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  1. The Object Economy: “Alternative” Banking in Chicago

    In 2017, more than 22 percent of all U.S. households used an alternative financial service at least once. While fringe-banking enterprises mainly serve people with low or moderate incomes who lack access to more conventional banking services, pawnshops in particular also provide an important and distinct last resort for many customers.
  2. How to Cohabitate

    Sharon Sassler and Amanda Jayne Miller set out to expand our understanding of how cohabitating relationships evolve in their compelling new book, Cohabitation Nation: Gender, Class, and the Remaking of Relationships.
  3. Of Love and Exploitation

    By speaking through Cleo, Cuarón offers the working elite a narrative to ease their own anxieties around class instability.
  4. American Inequality in the Long Run

    Can this theory explain why inequality is growing in the United States? Piketty asserted that his theory was best tested with data from France, whose history was, he argued, “more typical and more pertinent for understanding the future” than the historical experience of the United States (p. 29). Nevertheless, and no doubt because Capital in the Twenty-First Century sold so many copies, some university publishers in recent years have been willing to gamble on big, dry books of historical inequality statistics that purport to test his arguments against American data.
  5. Visualizing Age, Period, and Cohort Patterns of Substance Use in the U.S. Opioid Crisis

    Descriptions of the contemporary U.S. opioid crisis emphasize several “waves” of overdose deaths. However, a focus on trends in overdose deaths may obscure important sociological dynamics. The authors provide heatmap visualizations of estimated annual rates of past-year substance use, rather than overdose deaths, for prescription pain relievers and heroin. These visualizations are based on weighted analyses of self-reports, cross-classified by age and period, collected as part of the National Survey on Drug Use and Health from 2002 to 2017. Whereas descriptions of the U.S.

  6. Exploiting Ambiguity: A Moral Polysemy Approach to Variation in Economic Practices

    Sociologists have shown that the relationships people establish between moral orientations and market practices vary considerably across historical, geographic, and institutional contexts. Less attention has been paid to situational variation in how the same actors moralize different economic goals, especially in their workplace. This article offers an account of situational variation by theorizing the implications of the ambiguity of moral values for economic activity.
  7. Do Carbon Prices Limit Economic Growth?

    The most common counterargument to taxing carbon emissions is that the policy has a negative impact on economic growth. The author tests the validity of this argument by visualizing the enactment of carbon prices on gross domestic product per capita from 1979 to 2018 and presenting a formal fixed-effects regression analysis of panel data. No connection is found between carbon price implementation and diminished economic growth. This outcome is primarily due to policy design and the general nature of economic growth.

  8. 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.
  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. Why You Can’t Find That Nice Bottle of South African Wine

    South African wine producers are more successful in the American market when they partner with importers that know little about their wines. Ignorance is better than expertise, and leads to a handful of wineries being very successful in the market, while most barely make a splash.