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  1. Boxed In: Beliefs about the Compatibility and Likability of Mother-Occupation and Father-Occupation Role Combinations

    Researchers have long noted that role expectations of a “good” mother conflict with those of a “good” worker, described as the “cultural contradiction” of motherhood. But given that work roles vary tremendously in terms of the cultural meanings the public assigns them, the authors examine variability in the perceived compatibility of mother-occupation and father-occupation combinations.

  2. Jim Crow's Legacy: The Lasting Impact of Segregation

    For many, possibly most, Americans the term “Jim Crow” conjures a shameful and embarrassing historical era during which African Americans were treated unfairly. Ultimately, our nation recognized the contradiction between the unfair conditions of Jim Crow and our national creed of freedom, justice, and equality. Pushed along by civil rights marchers and enlightened legislators, Jim Crow was abandoned and, within less than a half century, America entered a new “post-racial,” colorblind era, led by a mixed-race president.

  3. Adopting a Cloak of Incompetence: Impression Management Techniques for Feigning Lesser Selves

    The “cloak of competence” concept captures attempts to disguise limitations and exaggerate abilities. The author examines the conceptual converse: the “cloak of incompetence,” or the various ways people deliberately disregard, disguise, downplay, or diminish their personal abilities. Drawing on a comparative analysis of manifold empirical cases, the author identifies three generic competence-concealing techniques—avoidance, performance, and neutralization—and considers some of the interactional contingencies that can enhance or reduce their effectiveness.
  4. The New Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere

    Set against the background of mid-twentieth-century institutional changes analyzed by Jürgen Habermas, we provide an account of new social conditions that compose “the public sphere” in the contemporary United States. First, we review recent developments in theorizing the public sphere, arguing they benefit from renewed attention to institutional changes in how that sphere operates.
  5. Are Labor Market Institutions Countercyclical?

    The deregulatory perspective on labor market institutions argues that such institutions push up wage and employment costs while discouraging hiring and job seeking. In contrast, an institutionalist perspective argues that labor market institutions support deeper skill formation and better job searches. Building on this literature, the authors focus on temporal variation, emphasizing that some labor market institutions are likely countercyclical: they can potentially limit job losses in economic downturns.
  6. Racial Ideology or Racial Ignorance? An Alternative Theory of Racial Cognition

    Directing attention to racial ignorance as a core dimension of racialized social systems, this article advances a process-focused Theory of Racial Ignorance (TRI), grounded in Critical Race Theory and the philosophical construct white ignorance. TRI embodies five tenets—epistemology of ignorance, ignorance as ends-based technology, corporate white agency, centrality of praxis, and interest convergence.
  7. Sociology’s Next Steps? Fiftieth Anniversary of Gouldner’s Vision and Sixtieth Anniversary of Mills’s Vision

    My essay in the July 2019 issue of Contemporary Sociology leaned heavily on Habermas’s focus on “personal emancipation” and Giddens’s concept of “structuration.”
  8. Workplace Compensation Practices and the Rise in Benefit Inequality

    This article aims to explain why inequality in fringe benefits has grown faster than wage inequality over the past four decades. We depart from previous income inequality research by studying benefits in addition to wages, but also by focusing on workplaces as the main drivers of benefit determination. We advance the argument that benefits determination is more organizationally embedded than wages mainly because workplaces have greater ability and incentive to alter benefits.
  9. Understanding Recent Growth Dynamics in Small Urban Places: The Case of New England

    This article utilizes recently published US Census data covering the pre‐and post‐Great Recession period (1990–2015) to identify key determinants of growth among small urban places in the New England Region. We find little evidence of random growth and robust evidence of convergence in growth, indicating that smaller urban areas tend to experience faster rates of growth than larger ones, over both the short and long term. Factors such as distance to large city areas and amenities are found to be particularly relevant to population growth rates.

  10. The Phenomenology of Homo Economicus

    Much has been written about the fictitious nature of the atomistic model of homo economicus. Nevertheless, this economic model of self-interest and egoism has become conventional wisdom in market societies. This article offers a phenomenological explanation for the model’s commonsensical grip. Building on the work of Alfred Schutz, I argue that a reliance on homo economicus as an interpretive scheme for making sense of the behavior of economic Others has the effect of reversing the meaning of signs and doubts that challenge the model’s assumptions.