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  1. 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.

  2. Samuel Stouffer and Relative Deprivation

    This paper first offers a tribute to Samuel Stouffer (1900–1960), a major contributor to social psychology. He helped to establish probability surveys as a useful method for social science, led three major studies at midcentury, and introduced important new concepts and statistical methods. Thus, both conceptually and methodologically, he shaped modern social psychology. Second, the paper revitalizes Stouffer’s most famous concept—relative deprivation.

  3. 2014 Presidential Address: Cultural Knowledge and Social Inequality

    Using both qualitative longitudinal data collected 20 years after the original Unequal Childhoodsstudy and interview data from a study of upwardly mobile adults, this address demonstrates how cultural knowledge matters when white and African American young adults of differing class backgrounds navigate key institutions. I find that middle-class young adults had more knowledge than their working-class or poor counterparts of the “rules of the game” regarding how institutions worked. They also displayed more of a sense of entitlement to ask for help.

  4. Don’t Tell Me Who I Can’t Love: A Multimethod Investigation of Social Network and Reactance Effects on Romantic Relationships

    In three studies, we examined the influence of social network reactions on feelings toward a romantic partner. Study 1 was a large survey (N = 858), Study 2 was a vignette design in which social network reactions were manipulated, and Study 3 was a laboratory-based, dating game experiment. We found extensive support for the social network effect, whereby relationship approval from family and friends leads individuals to feel more love, more committed, and more positive about a partner. We also examined whether psychological reactance moderated social network influence.

  5. “Once You Go to a White School, You Kind of Adapt”: Black Adolescents and the Racial Classification of Schools

    Studies of when youth classify academic achievement in racial terms have focused on the racial classification of behaviors and individuals. However, institutions—including schools—may also be racially classified. Drawing on a comparative interview study, we examine the school contexts that prompt urban black students to classify schools in racial terms. Through Diversify, a busing program, one group of black students attended affluent suburban schools with white-dominated achievement hierarchies (n = 38).

  6. Should I Stay or Should I Go? Reciprocity, Negotiation, and the Choice of Structurally Disadvantaged Actors to Remain in Networks

    Drawing on existing theories of social exchange as well as self-categorization theory, we consider how two forms of direct exchange influence whether structurally disadvantaged actors choose to stay in the micro-structures that disadvantage them.

  7. Measuring College Learning in Sociology: SSRC and ASA Collaboration Reaches Milestone

    Book CoverIn 2013 the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) initiated the Measuring College Learning (MCL) project because SSRC recognized a pressing need for greater clarity, intentionality, and quality in U.S. higher education.

  8. Review Essays: The Path Not Taken? Culture, Materials, and Pleasure in Action

    Claudio E. Benzecry reviews Profane Culture by Paul E. Willis.

  9. Review Essays: The Sociological Mind at Work and Play

    Joseph C. Hermanowicz reviews What About Mozart? What About Murder? Reasoning from Cases, by Howard S. Becker.

  10. Review Essays: Democratic Ideals and Sobering Realities: The Lifeworks of Philip Selznick and Amitai Etzioni

    Review Essays: Democratic Ideals and Sobering Realities: The Lifeworks of Philip Selznick and Amitai Etzioni