American Sociological Association

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  1. Patients’ Conceptualizations of Responsibility for Healthcare: A Typology for Understanding Differing Attributions in the Context of Patient Safety

    This study examines how patients conceptualize “responsibility” for their healthcare and make sense of the complex boundaries between patient and professional roles. Focusing on the specific case of patient safety, narrative methods were used to analyze semistructured interviews with 28 people recently discharged from hospital in England. We present a typology of attribution, which demonstrates that patients’ attributions of responsibility to staff and/or to patients are informed by two dimensions of responsibility: basis and contingency.

  2. The Black-White Paradox Revisited: Understanding the Role of Counterbalancing Mechanisms during Adolescence

    The tendency for blacks to report similar or better mental health than whites has served as an enduring paradox in the mental health literature for the past three decades. However, a debate persists about the mechanisms that underlie this paradox. Drawing on the stress process framework, we consider the counterbalancing roles of self-esteem and traumatic stress exposure in understanding the “black-white paradox” among U.S. adolescents.

  3. Depressive Symptoms Following Later-life Marital Dissolution and Subsequent Repartnering

    The doubling of the divorce rate among individuals over age 50 during the past 20 years underscores the urgency of studying the consequences of gray divorce and subsequent repartnering for adult well-being. We filled this gap by using the 1998-to-2014 Health and Retirement Study to evaluate how the levels of depressive symptoms changed following gray divorce versus widowhood. Individuals who divorced or became widowed already had experienced higher levels of depressive symptoms before dissolution relative to those who remained married.

  4. Intersubjectivity, Normativity, and Grammar

    Interactants depend on background knowledge and commonsense inferences to establish and maintain intersubjectivity. This study investigates how the resources of language—or more specifically, of grammar—can be mobilized to address moments when such inferences might risk jeopardizing understanding in lieu of promoting it. While such moments may initially seem to undermine the normative commonsensicality of the particular inference(s) in question, the practice examined here is shown to legitimize those inferences through the very act of setting them aside.

  5. Typical Roles and Intergroup Relations Shape Stereotypes: How Understanding Social Structure Clarifies the Origins of Stereotype Content

    How do stereotypes gain their specific content? Social psychologists have argued that stereotypes of groups, defined by demographic indicators such as sex and race, gain their content from their locations in the social structure. In one version of this claim, observations of group members’ typical roles shape stereotype content. In another version, observations of intergroup relations shape this content. This research addressed the validity and compatibility of these two claims.

  6. The Formation of Group Ties in Open Interaction Groups

    We examine how task jointness and group incentive structures bear on the nature and strength of the affective and cognitive ties that people forge to a group. The argument is that affective group ties have stronger effects on social order than cognitive group ties. There are two general hypotheses. First, joint tasks generate stronger cognitive and affective ties to groups, whereas group incentives generate cognitive but not necessarily affective ties to the group.

  7. Wayward Elites: From Social Reproduction to Social Restoration in a Therapeutic Boarding School

    In the past few decades, a multi-billion-dollar “therapeutic boarding school” industry has emerged largely for America’s troubled upper-class youth. This article examines the experiences of privileged youth in a therapeutic boarding school to advance social restoration as a new form of social reproduction. Drawing on interviews and fieldwork inside a Western therapeutic boarding school for young men struggling with substance abuse, I explore how students leverage a stigmatized, addict identity in ways that can restore privilege.

  8. How Do We “Do Gender”? Permeation as Over-Talking and Talking Over

    Gendered expectations are imported from the larger culture to permeate small-group discussions, creating conversational inequalities. Conversational roles also emerge from the negotiated order of group interactions to reflect, reinforce, and occasionally challenge these cultural patterns. The authors provide a new examination of conversational overlaps and interruptions. They show how negotiated conversational roles lead a status distinction (gender) to shape conversational inequality.

  9. When (In)Consistency Matters: Racial Identification and Specification

    Sociologists who rely on survey research have begun exploring the implications of racial inconsistency for not only multiracial identification but also for other social outcomes. Using the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health, the author explores the consequences of different specifications of race for modeling three outcomes: educational attainment, self-rated health, and interracial relationship history.

  10. Not by Bread Alone: Mobility Experiences, Religion, and Optimism about Future Mobility

    Americans are quite optimistic about their chances of upward mobility, but sometimes even they have their doubts. The authors examine how mobility experiences boost or dampen American optimism about mobility and how the relationship is connected to religion. The authors find that Americans whose subjective financial situations have recently worsened are less optimistic, whereas those whose situations have improved are more optimistic. Objective measures of mobility were not connected to optimism.