American Sociological Association

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  1. If Only It Were That Complex

    Research on the dynamics of social change is often framed by what Damon Centola refers to in his new book How Behavior Spreads: The Science of Complex Contagions as “the convenience of classical epidemiological tropes” (p. 173) in which “contagions” spread from infected to susceptible individuals through interaction. Social networks became alluring to use in conjunction with this epidemiological frame because the two together evoke the determinism of electrical wiring, with charges traveling paths (ties) structured by the location of switches (nodes) in the line.
  2. American Inequality in the Long Run

    Can this theory explain why inequality is growing in the United States? Piketty asserted that his theory was best tested with data from France, whose history was, he argued, “more typical and more pertinent for understanding the future” than the historical experience of the United States (p. 29). Nevertheless, and no doubt because Capital in the Twenty-First Century sold so many copies, some university publishers in recent years have been willing to gamble on big, dry books of historical inequality statistics that purport to test his arguments against American data.
  3. Vaccine Refusal and Pharmaceutical Acquiescence: Parental Control and Ambivalence in Managing Children’s Health

    Parents who confidently reject vaccines and other forms of medical intervention often seek out pediatric care, medical treatments, and prescription medications for their children in ways that seem to contradict these views. Drawing on in-depth interviews with 34 parents who rejected some or all vaccines for their children, this article examines the strategies they use to pharmaceutically manage their children’s health, even when espousing a larger rejection of pharmaceutical interventions like childhood vaccines.
  4. Exploiting Ambiguity: A Moral Polysemy Approach to Variation in Economic Practices

    Sociologists have shown that the relationships people establish between moral orientations and market practices vary considerably across historical, geographic, and institutional contexts. Less attention has been paid to situational variation in how the same actors moralize different economic goals, especially in their workplace. This article offers an account of situational variation by theorizing the implications of the ambiguity of moral values for economic activity.
  5. “He Explained It to Me and I Also Did It Myself”: How Older Adults Get Support with Their Technology Uses

    Given that older adults constitute a highly heterogeneous group that engages with digital media in varying ways, there is likely to be large variation in technology support needs, something heretofore unaddressed in the literature. Drawing on in-depth qualitative interviews with a multinational sample of older adults, the authors explore the support needs of older adults for using digital media, including their perceptions of whether the support they receive meets their needs.
  6. Lay Pharmacovigilance and the Dramatization of Risk: Fluoroquinolone Harm on YouTube

    Sociologists have documented how the pharmaceutical industry has corrupted pharmacovigilance (PV), defined as the practices devoted to detecting and preventing adverse drug reactions (ADRs). In this article, I juxtapose the official postmarketing system of PV with firsthand accounts of ADRs as found in 60 YouTube vlogs created by 29 individuals who recount debilitating reactions to fluoroquinolones, a common class of antibiotics. Whereas official PV is said to contribute the banalization of risk, these vlogs exemplify the dramatization of risk. I consider the vlogs as instances of lay PV.
  7. Computation and the Sociological Imagination

    Computational sociology leverages new tools and data sources to expand the scope and scale of sociological inquiry. It’s opening up an exciting frontier for sociologists of every stripe—from theorists and ethnographers to experimentalists and survey researchers. It expands the sociological imagination.

  8. Why You Can’t Find That Nice Bottle of South African Wine

    South African wine producers are more successful in the American market when they partner with importers that know little about their wines. Ignorance is better than expertise, and leads to a handful of wineries being very successful in the market, while most barely make a splash.
  9. Comparing Theories of Resource Distribution: The Case of Iran

    This study addresses inequality through resource distribution in Iranian provinces with the use of new data collected and compiled from various sources using multilevel modeling. The models compare predictions of the various resource distribution theories using Iran’s 31 provincial budgets over 10 years. This resource distribution study provides a rare look at inequality in a country that, to a large degree, prohibits such examinations.
  10. Linked Lives, Linked Trajectories: Intergenerational Association of Intragenerational Income Mobility

    Most intergenerational mobility studies rely on either snapshot or time-averaged measures of earnings, but have yet to examine resemblance of earnings trajectories over the life course of successive generations. We propose a linked trajectory mobility approach that decomposes the progression of economic status over two generations into associations in four life-cycle dimensions: initial position, growth rate, growth deceleration, and volatility.