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  1. Political Institutions and the Comparative Medicalization of Abortion

    Comparative-historical research on medicalization is rare and, perhaps for that reason, largely ignores political institutions, which tend to vary more across countries than within them. This article proposes a political-institutional theory of medicalization in which health care policy legacies, political decentralization, and constitutionalism shape the preferences, discourses, strategies, and influence of actors that seek or resist medicalization. The theory helps explain why abortion has been more medicalized in Britain than the United States.

  2. Intragenerational Variations in Autobiographical Memory: China’s “Sent-Down Youth” Generation

    The relationship between generation and memory instantiates a theme central to sociology: the intersection between history and biography. This study addresses two gaps in the literature. First, whereas the dominant approach uses a cognitive concept of memory operationalized as naming events, I focus on autobiographical memory represented in life stories, in which members of a generation understand the meanings of their personal past as part of a historical event.

  3. The Global Increase in the Socioeconomic Achievement Gap, 1964 to 2015

    The “socioeconomic achievement gap”—the disparity in academic achievement between students from high- and low-socioeconomic status (SES) backgrounds—is well-known in the sociology of education. The SES achievement gap has been documented across a wide range of countries. Yet in most countries, we do not know whether the SES achievement gap has been changing over time. This study combines 30 international large-scale assessments over 50 years, representing 100 countries and about 5.8 million students.

  4. Crossing Categorical Boundaries: A Study of Diversification by Social Movement Organizations

    When do protest organizations borrow issues or claims that are outside their traditional domains? Sociologists have examined the consequences of borrowing claims across movement boundaries, but not the antecedents of doing so. We argue that movement boundaries are strong when there is consensus about the core claims of a social movement, which we measure by cohesion and focus. Cohesion and focus enhance the legitimacy of a movement and impede member organizations from adopting claims associated with other movements.

  5. Trends in U.S. Gender Attitudes, 1977 to 2018: Gender and Educational Disparities

    These figures display gender- and education-related gaps in U.S. gender attitudes from 1977 to 2018. The authors use data from the General Social Survey (N = 57,224) to estimate the historical trajectory of U.S. attitudes about women in politics, familial roles, and working motherhood. Of all attitudes analyzed, Americans hold the most liberal attitudes toward women in politics, with no gender gap and little educational difference on this issue. Attitudes toward familial roles have the largest educational gap but a small gender difference.

  6. National Crimes: A New National Data Set of Lynchings in the United States, 1883 to 1941

    Historians are increasingly studying lynching outside of the American Southeast, but sociologists have been slow to follow. We introduce a new public data set that extends existing data on lynching victims to cover the contiguous United States from 1883 to 1941. These data confirm that lynching was a heterogeneous practice across the United States.

  7. Puzzling Politics: A Methodology for Turning World-Systems Analysis Inside-Out

    Can world-systems analysis illuminate politics? Can it help explain why illiberal regimes, outsider parties, and anti-immigrant rhetoric seem to be on the rise? Can it help explain any such nationalchanges that seem destined to shift how nations relate to world markets? Leading surveys of historical sociology seem to say no. We disagree. While there are problems with Wallerstein’s early mode of analyzing politicsin the capitalist world-system from the outside-in, historical sociologists have been too quick to dismiss world-systems analysis.
  8. Elusive Events

    The purpose of What Is an Event? by Robin Wagner-Pacifici is to “build a model for the analysis of events in general” (p. 3). To this end, it develops an “analytical apparatus, termed political semiosis,” the “basic features” of which are “performatives, demonstratives, and representations” (Chapter 1). At the forefront of this endeavor is the attempt to understand how “events take shape” (pp. 10, 83, 91, 109, 140) given the “grounds from which they erupt” (p. 48) and the “ruptures” that set them off (p. 105).
  9. Who Counts as a Notable Sociologist on Wikipedia? Gender, Race, and the “Professor Test”

    This paper documents and estimates the extent of underrepresentation of women and people of color on the pages of Wikipedia devoted to contemporary American sociologists. In contrast to the demographic diversity of the discipline, sociologists represented on Wikipedia are largely white men. The gender and racial/ethnic gaps in likelihood of representation have exhibited little change over time. Using novel data, we estimate the “risk” of having a Wikipedia page for a sample of contemporary sociologists.
  10. Asymmetric Fixed-effects Models for Panel Data

    Standard fixed-effects methods presume that effects of variables are symmetric: The effect of increasing a variable is the same as the effect of decreasing that variable but in the opposite direction. This is implausible for many social phenomena. York and Light showed how to estimate asymmetric models by estimating first-difference regressions in which the difference scores for the predictors are decomposed into positive and negative changes. In this article, I show that there are several aspects of their method that need improvement.