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  1. After State Socialism: The Political Origins of Transitional Recessions

    Transitions from state socialism created a startling range of initial economic outcomes, from renewed growth to deep economic crises. Debates about the causes have largely ignored the political disruptions due to regime change that coincided with sudden initial recessions, and they have defined the problem as relative growth rates over time rather than abrupt short-run collapse. Political disruptions were severe when states broke apart into newly independent units, leading to hyperinflation, armed warfare, or both.

  2. Dignity and Dreams: What the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Means to Low-Income Families

    Money has meaning that shapes its uses and social significance, including the monies low-income families draw on for survival: wages, welfare, and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). This study, based on in-depth interviews with 115 low-wage EITC recipients, reveals the EITC is an unusual type of government transfer. Recipients of the EITC say they value the debt relief this government benefit brings. However, they also perceive it as a just reward for work, which legitimizes a temporary increase in consumption.

  3. Transitions in the Colonial Hudson Valley: Capitalist, Bulk Goods, and Braudelian

    A long debate about the American “transition to capitalism” was apparently settled via a rough consensus on the gradual prevalence of rural capitalism in the north; and that even small, subsistence-oriented farm households engaged in some market exchange, while market-oriented farm households engaged in some subsistence activities.
  4. Global Commodity Chains and the Production of Surplus-value on a Global Scale: Bringing Back the New International Division of Labour Theory

    This paper offers a critique of mainstream and critical versions of Global Commodity Chain analysis of post-1960s global-economy transformations claiming that they suffer from different types of methodological nationalism. After arguing that the key to overcome their intrinsic problems is to be found in the critical revision of Fröbel et al.'s New International Division of Labour theory, the paper advances a novel account of the structural dynamics of the stratified capitalist world-system developed by Iñigo Carrera (1998).
  5. Neoliberalism and Symbolic Boundaries in Europe: Global Diffusion, Local Context, Regional Variation

    Studies suggest that the rise of neoliberalism accompanies a foregrounding of individual responsibility and a weakening of community. The authors provide a theoretical agenda for studying the interactions between the global diffusion of neoliberal policies and ideologies, on the one side, and cultural repertoires and boundary configurations, on the other, in the context of local, national, and regional variation.
  6. Category Taken-for-Grantedness as a Strategic Opportunity: The Case of Light Cigarettes, 1964 to 1993

    Theories within organizational and economic sociology that center on market categories often equate taken-for-grantedness with increased constraint on category members’ features. In contrast, we develop a novel perspective that considers how market participants’ changing category-related attributions decrease the scrutiny of category offerings, opening up strategic opportunities for firms. We further argue that whether producers should be expected to take advantage of these opportunities depends on the extent to which they are incentivized to do so.

  7. Can Ratings Have Indirect Effects? Evidence from the Organizational Response to Peers’ Environmental Ratings

    Organizations are increasingly subject to rating and ranking by third-party evaluators. Research in this area tends to emphasize the direct effects of ratings systems that occur when ratings give key audiences, such as consumers or investors, more information about a rated firm. Yet, ratings systems may also indirectly influence organizations when the collective presence of more rated peers alters the broader institutional and competitive milieu.

  8. The Price of Protection: A Trajectory Analysis of Civil Remedies for Abuse and Women’s Earnings

    We know men’s violence against women is costly. Yet, we know little about the costs—or benefits—of women’s efforts to end it. This study investigates the temporal dynamics of women’s earnings and petitioning for a Protection from Abuse (PFA) civil restraining order. Women’s earnings might rise or fall at the time of petitioning but quickly return to pre-petitioning levels, a short-term boost or shock; or, petitioning might precipitate a longer-term stall or upward shift in women’s earnings.

  9. Normal Unpredictability and the Chaos in Our Lives

    On the normal unpredictability of low-wage work.

  10. Markets, Nature, and Society: Embedding Economic & Environmental Sociology

    Social scientists have drawn on theories of embeddedness to explain the different ways legal, political, and cultural frameworks shape markets. Often overlooked, however, is how the materiality of nature also structures markets. In this article, I suggest that neo-Polanyian scholars, and economic sociologists more generally, should better engage in a historical sociology of concept formation to problematize the human exemptionalist paradigm their work upholds and recognize the role of nature in shaping markets and society.