American Sociological Association

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  1. Where Ivy Matters: The Educational Backgrounds of U.S. Cultural Elites

    Status transmission theory argues that leading educational institutions prepare individuals from privileged backgrounds for positions of prestige and power in their societies. We examine the educational backgrounds of more than 2,900 members of the U.S. cultural elite and compare these backgrounds to a sample of nearly 4,000 business and political leaders. We find that the leading U.S. educational institutions are substantially more important for preparing future members of the cultural elite than they are for preparing future members of the business or political elite.
  2. 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.

  3. Cracking the Black Box: Capturing the Role of Expectation States in Status Processes

    A fundamental task for sociology is to uncover the mechanisms that produce and reproduce social inequalities. While status characteristics theory is the favored account of how social status contributes independently to the maintenance of inequality, it hinges on an unobserved construct, expectation states, in the middle of the causal chain between status and behavior. Efforts to test the mediation mechanism have been complicated by the implicit, often unconscious, nature of status expectations.
  4. 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.
  5. Medical Authority under Siege: How Clinicians Transform Patient Resistance into Acceptance

    Over the past decades, professional medical authority has been transformed due to internal and external pressures, including weakened institutional support and patient-centered care. Today’s patients are more likely to resist treatment recommendations. We examine how patient resistance to treatment recommendations indexes the strength of contemporary professional authority. Using conversation analytic methods, we analyze 39 video recordings of patient-clinician encounters involving pediatric epilepsy patients in which parents resist recommended treatments.
  6. Race-Ethnicity, Social Roles, and Mental Health: A Research Update

    Social role involvement engenders sense of purpose and meaning to life, which sustains positive mental health. Racism within American society, however, results in experiences that disadvantage ethnoracial minorities, thus making it likely that social roles do not have universal remunerations. Using the Collaborative Psychiatric Epidemiology Surveys (N = 12,526), this study explores the association between role participation and psychological distress across nine ethnoracial groups. Results indicate that engaging in many roles is associated with better mental health for all ethnoracial groups.
  7. Pharmaceutical Side Effects and Mental Health Paradoxes among Racial-Ethnic Minorities

    Sociologists have long struggled to explain the minority mental health paradox: that racial-ethnic minorities often report better mental health than non-Hispanic whites despite social environments that seem less conducive to well-being. Using data from the 2008–2013 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS), this study provides a partial explanation for the paradox rooted in a very different disparity. Evidence from MEPS indicates that non-Hispanic whites consume more pharmaceuticals than racial-ethnic minorities for a wide variety of medical conditions.
  8. Grandparenting and Mortality: How Does Race-Ethnicity Matter?

    Little is known about whether and how intergenerational relationships influence older adult mortality. This study examines the association between caring for grandchildren (i.e., grandparenting) and mortality and how the link differs by race-ethnicity. Drawing from the Health and Retirement Study (1998–2014, N = 13,705), I found different racial-ethnic patterns in the effects of grandparenting on mortality risk.
  9. Aggression, Conflict, and the Formation of Intimidating Group Reputation

    From inmates in prison gangs to soldiers in elite units, the intimidating reputation of groups often precedes its members. While individual reputation is known to affect people’s aggressiveness, whether one’s group reputation can similarly influence behavior in conflict situations is yet to be established. Using an economic game experiment, we isolate the effect of group reputation on aggression and conflict from that of individual reputation.
  10. Striving While Black: Race and the Psychophysiology of Goal Pursuit

    Population health scientists have largely overlooked anticipatory stressors and how different groups of people experience and cope with anticipatory stress. I address these gaps by examining black-white differences in the associations between an important anticipatory stressor—goal-striving stress (GSS)—and several measures of psychophysiology.