American Sociological Association

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  1. The Economization of Diversity

    Through a case study of an ongoing diversity initiative at Diversity University (DU), a public, flagship university in the U.S. South, the author’s research advances understanding of the discursive relationship between neoliberalism and contemporary racial ideology. As part of a larger ethnographic project, the author draws on more than ten years worth of diversity discourse at DU to illuminate diversity’s economization: the process whereby specific formations of economic values, practices, and metrics are extended toward diversity as justification for DU’s efforts.
  2. Review Essays: Ivory Tower Fantasies about Affirmative Actions

    In a provocative 2002 essay, political scientist Jennifer Hochschild asks: why has affirmative action been so central to the American culture wars, more so than wage discrimination, underfunded public schools, and a litany of other social issues that have far greater impact on more black Americans?1 And why have social scientists paid affirmative action so little empirical attention, in contrast to the deep philosophical and legal thinking on the topic?
  3. Nuclear War in the Rivalry Phase of the Modern World-System

    Large-scale war is a world-system phenomenon of the rivalry phase. Such conflicts have once again become a concern, and nuclear weapons make these prospects especially dangerous. This is particularly problematic since several world-systems perspectives suggest the chances for war will be greatest in the period from 2030 to 2050. I review the logic of rivalry, the reasons for the endurance of nuclear weapons, old and new nuclear strategies, and the processes that may pose the greatest existential dangers.
  4. U.S. Empire and the “Adaptive Education” Model: The Global Production of Race

    Following World War I, the U.S. Department of Labor worked with a large-scale commercial philanthropic endeavor called the Phelps Stokes Fund to transfer educational policies designed for African Americans to West Africa and South Africa. They specifically promoted the “adaptive education” model used at Tuskegee and the Hampton institutes for African American education. This model emphasized manual labor, Christian character formation, and political passivity as a form of racial uplift.
  5. Intrastate Dynamics in the Context of Hegemonic Decline: A Case Study of China’s Arms Transfer Regime

    The decline of a hegemon can create openings for lesser powers to expand their influence in the world-system. Is this what China is currently attempting to do? This paper contributes to this on-going debate by examining China’s arms transfer activities from a historical perspective. Using data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute arms transfer database and the World Military Expenditures and Arms Transfers database, I argue that the Chinese arms transfer regime has evolved through three phases.
  6. Naturalizing Gender through Childhood Socialization Messages in a Zoo

    We draw on public observations conducted in a zoo to identify three instances in which adults make use of its specific spatial and symbolic resources to transmit socialization messages to children according to "naturalized" models of hegemonic gender difference. First, adults attribute gender to zoo animals by projecting onto them human characteristics associated with feminine and masculine stereotypes. Second, adults mobilize zoo exhibits as props for modeling their own normative gender displays in the presence of children.

  7. The Origins of Race-conscious Affirmative Action in Undergraduate Admissions: A Comparative Analysis of Institutional Change in Higher Education

    What explains the rise of race-conscious affirmative action policies in undergraduate admissions? The dominant theory posits that adoption of such policies was precipitated by urban and campus unrest in the North during the late 1960s. Based on primary research in a sample of 17 selective schools, we find limited support for the dominant theory. Affirmative action arose in two distinct waves during the 1960s. A first wave was launched in the early 1960s by northern college administrators inspired by nonviolent civil rights protests in the South.

  8. Symbolic Politics of the State: The Case of In-state Tuition Bills for Undocumented Students

    A symbolic politics approach contends that the meanings policy proposals convey, and the audiences they attract, may matter more than whether they become law. Yet, we know little about the sociopolitical conditions prompting lawmakers to engage in symbolic politics.

  9. 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.

  10. Understanding Educational Policy Formation: The Case of School Violence Policies in Israel

    This study explores mechanisms underlying processes of educational policy formation. Previous studies have given much attention to processes of diffusion when accounting for educational policy formation. Less account has been given to the day-to-day institutional dynamics through which educational policies develop and change. Building on extensive governmental archival data, complemented with interviews and media analysis, I study the development and transformation of school violence policies in Israel.