American Sociological Association

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  1. The Structure of Deference: Modeling Occupational Status Using Affect Control Theory

    Current theories of occupational status conceptualize it as either a function of cultural esteem or the symbolic aspect of the class structure. Based on Weber’s definition of status as rooted in either cultural or class conditions, we argue that a consistent operationalization of occupational status must account for both of these dimensions. Using quantitative measures of cultural sentiments for occupational identities, we use affect control theory to model the network deference relations across occupations.
  2. Social Skill Dimensions and Career Dynamics

    All work is social, yet little is known about social skill dimensions or how social skill experiences accumulate across careers. Using occupational data (O*NET) on social tasks, the authors identify social skills’ latent dimensions. They find four main types: emotion, communication, coordination, and sales. O*NET provides skill importance scores for each occupation, which the authors link to individual careers (Panel Study of Income Dynamics). The authors then analyze cumulative skill exposure among three cohorts of workers using multitrajectory modeling.
  3. Relative Education and the Advantage of a College Degree

    What is the worth of a college degree when higher education expands? The relative education hypothesis posits that when college degrees are rare, individuals with more education have less competition to enter highly-skilled occupations. When college degrees are more common, there may not be enough highly-skilled jobs to go around; some college-educated workers lose out to others and are pushed into less-skilled jobs.
  4. Sexual Harassment, Workplace Authority, and the Paradox of Power

    Power is at the core of feminist theories of sexual harassment, although it has rarely been measured directly in terms of workplace authority. Popular characterizations portray male supervisors harassing female subordinates, but power-threat theories suggest that women in authority may be more frequent targets. This article analyzes longitudinal survey data and qualitative interviews from the Youth Development Study to test this idea and to delineate why and how supervisory authority, gender nonconformity, and workplace sex ratios affect harassment.

  5. Hiring as Cultural Matching: The Case of Elite Professional Service Firms

    This article presents culture as a vehicle of labor market sorting. Providing a case study of hiring in elite professional service firms, I investigate the often suggested but heretofore empirically unexamined hypothesis that cultural similarities between employers and job candidates matter for employers’ hiring decisions. Drawing from 120 interviews with employers as well as participant observation of a hiring committee, I argue that hiring is more than just a process of skills sorting; it is also a process of cultural matching between candidates, evaluators, and firms.

  6. The Positive Consequences of Negative Stereotypes: Race, Sexual Orientation, and the Job Application Process

    How do marginalized social categories, such as being black and gay, combine with one another in the production of discrimination? While much extant research assumes that combining marginalized social categories results in a “double disadvantage,” I argue that in the case of race and sexual orientation the opposite may be true. This article posits that stereotypes about gay men as effeminate and weak will counteract common negative stereotypes held by whites that black men are threatening and criminal.

  7. Creating an Age of Depression: The Social Construction and Consequences of the Major Depression Diagnosis

    One type of study in the sociology of mental health examines how social and cultural factors influence the creation and consequences of psychiatric diagnoses. Most studies of this kind focus on how diagnoses emerge from struggles among advocacy organizations, economic and political interest groups, and professionals.

  8. Leader Messaging and Attitudes toward Sexual Violence

    Research exploring sexual assault within universities and sexual harassment within companies has largely overlooked how leadership in organizations can shape constituents’ perceptions of sexual violence. This question has become particularly relevant as organizations are increasingly tasked with measuring and communicating about sexual violence. We use two national survey experiments to test how altering an organization’s communication of information about sexual assault or harassment affects participants’ agreement that it is a high-priority issue.

  9. Like a Fish out of Water: Managing Chronic Pain in the Urban Safety Net

    The subjective nature of pain has always rendered it a point of entry for power and corresponding stratifying processes within biomedicine. The opioid crisis has further exacerbated these challenges by increasing the stakes of prescribing decisions for providers, which in turn has resulted in greater treatment disparities.
  10. Encultured Biases: The Role of Products in Pathways to Inequality

    Recent sociological work shows that culture is an important causal variable in labor market outcomes. Does the same hold for product markets? To answer this question, we study a product market in which selection decisions occur absent face-to-face interaction between intermediaries and short-term contract workers. We find evidence of “product-based” cultural matching operating as a pathway to inequality.