American Sociological Association

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  1. Response to Weddington: More Lessons from Afro-pessimism

    In this response to George Weddington’s critique of their recent article, the authors argue that Weddington rightfully critiques them for not paying enough attention to the role of psychoanalysis (exemplified by Frantz Fanon) in Afro-pessimist theory and for not giving primacy to the political ontology of blackness in Afro-pessimist thought. However, his critique is hindered by his mischaracterizing the authors’ argument as saying that black political ontology is merely different, not singular, and his lack of engagement with the authors’ analysis of critical race theory.
  2. The High-hanging Fruit of the Gender Revolution: A Model of Social Reproduction and Social Change

    This article proposes an abstract sociological model of stable patriarchal social relations and feminist social change. I describe a patriarchal equilibrium of gender inequality and propose an approach for thinking about how various kinds of interventions can short-circuit the system, pushing it onto a new equilibrium path. In particular, I focus on possible interventions into parental leave policy, describing their social structural and cultural ramifications as well as a range of objections to them.
  3. Scaling Down Inequality: Rating Scales, Gender Bias, and the Architecture of Evaluation

    Quantitative performance ratings are ubiquitous in modern organizations—from businesses to universities—yet there is substantial evidence of bias against women in such ratings. This study examines how gender inequalities in evaluations depend on the design of the tools used to judge merit.
  4. School-to-Work Linkages, Educational Mismatches, and Labor Market Outcomes

    A recurring question in public and scientific debates is whether occupation-specific skills enhance labor market outcomes. Is it beneficial to have an educational degree that is linked to only one or a small set of occupations? To answer this question, we generalize existing models of the effects of (mis)match between education and occupation on labor market outcomes. Specifically, we incorporate the structural effects of linkage strength between school and work, which vary considerably across industrialized countries.
  5. Job Characteristics, Job Preferences, and Physical and Mental Health in Later Life

    Existing research linking socioeconomic status with work focuses primarily on the precursors (educational attainment) and outcomes (income) of work, rather than asking how diverse facets of work influence health.
  6. Are Robots Stealing Our Jobs?

    The media and popular business press often invoke narratives that reflect widespread anxiety that robots may be rendering humans obsolete in the workplace. However, upon closer examination, many argue that automation, including robotics and artificial intelligence, is spreading unevenly throughout the labor market, such that middle-skill occupations that do not require a college degree are more likely to be affected adversely because they are easier to automate than high-skill occupations.

  7. Review Essay: Back to the Future

    In one of my undergraduate courses, I show students a photo of Paul Lazarsfeld and Frank Stanton. Of course, neither social scientist is familiar to them, but I argue to my students that Lazarsfeld had a bigger impact on the daily practice of sociology than any member of the Marx/Weber/Durkheim triumvirate they study in classical theory.

  8. Essay: Sociology's New Steps?

    It was the devastating problems linked to the dramatic shift from farm to factory during the nineteenth century that fueled sociology’s origins, whether we turn to Comte, Marx, Weber, Durkheim, or Simmel. Building on the eighteenth-century Enlightenment spirit of the power of reason and freedom as well as the triumphs of the biophysical sciences, they envisaged a powerful science of human behavior that could solve those problems.

  9. Racial/Ethnic Hierarchy and Urban Labor Market Inequality: Four Poignant Historical Cases

    The sociological literature, although rich on the topic of racial/ethnic hierarchy, often overlooks its spatially varying nature relative to group tensions and inequality. In this article, we address this gap by drawing on and analyzing four historically important U.S. urban cases (i.e., Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York City) that reflect both compositional diversity and significant variation in racial/ethnic group sizes. Our analyses, which draw on U.S.

  10. Industry, Firm, Job Title: The Layered Nature of Early-Career Advantage for Graduates of Elite Private Universities

    Using concepts associated with effectively maintained inequality theory and horizontal stratification, the authors ask whether the private-public dividing line is a “threshold of consequence” for early-career market entry. To address this empirically, the authors use a novel LinkedIn data set to analyze job pathways for the graduating class of 2016 from the top 25 private and top 25 public universities in the United States.