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  1. Social Context, Biology, and the Definition of Disorder

    In recent years, medical sociologists have increasingly paid attention to a variety of interactions between social and biological factors. These include how social stressors impact the functioning of physiological systems, how sociocultural contexts trigger genetic propensities or mitigate genetic defects, and how brains are attuned to social, cultural, and interactional factors. This paper focuses on how both sociocultural and biological forces influence what conditions are contextually appropriate responses or disorders.
  2. The Spillover of Genomic Testing Results in Families: Same Variant, Different Logics

    Journal of Health and Social Behavior, Volume 58, Issue 2, Page 166-180, June 2017.
  3. Social Disadvantage, Severe Child Abuse, and Biological Profiles in Adulthood

    Guided by the stress process model and the life course perspective, we hypothesize: (1) that childhood abuse is concentrated, in terms of type and intensity, among socially disadvantaged individuals, and (2) that experiencing serious abuse contributes to poor biological profiles in multiple body systems in adulthood. Data came from the Biomarker subsample of Midlife in the United States (2004–2006). We used latent class analysis to identify distinct profiles of childhood abuse, each reflecting a combination of type and severity.
  4. Gender-specific Pathways of Peer Influence on Adolescent Suicidal Behaviors

    The author explores new directions of understanding the pathways of peer influence on adolescent suicidal behavior by leveraging quasi-experimental variation in exposure to peer suicidal behaviors and tracing the flows of influence throughout school environments and networks. The author uses variation in peers’ family members’ suicide attempts to deploy an across–grade level, within-school analysis to estimate causal effects.

  5. Naturalizing Gender through Childhood Socialization Messages in a Zoo

    We draw on public observations conducted in a zoo to identify three instances in which adults make use of its specific spatial and symbolic resources to transmit socialization messages to children according to "naturalized" models of hegemonic gender difference. First, adults attribute gender to zoo animals by projecting onto them human characteristics associated with feminine and masculine stereotypes. Second, adults mobilize zoo exhibits as props for modeling their own normative gender displays in the presence of children.

  6. Negotiating the Diagnostic Uncertainty of Genomic Test Results

    Clinicians order next-generation genomic testing to address diagnostic uncertainty about the cause of a patient’s symptoms. Based on video-recorded observations, we examine geneticists as they return exome sequencing results to families. We find that in consultations, clinical geneticists’ interpretations of genomic findings frequently go beyond the laboratory report. The news delivery offers parents insight into the basis of clinicians’ judgment but also invites parents’ involvement in the determination of genetic causality.

  7. Ambiguity and Scientific Authority: Population Classification in Genomic Science

    The molecularization of race thesis suggests geneticists are gaining greater authority to define human populations and differences, and they are doing so by increasingly defining them in terms of U.S. racial categories. Using a mixed methodology of a content analysis of articles published in Nature Genetics (in 1993, 2001, and 2009) and interviews, we explore geneticists’ population labeling practices. Geneticists use eight classification systems that follow racial, geographic, and ethnic logics of definition. We find limited support for racialization of classification.

  8. Love Wins?

    Contexts, Volume 16, Issue 1, Page 30-35, Winter 2016.
  9. Commuter Spouses and the Changing American Family

    the rise of commuter marriage reflects decades of social change in women’s workplace participation, american individualism, technological saturation, bureaucratic hurdles, and the symbolic significance of marriage itself.

  10. Moving a Mountain: The Extraordinary Trajectory of Same-Sex Marriage Approval in the United States

    Most public opinion attitudes in the United States are reasonably stable over time. Using data from the General Social Survey and the American National Election Studies, I quantify typical change rates across all attitudes. I quantify the extent to which change in same-sex marriage approval (and liberalization in attitudes toward gay rights in general) are among a small set of rapid changing outliers in surveyed public opinions. No measured public opinion attitude in the United States has changed more and more quickly than same-sex marriage.