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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. Getting Involved: Lizbeth Mateo

    Jody Agius Vallejo sits down with immigrant rights activist and attorney, Lizbeth Mateo.
  3. Feeding the Cultural Omnivores

    In Masters of Craft: Old Jobs in the New Urban Economy, Richard Ocejo offers an in-depth analysis of the resurgence of once working class and low status occupations.
  4. Pro-Environmental Views of Climate Skeptics

    Using data from interviews with self-identified climate change skeptics, it becomes clear that there is a public misperception about climate change skepticism. Skeptics are concerned about pollution, support environmentally friendly policies, and oppose continued reliance on oil. Current climate change communication is problematic; here, we explore the policies that garner skeptics’ support.
  5. Producing Facts in a World of Alternatives: Why Journalism Matters and Why It Could Matter More

    In a time of shrinking newsrooms, newspaper closings, fake news, alternative facts and outrage, and incursion from outsiders, why does professional journalism matter anymore? How can journalists, looking to defend their profession and the news they produce, claim authority over truth and fact? Michael Schudson engages these questions in Why Journalism Still Matters, a collection of writings on the value of today’s journalism for today’s democracy.
  6. If Only It Were That Complex

    Research on the dynamics of social change is often framed by what Damon Centola refers to in his new book How Behavior Spreads: The Science of Complex Contagions as “the convenience of classical epidemiological tropes” (p. 173) in which “contagions” spread from infected to susceptible individuals through interaction. Social networks became alluring to use in conjunction with this epidemiological frame because the two together evoke the determinism of electrical wiring, with charges traveling paths (ties) structured by the location of switches (nodes) in the line.
  7. 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.
  8. Racial Inequities in the Federal Buyout of Flood-Prone Homes: A Nationwide Assessment of Environmental Adaptation

    One way the U.S. government is responding to the challenges of climate change is by funding the purchase of tens of thousands of flood-prone homes in more than 500 cities and towns across the country. This study provides a nationwide analysis of that program, extending beyond cost-benefit calculations to investigate racial inequities at different scales of local implementation, from county-level adoption, through neighborhood-level participation, to homeowner approval.

  9. 2019 Presidential Address: Sociology Engaged in Social Justice

    This article expands on my presidential address to further bolster the case that sociology has, from its inception, been engaged in social justice. I argue that a critical review of our discipline and our Association’s vaunted empiricist tradition of objectivity, in which sociologists are detached from their research, was accomplished by a false history and sociology of sociology that ignored, isolated, and marginalized some of the founders.
  10. 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.