American Sociological Association

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  1. Shadow Capital: The Democratization of College Preparatory Education

    In this article, we examine the manifestation and consequences of shadow capital within two public, urban, nonselective, college preparatory–designated high schools serving exclusively nondominant students. Informed by three years of ethnographic data, we argue that the transference of a historically elite college preparatory education from dominant institutions to nondominant schools results in fundamental changes to the dominant capital it is expected to yield.
  2. The Exposure Experience: Ohio River Valley Residents Respond to Local Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) Contamination

    This article explores the "exposure experience" of participants who received their personal results in a biomonitoring study for perfluorooctanoic acid. Exposure experience is the process of identifying, understanding, and responding to chemical contamination. When biomonitoring studies report results to participants, those participants generate an exposure experience that identifies hidden contaminants and helps level informational imbalances between polluters and affected communities.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.
  5. Saving Our Kids

    Reviewing Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis.

  6. My Debt to the Nepali People

    A researcher on ethnographic dharma after disaster in Nepal.

  7. Romancing the Data

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

  8. Social Effects of Health Care Reform

    Do public health policy interventions result in prosocial behaviors? The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansions were responsible for the largest gains in public insurance coverage since its inception in 1965. These gains were concentrated in states that opted to expand Medicaid eligibility, and they provide a unique opportunity to study not just medical but also social consequences of increased public health coverage. The authors examine the association between Medicaid and volunteer work.
  9. The Analytic Lenses of Ethnography

    It is almost axiomatic that there are two contrasting theoretical approaches to ethnography: induction and deduction. However, regardless of whether ethnographers build theory from observations (induction) or use observations to test theory (deduction), they approach the field armed with one or more particular analytic lens that leads them to focus on a distinct thread of the social fabric. We outline the suite of analytic lenses that typify ethnography and identify eight ideal types.
  10. The Condensed Courtship Clock: How Elite Women Manage Self-development and Marriage Ideals

    As elite, heterosexual women delay marriage, complete higher education, and pursue high-status careers, are they able to de-center the other-oriented roles of wife and mother in their lives? Using in-depth interviews with 33 single, college-educated women, the authors examine how elite women balance expectations for self-development and family formation. Participants constructed a timeline with three phases: the self-development phase, the readiness moment, and the push to partner. Women’s initial focus on self-development ends with a shift toward feeling ready to search for a spouse.