American Sociological Association

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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. A Recipe for Disaster: Framing Risk and Vulnerability in Slum Relocation Policies in Chennai, India

    This article investigates how governments use dramatic natural events such as disasters to justify potentially unpopular policy interventions. I use the case of the southern Indian city of Chennai to explore how different arms of the government have historically engaged with the question of slum tenure from the 1960s until the present moment. Using archival methods, I analyze policy documents to excavate how slums have been framed within the context of political and policy imperatives.

  4. Listening for the Interior in Hip-Hop and R&B Music

    This article analyzes how four Black musical artists make “quiet,” or the inner life of African Americans, legible. Specifically, we consider ways that the quiet found within the lyrics of recent acclaimed albums from two hip-hop artists and two neo-soul artists—Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN (2017) and Rapsody’s Laila’s Wisdom (2017), Solange’s A Seat at the Table (2016) and Maxwell’s blackSUMMERS’night (2016), respectively—offer subtle, quotidian challenges to oppression, dehumanization, and objectification.
  5. Measuring High School Curricular Intensity over Three Decades

    This article presents a new measure of curricular intensity that is objective, parsimonious, clearly defined, replicable, and comparable over time for use by researchers interested in examining trends, causes, and outcomes of high school course taking.
  6. Confronting Race in American Criminal Justice Reform

    The contemporary American criminal justice system is neither rational nor just. Nor is it color-blind. Despite decades of declines in crime and much talk of policy reform, the criminal justice system remains an established feature of racial inequality in the United States.
  7. The Elusiveness of Inclusion in Elite Higher Education

    Since the late 1980s, lower-income, first-generation college students have been a focal point of scholars of higher education. With three decades of research now accumulated, we have good insight into the experiences and outcomes of students who, on average, enter college with academic, financial, and social challenges.
  8. Who Speaks for (and Feeds) the Community? Competing Definitions of “Community” in the Austin, TX, Urban Farm Debate

    Alternative food supporters claim that food produced outside the corporate system can improve the wellbeing of communities. A closer look at these claims raises the question: How are members of the alternative food movement defining “community” and who is being included in and excluded from these definitions? We draw from in‐depth interviews with (1) urban famers and their supporters and (2) neighborhood members of gentrifying East Austin to examine irreconcilable disputes on the process of rewriting Austin's urban farm code.

  9. Leveraging Youth: Overcoming Intergenerational Tensions in Creative Production

    The sociological literature on creativity would suggest that collaboration between newcomers and more experienced members of an art world results in the fruitful combination of novelty and usefulness, though not without some conflict.
  10. Computation and the Sociological Imagination

    Computational sociology leverages new tools and data sources to expand the scope and scale of sociological inquiry. It’s opening up an exciting frontier for sociologists of every stripe—from theorists and ethnographers to experimentalists and survey researchers. It expands the sociological imagination.