American Sociological Association

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  1. Is Trust Rigid or Malleable? A Laboratory Experiment

    An important debate within the trust literature is whether trust is modified by social experiences or resistant to change despite changing social circumstances. We address this debate by designing and implementing an experiment that exposes participants to a high or low trust environment and compares their change in generalized trust. We find that the experimental condition influences change in generalized trust, particularly for participants whose prior level of trust was mismatched with their experimental condition.

  2. The Public Life of Secrets: Deception, Disclosure, and Discursive Framing in the Policy Process

    While secrecy enables policy makers to escape public scrutiny, leaks of classified information reveal the social construction of reality by the state. I develop a theory that explains how leaks shape the discursive frames states create to communicate the causes of social problems to the public and corresponding solutions to redress them. Synthesizing cultural sociology, symbolic interactionism, and ethnomethodology, I argue that leaks enable non–state actors to amplify contradictions between the public and secret behavior of the state.

  3. Do Women Suffer from Network Closure? The Moderating Effect of Social Capital on Gender Inequality in a Project-Based Labor Market, 1929 to 2010

    That social capital matters is an established fact in the social sciences. Less clear, however, is how different forms of social capital affect gender disadvantages in career advancement. Focusing on a project-based type of labor market, namely the U.S. film industry, this study argues that women suffer a “closure penalty” and face severe career disadvantages when collaborating in cohesive teams. At the same time, gender disadvantages are reduced for women who build social capital in open networks with higher degrees of diversity and information flow.

  4. Private Journals versus Public Blogs: The Impact of Peer Readership on Low-stakes Reflective Writing

    This article isolates and observes the impact of peer readership on low-stakes reflective writing assignments in two large Introduction to Sociology classes. Through a comparative content analysis of over 2,000 private reflective journal entries and semipublic reflective blog posts, I find that both practices produce distinct forms of reflection. I argue that these differences can be understood in terms of the risks that students take in their writing.

  5. Repulsed by the “Other”: Integrating Theory with Method in the Study of Intergroup Association

    We offer an integration of theory and method in the study of intergroup social associations. Specifically, we show that models for intergroup association tables developed using generic log-linear methods for categorical data analysis embody a general theoretical point of view on the driving force behind intergroup association, namely, as the outcome of a probabilistic process of repulsion from dissimilar others. We develop this argument and illustrate it with intermarriage data.

  6. Samuel Stouffer and Relative Deprivation

    This paper first offers a tribute to Samuel Stouffer (1900–1960), a major contributor to social psychology. He helped to establish probability surveys as a useful method for social science, led three major studies at midcentury, and introduced important new concepts and statistical methods. Thus, both conceptually and methodologically, he shaped modern social psychology. Second, the paper revitalizes Stouffer’s most famous concept—relative deprivation.

  7. Don’t Tell Me Who I Can’t Love: A Multimethod Investigation of Social Network and Reactance Effects on Romantic Relationships

    In three studies, we examined the influence of social network reactions on feelings toward a romantic partner. Study 1 was a large survey (N = 858), Study 2 was a vignette design in which social network reactions were manipulated, and Study 3 was a laboratory-based, dating game experiment. We found extensive support for the social network effect, whereby relationship approval from family and friends leads individuals to feel more love, more committed, and more positive about a partner. We also examined whether psychological reactance moderated social network influence.

  8. The Link between Functional Limitations and Depressive Symptoms: The Explanatory Role of Self-conceptions

    Having more physical limitations predicts greater depressive symptoms. However, relatively few studies examine self-conceptions as potential explanations for this association. Using ordinary least squares regression on panel data collected in Miami-Dade County, Florida (2001 and 2004, N = 1,362), we examine the effect of functional limitations on five dimensions of the self: self-esteem, mastery, mattering, introspection, and emotional reliance.

  9. Health Insurance Status and Symptoms of Psychological Distress among Low-income Urban Women

    Although numerous studies have considered the effects of having health insurance on access to health care, physical health, and mortality risk, the association between insurance coverage and mental health has been surprisingly understudied. Building on previous work, we use data collected from a two-year follow-up of low-income women living in Boston, Chicago, and San Antonio to estimate a series of latent fixed-effects regression models assessing the association between insurance status and symptoms of psychological distress.

  10. 2014 Presidential Address: Cultural Knowledge and Social Inequality

    Using both qualitative longitudinal data collected 20 years after the original Unequal Childhoodsstudy and interview data from a study of upwardly mobile adults, this address demonstrates how cultural knowledge matters when white and African American young adults of differing class backgrounds navigate key institutions. I find that middle-class young adults had more knowledge than their working-class or poor counterparts of the “rules of the game” regarding how institutions worked. They also displayed more of a sense of entitlement to ask for help.