American Sociological Association

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  1. Dueling Interpretations of the Professional Organizing Industry

    Professional organizers are depicted, in pop culture, as clutter cops, but see themselves, in real life, as helping others prioritize and make peace with the stuff of their lives.

  2. Normal Unpredictability and the Chaos in Our Lives

    On the normal unpredictability of low-wage work.

  3. Rage against the Iron Cage: The Varied Effects of Bureaucratic Personnel Reforms on Diversity

    Organization scholars since Max Weber have argued that formal personnel systems can prevent discrimination. We draw on sociological and psychological literatures to develop a theory of the varied effects of bureaucratic reforms on managerial motivation. Drawing on self-perception and cognitive-dissonance theories, we contend that initiatives that engage managers in promoting diversity—special recruitment and training programs—will increase diversity.

  4. The Power of Transparency: Evidence from a British Workplace Survey

    Does the dissemination of organizational financial information shift power dynamics within workplaces, as evidenced by increasing workers’ wages? That is the core question of this investigation. We utilize the 2004 and 2011 series of the British Workplace Employment Relations Survey (WERS) to test whether employees who report that their managers disclose workplace financial data earn more than otherwise similar workers not privy to such information.

  5. "A General Separation of Colored and White": The WWII Riots, Military Segregation, and Racism(s) beyond the White/Nonwhite Binary

    This article uses archival research to explore important differences in the discursive and institutional positioning of Mexican American and African American men during World War II. Through the focal point of the riots that erupted in Los Angeles and other major cities in the summer of 1943, I examine the ways in which black and Mexican "rioters" were imagined in official and popular discourses. Though both groups of youth were often constructed as deviant and subversive, there were also divergences in the ways in which their supposed racial difference was discursively configured.

  6. Socioeconomic Attainments of Japanese Brazilians and Japanese Americans

    This paper investigates the socioeconomic attainments of Japanese Brazilians and Japanese Americans. The findings indicate that Japanese Brazilians have higher levels of education and wages than white Brazilians, while Japanese Americans have higher levels of education and wages than white Americans. These results are inconsistent with a conventional "white supremacy" model that is popular in contemporary American sociology.

  7. Working the Boardwalk: Trust in a Public Marketplace

    This article argues that trust emerges as a key interactional mechanism through which vendors, artists, and performers that work in a public marketplace turn daily conditions of uncertainty into enduring stability. Drawing on four years of ethnographic data, I empirically illustrate a process of building, maintaining, and protecting trust. Following trust from the level of one-on-one interaction through to the level of a community, I expose the particular interactional work trust does for different people across different situations.

  8. Threat, Opportunity, and Network Interaction in Organizations

    This article examines how uncertain situations of threat or opportunity influence people’s choices to interact with their colleagues in an organization. The threat/opportunity lens encompasses two conceptually distinct dimensions, gain/loss and control/limited control, which are hypothesized to produce different patterns of network interaction. Two experimental studies—one involving 158 leaders in a health-care organization and the other involving 129 employees in a range of smaller establishments—provided support for the proposed conceptualization.

  9. Emerging Scripts of Global Speech

    As work regimes become global, social communication increasingly occurs across locations far apart. In the absence of a common national, ethnic, or organizational culture across continents, what makes communication possible among social worlds technologically integrated in real time? Taking India’s global call centers as the focus of analysis, this article attempts to solve the riddle of communication by showing how transnational business practices rely on the transmutation of cultural communication into global communication through the processes of neutralization and mimesis.

  10. Elements of Professional Expertise: Understanding Relational and Substantive Expertise through Lawyers’ Impact

    Lawyers keep the gates of public justice institutions, particularly through their roles in formal procedures like hearings and trials. Yet, it is not clear what lawyers do in such quintessentially legal settings: conclusions from past research are bedeviled by a lack of clear theory and inconsistencies in research design. Conceptualizing litigation work in terms of professional expertise, I conduct a theoretically grounded synthesis of the findings of extant studies of lawyers’ impact on civil case outcomes.