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  1. Tradition and Innovation in Scientists’ Research Strategies

    What factors affect a scientist’s choice of research problem? Qualitative research in the history and sociology of science suggests that this choice is patterned by an “essential tension” between productive tradition and risky innovation. We examine this tension through Bourdieu’s field theory of science, and we explore it empirically by analyzing millions of biomedical abstracts from MEDLINE. We represent the evolving state of chemical knowledge with networks extracted from these abstracts. We then develop a typology of research strategies on these networks.

  2. Lies, Damned Lies, and Survey Self-Reports? Identity as a Cause of Measurement Bias

    Explanations of error in survey self-reports have focused on social desirability: that respondents answer questions about normative behavior to appear prosocial to interviewers. However, this paradigm fails to explain why bias occurs even in self-administered modes like mail and web surveys. We offer an alternative explanation rooted in identity theory that focuses on measurement directiveness as a cause of bias.

  3. The Bourgeoisie Dream Factory

    Effectively teaching sociological theories to undergraduate students is challenging. Students often enroll in theory courses due to major requirements, not personal interest. Consequently, many students approach the study of theory with anxiety. This study examined the effectiveness of an experiential learning activity designed to teach Karl Marx’s theory of alienation. Based on pretest/posttest surveys, responses to open-ended questions, and observational data, students reported that the activity helped them gain a clearer understanding of Marx.

  4. What Is the Relation between Theory and Practice, and Did Marx Discuss Engineering Society?

    My impression of Marx’s understanding of theory and praxis is that the transition from capitalism to socialism is contingent on the historical circumstances at any given point in time. The logic of capital creates certain preconditions that set the stage for the transition, but the transition is by no means guaranteed to unfold, or unfold in a clearly predictable manner. One of the preconditions is the concentration of capital into the hands of few and the general tendency toward increasing relative poverty of workers.

  5. Book Review: Race, Place, and Suburban Policing: Too Close for Comfort

    With questions of racial justice at the forefront of public discourse, especially in relation to police violence, this book presents a timely investigation.

  6. Methodological Advances and Applications in Social Psychology

    This special issue highlights new methodological approaches to advance developments in social psychology and expand the methodological toolbox for quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods researchers. We showcase articles that offer a range of innovations, including new methodological approaches, applications, and procedures. The authors link their methodological innovations to the new theoretical insights produced and provide empirical examples that show how their methods advance social psychological theory.

  7. Give Permission to Use Your Work in the Digital Archives

    Up until now, it has not been easy to study empirically the process of scientific knowledge production because we rarely have access to a body of data that includes what is rejected as well as what is accepted for publication, and the reasons for these decisions.

  8. Study Shows How a Community’s Culture and Social Connectedness Can Increase Suicide Risk

    Community characteristics play a major role in perpetuating teen suicide clusters and thwarting prevention efforts, according to a new study by sociologists at the University of Chicago (UChicago) and University of Memphis who examined clusters in a single town.

  9. Socius Special Issue Call for Papers

    Socius: Sociological Research for a Dynamic World invites papers for a special issue on gender in the 2016 elections. We invite contributions on all topics relevant to gender and politics. Potential topics could include (but are not limited to): gender and the executive; women, social policy, and state legislative elections; intersectionality and the media; gender and public opinion; and women in changing political institutions. Informative papers on trends or cross-national comparisons are welcome as long as they are framed in relation to the 2016 U.S. election.

  10. Cohorts, ‘‘Siblings,’’ and Mentors: Organizational Structures and the Creation of Social Capital

    How can an organization help participants increase their social capital? Using data from an ethnographic study of Launch, an organization that prepares low-income students of color to attend elite boarding schools, I analyze how the organization’s structures not only generate social ties among students but also stratify those ties horizontally and vertically, thereby connecting students to a set of social contacts who occupy a range of hierarchical positions and who are able to provide access to resources that are beneficial in different contexts and at different times.