SAGE Sociology

Sociology Podcast Number 5: In this podcast interview, Sam Friedman discusses his paper on social mobility, “The Price of the Ticket: Rethinking the Experience of Social Mobility”, with Sarah Neal, Editor of Sociology. Posted March 2014

Direct download: Sociology_Podcast_No._5_-_Sam_Friedman.wav
Category:Sociology -- posted at: 8:02am EDT

In this podcast interview, co-author Fiona Devine discusses her excellent paper: “A New Model of Social Class? Findings from the BBC’s Great British Class Survey Experiment” with Sophie Watson, Editor of Sociology.

Direct download: Fiona_Devine_EditedFINAL.wav
Category:Sociology -- posted at: 7:55am EDT

Authors Kaela Jubas and Jackie Siedel discuss their article "Knitting as a Metaphor for Work: An Institutional Autoethnography to Surface Tensions of Visibility and Invisibility in the Neoliberal Academy," which was recently published in the Journal of Contemporary Ethnography.

Abstract: This article discusses the coauthors’ experiences as academic colleagues who took up knitting together, and the insights about contemporary complications and tensions of research and work that we developed through that practice. Adopting some of the tenets of ethnography and, more particularly, autoethnography and institutional ethnography, we ground our analysis in everyday encounters and routines in our academic workplace. Employing knitting as metaphor, we organize our discussion of findings as a series of tensions that are alternately evident and hidden in our work(place). We close by considering how our inquiry points to aspects of both similarity and uniqueness in relation to other work contexts and assists us in interpreting and understanding our academic work in the context of broader society.

Read the full article here.

Direct download: JCE_Jubas_Sidel.mp3
Category:Sociology -- posted at: 6:34pm EDT

Author Lisa-Jo K. van den Scott discusses her paper, written with co-authors Clare Forstie and Savina Balasubramanian, "Shining Stars, Blind Sides, and "Real" Realities: Exit Rituals, Eulogy Work, and Allegories in Reality Television," which was recently published in the Journal of Contemporary Ethnography. Abstract: Competitive reality television is a pervasive part of contemporary American culture and encompasses a range of topics and forms. We identify three categories, or spheres, of contestant-elimination reality shows: External Vote, Internal Vote, and Choosing Individual/Deity. Within each sphere, we examine the locus of blame and the structure of the show as contexts for the elimination as symbolic death. This symbolic death presents allegories of loss of fame, social isolation, and individual loss of job, career, or love across these spheres. Contestants perform eulogy work to cope publicly with their elimination at the moment of exit. Eulogy work enables departing contestants to frame their “death” as a good death and to “cool themselves out” in an attempt to save face. In this way, contestants deal with conceptions of self in the show and the transfer of that self back to a reality outside of the bracketed time and space of the show. Drawing on literature from the sociology of emotions, the sociology of death, and the sociology of ritual, we provide the concept of eulogy work to capture the performance of the self specifically in the context of loss.

Read the article here.


Direct download: Edited_JCE_Lisa_Jo.mp3
Category:Sociology -- posted at: 7:06pm EDT

Authors Long Doan, Annalise Loehr, and Lisa Miller discuss their article published in the December 2014 issue of American Sociological Review.

Abstract: Attitudes toward gay rights have liberalized over the past few decades, but scholars know less about the extent to which individuals in the United States exhibit subtle forms of prejudice toward lesbians and gays. To help address this issue, we offer a conceptualization of formal rights and informal privileges. Using original data from a nationally representative survey experiment, we examine whether people distinguish between formal rights (e.g., partnership benefits) and informal privileges (e.g., public displays of affection) in their attitudes toward same-sex couples. Results show that heterosexuals are as willing to extend formal rights to same-sex couples as they are to unmarried heterosexual couples. However, they are less willing to grant informal privileges. Lesbians and gays are more willing to extend formal rights to same-sex couples, but they too are sometimes more supportive of informal privileges for heterosexual couples. We also find that heterosexuals’ attitudes toward marriage more closely align with their attitudes toward informal privileges than formal rights, whereas lesbians and gays view marriage similarly to both formal rights and informal privileges. Our findings highlight the need to examine multiple dimensions of sexual prejudice to help understand how informal types of prejudice persist as minority groups receive formal rights.

Read the article here:

Direct download: ASR_Long_Doan.mp3
Category:Sociology -- posted at: 12:57pm EDT

Author Kathleen J. Fitzgerald talks about her article in the February 2014 issue of Humanity & Society. Abstract: "While most scientists of the twentieth century argued for understanding race as a social construction, this understanding has shifted considerably in the past decade. In the current era, biological notions of race have resurfaced not only in the scientific community but in the form of direct consumer use of DNA tests for genetic ancestry testing, sometimes referred to as genetic genealogy, and the emergence of pharmacogenomics, or the marketing of race-specific pharmaceuticals. In this article, I argue that the return of race as a biological concept in the form of racial genomics can best be understood through an application of Blumer’s race as group position theory. Using that, I argue that during the past 20 years, four specific challenges to the racial hierarchy have emerged that have threatened white dominance: the original interpretation of the Human Genome Project results declaring humans to be 99.9 percent similar, thus, dispelling the idea that race has a genetic basis, the electoral wins of President Barack Obama and the ensuing rhetoric that America is a “postracial” society, and finally, the increase in interracial relationships and biracial/multiracial identities. The emergence of racial genomics, I argue, is a response to these specific threats to the racial hierarchy and to white dominance."

Direct download: HAS_Kathleen_Fizgerald.mp3
Category:Sociology -- posted at: 1:51pm EDT

Author Michael T. Light discusses his new article which appears in the October 2014 issue of American Sociological Review. Abstract: "When compared to research on the association between immigration and crime, far less attention has been given to the relationship between immigration, citizenship, and criminal punishment. As such, several fundamental questions about how noncitizens are sanctioned and whether citizenship is a marker of stratification in U.S. courts remain unanswered. Are citizens treated differently than noncitizens—both legal and undocumented—in U.S. federal criminal courts? Is the well-documented Hispanic-white sentencing disparity confounded by citizenship status? Has the association between citizenship and sentencing remained stable over time? And are punishment disparities contingent on the demographic context of the court? Analysis of several years of data from U.S. federal courts indicates that citizenship status is a salient predictor of sentencing outcomes—more powerful than race or ethnicity. Other notable findings include the following: accounting for citizenship substantially attenuates disparities between whites and Hispanics; the citizenship effect on sentencing has grown stronger over time; and the effect is most pronounced in districts with growing noncitizen populations. These findings suggest that as international migration increases, citizenship may be an emerging and powerful axis of sociolegal inequality."

Direct download: ASR_Michael_Light.mp3
Category:Sociology -- posted at: 5:06pm EDT

Coauthors Ruth Braunstein and Brad Fulton discuss their article with Richard Wood for the August 2014 issue of American Sociological Review: “The Role of Bridging Cultural Practices in Racially and Socioeconomically Diverse Civic Organizations.”

Abstract: Organizations can benefit from being internally diverse, but they may also face significant challenges arising from such diversity. Potential benefits include increased organizational innovation, legitimacy, and strategic capacity; challenges include threats to organizational stability, efficacy, and survival. In this article, we analyze the dynamics of internal diversity within a field of politically oriented civic organizations. We find that “bridging cultural practices” serve as a key mechanism through which racially and socioeconomically diverse organizations navigate challenges generated by internal differences. Drawing on data from extended ethnographic fieldwork within one local faith-based community organizing coalition, we describe how particular prayer practices are used to bridge differences within group settings marked by diversity. Furthermore, using data from a national study of all faith-based community organizing coalitions in the United States, we find that a coalition’s prayer practices are associated with its objective level of racial and socioeconomic diversity and its subjective perception of challenges arising from such diversity. Our multi-method analysis supports the argument that diverse coalitions use bridging prayer practices to navigate organizational challenges arising from racial and socioeconomic diversity, and we argue that bridging cultural practices may play a similar role within other kinds of diverse organizations.

Article available here.


Posted July 2014

Direct download: ASR_Ruth_Brad.mp3
Category:Sociology -- posted at: 5:57pm EDT

Danny Dorling discusses his paper “Thinking about Class”, with Kath Woodward, Editor of Sociology. Posted July 2014.

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Category:Sociology -- posted at: 10:00am EDT

Author Giacomo Negro discusses his article with coauthors Fabiana Visentin and Anand Swaminathan, "Resource Partitioning and the Organizational Dynamics of "‘Fringe Banking,’" which appears in the August 2014 issue of American Sociological Review.

Abstract: We examine the emergence and proliferation of payday lenders, fringe businesses that provide small short-term, but high-cost loans. We link the organizational dynamics of these businesses to two trends in consumer lending in the United States: the continuing consolidation of mainstream financial institutions; and the expansion of such institutions in the provision of financial services regarded as similar to payday loans. We explain the coexistence in mature industries of large-scale organizations in the market center and smaller specialists in the periphery by testing and extending the organizational model of resource partitioning. Our focus is on two under-examined aspects of the model: the dynamic underlying the partitioning process, and the conditions under which the market remains partitioned. The empirical analysis covers payday lenders, banks, and credit unions operating in Wisconsin between 1994 and 2008.

Full article available here.


Posted July 2014

Direct download: ASR_Giacomo_Negro.mp3
Category:Sociology -- posted at: 5:10pm EDT