American Sociological Association

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  1. What Does It Mean to Span Cultural Boundaries? Variety and Atypicality in Cultural Consumption

    We propose a synthesis of two lines of sociological research on boundary spanning in cultural production and consumption. One, research on cultural omnivorousness, analyzes choice by heterogeneous audiences facing an array of crisp cultural offerings. The other, research on categories in markets, analyzes reactions by homogeneous audiences to objects that vary in the degree to which they conform to categorical codes. We develop a model of heterogeneous audiences evaluating objects that vary in typicality.

  2. 2012 Presidential Address: Transforming Capitalism through Real Utopias

    This address explores a broad framework for thinking sociologically about emancipatory alternatives to dominant institutions and social structures, especially capitalism. The framework is grounded in two foundational propositions: (1) Many forms of human suffering and many deficits in human flourishing are the result of existing institutions and social structures. (2) Transforming existing institutions and social structures in the right way has the potential to substantially reduce human suffering and expand the possibilities for human flourishing.

  3. The Bourgeoisie Dream Factory

    Effectively teaching sociological theories to undergraduate students is challenging. Students often enroll in theory courses due to major requirements, not personal interest. Consequently, many students approach the study of theory with anxiety. This study examined the effectiveness of an experiential learning activity designed to teach Karl Marx’s theory of alienation. Based on pretest/posttest surveys, responses to open-ended questions, and observational data, students reported that the activity helped them gain a clearer understanding of Marx.

  4. What Is the Relation between Theory and Practice, and Did Marx Discuss Engineering Society?

    My impression of Marx’s understanding of theory and praxis is that the transition from capitalism to socialism is contingent on the historical circumstances at any given point in time. The logic of capital creates certain preconditions that set the stage for the transition, but the transition is by no means guaranteed to unfold, or unfold in a clearly predictable manner. One of the preconditions is the concentration of capital into the hands of few and the general tendency toward increasing relative poverty of workers.

  5. Omnivorous Gentrification: Restaurant Reviews and Neighborhood Change in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver

    Through an analysis of restaurant reviews, this paper examines the production and consumption of food, as well as ideas and symbols about food, within a gentrifying neighborhood, the Downtown Eastside in Vancouver. In particular, it analyzes how reviewers frame culinary “authenticity” and attach symbolic value to a low‐income area of the city, while often acknowledging an emerging civil discourse that sees gentrification as a problem.

  6. Place-based Inequality in “Energetic” Pain: The Price of Residence in Rural America

    Despite the tendency for some to view rural life or living close to nature with nostalgia, the unpalatable truth is that rural America is beset with many problems, including lower incomes, higher poverty rates, limited access to well-paying jobs, higher morbidity and mortality rates, inadequate access to health care, and lower educational attainment. In this study, we question whether this palpable rural disadvantage extends to residential energy costs, a subject with serious implications for the well-being of households.
  7. Gender, Socioeconomic Status, and Diet Behaviors within Brazilian Families

    Existing literature documents the key role that parents play in transmitting diet behaviors to their children; however, less is known about differences by parent and child gender within families, especially with attention to household socioeconomic status (SES). We use nationally representative household data from Brazil and ask how parent-child associations of diet behavior differ by gender within lower- and higher-SES households.
  8. Dietary Assimilation among Mexican Children in Immigrant Households: Code-switching and Healthy Eating across Social Institutions

    Immigrant health assimilation is often framed as a linear, individualistic process. Yet new assimilation theory and structural theories of health behavior imply variation in health assimilation as immigrants and their families interact with different US social institutions throughout the day. We test this idea by analyzing how two indicators of dietary assimilation—food acculturation and healthy eating—vary throughout the day as Mexican children in immigrant households consume food in different institutional settings.
  9. Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison

    Stanley Cohen revisits Foucault's _Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison_.
  10. Invited Feature Review: The Enslaved, the Worker, and Du Bois’s Black Reconstruction: Toward an Underdiscipline of Antisociology

    At the heart of sociology lies a paradox. Sociology recognizes itself as a preeminently modern discipline yet remains virtually silent on what W.E.B. Du Bois identifies as modernity’s “most magnificent drama”: the transoceanic enslavement of Africans. Through a reconsideration of his classic text Black Reconstruction in America, this article offers an answer to the paradox: a profoundly antisocial condition, racial slavery lies beyond the bounds of the social, beyond sociology’s self-defined limits.