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  1. The Advantaged Cause: Affect Control Theory and Social Movements

    The role of grievances in drawing public concern and activist support is a surprisingly understudied topic in modern social movement literature. This research is the first to parse issues into core components to understand whether some grievances are more successful than others in evoking reactions that can benefit social movements.

  2. Towards a Dynamic Theory of Civil Society: The Politics of Forward and Backward Infiltration

    This article develops a conceptual framework to theorize the processes of mutual penetration between civil society, the state, and the economy, where incumbents and challengers continuously formulate new strategies against each other. We criticize the prevailing Weberian and Tocquevillian concepts of civil society, and then, drawing on research in social movements and comparative political economy, propose a new framework: the politics of forward and backward infiltration.
  3. Living One’s Theories: Moral Consistency in the Life of Émile Durkheim

    This article investigates the relation between a theorist’s theories and his daily life practices, using Émile Durkheim as an example. That theory and practice should be consistent seems not only scientifically proper but also morally right. Yet the concept of consistency conceals several different standards: consistency with one’s own theoretical arguments, consistency with outsiders’ judgments of oneself, and consistency within one’s arguments (and actions) across time and social space.
  4. Measuring Automatic Cognition: Advancing Dual-Process Research in Sociology

    Dual-process models are increasingly popular in sociology as a framework for theorizing the role of automatic cognition in shaping social behavior. However, empirical studies using dual-process models often rely on ad hoc measures such as forced-choice surveys, observation, and interviews whose relationships to underlying cognitive processes are not fully established.
  5. Empiricism and Its Fallacies

    The scholar most associated with "public sociology" responds to Steven Lubet’s prosecutorial approach and argues that, if looking for falsehoods is the point of empiricist ethnography, looking for falsifications is the point of theory-driven ethnography.
  6. At the Foot of the Grave: Challenging Collective Memories of Violence in Post-Franco Spain

    Understanding the development and meaning of collective memory is a central interest for sociologists. One aspect of this literature focuses on the processes that social movement actors use to introduce long-silenced counter-memories of violence to supplant the “official” memory. To examine this, I draw on 15 months of ethnographic observations with the Spanish Association for the Recovery of Historical Memory (ARMH) and 200 informal and 30 formal interviews with locals and activists.
  7. Theory Here and Now

    Social Theory Now is a stimulating volume that advances the domains of, and approaches to, contemporary social theory and represents an important new point of reference for those interested in the current state of theorizing. Readers will find familiar topics and subfields characterized in interesting and often novels ways and are likely to be introduced to new authors or concepts. The volume as a whole is attentive to the major new innovations and controversies in conceptualizing social life, and the chapters bear repeated consultation for the fresh formulations they give of these theories.
  8. Elusive Events

    The purpose of What Is an Event? by Robin Wagner-Pacifici is to “build a model for the analysis of events in general” (p. 3). To this end, it develops an “analytical apparatus, termed political semiosis,” the “basic features” of which are “performatives, demonstratives, and representations” (Chapter 1). At the forefront of this endeavor is the attempt to understand how “events take shape” (pp. 10, 83, 91, 109, 140) given the “grounds from which they erupt” (p. 48) and the “ruptures” that set them off (p. 105).
  9. Comment on Barbara Risman’s review of Cheap Sex: The Transformation of Men, Marriage, and Monogamy

    The habit of contesting criticisms in print is one I have never acquired, in part because I am committed to the democracy and pace of scholarly debate. Nothing attracted me more to the sociological life than the opportunity to wrestle with ideas. But that is why I feel compelled to respond to Risman’s apoplectic interpretation of Cheap Sex. The reader learns next to nothing about what is actually in the book. Her remarks display far less interest in wrestling with ideas than in ad hominem assaults and sarcastic guesses at my character, values, and motives.
  10. Is Recreational Sex a Social Problem? Or, What’s Wrong with Kids Today?

    Decades have passed since we liberated normative sex from the confines of heterosexual marriage. But the divorce of sexual activity from romantic relationships among young people is still the topic of much debate. Both American Hookup: The New Culture of Sex on Campus, by Lisa Wade, and Cheap Sex: The Transformation of Men, Marriage, and Monogamy, by Mark Regnerus, address what’s happening with sex and relationships today; and although they identify similar trends, their analyses could not be more different.