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Results in Journal Social Problems: 6,285

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Robert Vargas, Christina Cano, Paola Del Toro, Brian Fenaughty
Published: 18 November 2021
Abstract:
How do local governments resist internal pressure for social change? This study explores this question by examining the role of redistricting. Using digitized ward maps from Chicago, Milwaukee, and St Louis from the 1800s to the present, this study applied mixed methods to systematically explore and understand the movement of districts over time. We discovered that local governments used redistricting for racially and economically motivated social control. Specifically, findings illuminated four practices aimed at regulating or resisting elected officials advocating for racial justice or equity: 1) suppressive redistricting, 2) disciplinary redistricting, 3) remunerative redistricting, and 4) transactional redistricting. These findings advance theories of racialized space and the racialized state by uncovering additional ways that governments regulate or suppress movements for racial equity or justice from within.
, Daniel N Hawkins
Published: 2 November 2021
Abstract:
Football may be America’s most popular sport, but with growing evidence of the risk of sport-associated concussions, some adults are reconsidering which sports to encourage children to play. Using data from a nationally representative sample of 958 respondents, we examine how political party, belief in patriotic displays in sport, attention to concussion news, social class, and race are associated with support for children playing each of the five major U.S. sports: baseball, basketball, hockey, soccer, and football. Our findings suggest that unlike other sports, attitudes about youth participation in football are divided by views on patriotism in sport, age, race, education, and attention to concussion news. For many Americans, football is connected to participation in a civil religion, which celebrates national pride and respect for the military. We argue that child safety advocates who aim to steer children away from football must grapple with the deeper cultural and identity-based framework associated with the sport.
Published: 2 November 2021
Abstract:
With the emergence and global proliferation of “sugar dating” websites, the phenomenon of sugar dating is increasingly on the public agenda. Sugar dating is described by these sites as dating arrangements based on an exchange of intimacy and companionship for financial or other forms of support. Given that sex is often part of the arrangements, claims are widespread, yet disputed, that sugar dating is a form of prostitution. Based on interviews and a survey questionnaire, this article maps the practice of heterosexual sugar dating in Sweden as described by “sugar babies” and “sugar daddies” themselves. It shows a striking diversity in regard to what sugar dating means for participants, both in terms of what they do when sugar dating and in terms of how money and/or other material goods are involved in arrangements. A further key difference between sugar dating arrangements is whether “sugar babies” enter them for purely instrumental reasons or enjoy them in and of themselves. Although not all kinds of sugar dating include sex, we argue that sugar dating sites should be seen as key actors in the expansion of the sex (and intimacy) industry, drawing on and articulating pre-existing tendencies within it.
Published: 2 November 2021
Abstract:
A criminal record can be a serious impediment to securing stable employment, with negative implications for the economic stability of individuals and their families. State policies intended to address this issue have had mixed results, however. Using panel data from the Fragile Families study merged with longitudinal data on state-level policies, this study investigates the association between criminal record based employment discrimination policies and the employment of men both with and without criminal records. These state policies broadly regulate what kinds of records can be legally used for hiring and licensing decisions, but have received little attention in prior research. Findings indicate that men with criminal records were less likely to be working if they lived in states with more policies in place to regulate the legal use of those records. Consistent with research linking policies regulating access to records to racial discrimination, black men living in protective states reported this employment penalty even if they did not have criminal records themselves. Thus, these policies, at best, may fail to disrupt entrenched employment disparities and, at worst, may exacerbate racial discrimination.
Mariana Amorim
Published: 2 November 2021
Abstract:
Family scholars have raised concerns that the reshaping of American families over the last decades might have changed kin support networks and resource sharing within families. Much of this concern stems from documented socioeconomic inequalities in exposure to divorce and separation, formation of new marital or cohabiting unions, and multiple-partner fertility. There is a dearth of research, however, on whether and how the experience of different family structures is shaped by socioeconomic status. This study draws on in-depth interviews with 47 older stepparents in order to investigate exchanges of support with biological and stepchildren in different socioeconomic contexts. Results suggest that scarcity of resources among socioeconomically disadvantaged stepparents and the instability of their (and their children’s) social and economic environments promote a specific type of supportive tie—contingent ties. This study shows that ambiguity and contingency in the establishment of supportive relationships with children may represent an adaptive, healthy, and reasonable strategy among older stepparents with scarce resources.
Alma Nidia Garza
Published: 19 October 2021
Abstract:
As organizations that privilege the interests and behaviors of a White middle class, universities institutionalize processes that undermine both the preparation and contributions of students from working-class backgrounds and racial/ethnic minoritized groups such as Hispanics. While studies have documented how universities carry out forms of class or racial exclusion, how racial exclusion is embedded in university class cultural practices is less understood. Understanding how class processes that are linked to racial objectives inhibit Hispanic student development is important not solely due to the group’s growing representation in college but also because such information facilitates an understanding of how universities legitimize racial hierarchies. Drawing on theories of racialized organizations and cultural reproduction, I compare how working-class Hispanic students attending a moderately selective institution and their co-ethnic counterparts attending a less selective, regional university contend with class cultural hierarchies that impact their growth and inclusion. I propose that universities engage in a practice of cultural sidelining. Students are unable to exercise elements of sidelined class cultures depending on the set of behaviors endorsed on campus. Sidelining enables organizations to draw on social class practices to carry out divergent forms of racial exclusion.
Published: 27 September 2021
Abstract:
A burgeoning body of scholarship addresses how low-income first generation (LIFG) college students, across racial groups, navigate communication with their families about their experiences of class-based dissonance at socioeconomically elite institutions. Yet, there is scant corollary research addressing how LIFG students of color navigate communication with their families regarding experiences of racial dissonance and racism on campuses that are both socioeconomically elite and predominantly white. This study examines disjunctures in familial perceptions and interpretations regarding race and racism consequent to intergenerational educational mobility for LIFG students of color, whose parents are unlikely to have had analogous experiences of complete occupational and residential immersion in socioeconomically elite and predominantly white institutional environments. This work highlights an important gap in the academic literature on first-generation students at the intersections of race, class, parental educational attainment level, and immigration dynamics. Without a race-conscious analytic lens, class-based understandings of LIFG college students and their families remain incomplete.
Vrinda Marwah
Published: 27 September 2021
Abstract:
What are the rewards of paid care work for frontline health workers? I focus on India’s women community health volunteers, the largest such workforce in the world. Appointed since 2007 and numbering one million, these women are paid per-case incentives to connect the poor and marginalized to government-run health services. Using 14 months of ethnographic fieldwork in Delhi and Punjab, including 80 interviews, I find that women community health volunteers (called Accredited Social Health Activists or ASHAs) experience extrinsic rewards in paid care work. ASHAs earn not only from their official wages, but also from two unofficial streams: a) a boost of income from non-ASHA work and b) commissions from private hospitals. I also find that the intrinsic rewards ASHAs report—emotional gratification, relative autonomy, and skill-building—are co-constituted with extrinsic rewards; that is, they are tied to their earnings. This calls into question the “Love versus Money” binary, used to frame much of the discussion on care work. I argue instead for a “Love of Money” framing—that is, money as a reward and money as begetting other rewards. My findings highlight the significance of globalizing the empirical research on paid care work.
James R Elliott, Kevin Loughran, Phylicia Lee Brown
Published: 24 September 2021
Abstract:
Flood risks are rising across the United States, putting the economic and social values of growing numbers of homes at risk. In response, the federal government is funding the purchase and demolition of housing in areas of greatest jeopardy, tacitly promoting residential resettlement as a strategy of climate adaptation, especially in cities. Despite these developments little is known about where people move when they engage in such resettlement or how answers to that question vary by the racial and economic status of their flood-prone neighborhoods. The present study begins to fill that gap. We introduce a new typology for classifying environmental resettlement along two socio-spatial dimensions of community attachment: (a) distance moved from one’s flood-prone home; and (b) average distance resettled from similarly relocated neighbors. Next, we analyze data from 1,572 homeowners who accepted government-funded buyouts across 39 neighborhood areas in Harris County, Texas – Houston’s urban core. Results indicate that homeowners from more privileged neighborhoods resettle closer to their flood-prone homes and to one another, thus helping to preserve the social and economic value of their homes; homeowners from less privileged areas end up farther away from both. Implications for understanding social inequities in government-funded urban climate adaptation are discussed.
Nikhil Deb
Published: 23 September 2021
Abstract:
This article analyzes the ways in which slow violence and neoliberalism intertwine in the production of social and environmental destruction, evident in the lingering devastation from the 1984 Union Carbide catastrophe in Bhopal, India. Children are born with congenital abnormalities; women are plagued with reproductive health problems; and dangerous chemicals left in the abandoned factory continue to contaminate soil and groundwater. Yet Bhopal is remembered almost exclusively for the spectacle of its immediate aftermath. Drawing on 60 interviews with Bhopal victims and activists, field observations, archives, and official and independent reports, this paper examines how the neoliberal turn in Indian governance plays a role in the creation of slow violence. The paper advances our understanding of socioenvironmental destruction by tying slow violence to a temporal change in countries' governance in the Global South. The paper underscores the significance of considering political economic dynamics in the perpetration of slow violence. It also emphasizes how the neoliberal turn, now anchored in right-wing Hindutva politics in India, further constrains the possibilities for counter-measures that would address slow violence. The paper offers significant implications for analyzing the political economy of socioenvironmental and health disparities in the wake of corporate malfeasance.
Peter Catron
Published: 19 September 2021
Abstract:
Citizenship acquisition is often promoted as one factor that can facilitate the economic integration of immigrants. However, not all individuals and groups experience positive benefits from naturalization. This article argues that social distance from the native-born is an important factor that influences who does and does not benefit from citizenship acquisition. Specifically, I create a new continuous measure of social distance for immigrants during the age of mass migration. I show that the relationship between social distance and the economic returns to citizenship takes an inverted U-shape. Those considered closest and furthest away in social distance to the native-born report little to no advantages to citizenship, while those in the middle report larger returns. I then focus on the Mexican population in the historical Southwest and take advantage of a unique enumeration in the complete count 1930 U.S. census that coded Mexicans as either white or Mexican. Mexicans coded as white report economic differences between citizenship statuses, while Mexicans coded as nonwhite report no difference between citizenship statuses. The results suggest that citizenship may not be beneficial to all individuals and groups, depending on where they fall in the ethnoracial hierarchy.
Tse-Chuan Yang, Seulki Kim, Stephen A Matthews
Published: 15 September 2021
Abstract:
We examine two mechanisms–social capital and socio-behavior–potentially linking unemployment rates to opioid-related mortality and investigate whether the mechanisms differ geographically by the pace of the opioid crisis. Applying path analysis techniques to 2015–2017 opioid-related mortality in U.S. counties (N=2,648), we find that (1) high unemployment rates are not directly associated with opioid-related mortality rates; (2) high unemployment rates are negatively associated with social capital, and low social capital contributes to high opioid-related mortality; (3) high unemployment rates increase social isolation and the prevalence of smoking, which is positively related to opioid-related mortality; and (4) the pathways are stronger among counties in the states experiencing a rapid growth in opioid-related mortality rates than among those states that are not. Our findings offer insight into how unemployment rates shape the opioid crisis and suggest that the relationship between unemployment and opioid-related mortality is complex.
Published: 12 September 2021
Abstract:
The role of the police in the United States is a topic of contentious debate. Central to this debate is a binary that constructs police officers as fulfilling either a protective, community-serving role, or an aggressive, crime-fighting role. The most recent iteration is reflected in the warrior-guardian construct, which conceptualizes officers as both initiators of, and defenders against, violence. This article examines how the warrior-guardian framework shapes police training, and highlights how this construct is itself gendered and racialized. I draw on one year of ethnographic field work at four police academies and 40 interviews with police officers and cadets to argue that police training is an organized effort to condition officers to conceptualize their relationship with the public as a war. Three components constitute this framing: (1) instructors construct an evil, unpredictable enemy; (2) cadets are taught to identify their enemy in gendered and racialized ways; and (3) cadets are encouraged to adopt a warrior mentality. I show that cadets are taught to view the world in a way that pits them against an enemy, pushes them to conceptualize their enemy as a man of color, and to think about violence as a moral necessity.
Sarah Whetstone
Published: 11 September 2021
Abstract:
Drawing on ethnography and interviews with recovering men in the Twin Cities, Minnesota, this study explores how two dominant models of American rehab are racialized — coerced treatment theorizing addiction as criminal personality—and a more medicalized, voluntaristic model rooted in the brain disease paradigm. At the “carceral rehab” of “Arcadia House,” staff assumed its majority court-mandated, poor men of color would arrive resistant to reforming their “lifestyle addictions,” justifying treatment backed by (re)incarceration. In contrast, “Healing Bridges” offered its gentler, “medical-restorative rehab” to mostly white, middle-class patients who escaped incarceration despite substantial participation in drug-related crime. While both programs mobilized the colorblind logic that “addiction doesn’t discriminate,” local disparities routed recovering men into vastly different treatments, disproportionately criminalizing the addictions of the Black poor. In a racialized binary operating across the field, Arcadia’s clients of color were viewed as sicker and more out of control than Bridges’ white patients. While Arcadia’s clients required coercive state management, Bridges’ patients were understood as already possessing the capacity for self-management—reinforcing staff’s mission to empower the non-addict within. Distinctions between coerced and voluntary treatment were naturalized and mapped onto recovering men, reproducing race at the most intimate levels of self-making.
Nicholas Vargas, G Cristina Mora, Shannon Gleeson
Published: 10 September 2021
Abstract:
Drawing on a unique survey dataset of Californians collected during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, this article examines how race and ideology shape perceptions of risk. Specifically, we position the pandemic as an “unsettled time” (Swidler 1986) and examine how different racialized groups made sense of the economic and health risks posed during this unprecedented period. We find that even when accounting for economic precarity and potential exposure to COVID-19, as well as for various other measures of social status, racialized minorities felt significantly more threatened by COVID-19 than did whites. Religion and political ideology mediated this relationship to some degree, but the racialized differences were substantial. Indeed, we find that even the most liberal whites reported being significantly less concerned about some COVID-19 risks than the most politically conservative of our Latinx and Black respondents. By linking the literature on race and racial stratification with research on risk and culture, we argue that whiteness facilitates a cognitive insulating effect vis-à-vis COVID-19 risks. We discuss the theoretical implications of our findings and conclude by highlighting the enduring importance of racialization, including various manifestations of white privilege, when assessing the social and cultural realities of crises on the ground.
Published: 8 September 2021
Abstract:
Using a nationally representative sample of African American adolescents from the National Survey of American Life Adolescent supplement (NSAL-A), this study examines intraracial diversity in two key dimensions of family organization—family structure and family integration—and assesses their relationship with youths’ educational performance, namely, grades, grade repetition, and number of suspensions. Results show that there is substantial within-group heterogeneity in family organization among African Americans, and that patterns of organization vary systematically by level of household resources, specifically household income. Results also indicate that the relationship between family structure and family integration and Black adolescents’ educational performance differs by resource level. These factors are generally unrelated to the grades, grade repetition, and number of suspensions of adolescents from low-income households, but they are associated with these outcomes for adolescents from the most economically advantaged households. Irrespective of household income, findings demonstrate that the substantive impact of family organization on Black youths’ educational outcomes is small, which suggests that family organization has a more limited relationship with Black Americans’ life chances than previously theorized.
, Marin R Wenger, Chloe J Craig
Published: 8 September 2021
Abstract:
A substantial body of research focuses on racial disparity in the criminal justice system, with mixed results due to difficulty in disentangling differential offending from racial bias. Additionally, some research has demonstrated that victim characteristics can exacerbate racial disparity in outcomes for offenders, but little research has focused on the arrest stage. We use a quasi-experimental approach that examines incidents involving co-offending pairs to isolate the influence of offender race on arrest, beyond any characteristics of the incident itself, and we test for moderating effects of victim race and sex on racial disparities in arrest. Our findings reveal that, on average, when two offenders of different races commit the same offense together against the same victim, Black offenders are significantly more likely to be arrested than their White co-offending partners, especially for assault offenses. More importantly, this effect—for both assaults and homicides—is particularly strong when the victim is a White woman. Because these differences are between two offenders who commit the same offense together, we argue that the most plausible explanation for the differences is the presence of racial bias or discrimination.
Khoa Phan Howard
Published: 8 September 2021
Abstract:
How is sexual racism maintained in an organization that claims to resist it? This article applies the concept of sexual racism to an organizational case study of a friendship group of gay Asian and white men that aims to uplift Asian men’s erotic capital, but which actually upholds white desirability. Through ethnographic observations and interviews, the author first compares Asian and white men’s unequal positions on the gay sexual hierarchy before joining the group. The author unpacks four dimensions of organizational experience in which sexual racism is reproduced and white desirability is maintained: (1) a group monitoring practice that reproduces interracial stereotypes; (2) the normalized Asian-white pairing norm and the necessity of whiteness in romantic formation; (3) Asians vs. whites’ personal experiences of change in sexual capital that stabilize white desirability while Asians’ desirability increase with a cost; and (4) the reproduction of anti-Blackness in group-level constraints against non-white, non-Asian members. These findings contribute to sociological understandings of the racialization of sexuality and the sexualization of race by showing how an alternative space of desire for minority groups can still manifest sexual racism on individual and organizational levels.
, Hannah J Graham, Natalie L Rudin
Published: 8 September 2021
Abstract:
Through a qualitative case study of an elite, predominantly White, liberal arts college, we find that the unmarked Whiteness of core organizational structures and practices socialized undergraduates to normalize segregation while commodifying diversity. Analysis of publicly available documents (webpages, student newspaper, speeches) and student interviews (n=57) revealed that individuals’ attitudes were filtered through organizational structures. When students spoke about race, they tended to use two scripts: diversity script and/or naturalization of segregation script. Yet these culturally legitimated scripts were decoupled from organizational practices. Even though most students claimed to value diversity for its learning potential, many students believed social segregation was “natural,” and either “opted out” of conversations about race or “opted in” to conversations within homogeneous friend groups to maintain respectability within tightly-knit, well-resourced campus networks. The decoupling of structures, scripts, and behaviors motivated undergraduates of all races to adopt White, elite norms for (not) talking about race, which we dub “civilized diversity discourse.” Drawing on racialized organizations theory, we argue that the unmarked Whiteness of organizational structures—as well as the college’s size and status—shaped students’ scripts and behaviors in ways that ensure the enactment and entrenchment of racial ignorance and structural White supremacy.
Wayne Rivera-Cuadrado
Published: 6 September 2021
Abstract:
This article draws on theories of reputation to analyze community policing’s role in managing perceptions of the police. Drawing on longitudinal interviews and fieldwork that followed the implementation of a community policing program, this article analyzes how officers interpret, manage, and attempt to reconstruct police reputation in their everyday work. I argue that police understand reputation through a lens I call the “faulty reputations paradigm”, an expectation that most negative perceptions about the police are unearned—rooted in hearsay, prejudice, and misunderstandings about policing practices. I contend that the faulty reputations paradigm helps structure reputation management strategies that seek to alter the faulty perceptions community hold of police, alongside competing reputational labor within policing itself. To overcome faulty reputations, community police attempt to cultivate individual reputations through positive encounters with the aim of transforming policing’s institutional repute. The article argues for the central role of reputational conflicts in coproducing policing. Such conflicts emerge from the perceived disconnect between officers’ individual and institutional reputations and help to structure the work of police by legitimating the strategies they deploy.
Yader R Lanuza, Nick Petersen,
Published: 6 September 2021
Abstract:
Although scholars have documented skin tone stratification in punishment and among Hispanics in some domains, no study has examined colorism among Hispanics across multiple stages of the criminal justice process. By linking official court records and mugshot photographs of a sample of 6,523 adults arrested in Miami-Dade County between 2012 and 2015, we examine whether Hispanics are subjected to colorism, and the role of selection in shaping the association between skin color and punishment at sentencing. We find colorism in conviction and incarceration and show that selection processes partly account for some of the association between skin tone and punishment at sentencing. These findings are driven by Hispanics who are categorized as Black. Given the demographic importance of Hispanics to the future of the United States, our investigation suggests that skin stratification will continue to be an important source of inequality in American society.
R Gordon Rinderknecht, Long Doan, Liana C Sayer
Published: 6 September 2021
Abstract:
Although tie strength is a significant theoretical concept in the field, recent work suggests that other dimensions of social ties may be important to consider. We build on this body of work to propose that situational forms of engagement with various interaction partners play a vital role in shaping feelings of loneliness. We anticipate that when engaging in direct forms of engagement (active engagement), the association between different types of social ties and loneliness will be minimal. In contrast, while engaging in less direct forms of engagement (passive engagement), the type of social tie may matter more in reducing loneliness. We test these expectations using original time-diary data capturing daily interactions and momentary feelings of loneliness. Results show that active engagement associates with reduced feelings of loneliness relative to passive engagement. We find that the benefit of active engagement over passive engagement is greatest among acquaintances and family members. We interpret this as indicating that active engagement is beneficial for establishing a sense of connection among some social ties that already exists for other social ties. These findings indicate that how we engage with others and the kinds of people we engage with jointly shape the benefits of social interaction.
Published: 6 September 2021
Abstract:
The term “transgender” (trans) has no singular or fixed meaning; instead, it represents a broad umbrella of non-traditional gender identities. Although the term is useful in the sense of inclusion, outsider recognition, and social activism, individuals and groups under the trans umbrella are not without internal ideological differences and contention about the boundaries of their collective identity. Taking a cyber-ethnographic approach with a transgender forum on the popular website Reddit, I offer insights into the complex membership debates that occur under this broad umbrella. In doing so, I present three distinct identity membership strategies, entitled “unbounded,” “socio-biological,” and “medically-based.” Each identity strategy showcases a mix of social and biological considerations that underlie trans-identity formations while highlighting differences in authenticity claims used within and between each group. My findings show a unique interplay between cultural definitions of trans-identities, lived experiences, and the explicit expulsion of some members in developing and maintaining internal symbolic boundaries of what constitutes a “trans enough” identity. More broadly, I generate new theoretical insights into the intracommunity “policing” strategies, shifting identity politics, and power dynamics that shape and inform interactions within the evolving category of transgender.
Jochem van Noord, Bram Spruyt, Toon Kuppens, Russell Spears
Published: 6 September 2021
Abstract:
Over the past decades, the education system has gradually grown into a central and universal institution of society, the impact of which plays a primary role in economic and social stratification. This stratification, and the way this inequality is legitimated, contains serious moral judgements that favor the higher educated over the less educated. This article focuses on the socio-psychological consequences of living in such “schooled societies” for those who are more or less successful in education. We use three waves of the European Quality of Life survey with data on 65,208 individuals across 36 countries. We investigate (1) the extent to which different educational groups feel dissatisfied about and misrecognized by virtue of their education and (2) whether the centrality of the education system in society broadens the gap between educational groups in their dissatisfaction with education and feelings of misrecognition. Results show that (1) the less educated are more likely to feel misrecognized and dissatisfied with their education than the higher educated, and (2) in countries where education is more central, the education gap in feelings of misrecognition is substantially larger.
Malcolm D Holmes, Matthew A Painter
Published: 6 September 2021
Abstract:
A key question of research on crime control is whether the level of police strength in cities primarily represents citizens’ collective interest in cutting crime, or whites’ interest in exerting control over minority populations in a racially divided society. Minority threat theories maintain that whites and police authorities seek to protect their interests by mobilizing their political power to enhance police strength in cities with relatively large minority populations. Research testing this hypothesis examines the relationships of percent black and percent Hispanic to the strength of police departments. Studies of blacks support minority threat theories, but the limited research on Hispanics does not. We extend research on Hispanics by incorporating nativity and region into an analysis of cities of 100,000 or more population in 2010. Noteworthy findings include complex interactions involving those predictors. Percent native-born Hispanic has a stronger negative relationship with police strength at higher levels of Hispanic-white residential segregation, but only in southwestern cities. Percent black is associated with increased police strength at higher levels of black-white segregation, but only in non-southwestern cities. These findings indicate that nativity, segregation, and regional context may jointly shape the mobilization of coercive crime control, sometimes in unexpected ways.
Jennifer Sherman
Published: 30 August 2021
Abstract:
Based on 84 in-depth interviews and ten months of ethnographic fieldwork, this paper examines the impacts of gentrification and housing shortages in a rural Western U.S. community. In-migration by wealthy outsiders to the high-amenity community has driven up housing costs, privileging newcomers over longtime locals. The paper examines the impacts of social inequality on the community’s most vulnerable residents, exploring the ways in which housing insecurity is reproduced and how formal and informal infrastructures fail to provide adequate housing options for low-income residents. While income is a significant factor in determining an individual or family’s ability to access stable and affordable housing, symbolic resources, including social and moral capital are also found to play significant roles. The paper describes the mechanisms by which these resources come into play, illustrating how a lack of financial, social, and moral capital disadvantages residents in their struggles to procure housing. It finds that in a rural context where in-migration leads to high inequality, socially marginalized rural residents face a distinctive set of challenges and disadvantages that magnify housing instability and deepen exclusion and precariousness.
Jamie L Small
Published: 30 August 2021
Abstract:
The enactment of sexual violence is a key mechanism in the reproduction of masculinity. Yet most previous research examines the victimization of women and girls, even though men and boys do sometimes experience sexual violence. I take the case of sexual bullying on a high school athletic team to investigate the legal construction of teenaged boys’ sexual victimization. I examine the police investigation and subsequent prosecution of five youths who were charged with felonies related to sexual bullying. Data are threefold: 1) audio recordings of police detective interviews with 21 witnesses; 2) in-depth interviews with three attorneys who worked on the case; and 3) media reports about the case. This is an innovative approach because there is little knowledge about the analytical logics of sex crime investigations, as scholarly research often focuses on legal outcomes. Findings show that key actors involved in the case, including many of the boys, were ultimately able to contain the stigmatizing threat of male-male sexual bullying by invoking a discourse of comedy and friendship. This research has theoretical implications for masculinity studies, sociology of law, and scholarship on sexual assault.
Satu Venäläinen
Published: 25 August 2021
Abstract:
The notion of intimate partner violence (IPV) as gender-based has been widely questioned by advocates of antifeminist men’s rights movements, who have claimed that societal disregard for men’s victimization in intimate relations is a central component of discrimination against men in contemporary societies. Similar views have been expressed by researchers as part of a gender-neutral discourse articulated in opposition to feminist, or gender-sensitive, understandings of IPV. To date, the views of helping professionals who work with IPV in terms of men’s victimization have been underexplored. This study traces the discursive process of problem construction concerning gender and IPV in social and crisis workers’ (N=21) talk about men’s victimization through focus group interviews conducted in Finland. The analysis shows that social and crisis workers’ sense-making closely aligns with talk about men’s victimization by men’s rights advocates; they construct and justify men’s victimization in intimate relations as a pressing societal concern in ways that both posit gender-specific normative conceptions as a significant, oppressive context for men victims and simultaneously obscure gendered structural inequalities by advocating gender-neutral understandings and solutions for IPV. The analysis highlights challenges in attending to IPV with a gender-sensitive approach in the context of widespread politicization of men’s victimization.
Brandon Folse
Published: 25 August 2021
Abstract:
The increasing acceptance of dual citizenship globally and the rise of new strategies to acquire “external” citizenship have led to a shift from studying citizenship in the confines of single nation-states to perceiving it as existing in a global hierarchy of “citizenship constellations.” Much of this literature, however, focuses on nations which permit dual citizenship and do not have internal citizenship hierarchies. This article adds to that literature by considering one such external citizenship acquisition method—popularly referred to as “birth tourism.” Based on 23 in-depth interviews and a textual analysis of an online social media group for returnees, I argue that Chinese families use the “external passport” (U.S. citizenship) within the logics of China’s “internal passport” hierarchy (the hukou) to create a unique “citizenship constellation.” U.S. citizenship—understood as the “American hukou”—is more valuable within China’s borders than beyond, as it helps navigate national fertility and education policies. However, maintaining U.S. citizenship in China requires extra labor for parents, particularly mothers. Yet these efforts are still worth it because the acquisition of global citizenship via birth tourism permits families to reap the benefits of global citizenship without damaging their social status, economic security, and family structures.
Danielle Falzon
Published: 20 August 2021
Abstract:
In the UN climate negotiations, national delegations cannot contribute equally. Scholars have shown that “developed” countries exert greater influence than “developing” nations. This study examines how these inequalities between delegations materialize under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Drawing on 30 interviews and over 200 hours of observation at five UNFCCC meetings, I ask (1) how are institutional structures in the UNFCCC aligned with normative ideals of national development; (2) how do these ideals impact the experiences of national delegations and their negotiators; and (3) what does this reveal about institutional inequality and privilege in this context? Building on institutional and organizational studies of work and literature on Developmental Ideals, I identify four characteristics of an ideal delegation to the UNFCCC that are based in norms of national development and privileged by the structures of the institution: they are large, English-speaking, equipped with Western scientific and legal expertise, and have the ability to send the same negotiators year after year. I demonstrate how non-normative countries that cannot send an ideal delegation find that the institutional structures prohibit them from engaging effectively. Ultimately, they must develop coping mechanisms to creatively compensate for their systemic disadvantages.
Published: 18 August 2021
Abstract:
Scholars cite right-wing authoritarian and business-elite influences in their explanations of populist mobilization against climate reforms. The Yellow Vest movement in France, initially sparked by opposition to a carbon tax, defies the generalizations offered by scholars, the media, and politicians alike. This populist movement emerged from below rather than from elite sponsorship and was motivated by social justice concerns. Through in-depth interviews with 31 Yellow Vest activists as well as supplementary primary texts and data, I uncover how the activists frame carbon taxation and climate change within their political struggle. The findings are four-fold: 1) the Yellow Vests are concerned about global climate change and feel their anti-climate depictions in the media are rooted in a government strategy to divide and discredit the movement; 2) they view the government’s taxing them in order to fight climate change as corrupt and unfair; 3) they argue that the carbon tax is additionally unjust due to their precarity, which has increased over several decades; 4) they want to fight climate change on their own terms and argue for more direct forms of democracy to equalize decision making. I conclude with a framework for understanding how and why popular movements oppose climate reforms.
Sarah Larissa Combellick
Published: 17 August 2021
Abstract:
Two competing activist narratives dominate public conversation around the morality of abortion, yet little empirical research examines how women talk about the morality of their own abortion experiences. Drawing on a qualitative analysis of 156 accounts from an abortion storytelling website, I find that traditional pro-choice moral arguments invoking privacy and bodily autonomy were apparent but not dominant in women’s accounts. Three other frames emerged as ways to confront the problem of abortion as a morally controversial action: “abortion as morally unremarkable,” “abortion as morally problematic, but justified,” and “abortion as morally desirable.” These frameworks varied in the degrees to which they aligned with politically acceptable abortion narratives. Throughout these frameworks were a number of overlapping themes, including motherhood, responsibility, and religion. Drawing on theories of morality work and moral accounts, I posit that subjects are able to hold a “tension of opposites” while still maintaining cohesive narratives and presenting positive moral identities. For example, many women assigned their fetus a moral status as a life or potential life, yet ultimately felt other factors outweighed the obligation to sustain that life. I argue that this tension is a significant feature of morality work that warrants more attention.
Danya E Keene, Alana Rosenberg, Penelope Schlesinger, Shannon Whittaker, Linda Niccolai, Kim M Blankenship
Published: 17 August 2021
Abstract:
In 2016, only one in five eligible U.S. households received rental assistance and waiting lists averaged two years nationally. The gap between available rental assistance and need requires systems to allocate this scarce resource. The way potential rental assistance recipients experience and navigate these systems is likely to shape who ultimately receives assistance. We draw on repeated qualitative interviews (N=238) with low-income New Haven residents (N=54) to examine how participants understand and navigate rental assistance applications and waiting lists. Participants encountered multiple challenges in their search for rental assistance. They described an opaque and complex application and waiting process requiring significant knowledge to navigate. They also described considerable labor associated with monitoring waiting lists, a challenge made more difficult for some by their lack of a stable address. Additionally, participants described significant labor and knowledge required to strategically navigate prioritization systems that often required them to advocate for their deservingness of scarce housing resources. Our findings suggest that the allocation of rental assistance through complex processes that depend on applicant knowledge, labor, and advocacy may create barriers to housing, particularly for more vulnerable and marginalized housing seekers.
Published: 17 August 2021
Abstract:
This study examines the effects of gentrification on exclusionary punishment in urban schools across the United States. Integrating longitudinal data from the National Center for Education Statistics, the Civil Rights Data Collection, the U.S. Census, and the American Community Survey, this study estimates the effects of gentrification on suspensions, expulsions, law enforcement referrals, and school arrests through a series of negative binomial regression models. Results indicate that gentrification does not have broad or striking influences on school disciplinary environments overall, but it does promote modest increases in out-of-school suspensions as well as racial disparities in suspensions. Little evidence is found that effects vary by sex, grade level, or school racial composition. A battery of sensitivity analyses suggests that overall findings are generally robust to the presence of unobserved confounding and are broadly consistent across alternative model specifications and different measures of gentrification.
Shira Offer, Danny Kaplan
Published: 3 August 2021
Social Problems, Volume 68, pp 986-1009; https://doi.org/10.1093/socpro/spab015

Abstract:
Current research demonstrates a gap between widely shared ideals of new fatherhood and men’s limited participation in childcare. Previous studies treat gender attitudes primarily in terms of work and family roles. In contrast, this study centers on perceptions of masculinity as a broader cultural-ideological construct. Specifically, it focuses on “new masculinity ideology,” a previously unexplored masculinity perspective associated with values such as authenticity, emotional expressivity, and holistic self-awareness. Using a sample of around 1,400 employed fathers in the United States drawn from the AmeriSpeak Panel conducted by the National Opinion Research Center, we examined how identification with new masculinity relates to gender role attitudes and three childcare involvement outcomes. Results from moderation analyses based on the computation of simple slopes show that new masculinity played an important role in emotional engagement and parental responsibility but not in routine care. New masculinity moderated the association between father involvement attitudes and childcare outcomes, suggesting that fathers who endorse this ideology are more likely to act in ways that are congruent with their inner beliefs. The breadwinning role appeared to remain important. This study highlights the ways in which the often confounded images of the “new man” and “new father” are conceptually distinct.
Sadé L Lindsay, Mike Vuolo
Published: 3 August 2021
Social Problems, Volume 68, pp 942-963; https://doi.org/10.1093/socpro/spab027

Abstract:
Drug policy has shifted from intense criminalization toward reforms that prioritize decarceration and treatment. Despite this shift, little is known about whether support for recent treatment-oriented drug policy is equitable by users’ race and the drug type. Using the opiate and crack cocaine crises as cases, we analyze 400 articles from the New York Times and Washington Post to assess the degree to which the two crises were racialized, criminalized, and medicalized. We find that media coverage medicalized and humanized White people who use opiates, while coverage of crack cocaine focused on criminalization, vilifying Black people who use drugs. We then conduct two vignette experiments (N=308; N=630) to examine whether these racialized frames shape public support for treatment or criminalization. We find the public more likely to support criminalization for Black people, while supporting drug treatment for White people. Respondents are more likely to support drug treatment for heroin use than for crack cocaine. Our findings suggest that support for medicalized approaches to drug use is more likely to occur for White people and drugs linked to White people, while Black people and drugs associated with Black people continue to be perceived as largely amenable to punitive options.
Melissa Barragan
Abstract:
Drawing upon 140 interviews with individuals detained on gun-related charges, this article examines how participants’ experiences with gun-related policing and punishment shaped their beliefs and behaviors surrounding guns and gun violence. Findings suggest that respondents characterized many of their gun-related experiences as unjust. They argue that their policing encounters reinforced discriminatory practices and stereotypes, undermining a key feature of procedural and distributive justice – impartiality. Respondents’ experiences with police harassment and neglect attenuated their willingness to seek out and cooperate with the police by communicating that the law was not designed to serve marginalized groups, who often are treated as suspects first and victims second. By contrast, gang enhancements were key in shaping respondents’ perceptions of unjust punishment, as these severe penalties also revealed inequities by race/ethnicity, class, and other social characteristics. The legitimacy erosion and sense of failed protection by the state produced by these encounters ultimately helped to create a context whereby illegal gun carry was positioned as a necessary strategy. Findings from this study extend existing scholarship on justice perceptions by demonstrating how specific policing, punishment, and criminalization processes can damage the law’s legitimacy and inadvertently encourage the violence that the law was designed to deter.
, Pablo Lapegna
Abstract:
It is widely accepted that economic indicators like efficiency, productivity, and profitability are key to explaining why some businesses survive and others do not. Yet not all work organizations ascribe to capitalist assumptions about ownership, authority, and even what constitutes success itself. Worker-recuperated businesses (WRBs) in Argentina—organizations closed by their private owners, occupied by their workers, and restarted as worker cooperatives—offer one such example. While research has documented the operational and financial challenges these businesses confront, we know little about why some survive and others do not. This article draws on qualitative and historical research in two WRBs in Buenos Aires: one that survived (Hotel Bauen) and one that closed (FORJA San Martín). Comparing the organizations’ trajectories, we argue that labor process, geographic location, and political networks are key to understanding their survival. We find that different types of labor in industrial and service workplaces in conjunction with their geographic locations impacted efforts to develop networks with political actors, consumers, and social movements that provided legitimacy and resources to enable their continuity over time. The article discusses the contributions of these findings to theories of organizations and the implications for studying alternative work organizations.
Abstract:
How does access to property shape children’s experiences of institutions? Can access to property in preschool counter class inequality? Using two years of ethnographic data from a preschool serving middle-class, white children and a preschool serving poor children of color, I explore how access to and control over objects such as toys shapes children’s school experiences. I found that preschools created different experiences of property: precarious property and protected property. Poor children of color experienced precarious property: personal objects were forbidden at school due to the risk of theft or loss. Teachers’ loose supervision meant that children sometimes had classroom toys taken by peers. In contrast, middle-class, white children experienced protected property; teachers’ rules encouraged children to bring some personal property, which was kept safe at school. Teachers’ close supervision also allowed children to securely enjoy classroom toys. These property rules meant that white, middle-class preschoolers could assert individuality and control through property. Meanwhile, poor preschoolers of color had limited school-sponsored opportunities to assert individuality through personal property. I argue that property rules at preschool can reproduce class inequality.
, Joan H Robinson, Keridwyn Spiller, Amanda Gomez
Abstract:
How does the victimization of women’s bodies in medical interactions contribute to their experience of gendered violence? We answer this question by joining sexual assault and birth trauma literatures with the medical sociology conversation on the power of hospitals as organizations and the hierarchy of the doctor-patient relationship to analyze the interviews of 101 women who identify as having experienced a coerced, pressured, or forced labor or birth procedure. We find some respondents analogize their experiences to that of someone who has been sexually assaulted, and they and other respondents describe the aftermath effects in ways similar to those who have been victims of sexual assault. Our research demonstrates that clinicians and hospitals are harming patients, often through the normal application of established hospital protocols and behaviors, when women do not feel involved in decisions about their care.
Ladin Bayurgil
Abstract:
Considering contemporary urban contexts, where housing precarity is an eminent problem for the urban working poor, this research asks how those employed as doorkeepers navigate everyday experiences of double precarity, i.e., the risk of being simultaneously fired and evicted. Doorkeepers in Istanbul are minimum-wage workers and internal migrants. Yet, unlike other low-wage employees, they live rent-free in basement apartments in return for serving their neighbors who are also their employers. Through the earthquake risk-driven urban transformation that necessitates demolition and reconstruction of more than 2,000 multi-unit buildings in Istanbul’s upper-middle income neighborhoods, doorkeepers are replaced with informal laborers or privatized outsourced services, and hence experience simultaneous job loss and involuntary displacement. Employing an ethnographic examination of these workers and their precarity management strategies, this research suggests that studying experiences of intersecting employment and housing market precarities allows us to extend our understanding of precarity beyond the labor market. More specifically, this research suggests that precarious labor processes are integral to housing precarity and should be studied in relation to both housing and shifting urban policies.
Michael Evangelist
Abstract:
In the United States, survey research and qualitative studies consistently find that people of color—and Blacks in particular—report substantially lower levels of trust than do whites. These racial differences in trust pervade a range of social contexts, from interpersonal relationships with friends, family, and neighbors to interactions with the health care and criminal justice systems. Scholars often attribute racial differences in trust to historical and contemporary forms of discrimination, yet few studies have assessed the relationship among race, discrimination, and trust in the context of the United States. Using the Chicago Community Adult Health Study, I examine how the experience of discrimination relates to generalized trust, trust in neighbors, and trust in community police. Findings reveal that personal experience with discrimination contributes modestly to racial differences in trust. In fact, the negative association between discrimination and generalized trust appears strongest for whites. These findings suggest that understanding distrust requires a richer conceptual framework that moves beyond personal experience with discrimination. I argue that the theory of systemic racism provides a framework for understanding distrust as a consequence of countervailing efforts to uphold and contest the racial hierarchy.
Burrel Vann
Social Problems, Volume 68, pp 809-830; https://doi.org/10.1093/socpro/spab023

Abstract:
What drives polarized voting in Congress? This article develops a persuasive action model which argues that polarization in Congress depends on the assertive capacities of social movements, the vulnerability of political officials, and the partisanship of the environments they represent. Using multilevel analyses, I demonstrate that endorsements by the Tea Party movement influenced an increase in extreme (conservative) voting among legislators in the 112th Congress. These effects are strongest for vulnerable, freshman legislators representing amenable Republican contexts.
Paul Almeida, Eugenio Sosa, Allen Cordero Ulate, Ricardo Argueta
Social Problems, Volume 68, pp 831-851; https://doi.org/10.1093/socpro/spab012

Abstract:
The paper examines the individual-level building blocks of getting out the vote (GOTV) for electoral parties that represent subaltern sectors in resource scarce environments. Drawing on theories of protest waves, social movement fields, and threat-induced collective action, we examine the likelihood of campaigning in left party electoral mobilization and party identification. The study implements a modified version of the Caught in the Act of Protest: Contextualizing Contestation (CCC) survey protocol and respondent selection design. We use a sympathy pool sample of over 1,200 May Day participants in Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Honduras to explain the micro-foundations of electoral proselytizing of political parties advocating for disadvantaged populations. We found that involvement in left party electoral campaigning was largely driven by resources deposited during anti-neoliberal protest waves, including prior movement-type protest, civic organizational activity, and economic threat perceptions. Campaigning for the anti-neoliberal party was also associated with a higher level of post-election party identification. The findings suggest that left parties may at times partially overcome economic and political resource deficits by mobilizing individuals deeply embedded in the social movement field.
Deadric T Williams, Regina S Baker
Social Problems, Volume 68, pp 964-985; https://doi.org/10.1093/socpro/spab018

Abstract:
Family structure remains a dominant explanation for understanding racial inequality in poverty. Yet, empirical studies show family structure does not fully account for this association. We present racial stratification as an alternative perspective emphasizing the social construction of race and how race contributes to the unequal distribution of resources. To illustrate the link between racial stratification and poverty, we rely on risk research and conceptualize risk in terms of prevalences (the percentage of people with risks) and penalties (the probability of poverty associated with risks). We assess whether family structure and risks intersect by racialized groups, and if so, whether the penalties for risks among Black and Latinx mothers, relative to white mothers, converge (i.e., smaller gap in penalties) or diverge (i.e., larger gap in penalties). Using panel data, our results revealed Black mothers had higher risk prevalence than both Latinx and white mothers. Moreover, a dramatic divergence in the penalties for risks emerged between racialized groups whereby Black and Latinx mothers experience greater disadvantage from risks than white mothers, regardless of family structure. We conclude family structure is not only an oversimplified explanation but also contributes to obscuring structural and systemic sources of racial inequality in poverty.
Liora O’Donnell Goldensher
Abstract:
What happens when people not only talk to one another but collaborate closely and form strong relationships in conditions of political heterogeneity? This article analyzes data from ethnographic research in seven states with homebirth midwives who, reflecting the “strange coalition” of feminists and traditionalists that analysts have long described in this community, self-identify with a wide range of partisan political affiliations and with divergent positions on the key issue of professional midwifery licensure. Results show that this community’s use of a shared model of care as a boundary object to facilitate collaboration without consensus relies upon a focus on sameness and a bracketing of the ideological commitments that undergird practitioners’ investment in the model of care. When difference is directly engaged, collaboration across political difference becomes difficult to sustain. I argue that bridging ideological divides using boundary objects is politically costly. Collaborative relationships and coalitions are made precarious and risk depoliticizing shared concerns when they are bound by a weakly structured, network-level object whose use demands the allocation of attention to sameness and the bracketing of difference and political disagreement.
Stefaan Walgrave, Ruud Wouters
Abstract:
Social movement scholars have frequently pointed to individuals’ personal networks to explain protest participation. While the recruitment function of micro networks has been explored in depth, the support effect of networks has received only scant attention. The study explores how and to what extent social support and social constraints in people’s personal networks explain differential protest participation. Three dimensions of support are distinguished: the politicization of a person’s network, the political agreement about the protest topic within a person’s network, and the social approval of protest participation within a person’s network. Drawing on panel survey data (N=1,684) of a large protest in Belgium including both participants and non-participants, we test whether the support effects of networks play a role on top of the recruitment effect. We find evidence that two functions of social networks (politicization and social approval) affect protest participation. Additionally, we find differences in support-effects across types of social ties. Co-members of an organization exert influence on protest participation across a variety of support functions. The most intimate ties prospective participants have (partners), in contrast, matter only in so far as they approve of participation.
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