American Sociological Association

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  1. Broken Windows as Growth Machines: Who Benefits from Urban Disorder and Crime?

    Using interview data from two groups in the Woodlawn neighborhood on Chicago's South Side—mothers of young children and neighborhood merchants—this paper suggests a way of connecting two dominant ways of conceiving of physical disorder in urban spaces, one of which focuses on physical disorder as a root of social disorder and another that focuses on physical disorder as an economic prerequisite for gentrification. Specifically, elites can deploy signs of disorder in moral and reputational terms in the urban political arena to gain economic advantages for themselves.

  2. Place and Perception: Constructions of Community and Safety across Neighborhoods and Residents

    Residents of urban neighborhoods derive a sense of place and connection to their neighborhoods through their engagement with the neighborhood, including both the people in it and its amenities. In addition, one's perception of a neighborhood shapes one's sense of safety and fear of crime. In this paper, we analyze data from 84 interviews with residents in three Boston neighborhoods that varied on demographics, crime levels, and association to stereotypes about crime.

  3. Analyzing the Social Construction of Media Claims: Enhancing Media Literacy in Social Problems Classes

    Recent research has called on scholars to develop pedagogical interventions to address issues of media literacy. This teaching note answers that call by describing a media literacy project designed for use in social problems classes. The project acquaints students to the constructionist approach to social problems and the method of content analysis. Guided by the principles of scaffolding, the note discusses how students are guided through a series of readings, assignments, and activities that enables them to analyze how social problems are portrayed in news media.
  4. Symbolically Maintained Inequality: How Harvard and Stanford Students Construct Boundaries among Elite Universities

    The study of elites is enjoying a revival at a time of increasing economic inequality. Sociologists of education have been leaders in this area, researching how affluent families position their children to compete favorably in a highly stratified higher education system. However, scholars have done less research on how students do symbolic work of their own to bolster elite status. In this study, we use qualitative interviews with 56 undergraduates at Harvard and Stanford Universities to explore how students construct a status hierarchy among elite campuses.
  5. Urban Hospitals as Anchor Institutions: Frameworks for Medical Sociology

    Recent policy developments are forcing many hospitals to supplement their traditional focus on the provision of direct patient care by using mechanisms to address the social determinants of health in local communities. Sociologists have studied hospital organizations for decades, to great effect, highlighting key processes of professional socialization and external influences that shape hospital-based care. New methods are needed, however, to capture more recent changes in hospital population health initiatives in their surrounding neighborhoods.
  6. Bribery in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Mediating Effects of Institutional Development and Trust

    The issue of bribery raises questions about the implications of institutional development and trust in the raw material industry. This paper uses theories of institutionalism and trust to explore path dependence arguments seeking to explain the resource curse puzzle. Institutional development and trust are examined as potential mediators linking mineral extraction/processing to bribery in sub-Saharan African countries.

  7. A Theory of Racialized Organizations

    Organizational theory scholars typically see organizations as race-neutral bureaucratic structures, while race and ethnicity scholars have largely neglected the role of organizations in the social construction of race. The theory developed in this article bridges these subfields, arguing that organizations are racial structures—cognitive schemas connecting organizational rules to social and material resources. I begin with the proposition that race is constitutive of organizational foundations, hierarchies, and processes.
  8. 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.
  9. Who Counts as a Notable Sociologist on Wikipedia? Gender, Race, and the “Professor Test”

    This paper documents and estimates the extent of underrepresentation of women and people of color on the pages of Wikipedia devoted to contemporary American sociologists. In contrast to the demographic diversity of the discipline, sociologists represented on Wikipedia are largely white men. The gender and racial/ethnic gaps in likelihood of representation have exhibited little change over time. Using novel data, we estimate the “risk” of having a Wikipedia page for a sample of contemporary sociologists.
  10. The Conscripted Curriculum and the Reproduction of Racial Inequalities in Contemporary U.S. Medical Education

    In their attempt to address racial disparities in the provision of healthcare, the U.S. medical profession has reproduced racial inequalities of their own. In this article, I draw upon interview data with medical educators and students to detail how medical educators routinely offload the instruction on the social underpinnings and consequences of race onto students, particularly students of color. I develop the concept of the conscripted curriculum to capture how students’ social identities are utilized by educators in the professionalization process.