of political and economic stability following the 1985 economic austerity measures prevailed for over ten years, but social discontent with the inadequacies of the political and economic model has become more evident since the end of the 1990s. This article charts the political, economic and social processes which have interacted in complex – and indeed contradictory – ways since the 1980s, advancing towards democracy in some important aspects, but failing to overcome structural barriers of exclusion, and rooted patterns of state patrimonialism. In a context of diminishing societal acceptance and legitimacy of the democratic institutions, new social forces have emerged which are challenging assumptions within the transitions literature regarding the path towards democratic consolidation and even the end-goal.
The electoral victory of Luís Inácio "Lula" da Silva in the presidential elections of 2002 epitomized two decades of social and political transformations in Brazil. Nevertheless, instead of launching an alternative mode of doing politics, the program of the Workers' Party affirmed a state logic with a view to gradually updating the economic structure of Brazilian capitalism by means of successive transitions directed by the state, avoiding the active intervention of the subaltern classes in this process. In this logic are inscribed fiscal discipline, social security reform, and giving value to private pension funds. Such funds established a bridge that makes viable the organic alliance of a union bureaucracy, now the manager of these funds, and globalized financial capital.