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  1. Sociology’s Next Steps? Fiftieth Anniversary of Gouldner’s Vision and Sixtieth Anniversary of Mills’s Vision

    My essay in the July 2019 issue of Contemporary Sociology leaned heavily on Habermas’s focus on “personal emancipation” and Giddens’s concept of “structuration.”
  2. The Phenomenology of Homo Economicus

    Much has been written about the fictitious nature of the atomistic model of homo economicus. Nevertheless, this economic model of self-interest and egoism has become conventional wisdom in market societies. This article offers a phenomenological explanation for the model’s commonsensical grip. Building on the work of Alfred Schutz, I argue that a reliance on homo economicus as an interpretive scheme for making sense of the behavior of economic Others has the effect of reversing the meaning of signs and doubts that challenge the model’s assumptions.
  3. Theorizing Region: Links to Ethnicity, Nation, and Race

    The concept of “region” is widespread in the social sciences but rarely theorized. I argue here that region is a multivalent concept similar to ethnicity, nation, and race. Building on the work of Bourdieu, Brubaker, and Griswold, I show that all four concepts can be understood as both “categories of analysis” and “categories of practice.” Moreover, all four have fundamental similarities regarding (1) ontology and relation to space; (2) historical sequences and relation to time; and (3) protean boundaries that may change with social scientists’ research questions.
  4. The Behavioral Economics of Pierre Bourdieu

    This article builds the argument that Bourdieu’s dispositional theory of practice can help integrate the sociological tradition with three prominent strands of behavioral economics: bounded rationality, prospect theory, and time inconsistency.
  5. Causal Relationship or Not? Nationalism, Patriotism, and Anti-immigration Attitudes in Germany

    Despite broad research on the connection between in-group and out-group attitudes, empirical studies dealing with the relationship between nation-related and anti-immigration attitudes rarely provide a consistent theoretical framework. On one hand, it is assumed that if persons agree with nationalistic statements, they might develop an orientation against strangers. On the other hand, one might imagine the existence of simple factor correlations among nationalism, patriotism, and anti-immigration attitudes.
  6. Location, Location, Location: Liberatory Pedagogy in a University Classroom

    In this article, we explore the practice, promise, and contradictions of introducing liberatory practice into a higher education classroom. Freire introduced liberatory education in response to the hierarchical transfer of knowledge, “banking” concept of education that has dominated educational institutions. The banking approach to education demands that students memorize and repeat top-down “official” knowledge in order to achieve success.
  7. Liberal Individualism and the Globalization of Education as a Human Right: The Worldwide Decline of Early Tracking, 1960–2010

    This article examines global changes in tracking policies over the post–World War II period. Using a newly constructed quantitative panel data set of 139 countries from 1960 to 2010, I show that a majority of countries around the world have shifted away from sharply tracked institutions at the junior secondary level toward more formally “open” and “comprehensive” ones.
  8. The Weberian Presuppositional Analytic

    This article offers an account of a conceptual framework in Max Weber’s writings offering leverage on empirical, normative, and theoretical questions. Weber relied on the notion of Voraussetzung—presupposition—across his work to distinguish the criteria of concepts of empirical phenomena, accounts of such phenomena, and conditions shaping evaluative stands among alternative courses of action. Weber also refers to Denkvoraussetzungen—presuppositions of thought—which refer to sets of fundamental principles structuring experience.
  9. On the Ambivalence of the Aphorism in Sociological Theory

    Sociologists have long been taken by certain pithy expressions from the founders of the discipline. We propose here both a new explanation for the endurance of these statements as well as an analysis of the power, limitations, and possibilities of aphorisms. By drawing from the critical scholarship concerned with aphorisms, we demonstrate that some of the allure of the classical sociological texts derives from their form, and particularly their reliance on the relative autonomy of the aphorism.
  10. On Assemblages and Things: Fluidity, Stability, Causation Stories, and Formation Stories

    This article conducts a dialogue and creates a new synthesis between two of the most influential ontological discourses in the field of sociology: assemblage theory and critical realism. The former proposes a focus on difference, fluidity, and process, the latter a focus on stability and structure. Drawing on and assessing the work of Deleuze, DeLanda, and Bhaskar, we argue that social ontology must overcome the tendency to bifurcate between these two poles and instead develop an ontology more suited to explaining complex social phenomena by accommodating elements of both traditions.