American Sociological Association



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  1. Patients’ Conceptualizations of Responsibility for Healthcare: A Typology for Understanding Differing Attributions in the Context of Patient Safety

    This study examines how patients conceptualize “responsibility” for their healthcare and make sense of the complex boundaries between patient and professional roles. Focusing on the specific case of patient safety, narrative methods were used to analyze semistructured interviews with 28 people recently discharged from hospital in England. We present a typology of attribution, which demonstrates that patients’ attributions of responsibility to staff and/or to patients are informed by two dimensions of responsibility: basis and contingency.

  2. Political Institutions and the Comparative Medicalization of Abortion

    Comparative-historical research on medicalization is rare and, perhaps for that reason, largely ignores political institutions, which tend to vary more across countries than within them. This article proposes a political-institutional theory of medicalization in which health care policy legacies, political decentralization, and constitutionalism shape the preferences, discourses, strategies, and influence of actors that seek or resist medicalization. The theory helps explain why abortion has been more medicalized in Britain than the United States.

  3. Typical Roles and Intergroup Relations Shape Stereotypes: How Understanding Social Structure Clarifies the Origins of Stereotype Content

    How do stereotypes gain their specific content? Social psychologists have argued that stereotypes of groups, defined by demographic indicators such as sex and race, gain their content from their locations in the social structure. In one version of this claim, observations of group members’ typical roles shape stereotype content. In another version, observations of intergroup relations shape this content. This research addressed the validity and compatibility of these two claims.

  4. The Formation of Group Ties in Open Interaction Groups

    We examine how task jointness and group incentive structures bear on the nature and strength of the affective and cognitive ties that people forge to a group. The argument is that affective group ties have stronger effects on social order than cognitive group ties. There are two general hypotheses. First, joint tasks generate stronger cognitive and affective ties to groups, whereas group incentives generate cognitive but not necessarily affective ties to the group.

  5. Wayward Elites: From Social Reproduction to Social Restoration in a Therapeutic Boarding School

    In the past few decades, a multi-billion-dollar “therapeutic boarding school” industry has emerged largely for America’s troubled upper-class youth. This article examines the experiences of privileged youth in a therapeutic boarding school to advance social restoration as a new form of social reproduction. Drawing on interviews and fieldwork inside a Western therapeutic boarding school for young men struggling with substance abuse, I explore how students leverage a stigmatized, addict identity in ways that can restore privilege.

  6. How Do We “Do Gender”? Permeation as Over-Talking and Talking Over

    Gendered expectations are imported from the larger culture to permeate small-group discussions, creating conversational inequalities. Conversational roles also emerge from the negotiated order of group interactions to reflect, reinforce, and occasionally challenge these cultural patterns. The authors provide a new examination of conversational overlaps and interruptions. They show how negotiated conversational roles lead a status distinction (gender) to shape conversational inequality.

  7. Overflowing Channels: How Democracy Didn’t Work as Planned (and Perhaps a Good Thing It Didn’t)

    When eighteenth-century revolutionary elites set about designing new political orders, they drew on commonplace theoretical understandings of “democracy” as highly undesirable. They therefore designed government institutions in which popular participation was to be extremely limited. The new political constructions, in both France and the United States, never worked as planned. The mobilizations of the revolutionary era did not vanish as the constitutional designers hoped.

  8. Structural Sexism and Health in the United States: A New Perspective on Health Inequality and the Gender System

    In this article, I build a new line of health inequality research that parallels the emerging structural racism literature. I develop theory and measurement for the concept of structural sexism and examine its relationship to health outcomes. Consistent with contemporary theories of gender as a multilevel social system, I conceptualize and measure structural sexism as systematic gender inequality at the macro level (U.S. state), meso level (marital dyad), and micro level (individual). I use U.S.

  9. Crossing Categorical Boundaries: A Study of Diversification by Social Movement Organizations

    When do protest organizations borrow issues or claims that are outside their traditional domains? Sociologists have examined the consequences of borrowing claims across movement boundaries, but not the antecedents of doing so. We argue that movement boundaries are strong when there is consensus about the core claims of a social movement, which we measure by cohesion and focus. Cohesion and focus enhance the legitimacy of a movement and impede member organizations from adopting claims associated with other movements.

  10. Brilliant or Bad: The Gendered Social Construction of Exceptionalism in Early Adolescence

    From kindergarten through college, students perceive boys as more intelligent than girls, yet few sociological studies have identified how school processes shape students’ gender status beliefs. Drawing on 2.5 years of longitudinal ethnography and 196 interviews conducted at a racially diverse, public middle school in Los Angeles, this article demonstrates how educators’ differential regulation of boys’ rule-breaking by course level contributed to gender-based differences in students’ perceptions of intelligence.