American Sociological Association

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  1. Black Debt, White Debt

    Racial discrimination shapes who feels debt as a crushing burden and who experiences debt as an opportunity. U.S. financial products and rules, and the ways they’re implemented, amplify this inequality along racial lines.
  2. Disrupting the Racial Wealth Gap

    African-American families possess a dime for every dollar of White families’ wealth. Among policy ideas to remedy this stark racial wealth divide, baby bonds, basic income, reducing student loan debt, and federal job guarantees hold transformative potential.
  3. Basic Income and the Pitfalls of Randomization

    This essay evaluates the state of the debate around basic income, a controversial and much-discussed policy proposal. I explore its contested meaning and consider its potential impact. I provide a summary of the randomized guaranteed income experiments from the 1970s, emphasizing how experimental methods using scattered sets of isolated participants cannot capture the crucial social factors that help to explain changes in people’s patterns of work.
  4. The Origins of International Economic Disorder: A Study of United States International Monetary Policy from World War II to the Present

    Fred Block has written an outstanding book, a major contribution to modern sociological inquiry. Leapfrogging over contemporary excursions into number crunching and concept mongering, Block has planted his roots firmly in the tradition of thinkers like Joseph Schumpeter and Karl Polanyi. The result is an investigation into the effects that the international order, particularly the international monetary system, can have on domestic social organization.
  5. Review Essay: Public Engagement and the Influence Imperative

    These three books—Going Public: A Guide for Social Scientists, by Arlene Stein and Jessie Daniels; The Social Scientist’s Soapbox: Adventures in Writing Public Sociology, by Karen Sternheimer; and The Public Professor: How to Use Your Research to Change the World, by M. V. Lee Badgett—by three sociologists (Stein, Daniels, and Sternheimer) and an economist (Badgett) address the demand for guidance and support as academic sociologists respond to the disciplinary imperative to make our work more influential.
  6. Women in the One Percent: Gender Dynamics in Top Income Positions

    A growing body of research documents the importance of studying households in the top one percent of U.S. income distribution because they control enormous resources. However, little is known about whose income—men’s or women’s—is primarily responsible for pushing households into the one percent and whether women have individual pathways to earning one percent status based on their income. Using the 1995 to 2016 Surveys of Consumer Finances, we analyze gender income patterns in the one percent.
  7. The Organization of Neglect: Limited Liability Companies and Housing Disinvestment

    Sociological accounts of urban disinvestment processes rarely assess how landlords’ variable investment strategies may be facilitated or constrained by the legal environment. Nor do they typically examine how such factors might, in turn, affect housing conditions for city dwellers. Over the past two decades, the advent and diffusion of the limited liability company (LLC) has reshaped the legal landscape of rental ownership. Increasingly, rental properties are owned by business organizations that limit investor liability, rather than by individual landlords who own property in their own names.
  8. Masters of the Mint

    John Stuart Mill once wrote, “there cannot, in short, be intrinsically a more insignificant thing, in the economy of society, than money” (1848:48). _Money Talks: Explaining How Money Really Works_ proves that Mill was not always correct in his assessments. In this engaging set of essays, an interdisciplinary group of authors illustrates just how varied money can be and how the different forms it takes are—contra Mill—of tremendous significance for social organization, governance, economic performance, and the formation and maintenance of social relationships.
  9. The Gender Gap in Business Leadership: Exploring an Affect Control Theory Explanation

    We use affect control theory (ACT) and its computer simulation program, Interact, to theoretically model the interactional dynamics that women and men business executives are likely to face in the workplace, and we show how these dynamics may contribute to the gender gap in business leadership. Using data from 520 simulated events and two analysis strategies, we use ACT to develop empirically grounded hypotheses regarding these processes.
  10. 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.