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  1. Rents, Power and Governance in Global Value Chains

    This paper addresses the  generation  of  rents  and  the  distribution  of  gains  in  the  global  operations  of  governed Global  Value  Chains  (GVCs)  and  seeks  to  provide  an  architecture  for  analyzing  the  governance  of  GVCs.  It distinguishes between four sets of rent—gifts of nature; innovation rents; exogenously defined rents; and market power—and three spheres of governance—setting the rules -“legislative governance”; implementing the rules -“executive governance”; and monitoring rules and sanctioning malfeasance -“judicial governance.” The exercise of governance power in
  2. From Promoting Political Polyarchy to Defeating Participatory Democracy: U.S. Foreign Policy towards the Far Left in Latin America

    During the 1980s, the United States initiated an explicit policy of democracy promotion throughout the world. William Robinson (1996) more accurately described this initiative as “promoting polyarchy,” whereby the United States supported moderate elite actors that promoted neoliberal economic policies to displace both right-wing and communist despots, such as General Augusto Pinochet in Chile and Soviet rulers in Eastern Europe.
  3. Buen Vivir as Policy: Challenging Neoliberalism or Consolidating State Power in Ecuador

    Core countries, including the United States, and global financial institutions have exerted an unmatched power to define and implement neoliberal policies, globally. These policies conceive of development as strictly economic in nature and call for a reduction in the size of the state and increasing privatization to guarantee growth. In this paper I examine Ecuador’s adoption of ‘Buen Vivir’ to understand how the state can challenge the neoliberal agenda and how its power is redefined in the process.
  4. Geoeconomic Uses of Global Warming: The “Green” Technological Revolution and the Role of the Semi-Periphery

    While some semi-peripheral countries have seen renewable energies as an opportunity to build their industrial and technological capacities, core countries and global governance organizations have been promoting “green growth.” Since the 2008 global financial crisis, global warming has been used as a catalyst for big business. As the global economy may be entering the first stage of a “green” technology revolution, neo-Schumpeterian economists have regained visibility.
  5. Interwar Romania and the Greening of the Iron Cage: The Biopolitics of Dimitrie Gusti, Virgil Madgearu, Mihail Manoilescu, and Ştefan Zeletin

    This study examines the reconfiguration of the colonial matrix of power along biopolitical lines in interwar Romania. I reconstruct a shifting field of human sciences and governmentality whose cognitive interest resided in identifying the proper template for national subject-making and social modernization. This undertaking was predicated on diagnosing economic, political, and cultural blockages hindering the transformation of Romanian peasants into active political subjects.
  6. Toward a Cultural-Structural Theory of Suicide: Examining Excessive Regulation and Its Discontents

    Despite its enduring insights, Durkheim’s theory of suicide fails to account for a significant set of cases because of its overreliance on structural forces to the detriment of other possible factors. In this paper, we develop a new theoretical framework for thinking about the role of culture in vulnerability to suicide. We argue that by focusing on the cultural dynamics of excessive regulation, particularly at the meso level, a more robust sociological model for suicide could be offered that supplements structure-heavy Durkheimian theory.
  7. Wage Stagnation and Buyer Power: How Buyer-Supplier Relations Affect U.S. Workers’ Wages, 1978 to 2014

    Since the 1970s, market restructuring has shifted many workers into workplaces heavily reliant on sales to outside corporate buyers. These outside buyers wield substantial power over working conditions among their suppliers. During the same period, wage growth for middle-income workers stagnated. By extending organizational theories of wage-setting to incorporate interactions between organizations, I predict that wage stagnation resulted in part from production workers’ heightened exposure to buyer power.
  8. Scents and Sensibility: Olfaction, Sense-Making, and Meaning Attribution

    How are smells invested with meaning and how do those meanings structure interactions and group relations? I use cultural theories of meaning-making to explore these questions, situating my inquiry in the world of commercially marketed perfumes. Using blind smell tests in focus groups, I examine how individuals make sense of certain fragrances absent direction from manufacturers or marketing materials. I find that most participants can correctly decode perfume manufacturers’ intended message, target users, and usage sites.
  9. Mass Mobilization and the Durability of New Democracies

    The “elitist approach” to democratization contends that “democratic regimes that last have seldom, if ever, been instituted by mass popular actors” (Huntington 1984:212). This article subjects this observation to empirical scrutiny using statistical analyses of new democracies over the past half-century and a case study. Contrary to the elitist approach, I argue that new democracies growing out of mass mobilization are more likely to survive than are new democracies that were born amid quiescence.
  10. Velvet Rope Racism, Racial Paranoia, and Cultural Scripts: Alleged Dress Code Discrimination in Urban Nightlife, 2000–2014

    Using news stories appearing between June 1, 2000, and June 15, 2014, I explore the nature of African Americans’ allegations of racial discrimination in the use of dress codes at urban nightclubs. In this qualitative analysis I outline the nature of these incidents and the extent to which they represent what I refer to as “velvet rope racism”. I focus on how these incidents are negotiated between patrons and nightclub management, observing that owners who face allegations of racial discrimination turn to cultural scripts to make counterclaims to allegations.