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  1. Featured Essay: Frontlash/Backlash: The Crisis of Solidarity and the Threat to Civil Institutions

    Jeffrey C. Alexander argues for an understanding of the polarizing and excluding forces of Trumpism as sociologically ‘‘normal’’ to the ongoing dynamics of civil spheres.
  2. Asymmetric Fixed-effects Models for Panel Data

    Standard fixed-effects methods presume that effects of variables are symmetric: The effect of increasing a variable is the same as the effect of decreasing that variable but in the opposite direction. This is implausible for many social phenomena. York and Light showed how to estimate asymmetric models by estimating first-difference regressions in which the difference scores for the predictors are decomposed into positive and negative changes. In this article, I show that there are several aspects of their method that need improvement.

  3. Elusive Events

    The purpose of What Is an Event? by Robin Wagner-Pacifici is to “build a model for the analysis of events in general” (p. 3). To this end, it develops an “analytical apparatus, termed political semiosis,” the “basic features” of which are “performatives, demonstratives, and representations” (Chapter 1). At the forefront of this endeavor is the attempt to understand how “events take shape” (pp. 10, 83, 91, 109, 140) given the “grounds from which they erupt” (p. 48) and the “ruptures” that set them off (p. 105).
  4. Comment on Barbara Risman’s review of Cheap Sex: The Transformation of Men, Marriage, and Monogamy

    The habit of contesting criticisms in print is one I have never acquired, in part because I am committed to the democracy and pace of scholarly debate. Nothing attracted me more to the sociological life than the opportunity to wrestle with ideas. But that is why I feel compelled to respond to Risman’s apoplectic interpretation of Cheap Sex. The reader learns next to nothing about what is actually in the book. Her remarks display far less interest in wrestling with ideas than in ad hominem assaults and sarcastic guesses at my character, values, and motives.
  5. Is Recreational Sex a Social Problem? Or, What’s Wrong with Kids Today?

    Decades have passed since we liberated normative sex from the confines of heterosexual marriage. But the divorce of sexual activity from romantic relationships among young people is still the topic of much debate. Both American Hookup: The New Culture of Sex on Campus, by Lisa Wade, and Cheap Sex: The Transformation of Men, Marriage, and Monogamy, by Mark Regnerus, address what’s happening with sex and relationships today; and although they identify similar trends, their analyses could not be more different.
  6. At the Foot of the Grave: Challenging Collective Memories of Violence in Post-Franco Spain

    Understanding the development and meaning of collective memory is a central interest for sociologists. One aspect of this literature focuses on the processes that social movement actors use to introduce long-silenced counter-memories of violence to supplant the “official” memory. To examine this, I draw on 15 months of ethnographic observations with the Spanish Association for the Recovery of Historical Memory (ARMH) and 200 informal and 30 formal interviews with locals and activists.
  7. Towards a Dynamic Theory of Civil Society: The Politics of Forward and Backward Infiltration

    This article develops a conceptual framework to theorize the processes of mutual penetration between civil society, the state, and the economy, where incumbents and challengers continuously formulate new strategies against each other. We criticize the prevailing Weberian and Tocquevillian concepts of civil society, and then, drawing on research in social movements and comparative political economy, propose a new framework: the politics of forward and backward infiltration.
  8. The Advantaged Cause: Affect Control Theory and Social Movements

    The role of grievances in drawing public concern and activist support is a surprisingly understudied topic in modern social movement literature. This research is the first to parse issues into core components to understand whether some grievances are more successful than others in evoking reactions that can benefit social movements.

  9. National Crimes: A New National Data Set of Lynchings in the United States, 1883 to 1941

    Historians are increasingly studying lynching outside of the American Southeast, but sociologists have been slow to follow. We introduce a new public data set that extends existing data on lynching victims to cover the contiguous United States from 1883 to 1941. These data confirm that lynching was a heterogeneous practice across the United States.

  10. Trends in U.S. Gender Attitudes, 1977 to 2018: Gender and Educational Disparities

    These figures display gender- and education-related gaps in U.S. gender attitudes from 1977 to 2018. The authors use data from the General Social Survey (N = 57,224) to estimate the historical trajectory of U.S. attitudes about women in politics, familial roles, and working motherhood. Of all attitudes analyzed, Americans hold the most liberal attitudes toward women in politics, with no gender gap and little educational difference on this issue. Attitudes toward familial roles have the largest educational gap but a small gender difference.