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  1. Comment: Evidence, Plausibility, and Model Selection

    In his article, Michael Schultz examines the practice of model selection in sociological research. Model selection is often carried out by means of classical hypothesis tests. A fundamental problem with this practice is that these tests do not give a measure of evidence. For example, if we test the null hypothesis β = 0 against the alternative hypothesis β ≠ 0, what is the largest p value that can be regarded as strong evidence against the null hypothesis? What is the largest p value that can be regarded as any kind of evidence against the null hypothesis?
  2. Comment: Bayes, Model Uncertainty, and Learning from Data

    The problem of model uncertainty is a fundamental applied challenge in quantitative sociology. The authors’ language of false positives is reminiscent of Bonferroni adjustments and the frequentist analysis of multiple independent comparisons, but the distinct problem of model uncertainty has been fully formalized from a Bayesian perspective.
  3. Comment: Some Challenges When Estimating the Impact of Model Uncertainty on Coefficient Instability

    I once had a colleague who knew that inequality was related to an important dependent variable. This colleague knew many other things, but I focus on inequality as an example. It was difficult for my colleague to know just how to operationalize inequality. Should it be the percentage of income held by the top 10 percent, top 5 percent, or top 1 percent of the population? Should it be based on the ratio of median black income to median white income, or should it be the log of that ratio? Should it be based on the Gini index, or perhaps the Theil index would be better?
  4. Visualizing Bring-backs

    The figure plots the number of articles that have attempted to “bring” something “back in” in the social sciences by publication year and number of citations. Andrew Abbott, taking a (pessimistic) sociology of knowledge perspective, identified this tendency—beginning with Homans’s classic article “Bringing Men Back in”—as emblematic of the tendency to rediscover old ideas in sociology. The plot shows that “bring-backs” did not become a common yearly occurrence until the mid to late 1990s but are now relatively frequent.
  5. Gender Norms, Work-Family Policies, and Labor Force Participation among Immigrant and Native-born Women in Western Europe

    Though women’s labor force participation has increased over recent decades, it remains lower than men’s in nearly every advanced democracy. Some groups of migrant and ethnic minority women have especially low rates of labor force participation, which is often attributed to cultures of origin that are less normatively supportive of women’s paid work outside the home. I argue in this paper that the gender norms women have been exposed to in their families and countries of origin interact with work-family policies to shape patterns of labor force participation.
  6. Coleman’s Boat Revisited: Causal Sequences and the Micro-macro Link

    This article argues that empirical social scientists can be freed from having to account for “micro-to-macro transitions.” The article shows, in opposition to the (still) dominant perspective based on Coleman’s macro-micro-macro model, that no micro-macro transitions or mechanisms connect the individual level to the macro level in empirical social science. Rather, when considering that social macro entities and properties are micro manifest rather than macro manifest, it becomes clear that the micro-macro move in empirical social science is purely conceptual or analytical.
  7. The Possessive Investment in White Sociology

    In this feature review we explore the idea that the discipline is collectively, possessively invested in a particular version of itself—white sociology. We think through some of the key elements of this investment, its consequences, and explore possible ways to divest from it.
  8. Recentering U.S. Empire: A Structural Perspective on the Color Line

    In the past 20 years, scholars of top sociology and race and ethnicity articles increasingly have mentioned the term “color line.” Prominent among them are sociologists concerned with how incoming waves of Latin American and Asian immigration, increasing rates of intermarriage, and a growing multiracial population will affect the U.S. racial order. While much of this work cites Du Bois, scholars stray from his definition of the color line in two ways. First, they characterize the color line as unidimensional and Black–white rather than as many divisions between non-white people and whites.
  9. The Heavy Hands of the State

    The modern state is that ensemble of fields of struggle among actors, agencies, and institutions over the capacity and right to monopolize not only the legitimate means of physical violence, as Max Weber famously argued, but also the means of symbolic violence over a given territory and its inhabitants. So argues Pierre Bourdieu, whose critical sociology of symbolic power is globally one of the most widely acknowledged approaches in sociology today.
  10. Masters of the Mint

    John Stuart Mill once wrote, “there cannot, in short, be intrinsically a more insignificant thing, in the economy of society, than money” (1848:48). _Money Talks: Explaining How Money Really Works_ proves that Mill was not always correct in his assessments. In this engaging set of essays, an interdisciplinary group of authors illustrates just how varied money can be and how the different forms it takes are—contra Mill—of tremendous significance for social organization, governance, economic performance, and the formation and maintenance of social relationships.