American Sociological Association

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  1. Creating an Age of Depression: The Social Construction and Consequences of the Major Depression Diagnosis

    One type of study in the sociology of mental health examines how social and cultural factors influence the creation and consequences of psychiatric diagnoses. Most studies of this kind focus on how diagnoses emerge from struggles among advocacy organizations, economic and political interest groups, and professionals.

  2. The Positive Consequences of Negative Stereotypes: Race, Sexual Orientation, and the Job Application Process

    How do marginalized social categories, such as being black and gay, combine with one another in the production of discrimination? While much extant research assumes that combining marginalized social categories results in a “double disadvantage,” I argue that in the case of race and sexual orientation the opposite may be true. This article posits that stereotypes about gay men as effeminate and weak will counteract common negative stereotypes held by whites that black men are threatening and criminal.

  3. Stigma of a Label Educational Expectations for High School Students Labeled with Learning Disabilities

    Poorer outcomes for youth labeled with learning disabilities (LDs) are often attributed to the student’s own deficiencies or cumulative disadvantage; but the more troubling possibility is that special education placement limits rather than expands these students’ opportunities. Labeling theory partially attributes the poorer outcomes of labeled persons to stigma related to labels.

  4. Searching for a Mate: The Rise of the Internet as a Social Intermediary

    This article explores how the efficiency of Internet search is changing the way Americans find romantic partners. We use a new data source, the How Couples Meet and Stay Together survey. Results show that for 60 years, family and grade school have been steadily declining in their influence over the dating market. In the past 15 years, the rise of the Internet has partly displaced not only family and school, but also neighborhood, friends, and the workplace as venues for meeting partners.

  5. Hiring as Cultural Matching: The Case of Elite Professional Service Firms

    This article presents culture as a vehicle of labor market sorting. Providing a case study of hiring in elite professional service firms, I investigate the often suggested but heretofore empirically unexamined hypothesis that cultural similarities between employers and job candidates matter for employers’ hiring decisions. Drawing from 120 interviews with employers as well as participant observation of a hiring committee, I argue that hiring is more than just a process of skills sorting; it is also a process of cultural matching between candidates, evaluators, and firms.

  6. Sexual Harassment, Workplace Authority, and the Paradox of Power

    Power is at the core of feminist theories of sexual harassment, although it has rarely been measured directly in terms of workplace authority. Popular characterizations portray male supervisors harassing female subordinates, but power-threat theories suggest that women in authority may be more frequent targets. This article analyzes longitudinal survey data and qualitative interviews from the Youth Development Study to test this idea and to delineate why and how supervisory authority, gender nonconformity, and workplace sex ratios affect harassment.

  7. Gender Gaps in Undergraduate Fields of Study: Do College Characteristics Matter?

    Despite gender parity in earned bachelor’s degrees, large gender gaps persist across fields of study. The dominant explanatory framework in this area of research assesses how gender differences in individual-level attributes predict gaps in major choice. The authors argue that individualistic accounts cannot provide a complete explanation because they fail to consider the powerful effects of the gendered institutional environments that inform and shape young men’s and women’s choices.
  8. Union, Premium Cost, and the Provision of Employment-based Health Insurance

    The decline of employment-based health plans is commonly attributed to rising premium costs. Using restricted data and a matched sample from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey–Insurance Component, the authors extend previous studies by testing the relationships among premium costs, employment relationships, and the provision of health benefits between 1999 and 2012. The authors report that both establishment- and state-level union densities are associated with a higher likelihood of employers’ providing health plans, whereas right-to-work legislation is associated with lower provision.
  9. Economic Expectations of Young Adults

    In uncertain economic times, who are those young adults that show positive expectations about their economic future? And who are those who worry? Based on previous stratification research and extending economic sociology insights into the realm of young people’s economic expectations, we focus on the impact of family class background and a sense of current meaningful community relations on young adults’ general and job-specific economic expectations.
  10. Who’s on Top? Gender Differences in Risk-Taking Produce Unequal Outcomes for High-Ability Women and Men

    Research shows that men are more likely to take risks than women, but there is scant evidence that this produces gender inequality. To address this gap, I analyzed engineering exam scores that used an unusual grading procedure. I found small average gender differences in risk-taking that did not produce gendered outcomes for students of average or poor ability. But the gender gap in risk-taking among the most competent students reduced the odds that high-ability women received top exam scores.