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. Commercial Gentrification Indexes: Using Business Directories to Map Urban Change at the Street Level

    This article presents the case for utilizing business directories in building commercial gentrification indexes as tools for research on neighborhood change. It reviews several existing methods of capturing retail change within the growing literature, codifies them as the boutique index, the food index, and the ethnic index, and discusses methodological issues that emerge in building them.

  3. Shopping Streets and Neighborhood Identity: Retail Theming as Symbolic Ownership in New York

    As the economies of production and trade have dwindled in Western cities, urban locales have had to capitalize on other opportunities for growth. Middle and upper class consumers are now sought after resources for cities and neighborhoods once supported by manufacturing. This article considers the role of local retail actors in shifting neighborhood identity towards luxury consumption.

  4. The Public Library as Resistive Space in the Neoliberal City

    With reduced hours, decaying infrastructure, and precariously positioned staff, local public libraries provide much needed services in cities devastated by inequality and slashed safety nets. In this article, I draw on ethnographic research of a small public library in a diverse, mostly working class neighborhood in Queens, New York. I show that in addition to providing an alternative to the capitalist market by distributing resources according to people's needs, the library serves as a moral underground space, where middle‐class people bend rules to help struggling city residents.

  5. The Contemporary Defended Neighborhood: Maintaining Stability and Diversity through Processes of Community Defense

    This article extends Suttles’ (1972) theory of the defended neighborhood by applying the framework to a contemporary context and exploring the social processes that residents of a diverse community used to defend their neighborhood from change.

  6. Remembering the City: Changing Conceptions of Community in Urban China

    Adopting complimentary integrative research methodologies, this article examines changing conceptions of community among urban residents within the city of Suzhou, Jiangsu province, China. Through local residents’ past memories, “everyday” experiences of (former) urban communities, and reflections on a particular way of life, we focus upon the subjective/affective meanings and memories attached to processes of urban change.

  7. Relationship to Place for Older Adults in a New York City Neighborhood Undergoing Gentrification: A Discourse Analysis

    While many older adults live in neighborhoods undergoing gentrification, research rarely explores their narratives about the gentrification process and their relationships with gentrifiers. This study uses discourse analysis of ethnographic data in Queens, NY, to identify repertoires in older adults’ narratives about the meaning of place and gentrification.

  8. Racialized Recovery: Postforeclosure Pathways in Boston Neighborhoods

    Following the Great Recession, homeownership rates declined precipitously, raising concerns for the stability and well‐being of neighborhoods. While many studies document shifts in household constraints, this article draws from foreclosure records from 2006 to 2011, subsequent transactions, tax exemption filings, and maintenance data in Boston, Massachusetts to show how the foreclosure crisis altered the landscape of ownership and unfolded differentially across hard‐hit neighborhoods.

  9. Implementing a Careers and Professional Development Course for Sociology Students

    Sociology students are interested in having meaningful careers that use their sociological knowledge and skills, and higher education institutions are under pressure to show that their graduates achieve career success. A one-credit-hour course focused on careers, professional development, and resources for sociology majors can increase students’ confidence that multiple options exist for them in their postbaccalaureate lives.
  10. Community-Initiated Student-Engaged Research: Expanding Undergraduate Teaching and Learning through Public Sociology

    Drawing on a multiyear local research project on the affordable housing crisis, this article outlines a pedagogical approach we call Community-Initiated Student-Engaged Research, or CISER. The CISER model brings together three key groups of actors—undergraduate students, university researchers, and community organizations—drawing on and extending the powers of cooperative “dyads” between them.