The Welfare Reform Act of 1996 generally restricted immigrants' eligibility for welfare to those who had naturalized. By increasing the salience of naturalization, the law provides a unique opportunity to examine how social and economic contexts of reception influence immigrants' pursuit of citizenship. This paper summarizes instrumental-legal (IL) and social-contextual (SC) theoretical perspectives on the foundations of citizenship and develops hypotheses on how social and economic contexts of immigrant reception after welfare reform influence naturalization behavior. Using General Social Survey (GSS) data and longitudinal data from the Survey of Program Dynamics (SPD) for 1988-2002, the research finds that hypotheses about the influence of the social context of reception, as reflected in state-level favorability of attitudes toward immigrants, are most consistently supported in the data. The results hold important implications for both theories of immigrant incorporation and ideas about what constitutes the most effective policy instruments to enhance the social and economic status of immigrants.
This article uses the puzzle of diverging trajectories of immigrant citizenship in the United States and Canada to build a new approach to the study of citizenship and political incorporation. I consider three existing models of citizenship: an approach that considers citizenship adoption as the product of cost/benefit calculations; an approach that understands individuals and groups to be differentially endowed with the skills, resources and interests necessary to acquire citizenship; and an approach that believes countries adopt citizenship regimes which either include or shut out immigrants. I then offer an alternative model of structured mobilization which views political incorporation as a social process of mobilization by friends, family, community organizations and local leaders that is embedded in an institutional context shaped by government policies of diversity and newcomer settlement. The material and symbolic resources provided by government shape the ability and interest of "social helpers" to assist with and mobilize around citizenship. The article concludes by considering the implications of structured mobilization for various debates in immigration and political sociology.
The questions asked in the paper are whether and to what extent the employment situation among recent third-country immigrants differs across European Union countries and how it is related to these countries' labor market characteristics. The European Labor Force Survey data for the 1990s are used to disentangle the roles that the individual characteristics of immigrants, on the one hand, and the structural features of the receiving societies, on the other, play in the process of immigrants' labor market integration. The results of multilevel regression analyses confirm that in receiving countries with stronger demand for low-skilled labor, unprivileged immigrants are less disadvantaged at employment entry. Among men immigrants' employment disadvantages are found to be lower in liberal welfare states marked by their flexible labor markets.
How non-Christian religious groups should be politically recognized within Western multicultural societies has proved to be a pressing contemporary issue. This article examines some ways in which American policies regarding religion and multiculturalism have shaped Hindu Indian American organizations, forms of public expression and activism. Specifically, I look at three examples of the impact of such policies on Hindu Indian Americans representing strategic arenas in the socio-political recognition of ethnic groups, and also crucial moments in the institutionalization of an American Hinduism. I also show how the activism of Hindu Americans is reshaping the contours of religion, society and politics in the United States.
This study uses industrial pollution data from the Environmental Protection Agency's Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) and tract-level demographic data from the 2000 U.S. census to determine whether environmental racial inequality existed in the Detroit metropolitan area in the year 2000. This study differs from prior environmental inequality research in two important ways. First, it offers a positive rationale for using hazard proximity indicators. Second, it uses a distance decay modeling technique to estimate hazard proximity. This technique weights each hazard's estimated negative effect by distance such that the estimated negative effect declines continuously as distance from the hazard increases, thus providing more accurate estimates of proximity-based environmental risk than can be obtained using other variable construction techniques currently found in the literature. Using this technique, I find that Detroit's black neighborhoods were disproportionately burdened by TRI facility activity in 2000 and that neighborhood racial composition had a strong independent effect on neighborhood proximity to TRI activity.
This study provides an extensive test of Ogbu's oppositional culture theory that accounts for student maturation over time. Using data from the Maryland Adolescence Development In Context Study (MADICS), I test the proposition that blacks resist school more than whites, and that this difference grows with age. Analyses were conducted across 24 outcomes and revealed two major findings with implications for the study of race and school achievement. First, five major tenets of the theory were not supported, which challenges the existence of a pervasive oppositional culture among black Americans. Second, maturation after grade 7 had minimal impact on white-black differences on the outcomes. Findings are discussed in terms of their implications for sociological theory and educational policy.
The study of education-occupation mismatch, once central to the sociological investigation of the labor market, has been largely abandoned. While labor economists and scholars in other nations continue to investigate overqualification, it has been more than two decades since its last sociological assessment in the United States. Drawing on previous work and guided by Bourdieu's concept of habitus, I hypothesize that workers who have more educational attainments than needed for their jobs will be less satisfied with their jobs, be more politically liberal, and be less likely to endorse an effort-based achievement ideology. Using the 1972-2002 General Social Survey, I find that overqualification has increased substantially, that the expected effects are generally found, and that these effects remain relatively stable over time. I discuss the implications of these findings for understanding the persistence of existing stratification hierarchies.
Work uncertainty may affect gender disparities in professionals' upward mobility in organizational hierarchies. Professional work involves three forms of uncertainty – problem variability, strategic indeterminacy and dependence on autonomous actors – that weaken the association between performance and ability, leading organizational decision-makers to weigh gender more heavily in promotion decisions. Strategic indeterminacy also increases the need for trust, so decision-makers feel more comfortable promoting candidates of their own sex. These ideas are explored using data on promotions to partnership in U.S. law firms. Findings show that (1) promotions are less likely to go to women when work involves greater problem variability and strategic indeterminacy; and (2) the negative effect of strategic indeterminacy becomes stronger as the proportion of male partners increases.
The experience of rural poverty is in many ways unique from that of urban poverty. In the rural setting, social cohesion creates pressure on the poor to behave in ways that are consistent with local values. This paper, based on qualitative research done in an isolated, rural Northern California community, argues that in this setting the survival strategies of the poor are chosen because they are socially rational rather than economically optimal. The choice of socially acceptable coping strategies is ultimately beneficial because it creates "moral capital," which can be traded for both social capital in the form of community support, and economic capital in the form of job opportunities.
This article addresses social movement framing, generally, and within contemporary animal rights movements specifically by conducting focus group analyses of a non-activist population. This contrasts with previous studies of recruitment that have examined the conversion process retroactively, culling data from those already involved in a cause. By soliciting the thoughts of non-activists, the efficacy of recruitment efforts and resonance of movement frames can be gauged through the reactions of those whom the movement is attempting to reach: the uninitiated. Ultimately, the question is raised: is it preferable to get noticed in a negative way or not at all? The findings constitute a cautionary tale for social movement organizations that employ incendiary language or images in their recruitment efforts.
Using a 1995 national survey of 2,870 Chinese private entrepreneurs, this article examines collaboration between private business and government in times of economic transition. Much as in the late 18th century situation in France as described by Tocqueville, special moments occur when a newly emerging business class offers monetary payments for charity and for honorary offices. In exchange, the government, desperate for new sources of revenue, provides social recognition and political access. The data suggest that into at least the 1990s Chinese private entrepreneurs donated generously to government welfare projects, and in exchange gained political access and social status via appointment to political councils.
It is commonly assumed that environmentalism harms national economies because environmental regulations constrain economic activity and create incentives for firms to move production and investment to other countries. We point out that global environmentalism involves large-scale institutional changes that: (1) encourage new kinds of economic activity and (2) reconstruct economic value such that environmental protection is rewarded in the market. We employ cross-national panel analyses to examine the effects of national environmentalism on economic growth, trade, industry and investment. We find that pro-environmental countries fare better in terms of economic growth, investment and size of the industrial and service sectors. We find no impact of environmentalism on foreign investment and trade. Firms and investment do not appear to be fleeing countries with strong environmental standards.
This research tests the proposition that national leaders generate international interactions in the process of maintaining sentiments about nations and international actions. The analysis deals with 1,934 international incidents in which one of 25 Middle Eastern nations responded twice within four weeks to an instigation by another of the 25 nations. Quantitative predictions from affect control theory correlate significantly with quantitative measurements of observed responses. In particular, affect-based predictions account for 59 percent of the variance in the nations' cooperation-conflict. Thus, international interactions are affectively-regulated to a significant degree.
We propose a theory which predicts that an increase in an actor's relative power reduces the actor's rewards in high mutual dependence dyads. Our argument is based on the premise that higher relative power gives the more powerful actor a greater share of surplus, but it also reduces dyadic exchange frequency, which lowers the expected magnitude of that surplus. As mutual dependence increases, fairness issues associated with power imbalances reduce exchange frequency and expected surplus at an increasingly higher rate. Thus, at a certain level of mutual dependence, the more powerful actor obtains a greater share of a much smaller exchange surplus leading him or her to be worse off than he would be in an equal-power dyad. We support this prediction with data on profit rates in American industries from 1977 through 1992.