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  1. Policy Entrepreneurs and the Origins of the Regulatory Welfare State: Child Labor Reform in Nineteenth-Century Europe

    Industrial child labor laws were the earliest manifestation of the modern regulatory welfare state. Why, despite the absence of political pressure from below, did some states (but not others) succeed in legislating working hours, minimum ages, and schooling requirements for working children in the first half of the nineteenth century? I use case studies of the politics behind the first child labor laws in Germany and France, alongside a case study of a failed child labor reform effort in Belgium, to answer this question.
  2. Eliciting Frontstage and Backstage Talk with the Iterated Questioning Approach

    This article advances interviewing methods by introducing the authors’ original contribution: the iterated questioning approach (IQA). This interviewing technique augments the interviewer’s methodological arsenal by exploiting insights from symbolic interactionism, particularly Goffman’s concepts of frontstage and backstage. IQA consists of sequenced iterations of a baseline question designed to elicit multiple forms of talk.

  3. Big Data Surveillance: The Case of Policing

    This article examines the intersection of two structural developments: the growth of surveillance and the rise of “big data.” Drawing on observations and interviews conducted within the Los Angeles Police Department, I offer an empirical account of how the adoption of big data analytics does—and does not—transform police surveillance practices. I argue that the adoption of big data analytics facilitates amplifications of prior surveillance practices and fundamental transformations in surveillance activities.
  4. Saving Our Kids

    Reviewing Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis.

  5. My Debt to the Nepali People

    A researcher on ethnographic dharma after disaster in Nepal.

  6. Dueling Interpretations of the Professional Organizing Industry

    Professional organizers are depicted, in pop culture, as clutter cops, but see themselves, in real life, as helping others prioritize and make peace with the stuff of their lives.

  7. Normal Unpredictability and the Chaos in Our Lives

    On the normal unpredictability of low-wage work.

  8. Romancing the Data

    A review of Aziz Ansari and Erik Klinenberg’s Modern Romance.

  9. Domestic Workers Refusing Neo-Slavery in the UAE

    Dubai’s Kafala system regulates the lives, labors, and mobility of migrant domestic workers who have seen no new rights with reforms. this is how they resist.

  10. Who Would Eat Such a Fish?

    Examining the rhetorical claims to freshness, authenticity, and artistry in America’s elite sushi restaurants reveals commodity-driven ugliness alongside beautiful meals.