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  1. Becoming a Stickup Kid

    Randol Contreras’ drug-robber respondents were not born criminals or torturers, so how did they become "stick-up kids"?

  2. What Does It Mean to Span Cultural Boundaries? Variety and Atypicality in Cultural Consumption

    We propose a synthesis of two lines of sociological research on boundary spanning in cultural production and consumption. One, research on cultural omnivorousness, analyzes choice by heterogeneous audiences facing an array of crisp cultural offerings. The other, research on categories in markets, analyzes reactions by homogeneous audiences to objects that vary in the degree to which they conform to categorical codes. We develop a model of heterogeneous audiences evaluating objects that vary in typicality.

  3. The Theory of Legal Cynicism and Sunni Insurgent Violence in Post-Invasion Iraq

    We elaborate a cultural framing theory of legal cynicism—previously used to account for neighborhood variation in Chicago homicides—to explain Arab Sunni victimization and insurgent attacks during the U.S. post-invasion occupation of Iraq. Legal cynicism theory has an unrecognized power to explain collective and interpersonal violence in international as well as U.S. settings. We expand on how "double and linked" roles of state and non-state actors can be used to analyze violence against Arab Sunni civilians.

  4. 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.

  5. Stopping the Drama: Gendered Influence in a Network Field Experiment

    Drawing on theories of social norms, we study the relative influence of female and male students using a year-long, network-based field experiment of an anti-harassment intervention program in a high school. A randomly selected subset of highly connected students participated in the intervention. We test whether these highly connected females and males influenced other students equally when students and teachers considered the problem of "drama"—peer conflict and harassment—to be associated with girls more than with boys.

  6. Reproducing and Reworking Colorblind Racial Ideology: Acknowledging Childrens Agency in the White Habitus

    What is the relationship between white children’s interpretations of racial phenomena and dominant racial ideology? Do children passively adopt dominant racial ideological positions, the result of a "deep cultural conditioning" that happens to children? Do kids assertively challenge ideologies, rejecting adults’ authoritative worldviews through enacting child agency? Or is something more dialectically complex occurring that includes both reproduction and reinvention?

  7. Should I Stay or Should I Go? Reciprocity, Negotiation, and the Choice of Structurally Disadvantaged Actors to Remain in Networks

    Drawing on existing theories of social exchange as well as self-categorization theory, we consider how two forms of direct exchange influence whether structurally disadvantaged actors choose to stay in the micro-structures that disadvantage them.

  8. Ethnic Diversity and Social Trust: Evidence from the Micro-Context

    We argue that residential exposure to ethnic diversity reduces social trust. Previous within-country analyses of the relationship between contextual ethnic diversity and trust have been conducted at higher levels of aggregation, thus ignoring substantial variation in actual exposure to ethnic diversity. In contrast, we analyze how ethnic diversity of the immediate micro-context—where interethnic exposure is inevitable—affects trust.

  9. Review Essays: New Sociology of Housing

    In 2013, Mary Pattillo proposed a new agenda for the sociology of housing, focused on the way that rights to housing are created, distributed, and enforced (Pattillo 2013). The books here take up her call. They focus, respectively, on private rental housing, subsidized affordable housing in mixed-income developments, and debt-financed home ownership. What they have in common is a focus on housing not only as a built environment, a location in space, or a habitation where we learn and enact cultural practices, but also as a set of positions in social relations.
  10. I-Challenges: Influencing Others’ Perspectives by Mentioning Personal Experiences in Therapeutic Community Group Meetings

    In this article, I examine the communicative practice of mentioning a personal experience as a vehicle for challenging a peer’s perspective. I study this in the context of therapeutic community (TC) group meetings for clients recovering from drug misuse. Using conversation analysis, I demonstrate that TC clients use this practice, which I call an I-challenge, to influence how their peers make sense of their own experiences and to do so without commenting on those peers’ experiences and perspectives.