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  1. Comparing Internet Experiences and Prosociality in Amazon Mechanical Turk and Population-Based Survey Samples

    Given the high cost of traditional survey administration (postal mail, phone) and the limits of convenience samples such as university students, online samples offer a much welcomed alternative. Amazon Mechanical Turk (AMT) has been especially popular among academics for conducting surveys and experiments. Prior research has shown that AMT samples are not representative of the general population along some dimensions, but evidence suggests that these differences may not undermine the validity of AMT research.
  2. 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.
  3. “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.
  4. 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.
  5. Love Me Tinder, Love Me Sweet

    Are “hook up” apps leading to a new kind of dating culture on college campuses? Dating apps like Tinder and Bumble are have a different impact on the lives of college students versus older daters. Many students are using these apps to circumvent the romantic gatekeeping that campus party culture has long dominated.

  6. Review Essay: The Digital Surveillance Society

    When hundreds of thousands of protesters filled the streets of Hong Kong this summer, central figures reportedly took no selfies, avoided Facebook and Twitter, installed prepaid SIM cards, stuck to secure messaging apps, and used cash instead of rechargeable subway cards or other cashless payments. It is not clear whether this will help them avoid “conspiracy to commit public nuisance” charges, which led to prison sentences for leaders of the 2014 Umbrella movement (including sociologist Kin-man Chan).
  7. Along the London Overground: Transport Improvements, Gentrification, and Symbolic Ownership along London's Trendiest Line

    Between 2008 and 2011, the dysfunctional North London line was improved and rebranded into a high‐quality, high‐frequency service: the London Overground. Great ambitions for regeneration came with this project: The improved line, running through deprived areas of East London, was expected to bring inward investment and to open access to new opportunities outside the borough to its residents.

  8. Will China's Development lead to Mexico's Underdevelopment?

    China has become an important global actor in the arenas of production, trade, and foreign investment. In 1948, China contributed slightly less than 1 percent to global exports; by 2013, it had grown to almost 12 percent. Has China's vertiginous trade growth come at the expense of other exporters or does it represent an expansion of new consumer markets? For policy makers in the so-called "emerging markets," this is most relevant since many have adopted the export-led model as their engine of development.

  9. Featured Essay: Preventing Violence: Insights from Micro-Sociology

    Micro-sociology of violence looks at what happens in situations where people directly threaten violence, but only sometimes carry it out. This process and its turning points have become easier to see in the current era of visual data: cell-phone videos, long-distance telephoto lenses, CCTV cameras. New cues and instruments are on the horizon as we look at emotional signals, body rhythms, and monitors for body signs such as heart rate (a proxy for adrenaline level).
  10. Do Readers Judge Books by Author Gender? Results from a Randomized Experiment

    We run a randomized experiment to examine gender discrimination in book purchasing with 2,544 subjects on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. We manipulate author gender and book genre in a factorial design to study consumer preferences for male versus female versus androgynous authorship. Despite previous findings in the literature showing gender discrimination in book publishing and in evaluations of work, respondents expressed no gender preference across a variety of measures, including quality, interest, and the amount they were willing to pay to purchase the book.