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  1. Do‐It‐Yourself Urban Design: The Social Practice of Informal “Improvement” Through Unauthorized Alteration

    There are numerous ways in which people make illegal or unauthorized alterations to urban space.

  2. Gentrification in Three Paradoxes

    As recently as 2006, students walked into the first day of my urban sociology course at Brooklyn College without knowing the term “gentrification.” Within a few years, however, even students who lived in neighborhoods that seemed unlikely candidates were claiming that their area was undergoing this transformation. Many point to new residents who are close to their age but visibly different: artists, students, or “hipsters” living on their own rather than with their families, and mostly white.

  3. Why do People get Tattoos?

    As increasingly diverse groups of people get tattoos, popular perceptions are often out of synch with the individual meanings behind them

  4. Gay Acquaintanceship and Attitudes toward Homosexuality: A Conservative Test

    Does acquaintanceship with gays and lesbians produce more accepting attitudes toward homosexuality and gay rights? Although most scholars and laypeople would likely answer in the affirmative, previous work has struggled to answer this question because of the difficulty in disentangling social influence from social selection. Using panel data from the 2006 to 2010 editions of the General Social Survey, this study provides a conservative test of the contact hypothesis for gay acceptance.
  5. Frame-Induced Group Polarization in Small Discussion Networks

    We present a novel explanation for the group polarization effect whereby discussion among like-minded individuals induces shifts toward the extreme. Our theory distinguishes between a quantitative policy under debate and the discussion’s rhetorical frame, such as the likelihood of an outcome. If policy and frame position are mathematically related so that frame position increases more slowly as the policy becomes more extreme, majority formation at the extreme is favored, thereby shifting consensus formation toward the extreme.
  6. Classical World-Systems Analysis, the Historical Geography of British North America, and the Regional Politics of Colonial/Revolutionary New York

    A less-appreciated aspect of earlier or “classical” works of world-systems analysis (WSA), in particular that of Braudel, Frank, and Wallerstein in the 1970s-80s is the examination of why the thirteen North American colonies that became the United States split from Great Britain. Specifically, why did some of Britain’s North American colonies revolt in the mid-1770s, but not others? Why were some colonists pro-independence while others preferred remaining within the empire?
  7. Nuclear War in the Rivalry Phase of the Modern World-System

    Large-scale war is a world-system phenomenon of the rivalry phase. Such conflicts have once again become a concern, and nuclear weapons make these prospects especially dangerous. This is particularly problematic since several world-systems perspectives suggest the chances for war will be greatest in the period from 2030 to 2050. I review the logic of rivalry, the reasons for the endurance of nuclear weapons, old and new nuclear strategies, and the processes that may pose the greatest existential dangers.
  8. Transnational Social Movement Organizations and Counter-Hegemonic Struggles Today

    World-systems analysts have drawn our attention to the importance of the long-standing worldwide struggles of subaltern groups to defend their livelihoods and address fundamental conflicts of our times. Climate change, financial volatility, and rising inequality are exposing the existential threats the global capitalist system poses to growing numbers—many of whom once enjoyed some of its benefits. These urgent challenges create possibilities for social movements to attract more widespread support for alternatives to global capitalism.
  9. Activism and the Academy

    Cornel West wears many hats: He is a professor (currently Professor of the Practice of Public Philosophy at Harvard University), author (of 20 books), film actor (including The Matrix Reloaded), artist (three spoken word albums), and activist (more on this below). And this summer, we celebrate the 25th anniversary of West’s influential book Race Matters. Sociologist Janice McCabe sat down with West in Cambridge to talk about activism and the academy. Here are some highlights from their discussion, edited for length and clarity.

  10. “Diversity Is Important to Me”: White Parents and Exposure-to-Diversity Parenting Practices

    Drawing upon interviews with 40 parents in Cincinnati, Ohio, the author explores how “exposure to diversity,” an implicit racial socialization practice, has become a defining feature of how some middle-class white parents teach their children about race and reflect on what it means to be a good white parent. Exposure to diversity involves white parents’ active efforts to expose their children to people of color via trips to multiracial parks, enrollment in multiracial schools, or residence in multiracial neighborhoods.