American Sociological Association

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  1. Consuming Mexican Labor: From the Bracero Program to NAFTA

    That, historically, capital accumulation has required a supply of cheap, flexible labor is one of the most well-documented and widely accepted empirical findings in social science.

  2. Review Essays: Sociology’s Messy Eating: Food, Consumer Choice, and Social Change

    In 2002, the historian Warren Belasco remarked that while “food is important . . . food scholars may still evoke a sense of surprise” (Belasco 2002, pp. 2, 5). The sociological importance of food should be obvious: one need not be a Marxist to recognize that food production forms an essential infrastructure for other sorts of social activities, nor a Weberian to perceive the role of eating in status and social closure. And yet, at the time of Belasco’s writing, identifying one’s primary research area as “food” to colleagues at an ASA meeting could evoke a cocked eyebrow and an awkward pause.
  3. Paradoxes of Social Policy: Welfare Transfers, Relative Poverty, and Redistribution Preferences

    Korpi and Palme’s (1998) classic “The Paradox of Redistribution and Strategies of Equality” claims that universal social policy better reduces poverty than social policies targeted at the poor. This article revisits Korpi and Palme’s classic, and in the process, explores and informs a set of enduring questions about social policy, politics, and social equality.

  4. Policy Entrepreneurs and the Origins of the Regulatory Welfare State: Child Labor Reform in Nineteenth-Century Europe

    Industrial child labor laws were the earliest manifestation of the modern regulatory welfare state. Why, despite the absence of political pressure from below, did some states (but not others) succeed in legislating working hours, minimum ages, and schooling requirements for working children in the first half of the nineteenth century? I use case studies of the politics behind the first child labor laws in Germany and France, alongside a case study of a failed child labor reform effort in Belgium, to answer this question.
  5. Why Is There No Labor Party in the United States? Political Articulation and the Canadian Comparison, 1932 to 1948

    Why is there no labor party in the United States? This question has had deep implications for U.S. politics and social policy. Existing explanations use "reflection" models of parties, whereby parties reflect preexisting cleavages or institutional arrangements. But a comparison with Canada, whose political terrain was supposedly more favorable to labor parties, challenges reflection models.

  6. The Role of Social Media in Collective Processes of Place Making: A Study of Two Neighborhood Blogs in Amsterdam

    The wide use of social media has facilitated new social practices that influence place meaning. This paper uses a double case study of two neighborhood blogs in gentrifying communities, to explore the role of social media in sharing place associations and community formation. Drawing on Collins’ theory of interaction ritual chains, this research project investigates how the intertwining of online and offline interaction around the blogs creates interaction chains whereby the place associations of participants in the blog become more aligned, creating an alternative place narrative.

  7. Response to Morgan: On the Role of Status Threat and Material Interests in the 2016 Election

    I am delighted to have the opportunity to respond to Morgan’s article, which is a critique of my recent publication (Mutz 2018). I will restrict my response to matters concerning the data and analysis, excluding issues such as whether the journal PNAS is appropriately named (Morgan this issue:3) as well as Morgan’s views about how this work was covered in various media outlets (Morgan this issue:3–6). These issues are less important than whether material self-interest or status threat motivated Trump supporters.

  8. Racial and Ethnic Differences in Consumers’ Economic Expectations

    Consumers’ expectations about the future of their own finances and the macroeconomy are used to forecast consumption, but forecasts do not typically account for differences by race and ethnicity. In this report, the author asks (1) whether there is consistent racial and ethnic variation in consumers’ economic expectations, (2) if differences can be explained by economic experiences, and (3) how the scope of expectations matters.
  9. Encultured Biases: The Role of Products in Pathways to Inequality

    Recent sociological work shows that culture is an important causal variable in labor market outcomes. Does the same hold for product markets? To answer this question, we study a product market in which selection decisions occur absent face-to-face interaction between intermediaries and short-term contract workers. We find evidence of “product-based” cultural matching operating as a pathway to inequality.
  10. Do Green Behaviors Earn Social Status?

    Do green behaviors earn social status among liberals and conservatives? Although evidence shows that high-status consumers incorporate ecological concerns into their consumption choices, politically polarized views on environmentalism in the United States complicate the relationship between green behaviors and status. A vignette experiment shows that across political ideology, people grant status to green consumption. Results from semistructured interviews suggest that green consumers are seen as wealthy, knowledgeable, and ethical, although these status beliefs vary with political ideology.