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  1. 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.
  2. The Status–Health Paradox: Organizational Context, Stress Exposure, and Well-being in the Legal Profession

    Prior research evaluates the health effects of higher status attainment by analyzing highly similar individuals whose circumstances differ after some experience a “status boost.” Advancing that research, we assess health differences across organizational contexts among two national samples of lawyers who were admitted to the bar in the same year in their respective countries. We find that higher-status lawyers in large firms report more depression than lower-status lawyers, poorer health in the American survey, and no health advantage in Canada.
  3. Going Out: A Sociology of Public Outings

    In this article we propose a framework for description and analysis of public life by treating “outings” as a unit of sociological analysis. Studying outings requires bracketing a concern with bounded places and isolated encounters. Instead, descriptions of outings track people as they organize trips “out,” including their preparations, turning points, and post hoc reflections. We emphasize how people understand and contextualize their time in public by linking situated moments of public life to the outing’s unfolding trajectory and to people’s biographical circumstances.
  4. Dual Autonomies, Divergent Approaches: How Stratification in Medical Education Shapes Approaches to Patient Care

    The United States relies on international and osteopathic medical graduates (“non-USMDs”) to fill one third of residency positions because of a shortage of American MD graduates (“USMDs”). Non-USMDs are often informally excluded from top residency positions, while USMDs tend to fill the most prestigious residencies. Little is known, however, about whether the training in these different settings is comparable or how it impacts patients.
  5. Invisible Inequality Among “Wounded Warriors”

    The term “wounded warriors,” both a socially designated status and an official medical classification, creates divisions among service members.

  6. When the Personal is Political—and Infectious

    Privilege, distrust, individual choice, and parental care all factor into vaccine resistance, but the consequences are anything but personal.

  7. The Struggle to Save Abortion Care

    by Carole Joffe, Summer 2018 Contexts

  8. Watching the Ethnographers

    Interrogating Ethnography: Why Evidence Matters by Steven Lubet Oxford University Press, 2017 216 pages

  9. What is Critical Realism? And Why Should You Care?

    Critical realism (CR) is a philosophical system developed by the Indo-British philosopher, Roy Bhaskar, in collaboration with a number of British social theorists, including Margaret Archer, Mervyn Hartwig, Tony Lawson, Alan Norrie, and Andrew Sayer. It has a journal, a book series, an association, an annual meeting and, in short, all the usual trappings of an intellectual movement. The movement is centered in the UK but has followers throughout Europe, Asia, the Americas, and the Antipodes.

  10. From the Bookshelf of a Sociologist of Diagnosis: A Review Essay

    The present essay will take readers through the bookshelf of this sociologist of diagnosis. It will demonstrate the wide-reaching topics that I consider relevant to the sociologist who considers diagnosis as a social object and also as a point of convergence where doctor and lay person encounter one another, where authority is exercised, health care is organized, political priorities are established, and conflict is enacted.