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  1. The Public Stigma of Mental Illness What Do We Think; What Do We Know; What Can We Prove?

    By the 1990s, sociology faced a frustrating paradox. Classic work on mental illness stigma and labeling theory reinforced that the “mark” of mental illness created prejudice and discrimination for individuals and family members. Yet that foundation, coupled with deinstitutionalization of mental health care, produced contradictory responses. Claims that stigma was dissipating were made, while others argued that intervention efforts were needed to reduce stigma.

  2. Understanding Racial-ethnic Disparities in Health: Sociological Contributions

    This article provides an overview of the contribution of sociologists to the study of racial and ethnic inequalities in health in the United States. It argues that sociologists have made four principal contributions. First, they have challenged and problematized the biological understanding of race. Second, they have emphasized the primacy of social structure and context as determinants of racial differences in disease. Third, they have contributed to our understanding of the multiple ways in which racism affects health.

  3. Rejoinder: Can We Weight Models by Their Probability of Being True?

    We thank the commenters for thoughtful, constructive engagement with our paper (this volume, pp. 1–33). Throughout this discussion, there is strong consensus that model robustness analysis is essential to sociological research methods in the twenty-first century. Indeed, both O’Brien (this volume, pp. 34–39) and Western (this volume, pp. 39–43) identify examples of sociological research that is plagued by uncertainty over modeling decisions and how those decisions can change the results and conclusions of the analyses.
  4. Comment: Bayes, Model Uncertainty, and Learning from Data

    The problem of model uncertainty is a fundamental applied challenge in quantitative sociology. The authors’ language of false positives is reminiscent of Bonferroni adjustments and the frequentist analysis of multiple independent comparisons, but the distinct problem of model uncertainty has been fully formalized from a Bayesian perspective.
  5. Comment: Some Challenges When Estimating the Impact of Model Uncertainty on Coefficient Instability

    I once had a colleague who knew that inequality was related to an important dependent variable. This colleague knew many other things, but I focus on inequality as an example. It was difficult for my colleague to know just how to operationalize inequality. Should it be the percentage of income held by the top 10 percent, top 5 percent, or top 1 percent of the population? Should it be based on the ratio of median black income to median white income, or should it be the log of that ratio? Should it be based on the Gini index, or perhaps the Theil index would be better?
  6. The Feminist Question in Realism

    Feminist standpoint theory and critical realism both offer resources to sociologists interested in making arguments that account for causal complexity and epistemic distortion. However, the impasse between these paradigms limits their utility. In this article, I argue that critical realism has much to gain from a confrontation with feminist theory. Feminist theory’s emphasis on boundary-crossing epistemologies and gendered bodies can help critical realism complicate its notion of the bifurcation between epistemology and ontology.
  7. Rejoinder: On the Assumptions of Inferential Model Selection—A Response to Vassend and Weakliem

    I am grateful to Professors Vassend and Weakliem for their comments on my paper (this volume, pp. 52–87) and its admittedly unusual approach to model selection and to the Sociological Methodology editors for the opportunity to respond. My goal here is not to defend the inferential information criterion (IIC) against all the points brought out by Vassend (this volume, pp. 91–97) and Weakliem (this volume, pp. 88–91). My paper aimed to (1) show how methodological assumptions interfere with inferences about theory and (2) develop a practical approach to minimize this interference.
  8. Comment: The Inferential Information Criterion from a Bayesian Point of View

    As Michael Schultz notes in his very interesting paper (this volume, pp. 52–87), standard model selection criteria, such as the Akaike information criterion (AIC; Akaike 1974), the Bayesian information criterion (BIC; Schwarz 1978), and the minimum description length principle (MDL; Rissanen 1978), are purely empirical criteria in the sense that the score a model receives does not depend on how well the model coheres with background theory. This is unsatisfying because we would like our models to be theoretically plausible, not just empirically successful.
  9. Comment: Evidence, Plausibility, and Model Selection

    In his article, Michael Schultz examines the practice of model selection in sociological research. Model selection is often carried out by means of classical hypothesis tests. A fundamental problem with this practice is that these tests do not give a measure of evidence. For example, if we test the null hypothesis β = 0 against the alternative hypothesis β ≠ 0, what is the largest p value that can be regarded as strong evidence against the null hypothesis? What is the largest p value that can be regarded as any kind of evidence against the null hypothesis?
  10. Reconceptualizing Participation Grading as Skill Building

    Two common ways that instructors assess participation in sociology courses are recalling participation by memory or counting times spoken during class in real time. However, these common assessments rely on faulty assumptions that do not support their usage. This article reconceptualizes participation grading as an opportunity to motivate skill building across a variety of dimensions. The evidence from two classes of 45 and 47 students demonstrates that this conceptualization can be effectively implemented in undergraduate courses.