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  1. Soldiers of the Cross: Calvinism, Humanitarianism, and the Genesis of Social Fields

    Field theory largely treats the cultural dimensions of social fields as an emergent property of their objective structures. In this article, I reconsider the role of culture in fields by studying how the logics that govern their emergence develop. As a study case, I examine the rise of the field of transnational humanitarianism by focusing on the early endeavors of the International Committee of the Red Cross (established 1863).

  2. On the Sociology of Occasions

    This article fills a long-standing gap, proposing a framework for what Goffman called for in 1967’s Interaction Ritual: a sociology of occasions. Occasions are omnipresent throughout the sociological literature yet are often only casually analyzed. The author proposes a perspective that solidifies occasions as a basic unit of sociological analysis. This proposal offers a framework based on (1) four resources, (2) three patterns, and (3) five properties. These simple and interlocking tools situate the occasion as a valuable and adaptable sociological focus.

  3. Study Explores What Draws Sociology Faculty to Teach in Community Colleges

    Community college faculty who teach sociology are drawn to their positions for reasons that are personal and meaningful to them, including serving a diverse and underserved population and advancing social justice principles. This is despite the oftentimes challenging work conditions faced at community colleges, according to a new study by members of the American Sociological Association (ASA) Task Force on Community College Faculty in Sociology.

  4. Featured Essay: The Ecstatic Edge of Politics: Sociology and Donald Trump

    The day before the Louisiana Republican primary in March 2016, I watched Donald Trump’s Boeing 757 descend from the sky at the Lakefront Airport in New Orleans, Louisiana. Inside the crowded hangar, Elton John’s “Rocket Man” was playing. Red, white, and blue strobe lights roved sideways and up. Cell phones snapped photos of the blond-haired candidate as he stood before thousands waving and shaking signs that read MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN. A small, wiry man bearing this sign with both hands, eyes afire, called out to all within earshot, “To be in the presence of such a man!

  5. Theorizing Ethnic and Racial Movements in the Global Age: Lessons from the Civil Rights Movement

    In this essay, we reflect on the history and legacies of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement and suggest avenues of future research of interest to scholars of ethnic and racial movements. First, we unpack how the Civil Rights Movement developed as a major movement utilizing both international and domestic influences. Second, we consider the central role of technology—including television and Internet communication technologies (ICTs)—in shaping contemporary ethnic and racial activism.

  6. The Place of Race in Conservative and Far-right Movements

    This paper explores current understandings and proposes new directions for research on the place of race in rightist social movements in the contemporary United States. We examine two broad categories of rightist movements. The first is white-majority conservative movements that deny their participation in racialized politics but in which race is implicit in their ideologies and agendas, such as the Tea Party. The second is far-right movements that explicitly espouse racist ideologies and agendas, such as neo-Nazi groups.

  7. Dignity and Dreams: What the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Means to Low-Income Families

    Money has meaning that shapes its uses and social significance, including the monies low-income families draw on for survival: wages, welfare, and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). This study, based on in-depth interviews with 115 low-wage EITC recipients, reveals the EITC is an unusual type of government transfer. Recipients of the EITC say they value the debt relief this government benefit brings. However, they also perceive it as a just reward for work, which legitimizes a temporary increase in consumption.

  8. The Dynamics of Opportunity and Insurgent Practice How Black Anti-colonialists Compelled Truman to Advocate Civil Rights

    Political opportunity theory has proven extremely generative, highlighting the importance of macro-structural shifts in making established authorities vulnerable to insurgent challenge. But as critics point out, political opportunity theory flattens both culture and agency, and has fared poorly in explaining the timing of insurgency. Re-theorizing opportunity as leveraged by particular practices, rather than independently conferring to groups, redresses these limits, revealing the proximate causes of mobilization and influence.

  9. “No Fracking Way!” Documentary Film, Discursive Opportunity, and Local Opposition against Hydraulic Fracturing in the United States, 2010 to 2013

    Recent scholarship highlights the importance of public discourse for the mobilization and impact of social movements, but it neglects how cultural products may shift discourse and thereby influence mobilization and political outcomes. This study investigates how activism against hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) utilized cultural artifacts to influence public perceptions and effect change. A systematic analysis of Internet search data, social media postings, and newspaper articles allows us to identify how the documentary Gasland reshaped public discourse.

  10. Is Popular More Likeable? Choice Status by Intrinsic Appeal in an Experimental Music Market

    There is widespread agreement from many areas of status research that evaluators’ judgments of performances can be distorted by the status of the performer. The question arises as to whether status distorts perceptions differently at different levels of performance quality. Using data from the Columbia Musiclab study, we conduct a large-scale test of whether the effect of popularity on private perceptions of likeability is contingent on songs’ intrinsic appeal.