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  1. 2015 Presidential Address: Sometimes the Social Becomes Personal: Gender, Class, and Sexualities

    All sociologists recognize that social constraints affect individuals’ outcomes. These effects are sometimes relatively direct. Other times constraints affect outcomes indirectly, first influencing individuals’ personal characteristics, which then affect their outcomes. In the latter case, the social becomes personal, and personal characteristics that are carried across situations (e.g., skills, habits, identities, worldviews, preferences, or values) affect individuals’ outcomes. I argue here for the importance of both direct and indirect effects of constraints on outcomes.

  2. The Role of Gender, Class, and Religion in Biracial Americans Racial Labeling Decisions

    Racial attachments are understood to be socially constructed and endogenous to gender, socioeconomic, and religious identities. Yet we know surprisingly little about the effect of such identities on the particular racial labels that individuals self-select. In this article, I investigate how social identities shape the racial labels chosen by biracial individuals in the United States, a rapidly growing population who have multiple labeling options.

  3. Defining the State from within: Boundaries, Schemas, and Associational Policymaking

    A growing literature posits the importance of boundaries in structuring social systems. Yet sociologists have not adequately theorized one of the most fraught and consequential sites of boundary-making in contemporary life: the delineation of the official edges of the government—and, consequently, of state from society. This article addresses that gap by theorizing the mechanisms of state boundary formation. In so doing, we extend culturalist theories of the state by providing a more specific model of how the state-society boundary is produced.

  4. Caring for Them Like Family: How Structure and Culture Simultaneously Influence Contemporary African American Middle- and Upper-Middle-Class Mothers Kin and Community Child Care Choices

    Scholars examining kin and community care have often sought to identify the relative importance of structural and cultural factors on the use and availability of these networks, but research has yielded unclear results in the case of child care. Cultural theories focus on how values, beliefs, and practices lead to differences in kin and community care; structural theories focus on how educational attainment, income, inherited power or inequality, and family structure lead to such differences.

  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. Colorblindness in Black and White: An Analysis of Core Tenets, Configurations, and Complexities

    The concept of colorblind racism has been developed in recent years to explain racial attitudes held by white Americans in the post–civil rights era. The authors use data from a new nationally representative survey with an oversample of black Americans to investigate the prevalence of core elements of colorblind ideology and to see the extent to which both black and white Americans adhere to three core dimensions of colorblindness theory: (1) abstract liberalism, (2) minimization of racism, and (3) cultural racism.

  7. Memorializing Lynch Victims: Countering Colorblind Ideologies with Experiential Learning

    This article describes a class project designed to develop students’ abilities to use their sociological imagination to better understand the structural sources of racial inequality. The event consisted of a memorial reading of the names of more than 4,000 documented lynch victims in the United States. Authors conducted a pretest and posttest on racial attitudes in large Introduction to Sociology courses. Posttest responses evidenced less support for "colorblind" ideologies and greater support for structural sources of inequality.

  8. Pivot Points: Direct Measures of the Content and Process of Community-based Learning

    This research is an initial investigation into the ways community-based learning increase the cognitive skills central to the exercise of the sociological imagination. In addition to identifying a means to reveal that learning had occurred, we looked for evidence that the students were mastering sociological content, especially the concepts and habits of the sociological imagination.

  9. Discrimination against Queer Women in the U.S. Workforce: A Resume Audit Study

    The author reports on the first study to use an audit method to ascertain whether discrimination occurs against queer women (relative to straight women) when they apply to jobs in the United States. A field experiment was conducted in which a pair of fictitious women’s résumés were sent to apply to more than 800 administrative jobs from online job databases advertised by employers across four states.
  10. The Social Imagination of Homosexuality and the Rise of Same-sex Marriage in the United States

    The author argues that the increase in support for same-sex marriage in the United States must be interpreted in light of the changing social imagination of homosexuality. The author measures the social imagination at the micro level by comparing the frequencies and semantic contexts in which two cohorts use metaphors and analogies to talk about same-sex marriage. Younger informants articulate them in ways that characterize homosexuality as identity, whereas older informants characterize homosexuality as behavior.