Sunday, December 23, 2012

Crime & Delinquency 59(1)

Crime & Delinquency, February 2013: Volume 59, Issue 1

The Dangerous Drug Offender in Federal Court: Intersections of Race, Ethnicity, and Culpability
Cassia Spohn and Lisa L. Sample
This study examines the complex relationships among stereotypes about crime, the offender’s race/ethnicity, and sentencing decisions. Using data on White, Black, and Hispanic male drug offenders sentenced in three U.S. district courts and a definition of the dangerous drug offender appropriate to the federal sentence system, the authors explore the degree to which stereotypes about dangerous drug offenders influence sentence length. The results reveal that fitting the stereotype of a dangerous federal drug offender (i.e., a male drug trafficker with a prior trafficking conviction who used a weapon to commit the current offense) affected the length of the prison sentence for Black offenders but not for White or Hispanic offenders. Further analysis revealed that this effect was confined to Black offenders convicted of drug offenses involving crack cocaine. The results provide further evidence that the focal concerns guiding judicial decision making may vary depending on the offender’s race or ethnicity.

The Institutionalization of Racial Profiling Policy: An Examination of Antiprofiling Policy Adoption Among Large Law Enforcement Agencies
Kirk Miller
The issue of racial profiling has come to represent one of the key contemporary challenges facing law enforcement agencies in the United States. One way that agencies have responded to this issue is to adopt anti-profiling policies to address concerns about racial disparities in traffic stops and their outcomes. Policy adoption is assumed to encourage more racially equitable policing as well as enhance community relations. While both of these outcomes appear beneficial to law enforcement agencies, there is also good reason to expect that agencies may differ in the extent to which they are likely to implement such policy. This study explores what factors explain the adoption of protocols addressing the racial profiling phenomenon. Using data on large law enforcement agencies from the 2003 LEMAS survey, the findings reveal that both agency organizational characteristics and environmental features of the jurisdiction are associated with the agency’s profiling policy regime.

An Examination of the Interactions of Race and Gender on Sentencing Decisions Using a Trichotomous Dependent Variable
Tina L. Freiburger and Carly M. Hilinski
This study examined how race, gender, and age interact to affect defendants’ sentences using a trichotomized dependent variable. The findings indicate that the racial and gender disparity found in sentencing decisions was largely due to Black men’s increased likelihood of receiving jail as opposed to probation. The results also show that being young resulted in increased odds of receiving probation over jail for White men and for women but resulted in decreased odds for Black men. Separate analysis of incarceration terms to jail and prison further reveal that legal factors had a greater impact on prison than on jail sentence length. Overall, the results strongly support the argument that sentencing research needs to consider sentences to jail and prison separately.

Assessing the Differential Effects of Race and Ethnicity on Sentence Outcomes Under Different Sentencing Systems
Xia Wang, Daniel P. Mears, Cassia Spohn, and Lisa Dario
Although many states have adopted sentencing guidelines, questions remain about whether guidelines achieve one of their primary goals—reducing disparities that arise from such extralegal factors as race and ethnicity. To date, research has not taken a cross-state approach to testing for racial or ethnic disparity in sentences imposed in guideline and nonguideline states or to examining whether less disparity exists in states with voluntary or presumptive guidelines. To address this research gap and inform sentencing scholarship, data from the State Court Processing Statistics program are used to determine whether offenders’ race or ethnicity affects incarceration and sentence length decisions in jurisdictions with different types of sentencing systems. Implications of the findings for theory, research, and policy are discussed.

Disproportionate Minority Confinement of Juveniles: A National Examination of Black–White Disparity in Placements, 1997-2006
Jaya Davis and Jon R. Sorensen
Beginning in fiscal year 1994, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention included, as a requirement for a state to receive Federal Formula Grants, the determination of whether disproportionate minority confinement existed in its juvenile justice system, the identification of its causes, and the development and implementation of corrective strategies. The current study examined the extent to which U.S. juvenile justice systems have been successful in reducing disproportionate minority confinement—specifically, disproportionate African American incarceration—since the implementation of the office’s initiative. The findings suggest that, on average, there has been a reduction of nearly one fifth in the disproportionate Black:White ratio of juvenile placements, controlling for the groups’ rate of arrests during the past decade

Neighborhood Disadvantage and Verbal Ability as Explanations of the Black–White Difference in Adolescent Violence: Toward an Integrated Model
Thomas L. McNulty, Paul E. Bellair, and Stephen J. Watts
This article develops a multilevel model that integrates individual difference and sociological explanations of the Black–White difference in adolescent violence. Our basic premise is that low verbal ability is a criminogenic risk factor that is in part an outcome of exposure to neighborhood and family disadvantages. Analysis of the 1997 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth reveals that verbal ability has direct and indirect effects (through school achievement) on violence, provides a partial explanation for the racial disparity, and mediates the effect of socioeconomic disadvantage at the neighborhood level. Results support the view that neighborhood and family disadvantages have repercussions for the acquisition of verbal ability, which, in turn, serves as a protective factor against violence. We conclude that explanation of the race difference is best conceived as originating from the segregation of Blacks in disadvantaged contexts.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Law & Society Review 46(4)

Law & Society Review, December 2012: Volume 46, Issue 4

Black Hole of Responsibility: The Adjudication Committee's Role in a Chinese Court
Xin He
How courts and judges in authoritarian regimes decide cases behind closed doors has rarely been studied, but it is critically important in comparative judicial studies. Primarily drawing on the minutes of the adjudication committee in a lower court in China, this article explores its operational patterns and decision-making process. The data suggest that among the criminal cases reviewed by the committee, very few were difficult or significant, but a relatively high percentage of the suggested opinions of the adjudicating judges was modified. In contrast, many civil cases reviewed were difficult to resolve but the committee offered little assistance. Overall the operation and decision-making of the committee were subsumed by the administrative ranking system inside the court and the authority of the court president was enormous. The analysis also demonstrates the limited role of the committee in both promoting legal consistency and resisting external influences. Instead of achieving its declared goals, the committee has degenerated into a device for both individual judges and committee members to shelter responsibility. The findings compel researchers to reevaluate the role of the adjudication committee in Chinese courts, and the relationship between judges and authoritarian regimes.

Pragmatic Resistance, Law, and Social Movements in Authoritarian States: The Case of Gay Collective Action in Singapore
Lynette J. Chua
This article draws from a qualitative study of Singapore's gay movement to analyze how gay organizing occurs in authoritarian states, and where and how law matters. Singapore's gay activists engage in “strategic adaptation” to deploy a strategy of pragmatic resistance that involves an interplay among legal restrictions and cultural norms. Balancing the movement's survival with its advancement, they shun direct confrontation, and avoid being seen as a threat to the existing political order. As legal restrictions and as a source of legitimacy, law correspondingly oppresses sexual conduct and civil-political liberties, and culturally delegitimizes dissent. However, when activists mount pragmatic resistance at and through law, it also matters as a source of contestation. Further, law matters as a trade-off between reifying the existing order in exchange for survival and immediate gains. Yet, by treating law as purely tactical, these activists arguably end up de-centering law, being pragmatically unconcerned with whether they are ideologically challenging or being co-opted by it.

Replacing and Amending Constitutions: The Logic of Constitutional Change in Latin America
Gabriel L. Negretto
Since 1978, all countries in Latin America have either replaced or amended their constitutions. What explains the choice between these two substantively different means of constitutional transformation? This article argues that constitutions are replaced when they fail to work as governance structures or when their design prevents competing political interests from accommodating to changing environments. According to this perspective, constitutions are likely to be replaced when constitutional crises are frequent, when political actors lack the capacity to implement changes by means of amendments or judicial interpretation, or when the constitutional regime has a power-concentrating design. It is further argued that the frequency of amendments depends both on the length and detail of the constitution and on the interaction between the rigidity of the amendment procedure and the fragmentation of the party system. The article provides statistical evidence to support these arguments and discusses the normative implications of the analysis.

Translating Human Rights of the “Enemy”: The Case of Israeli NGOs Defending Palestinian Rights
Daphna Golan and Zvika Orr
This article explores the practices, discourses and dilemmas of the Israeli human rights NGOs that are working to protect and promote the human rights of Palestinians in the Occupied Territories. This case can shed light on the complex process of “triangular translation” of human rights, which is distinct from other forms of human rights localization studied thus far. In this process, human rights NGOs translate international human rights norms on the one hand, and the suffering of the victims on the other, into the conceptions and legal language commonly employed by the state that violates these rights. We analyze the dialectics of change and reproduction embedded in the efforts of Israeli activists to defend Palestinian human rights while at the same time depoliticizing their work and adopting discriminatory premises and conceptions hegemonic in Israeli society. The recent and alarming legislative proposals in Israel aimed at curtailing the work of human rights NGOs reinforce the need to reconsider the role of human rights NGOs in society, including their depoliticized strategies, their use of legal language and their relations with the diminishing peace movement.

The Unintended Consequences of Penal Reform: A Case Study of Penal Transportation in Eighteenth-Century London
Ashley T. Rubin
What were the consequences of penal transportation to the New World for eighteenth-century British criminal justice? Transportation has been described by scholars as either a replacement of the death penalty responsible for its decline, or a penal innovation responsible for punishing a multitude of people more severely than they would have been punished before. Using data from the Old Bailey Sessions Papers and the Parliamentary Papers, this study examines sentencing and execution trends in eighteenth-century London. It takes advantage of the natural experiment provided by the passage of the 1718 Transportation Act that made transportation available as a penal sentence, thus enabling one to assess the “effect” of transportation on penal trends. This study finds that the primary consequence of the adoption of transportation was to make the criminal justice net more dense by subjecting people to a more intense punishment. While it was also associated with a small decline in capital sentences for some types of offenders, the adoption of transportation was also associated with an increase in the rate at which condemned inmates were executed. The study closes with a discussion of the conditions that may lead to law's unintended consequences, including the mesh-thinning consequences observed here.

Performing Regulation: Transcending Regulatory Ritualism in HIV Clinics
Carol A. Heimer and J. Lynn Gazley
Sociolegal scholars suggest that regulatory encounters often are occasions for displaying a surface compliance decoupled from day-to-day practice. Yet ethnographic data from five highly regulated HIV clinics show that regulatory encounters open opportunities both for ritualism and—surprisingly—for transcending ritualism. Using a theatrical analogy, we argue that improv performance is the technology that enables regulatory inspectors and clinic staff to transcend ritualism. As regulatory encounters unfold, clinics' carefully prepared performances sometimes change into more cooperative interactions where inspectors and regulatees hash out details about how rules will be applied and even work together on reports for the regulators' supervisors. By “performing together,” regulatory inspectors gain access to the clinic's backstage where they can assess clinic workers' deeper conformity to ethical and scientific norms. But such joint performances are less likely where cultural divides and material scarcity make it difficult for clinic staff to gain inspectors' trust.

Executive Branch Socialization and Deference on the U.S. Supreme Court
Rob Robinson
Are Supreme Court justices with prior experience in the executive branch more likely to defer to the president in separation of powers cases? While previous research has suggested that such background may signal judicial policy preferences but does not shape them, I argue here that institutional socialization may indeed increase future judicial deference to the president. Using an original data set of executive power cases decided between 1942 and 2007, I model justice-votes to test this hypothesis. I uncover three noteworthy findings: (1) a clear correlation between prior executive branch experience and support for the executive branch, (2) the degree of this support intensifies as executive branch tenure increases, a finding congruent with a socialization hypothesis, and (3) contrary to received wisdom, executive powers cases possess a clear ideological dimension, in line with the expectations of the attitudinal model.

Social Psychology Quarterly 75(4)

Social Psychology Quarterly, December 2012: Volume 75, Issue 4

Special Issue of Social Psychology Quarterly: “Social Psychology and Culture: Advancing Connections”

SPQ Retraction Statement

Identity Crises in Love and at Work: Dispositional Optimism as a Durable Personal Resource
Matthew A. Andersson

Stigma and Status: The Interrelation of Two Theoretical Perspectives
Jeffrey W. Lucas and Jo C. Phelan

Too Much of a Good Thing? Psychosocial Resources, Gendered Racism, and Suicidal Ideation among Low Socioeconomic Status African American Women
Brea L. Perry, Erin L. Pullen, and Carrie B. Oser

Role-Identity Salience, Purpose and Meaning in Life, and Well-Being among Volunteers
Peggy A. Thoits

Social Forces 91(2)

Social Forces, December 2012: Volume 91, Number 2


Shifting Social Contracts and the Sociological Imagination
Beth A. Rubin
My basic argument is that thinking about social contracts, what they are and how they have changed is a powerful way to understand society and social change at multiple levels of analysis and in multiple contexts. This article has five main sections as follows. I first discuss different conceptions of social contracts. Second, I discuss some of the factors that changed social contracts in the United States and focus on four aspects of those changes. The third section turns to some research on generational differences to illustrate shifting social contracts. The fourth section provides some examples of shifting social contracts across a number of institutions, and the fifth section concludes with some thoughts about possibilities for sociology and society. The purpose of this article is to generate interest in using this theoretical approach to a wide range of areas in sociology. I begin with conceptions of the social contract.

Social Structure and Personality during the Transformation of Urban China: A Comparison to Transitional Poland and Ukraine
Melvin L. Kohn, Weidong Wang, Yin Yue
This article compares the relationships of social structure and personality of urban China during “privatization” to those of urban Poland and Ukraine during their transitions from socialism to nascent capitalism. These relationships are similar in pattern and nearly as strong in magnitude for China as for Poland, and stronger than for Ukraine. China differs from Poland and Ukraine, though, in that the job conditions that facilitate or restrict occupational self-direction, particularly the substantive complexity of work, do not explain nearly as large a portion of the relationships of class and stratification with personality for employed Chinese as for employed Poles and Ukrainians. This results from the unique situation of those self-employed rural migrants to urban China who are officially registered as having a rural residence.

Depleting Capital?: Race, Wealth and Informal Financial Assistance
Rourke L. O’Brien
Recent work suggests that part of the racial gap in wealth is explained by racial differences in network poverty. In this article, data from the 2007 Survey of Consumer Finances and the 2005 and 2007 Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) are used to demonstrate that middle- and upper-income blacks are more likely to provide informal financial assistance than their white counterparts. Further, a lagged model using the PSID finds that this difference in financial assistance can account for part of the racial gap in wealth. An empirically useful definition of negative social capital is developed to illustrate how obligations of group membership can have stratifying consequences for individuals.

Status Configurations, Military Service and Higher Education
Lin Wang, Glen H. Elder Jr., Naomi J. Spence
The U.S. Armed Forces offer educational and training benefits as incentives for service. This study investigates the influence of status configurations on military enlistment and their link to greater educational opportunity. Three statuses (socio economic status of origin, cognitive ability and academic performance) have particular relevance for life course options. We hypothesize that young men with inconsistent statuses are more likely to enlist than men with consistent status profiles, and that military service improves access to college for certain configurations. Analyses of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) show (1. that several status configurations markedly increased the likelihood of military enlistment and (2. within status configurations, recruits were generally more likely to enroll in higher education than nonveterans, with associate degrees being more likely.


Occupational Linguistic Niches and the Wage Growth of Latino Immigrants
Ted Mouw, Sergio Chavez
Does the concentration of recent Latino immigrants into occupational linguistic niches—occupations with large numbers of other Spanish speakers—restrict their wage growth? On the one hand, it is possible that Latino immigrants who are concentrated in jobs with large numbers of Spanish speakers may have less onthe-job exposure to English, which may isolate them socially and linguistically and limit their subsequent economic mobility. On the other hand, working in linguistic niches can also be beneficial for upwardly mobile immigrants if it allows them to gain a foothold in the United States while they improve their English skills and develop labor market experience. Using data from the 1996, 2001 and 2004 panels of the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), we test for the effect of working in occupational linguistic niches on wages and wage growth. The results show that while workers in linguistic niche occupations earn lower wages on average, they do not experience lower rates of wage growth over time. Moreover, we find that about 20 percent of workers who start the 4-year SIPP panel in linguistic niches experience occupational mobility that reduces the percentage of workers speaking Spanish in their occupation by over 10 percent over the course of the study, and these “movers” have higher levels of wage growth than other workers in the sample.

The Educational Gradient in Intermarriage: A Comparative Analysis of Immigrant Groups in the United States
Matthijs Kalmijn
A common claim in the literature is that higher-educated persons are more likely to marry outside their ethnic/racial group than lower-educated persons. We reexamine this “educational gradient” with a multilevel analysis of 46 immigrant groups in the Current Population Survey. We find that there are positive effects not only of individual education on intermarriage but also of the educational level of a group. Moreover, the educational gradient declines when the aggregate level of education of an immigrant group is higher. The aggregate effect of education points to cultural explanations of the gradient that emphasize the role of interethnic attitudes. The interaction effect points to a structural explanation that explains the gradient in terms of opportunities of finding similarly educated spouses within the group.

School Stratification in New and Established Latino Destinations
Molly Dondero, Chandra Muller
The growth and geographic diversification of the school-age Latino population suggest that schools in areas that previously had very few Latinos now serve many of these students. This study uses the 1999–2000 Schools and Staffing Survey and the Education Longitudinal Study of 2002 to compare public high schools in new and established Latino destinations. We examine school composition, school quality indicators, instructional resources and access to advanced math courses. We find that schools in new destinations display more favorable educational contexts according to a number of measures, but offer fewer linguistic support services than schools in established destinations. We also find evidence of a within-school Latino-white gap in advanced math course taking in new destinations, suggesting greater educational stratification within schools in those areas.

Delayed Special Education Placement for Learning Disabilities among Children of Immigrants
Jacob Hibel, Andrea D. Jasper
Prior theory and research suggest that children of immigrants would be at especially high risk for special education placement with learning disabilities. However, their longitudinal special education placement patterns have received scant attention. This study examines temporal patterns of special education placement among children of immigrants, focusing on the timing of special education placement for learning disabilities among first- or second-generation children compared with their third-plus generation peers. Results provide evidence that children of immigrants face comparatively lower odds of receiving early special education intervention services, but demonstrate an increasing risk as the school years progress. This relationship is explained by children of immigrants’ frequent participation in English as a second language programs in the early grades.


Does Critical Mass Matter?: Women’s Political Representation and Child Health in Developing Countries
Liam Swiss, Kathleen M. Fallon, Giovani Burgos
Studies on developed countries demonstrate that an increase in women legislators leads to a prioritization in health, an increase in social policy spending, and a decrease in poverty. Women representatives could therefore improve development trajectories in developing countries; yet, currently, no cross-national and longitudinal studies explore this possibility. Using random effects panel regression, we examine the influence of women’s representation on child health (one development indicator) across 102 developing countries from 1980 to 2005. Compared to countries with no women in parliament, countries meeting a 20-percent threshold experience increased rates of measles immunizations (10 percentage points), DPT immunizations (12 percentage points), infant survival (0.7 percentage points) and child survival (1 percentage point). Incremental increases in women’s representation show that child health improves most in socially and economically disadvantaged countries, and in countries less integrated in the world polity. Our findings reveal the importance of increased women’s representation, particularly in less developed and less globally embedded countries.

The Role of the State in the Repression and Revival of Religiosity in Central Eastern Europe
Tim Müller, Anja Neundorf
The aim of this article is to present two different roles of the state affecting individuals’ religiosity. First, we provide evidence for the effectiveness of socialist regimes in influencing citizens’ opinions by comparing religious beliefs among several generations of Eastern Europeans. Second, the article explores whether the democratization process in Eastern Europe led to a revival of religiosity by applying two strands of reasoning from the secularization framework: Berger’s theory of plausibility structures (Berger 1969) and Norris and Inglehart’s (2004) existential security hypothesis. The results show that due to an increased plausibility structure created by the democratic states a slight religious revival can be observed in several postcommunist countries.


The Gendered Consequences of Unemployment Insurance Reforms
Irma Mooi-Reci, Melinda Mills
This study examines whether a series of unemployment insurance benefit reforms that took place over a 20-year period in the Netherlands had a gendered effect on the duration of unemployment and labor market outcomes. Using longitudinal data from the Dutch Labor Supply Panel (OSA) over the period 1980–2000, and adopting a quasi-experimental design, we test whether seemingly ‘gender neutral’ institutional reforms result in a structural disadvantage for women in particular. Our results demonstrate a striking gender similarity in terms of shorter unemployment durations and ultimately less favorable labor market outcomes (lower occupational class, lower wage, part-time and temporary contracts) among both men and women affected by these reforms. Findings also indicate that disadvantaged groups (older and low-skilled female workers) are the most likely to experience a negative effect from state interventions. These findings provide support for the long-term gains of unemployment benefits and their role in operating as “bridges” to better employment.

Losing a Job: The Nonpecuniary Cost of Unemployment in the United States
Cristobal Young
Drawing on the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, I track the subjective well-being of individuals as they enter and exit unemployment. Job loss is a salient trigger event that sets off large changes in well-being. The factors expected to improve the lot of the unemployed have limited efficacy: (1) changes in family income are not significantly correlated with well-being; (2) unemployment insurance eligibility seems to partly mitigate the effect of job loss, but is a poor substitute for work; and (3) even reemployment recovers only about two thirds of the initial harm of job loss, indicating a potential long-term scar effect of unemployment. This highlights the deep and intractable hardship caused by unemployment in America.


Reassessing the Link between Women’s Premarital Cohabitation and Marital Quality
Spencer L. James, Brett A. Beattie
Using data from 2,898 women from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth-1979, we employ a novel method to examine two perspectives, social selection and the experience of cohabitation, commonly used to explain the negative relationship outcomes cohabiting women report. Results reveal cohabitation is negatively related to marital happiness and communication and positively related to conflict. As in previous research, selection mechanisms appear to increase the odds of cohabitation while decreasing marital happiness. A closer examination of the problem also reveals a negative effect of the experience of cohabitation. This paper’s primary contributions are the ability to model selection and experience in the same model and evidence of a robust effect of cohabitation on marital quality. These results underscore the complex pathways between union formation, family structure and marital outcomes.

Intimate Partner Violence in Colombia: Who Is at Risk?
Greta Friedemann-Sánchez, Rodrigo Lovatón
The role that domestic violence plays in perpetuating poverty is often overlooked as a development issue. Using data from the 2005 Demographic Health Survey, this paper examines the prevalence of intimate partner violence in Colombia. Employing an intrahousehold bargaining framework and a bivariate probit model, it assesses the prevalence of and risk factors for physical and emotional intimate partner violence, including such variables as income, education, gender-based intrahousehold decision making, employment, migration related to armed conflict and child maltreatment. The findings of the study particularly underscore the effects of early childhood maltreatment on domestic violence and the need for policy measures that span the life cycle and include families. Its recommendations for policy makers and researchers take into consideration practical, theoretical and methodological issues.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

British Journal of Criminology 53(1)

British Journal of Criminology, January 2013: Volume 53, Issue 1

Shopocalypse Now Consumer Culture and the English Riots of 2011
James Treadwell, Daniel Briggs, Simon Winlow, and Steve Hall
This article is an initial analysis and theorization of original ethnographic data gathered from young men who participated in the English riots of August 2011. The data consistently suggest that consumer culture supplied these young men with a compelling motivation to join the rioting after the initial localized response to the original incident had died down. The data are analysed in a way that builds a theory of the rioting as a product of objectless dissatisfaction. Drawing upon the resources of contemporary cultural and critical criminological theory, it argues that, in the current post-political vacuum, the rioters could not locate or articulate the objective structural and processual causes of their marginalization. Neither could they clearly recognize or ethically censure their structural antagonists. Thus, in the entire absence of truthful, comprehensible and unifying political symbolism, they had nowhere to go but the shops.

Transgression, Affect and Performance Choreographing a Politics of Urban Space
Elaine Campbell
Cultural criminological scholarship has impressively theorized and explored the cultural complexities, negotiated meanings and experiential immediacy of urban crime and its spatializing effects. Nonetheless, this important work tends to gloss over the political dynamics of spatial contestation, and assumes an urban politics which is relatively fixed and static and is locked into a dichotomy of control and resistance. This paper opens up to scrutiny the heterogeneity of political relationalities at the interstices of crime and ‘the urban’. Core cultural criminological concepts of resistance, transgression, affect and performance are critically reappraised and put to work in a critical case study that centres on an offence of ‘outraging public decency’ at the Blackpool Cenotaph, UK. This provides the empirical ground for delineating some of the myriad ways in which crime continually reconfigures the political coordinates of ‘the urban’.

Private Security and Armed Conflict A Case Study of the Scorpions during the Mass Killings in Former Yugoslavia
Samuel Tanner and Massimiliano Mulone
Based on a case study on the metamorphosis of a private security company responsible for the protection of oil wells during the Yugoslav Serbo–Croat conflict that became an armed band—the Scorpions—we show that this type of organization crystallizes mutually beneficial games that play out between a central power and those involved in local crime of low intensity. These organizations constitute the central players in a politicization of civilian crime and a privatization of political crime—genocide and crimes against humanity constituting the extreme forms. The involvement of private actors such as the Scorpions in armed conflict is considered in the fusion of instrumental and normative logic—a common element in all forms of mercenarism.

Allah’s Outlaws The Jamaat al Muslimeen of Trinidad and Tobago
Cynthia Mahabir
‘Sacred violence’, the long-standing relationship between religion and violence, takes unique forms shaped by local cultures. While the conditions that produce phantom revolutionary groups vary widely, those groups that invoke altruistic declarations for radical social change drawn from religious texts often resort to violence to attain their goals. In this article, it is argued that, although the social conditions conducive to the formation and initial religious revolutionary appeal of the Muslimeen of Trinidad and Tobago were economic and cultural, the subsequent gangsterism in which it engaged alienated the group from the mass support required for an effective revolutionary movement.

The Transformation of Policing From Ratios to Rationalities
Adam White and Martin Gill
A prominent feature of academic and popular writing about policing is the ‘transformation’ thesis: the contention that, as the ratio of private security to police actors increases in a policing system, the orientation of the system shifts from the public good to the market. The purpose of this article is to critique this thesis. Instead of analysing transformation using the ratio heuristic, it focuses on the everyday rationalities guiding policing actors. Applying this perspective to the British case, it argues that, rather than witnessing a marked shift towards the market, we are in fact seeing a complex blurring of identities, with both private security and police actors drawing upon a mix of public good and market rationalities to inform their actions.

Thinking Independence Calling the Police to Account through the Independent Investigation of Police Complaints
Stephen P. Savage
Over the last 15 years, a number of agencies have been established in the British and Irish islands that enable the independent investigation of police complaints and misconduct. This paper, based on over 100 interviews with practitioners from three such bodies, examines the independent investigation of police complaints by asking two central questions. First, how do those charged with the delivery of independence in investigations articulate ‘independence’ as a working philosophy and presentational tool? Second, what constraints or obstacles do practitioners perceive as inhibitors in the delivery of independence? On this basis, the paper presents a picture of independent investigation of police complaints as a constant interaction between the aspirations of independence and the ever-present challenges of regulatory capture.

Used and Abused The Problematic Usage of Gang Terminology in the United Kingdom and Its Implications for Ethnic Minority Youth
Hannah Smithson, Rob Ralphs, and Patrick Williams
This paper draws primarily on research undertaken in the north of England. The research focused on assessing the current situation in relation to the extent, and nature, of violent gang activity in three predominately Asian (Pakistani and Bangladeshi) areas. Empirical evidence is provided of the problematic way that the term ‘gang’ is being used and, argued, abused in the United Kingdom. The uncritical acceptance of the term gang into UK policy and policing practices and the policy transfer that has ensued has the potential to further marginalize and isolate some ethnic minority communities. The focus here centres upon the increased surveillance and policing of Asian communities, specifically young Pakistani and Bangladeshi males as a consequence of the application of gang labels that elevates the perceived level of risk they pose.

Crime and The Transition to Parenthood The Role of Sex and Relationship Context
Christian Weisæth Monsbakken, Torkild Hovde Lyngstad, and Torbjørn Skardhamar
Research on desistance from crime has given little attention to the transition to parenthood as a ‘turning point.’ Parenthood might have different implications for men and women, as well as for individuals in different relationship contexts. Using a within-individual design and Norwegian register data on men and women who became parents in 1997–2001, we provide detailed descriptions of offending patterns. The results imply that, for men and women, the relative likelihood of offending declines before the birth. In the post-birth period, women’s offending resumes at a lower likelihood than before the birth, while men’s stabilizes at a low level. For men with no relationship to the other parent, the likelihood of offending continues to decline after the birth.

Beyond ‘Facts’ and ‘Values’ Rethinking Some Recent Debates about the Public Role of Criminology
Elizabeth Turner
A growing number of criminologists are reflecting upon the actual and potential public role of their field. This article argues that recent literature on criminology’s public role has been unsatisfactory, failing to deal adequately with both the extant characteristics of the field and contemporary socio-political circumstances. Drawing inspiration from Weber’s classic texts on the duties of the social scientist, and from Latour’s notion of the ‘diplomat’ this article suggests that a democratic public criminology must go beyond the modern distinction between ‘facts’ and ‘values’.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

The ANNALS of the AAPSS 645

The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, January 2013: Volume 645

The Nonresponse Challenge to Surveys and Statistics
Introduction: New Challenges to Social Measurement
Douglas S. Massey and Roger Tourangeau

Facing the Nonresponse Challenge
Frauke Kreuter

Explaining Rising Nonresponse Rates in Cross-Sectional Surveys
J. Michael Brick and Douglas Williams

Response Rates in National Panel Surveys
Robert F. Schoeni, Frank Stafford, Katherine A. Mcgonagle, and Patricia Andreski

Consequences of Survey Nonresponse
Andy Peytchev

The Use and Effects of Incentives in Surveys
Eleanor Singer and Cong Ye

Paradata for Nonresponse Adjustment
Kristen Olson

Can Administrative Records Be Used to Reduce Nonresponse Bias?
John L. Czajka

An Assessment of the Multi-level Integrated Database Approach
Tom W. Smith and Jibum Kim

Where Do We Go from Here? Nonresponse and Social Measurement
Douglas S. Massey and Roger Tourangeau

American Sociological Review 77(6)

American Sociological Review, December 2012: Volume 77, Issue 6
The Fringe Effect: Civil Society Organizations and the Evolution of Media Discourse about Islam since the September 11th Attacks
Christopher A. Bail
Numerous studies indicate that civil society organizations create cultural change by deploying mainstream messages that resonate with prevailing discursive themes. Yet these case studies of highly influential organizations obscure the much larger population that have little or no impact. It is therefore unclear whether civil society organizations create cultural change by deploying mainstream discourses or if they become part of the mainstream because of their success. I present an evolutionary theory of how discursive fields settle after major historical ruptures that highlights framing, social networks, and emotional energy. To illustrate this theory, I use plagiarism detection software to compare 1,084 press releases about Muslims produced by 120 civil society organizations to 50,407 newspaper articles and television transcripts produced between 2001 and 2008. Although most organizations deployed pro-Muslim discourses after the September 11th attacks, I show that anti-Muslim fringe organizations dominated the mass media via displays of fear and anger. Institutional amplification of this emotional energy, I argue, created a gravitational pull or “fringe effect” that realigned inter-organizational networks and altered the contours of mainstream discourse itself.
Rhetorics of Suffering: September 11 Commemorations as Theodicy
Christina Simko
Weber argued that human suffering creates the demand for theodicies: cultural vocabularies, religious or secular, that explain perceived injustices. This article combines an interpretive analysis of rhetoric commemorating the events of September 11, 2001 with an effort to construct generalizable cultural theory, demonstrating how the Weberian concept of theodicy adds to our understanding of commemorative rhetoric. In the case of September 11 commemorations, the theodicies deployed exhibit a clear fracture. Speakers at the Pentagon and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, have taken a dualistic approach to the problem of theodicy, while speakers in Manhattan have taken a tragic approach. This variation can be explained through a four-part model that argues theodicies are structured by (1) events, (2) carrier groups, (3) audiences, and (4) genre memory. More broadly, I argue for explicit attention to theodicy in cultural sociology, demonstrating that the quest for theodicy is a crucial driving force behind the impulse to commemorate in the first place.
The Extended Family and Children's Educational Success
Mads Meier Jæger
Research on family background and educational success focuses almost exclusively on two generations: parents and children. This study argues that the extended family contributes significantly to the total effect of family background on educational success. Analyses using the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study show that, net of family factors shared by siblings from the same immediate family, factors shared by first cousins account for a nontrivial part of the total variance in children’s educational success. Results also show that grandparents’, aunts’, and uncles’ socioeconomic characteristics have few direct effects on educational success. Furthermore, resources in the extended family compensate for lacking resources in low-SES families, which in turn promote children’s educational success. The main conclusion is that the total effect of family background on educational success originates in the immediate family, the extended family, and in interactions between these two family environments.

The Effect of Parents' Attitudes on Sons' Marriage Timing
Elyse A. Jennings, William G. Axinn, and Dirgha J. Ghimire
Theories of family stability and change, demographic processes, and social psychological influences on behavior all posit that parental attitudes and beliefs are a key influence on their children’s behavior. We have evidence of these effects in Western populations, but little information regarding this social mechanism in non-Western contexts. Furthermore, comparisons of mothers’ and fathers’ independent roles in these crucial intergenerational mechanisms are rare. This article uses measures from a 10-year family panel study featuring independent interviews with mothers and fathers in rural Nepal to investigate these issues. We test the association of specific attitudes, rather than broad ideational domains, about childbearing and old-age care with sons’ subsequent marriage behavior. Our results indicate that both mothers’ and fathers’ attitudes have important and independent influences on sons’ marriage behavior. Simultaneous study of both parents’ attitudes reveals that gender-specific parenting contexts can shape the relationship between parental attitudes and children’s behaviors. This crucial mechanism of intergenerational continuity and change is strong in this non-Western setting, with substantial implications for studies of intergenerational influences on behavior in all settings.

We Can't Win This on Our Own: Unions, Firms, and Mobilization of External Allies in Labor Disputes
Marc Dixon and Andrew W. Martin
To cope with steep losses in membership and eroding legal protections, some unions have begun to look outward for help. Scholars likewise point to broad-based coalitions as a potential route to labor’s revitalization. Yet surprisingly little is known about union coalition work, from when and why it occurs to what union allies typically bring to the table. We take up these issues with a unique dataset on strike events from the 1990s and 2000s, contributing to labor and social movement research. First, we show that despite considerable academic interest in union outreach to other social movements, this phenomenon remains fairly rare. Second, our findings demonstrate how the immediate threat to unions posed by employer intransigence matters not just for the mobilization of external allies, as the social movement literature would expect, but also for the assistance brought to bear by those allies, which has received relatively little attention from scholars. Third, although we find important distinctions in unions’ propensity for outreach, results suggest a more nuanced picture of union activity than previously conceived. In various ways during strike events, both social movement unions (typically highlighted in the literature) and declining industrial unions are turning to coalition partners.

Constructing Labor Markets: The Valuation of Black Labor in the U.S. South, 1831 to 1867
Martin Ruef
In the U.S. South, a free labor market rapidly—although, in some cases, only nominally—replaced the plantation system of slave labor in the years following the American Civil War. Drawing on data comprising 75,099 transactions in the antebellum period, as well as 1,378 labor contracts in the postbellum era, I examine how the valuation of black labor was transformed between the 1830s and the years of emancipation. I trace the process of valuation through four markets for labor, moving from slave purchases and appraisals within the plantation economy, to the antebellum system of hiring out, to wage-setting for black labor under the auspices of the Freedmen’s Bureau. Comparative analysis of labor pricing across these markets reveals systematic differences: slave markets placed price premiums on children and young women, and occupational skills emerged as the most salient influence in the pricing of wage labor. I conclude by theorizing how transvaluation of labor occurs when markets for unfree and free workers are governed by distinct institutional conditions.

Hiring as Cultural Matching: The Case of Elite Professional Service Firms
Lauren A. Rivera
This article presents culture as a vehicle of labor market sorting. Providing a case study of hiring in elite professional service firms, I investigate the often suggested but heretofore empirically unexamined hypothesis that cultural similarities between employers and job candidates matter for employers’ hiring decisions. Drawing from 120 interviews with employers as well as participant observation of a hiring committee, I argue that hiring is more than just a process of skills sorting; it is also a process of cultural matching between candidates, evaluators, and firms. Employers sought candidates who were not only competent but also culturally similar to themselves in terms of leisure pursuits, experiences, and self-presentation styles. Concerns about shared culture were highly salient to employers and often outweighed concerns about absolute productivity. I unpack the interpersonal processes through which cultural similarities affected candidate evaluation in elite firms and provide the first empirical demonstration that shared culture—particularly in the form of lifestyle markers—matters for employer hiring. I conclude by discussing the implications for scholarship on culture, inequality, and labor markets.

It's All about Control: Worker Control over Schedule and Hours in Cross-National Context
Karen S. Lyness, Janet C. Gornick, Pamela Stone, and Angela R. Grotto
Workers’ ability to control their work schedules and hours varies significantly among industrialized countries. We integrate and extend prior research from a variety of literatures to examine antecedents of control and worker outcomes. Using hierarchical linear modeling and data for 21 countries from the 1997 ISSP Work Orientations Survey supplemented with national indicators developed from a variety of sources, we find that control is associated with country characteristics (affluence, welfare state generosity, union coverage, and working-time regulations), worker attributes (being male, being older, and being better educated), and job characteristics (working part-time, being self-employed, having higher earnings, and having more advancement opportunities). We also examine the relationship of control to job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and strain-based work-family conflict. Generally, low levels of control are linked to negative outcomes for workers, especially for women, an effect sometimes modulated by country-level policy measures.

Comment and Reply

Detecting Communities through Network Data
Jeroen Bruggeman, V. A. Traag, and Justus Uitermark
Social life coalesces into communities through cooperation and conflict. As a case in point, Shwed and Bearman (2010) studied consensus and contention in scientific communities. They used a sophisticated modularity method to detect communities on the basis of scientific citations, which they then interpreted as directed positive network ties. They assumed that a lack of citations implies disagreement. Some scientific citations, however, are contentious and should therefore be represented by negative ties, like conflicting relations in general. After expanding the modularity method to incorporate negative ties, we show that a small proportion of negative ties, commonly present in science, is sufficient to significantly alter the community structure. In addition, our research suggests that without distinguishing negative ties, scientific communities actually represent specialized subfields, not contentious groups. Finally, we cast doubt on the assumption that lack of cites would signal disagreement. To show the general importance of discerning negative ties for understanding conflict and its impact on communities, we also analyze a public debate.

Symmetry Is Beautiful
Uri Shwed and Peter S. Bearman

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Theoretical Criminology 16(4)

Theoretical Criminology, November 2012: Volume 16, Issue 4

Law’s knowledge: On the susceptibility and resistance of legal practices to security matters
Susanne Krasmann
Contrary to the prevailing debate on the governance of security with its focus on emergency and exception, a Foucauldian perspective enables us to capture how law transforms in a rather gradual and unnoticed manner. As a practice, law constitutes itself through knowledge. Relying upon knowledge, it is notoriously susceptible to security matters. This will be illustrated by analysing the rationality of pre-emptive action that is facilitated by automated surveillance technologies. Taking a recent torture debate as an extreme example elucidates that a conception of law as practice also serves as a tool of critique and articulating dissent.

Media justice: Madeleine McCann, intermediatization and ‘trial by media’ in the British press
Chris Greer and Eugene McLaughlin
Three-year-old Madeleine McCann disappeared on 3 May 2007 from a holiday apartment in Portugal. Over five years and multiple investigations that failed to solve this abducted child case, Madeleine and her parents were subject to a process of relentless ‘intermediatization’. Across 24–7 news coverage, websites, documentaries, films, YouTube videos, books, magazines, music and artworks, Madeleine was a mediagenic image of innocence and a lucrative story. In contrast to Madeleine’s media sacralization, the representation of her parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, fluctuated between periods of vociferous support and prolonged and libellous ‘trial by media’. This article analyses how the global intermediatization of the ‘Maddie Mystery’ fed into and fuelled the ‘trial by media’ of Kate and Gerry McCann in the UK press. Our theorization of ‘trial by media’ is developed and refined through considering its legal limitations in an era of ‘attack journalism’ and unprecedented official UK inquiries into press misconduct and criminality.

Making people criminal: The role of the criminal law in immigration enforcement
Ana Aliverti
This article analyses the recent expansion of immigration offences in Britain. Drawing on criminal law scholarship, it considers the reasons for relying on the criminal law in immigration enforcement. On the one hand, criminal law is used symbolically. In this view, the creation of criminal offences may be read as an attempt to appease a sector of the electorate, the media and the Opposition about the ‘immigration problem.’ By introducing these offences, the government sent a message that the situation is under control. On the other hand, the criminal law serves regulatory functions, offering the UK Border Agency a range of options for dealing with unwanted immigrants. In practice, most immigration offences are rarely enforced. Instead, the criminal law often seems to primarily work as a threat, relied on to enforce compliance with immigration rules. A criminal prosecution is reserved for those foreigners for whom the primary sanction –expulsion- cannot be carried out. In these cases, a criminal prosecution and conviction facilitate administrative proceedings leading to removal. Given that the criminalization of immigration breaches is in stark contrast with a number of criminal law principles, this paper argues that the normative justification of criminal law in immigration matters is weak and it should have no role to play in the enforcement of immigration rules.

Dramatic lives and relevant becomings: Toward a Deleuze- and Guattari-inspired cartography of young women’s violent conflicts
Ann-Karina Henriksen and Jody Miller
The article explores how violence works to produce young women’s precarious positions in social milieus characterized by multiple marginalization. By paying attention to the micropolitics of violent engagements we argue that violent conflicts can be viewed as strategies for escaping positions of marginality into positions of relevance. The analysis builds on empirical data from Copenhagen, Denmark, gained through ethnographic fieldwork with the participation of 20 female informants aged 13–22. The theoretical contribution proposes viewing conflicts as multi-linear, multi-causal and non-chronological to account for the emotional tension and lived experience of violent conflicts. Finally we identify the need for further studies on how technosocial forms of communication play into violent conflicts among youth.

Anchoring the sentencing scale: A modest proposal
Richard L Lippke
This article proposes a partial solution to the anchoring problem in sentencing theory. I advance what I term the ‘commensurate harms principle’, according to which the losses and deprivations imposed on convicted offenders as punishment should be kept commensurate with the ‘standard’ harms (Von Hirsch and Jareborg, 1991: 4) their crimes cause victims. The principle is defended as an aid to setting sentences for core criminal offense types. Intelligent application of the principle requires us to gain an informed understanding of both the harms caused by crimes and the harms done by criminal sanctions, particularly imprisonment. Various objections to the principle are addressed, including claims that victim and penal harms cannot be compared and that the harms produced by crimes and criminal sanctions extend beyond victims and offenders. I contend that the commensurate harms principle would counsel the sparing use of imprisonment and often support less harsh sentences than are the norm in many countries.

Re-imagining youth justice: Cultural contestation in the Kimberley region of Australia since the 1991 Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody
Harry Blagg
Twenty years on from the 1991 Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody in Australia the picture appears bleaker than in the early 1990s. This article adopts a post-colonial stance to examine emerging Aboriginal strategies on youth justice in Western Australia that focus on building forms of Aboriginal ‘cultural capital’ and ‘community owned’ justice mechanisms on Aboriginal country as an alternative to failed strategies of incarceration and ‘community based’ justice. Aboriginal contestation, or what I call, after Edward Said, ‘contrapuntality’ increasingly takes place through subtle ‘inter-cultural’ work in various ‘engagement spaces’ in-between Aboriginal and mainstream cultures. These practices challenge mainstream government to practise what it preaches in relation to its claimed respect for Aboriginal cultural rights. The article reports on Aboriginal owned and controlled cultural processes in the Kimberley region of Western Australia that are contrapuntally challenging established ideas about the meaning of justice for Aboriginal youth.

Reconceptualizing hate crime victimization through the lens of vulnerability and ‘difference’
Neil Chakraborti and Jon Garland
This article suggests that the concepts of vulnerability and ‘difference’ should be focal points of hate crime scholarship if the values at the heart of the hate crime movement are not to be diluted. By stringently associating hate crime with particular strands of victims and sets of motivations through singular constructions of identity, criminologists have created a divisive and hierarchical approach to understanding hate crime. To counter these limitations, we propose that vulnerability and ‘difference’, rather than identity and group membership alone, should be central to investigations of hate crime. These concepts would allow for a more inclusive conceptual framework enabling hitherto overlooked and vulnerable victims of targeted violence to receive the recognition they urgently need.

Criminology & Public Policy 11(4)

Criminology & Public Policy, November 2012: Volume 11, Issue 4

Race, Place, and Drug Enforcement

Editorial Introduction

Race, Policing, and Equity
Stephen D. Mastrofski

Research Article

Race, Place, and Drug Enforcement
Robin S. Engel, Michael R. Smith and Francis T. Cullen

Policy Essay

Back to Basics
David A. Klinger

Race, Drugs, and Law Enforcement
Katherine Beckett

The Racial Dilemma in Urban Policing
Sudhir Venkatesh

NCAA Rule Infractions

Editorial Introduction

College Athletes and NCAA Violations
Jason A. Winfree

Research Article

Assessing the Extent and Sources of NCAA Rule Infractions
Francis T. Cullen, Edward J. Latessa and Cheryl Lero Jonson

Policy Essay

NCAA Rule Infractions
Brad R. Humphreys

Assessing the Extent and Sources of NCAA Rule Infractions
Alex R. Piquero

Young Adult Offenders

Editorial Introduction

Young Adults
Jennifer L. Woolard

Research Article

Young Adult Offenders
David P. Farrington, Rolf Loeber and James C. Howell

Policy Essay

Aligning Justice System Processing with Developmental Science
Elizabeth Cauffman

Raising the Age
Chris L. Gibson and Marvin D. Krohn

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Sociological Theory 30(3)

Sociological Theory, September 2012: Volume 30, Issue 3

Status Hierarchies and the Organization of Collective Action
Brent Simpson, Robb Willer, and Cecilia L. Ridgeway
Most work on collective action assumes that group members are undifferentiated by status, or standing, in the group. Yet such undifferentiated groups are rare, if they exist at all. Here we extend an existing sociological research program to address how extant status hierarchies help organize collective actions by coordinating how much and when group members should contribute to group efforts. We outline three theoretically derived predictions of how status hierarchies organize patterns of behavior to produce larger public goods. We review existing evidence relevant to two of the three hypotheses and present results from a preliminary experimental test of the third. Findings are consistent with the model. The tendency of these dynamics to lead status-differentiated groups to produce larger public goods may help explain the ubiquity of hierarchy in groups, despite the often negative effects of status inequalities for many group members.

Theory Construction in Qualitative Research: From Grounded Theory to Abductive Analysis
Stefan Timmermans and Iddo Tavory
A critical pathway for conceptual innovation in the social is the construction of theoretical ideas based on empirical data. Grounded theory has become a leading approach promising the construction of novel theories. Yet grounded theory–based theoretical innovation has been scarce in part because of its commitment to let theories emerge inductively rather than imposing analytic frameworks a priori. We note, along with a long philosophical tradition, that induction does not logically lead to novel theoretical insights. Drawing from the theory of inference, meaning, and action of pragmatist philosopher Charles S. Peirce, we argue that abduction, rather than induction, should be the guiding principle of empirically based theory construction. Abduction refers to a creative inferential process aimed at producing new hypotheses and theories based on surprising research evidence. We propose that abductive analysis arises from actors’ social and intellectual positions but can be further aided by careful methodological data analysis. We outline how formal methodological steps enrich abductive analysis through the processes of revisiting, defamiliarization, and alternative casing.

Looping Kinds and Social Mechanisms
Jaakko Kuorikoski and Samuli Pöyhönen
Human behavior is not always independent of the ways in which humans are scientifically classified. That there are looping effects of human kinds has been used as an argument for the methodological separation of the natural and the human sciences and to justify social constructionist claims. We suggest that these arguments rely on false presuppositions and present a mechanisms-based account of looping that provides a better way to understand the phenomenon and its theoretical and philosophical implications.

Sociological Theory 30(2)

Sociological Theory, June 2012: Volume 30, Issue 2

The Genomic Challenge to the Social Construction of Race
Jiannbin Lee Shiao, Thomas Bode, Amber Beyer, and Daniel Selvig
Recent research on the human genome challenges the basic assumption that human races have no biological basis. In this article, we provide a theoretical synthesis that accepts the existence of genetic clusters consistent with certain racial classifications as well as the validity of the genomic research that has identified the clusters, without diminishing the social character of their context, meaning, production, or consequences. The first part of this article describes the social constructionist account of race as lacking biological reality, its main shortcomings, and our proposed solution: the concept of clinal classes. The second part discusses the character of the group differences that would be consistent with clinal classes and introduces the concept of genomic individualism, which extends an emerging model for understanding biosocial causation to include the genetic effects of ancestry. The third part develops the argument for a “bounded nature” reformulation of racial constructionism that reconceptualizes racial and ethnic categorization as the social perception of ancestry. The final part summarizes the article’s contributions and outlines implications for future research.

How Sociology Lost Public Opinion: A Genealogy of a Missing Concept in the Study of the Political
Jeff Manza and Clem Brooks
In contemporary sociology the once prominent study of public opinion has virtually disappeared. None of the leading theoretical models in the closest disciplinary subfield (political sociology) currently provide ample or sufficiently clear space for consideration of public opinion as a possible factor in shaping or interacting with key policy or political outcomes in democratic polities. In this article, we unearth and document the sources of this curious development and raise questions about its implications for how political sociologists have come to understand policy making, state formation, and political conflict. We begin by reconstructing the dismissal of public opinion in the intellectual reorientation of political sociology from the late 1970s onward. We argue that the most influential scholarly works of this period (including those of Tilly, Skocpol, Mann, Esping-Andersen, and Domhoff) face an underlying paradox: While often rejecting public opinion, their theoretical logics ultimately presuppose its operation. These now classical writings did not move toward research programs seeking engagement with the operation and formation of public opinion, even though our immanent critique suggests they in fact require precisely this turn. We address the challenge of reconceptualizing how public opinion might be productively integrated into the sociological study of politics by demonstrating that the major arguments in the subfield can be fruitfully extended by grappling with public opinion. We conclude by considering several recent, interdisciplinary examples of scholarship that, we argue, point the way toward a fruitful revitalization.

Grandpa Wen: Scene and Political Performance
Bin Xu
This article remedies the divide in the theory of cultural performance between contingent strategy and cultural structure by bringing scene back in. Scene fuses components of performance and links local performance to macrolevel cultural structures and historical events. I theorize two conceptual elements: scene-act ratio and event-scene link. A scene creates an emotive context that demands consistent and timely performance; features of macrolevel events shape the emotive context of the scene. The two concepts can be deployed to explain variation in performance effectiveness. The theory is illustrated in a comparative study of Chinese leaders’ empathetic performance in disasters.

Civic Recreation and a Theory of Civic Production
Peter Hart-Brinson
The debate on civic decline inspired by Putnam’s “bowling alone” thesis exposed an important limitation in three dominant conceptions of the civic. Whether conceptualized as a locus, type, or motivation for action, the boundaries distinguishing the civic from other categories of political action are permeable and indistinct. This article develops a theory of civic production to better account for the inherent normativity and “porousness” of this analytic category. I conceptualize the civic as a variable, contingent outcome or product of a contentious performance undertaken in some venue for some reason. The phenomenon of “civic recreation,” a form of fund-raising that combines a leisure activity with a public cause, underscores the necessity of a theory of civic production. I draw from social movement theory and from ethnographic data from one fitness fund-raiser to illustrate some of the key processes and outcomes for which a theory of civic production must account.

Sociological Theory 30(1)

Sociological Theory, March 2012: Volume 30, Issue 1

The Social Calibration of Emotion Expression: An Affective Basis of Micro-social Order
Christian von Scheve
This article analyzes the role of emotions in social interaction and their effects on social structuration and the emergence of micro-social order. It argues that facial expressions of emotion are key in generating robust patterns of social interaction. First, the article shows that actors’ encoding of facial expressions combines hardwired physiological principles on the one hand and socially learned aspects on the other hand, leading to fine-grained and socially differentiated dialects of expression. Second, it is argued that decoding facial expression is contingent upon this combination so that reciprocal attributions of emotional states, situational interpretations, and action tendencies are more effective within rather than across social units. Third, this conjunction affects the conditions for emotional contagion, which is argued to be more effective within social units exhibiting similar encoding and decoding characteristics, and thus aligns emotions and action tendencies in a coherent, yet socially differentiated way.

Religion in Public Action: From Actors to Settings
Paul Lichterman
Contemporary social research often has located religion’s public influence by focusing on individual or collective religious actors. In this unitary actor model, religion is a stable, uniform feature of an individual or collectivity. However, recent research shows that people’s religious expression outside religious congregations varies by context. Building on this new work, along with insights from Erving Goffman and cultural sociology, an alternative, “cultural-interactionist model” of religious expression focuses on how group styles enable and constrain religious expression in public settings. Illustrating the model are two ethnographic cases, a religiously sponsored homeless advocacy organization and a secondary comparison setting from an activist campaign for housing, both from a U.S. metropolitan area. Shifting from actors to settings and group styles clarifies the interplay between religious and nonreligious culture over time. The shift refines our understanding of how religion’s civic or political effects work, as in the case of building social capital for collective action. The cultural-interactionist model enables us to track historical change in everyday group settings. It promotes further research on historically changing ways of managing religious diversity, and diverse ways of constructing a religious self.

Putting Values and Institutions Back into the Theory of Strategic Action Fields
Jack A. Goldstone and Bert Useem
Neil Fligstein and Doug McAdam have presented a new theory of how collective action creates the structure and dynamics of societies. At issue is the behavior of social movements, organizations, states, political parties, and interest groups. They argue that all of these phenomena are produced by social actors (which may be individuals or groups) involved in strategic action. This allows Fligstein and McAdam to advance a unified theory of “strategic action fields.” This article takes issue with aspects of Fligstein and McAdam’s important contribution. We argue that that all organizations are not essentially the same; in addition to the location and interactions of their strategic actors, their dynamics are shaped and distinguished by differing values and norms, by the autonomy of institutions embedded in strategic action fields, and by the fractal relationships that nested fields have to broader principles of justice and social organization that span societies. We also criticize the view that social change can be conceptualized solely in terms of shifting configurations of actors in strategic action fields. Rather, any theory of social action must distinguish between periods of routine contention under the current institutions and norms and exceptional challenges to the social order that aim to transform those institutions and norms.

Response to Goldstone and Useem
Neil Fligstein and Doug McAdam

Processual Comparative Sociology: Building on the Approach of Charles Tilly
Chares Demetriou
Charles Tilly’s work on process analysis offers a methodological approach to comparative-historical sociology that can be considered paradigmatic. Yet the approach has been widely criticized for lack of rigor. This paper maintains that the problem lies in insufficient clarification of the approach’s central concept: mechanism. Once scrutinized, the concept reveals a tension between its connotation and its denotation. This can be addressed in two ways: either by maintaining what the concept connotes according to Tilly but limiting what it denotes (thus limiting the paradigm’s scope conditions) or by limiting what it connotes and maintaining what it was intended by Tilly to denote (thus maintaining wide scope conditions). Elucidating the possibilities of processual comparison is particularly important for comparative-historical sociology because the subfield rests upon processual presuppositions.

Crime & Delinquency 58(6)

Crime & Delinquency, November 2012: Volume 58, Issue 6

General Strain Theory and School Bullying: An Empirical Test in South Korea
Byongook Moon, Merry Morash, and John D. McCluskey
Despite recognition of bullying as a serious school and social problem with negative effects on students’ well-being and safety, and the overlap between aggressive bullying acts and delinquent behavior, few empirical studies test the applicability of criminological theories to explaining bullying. This limitation in research is especially evident in studies of non-Western countries. Using longitudinal data on 2,817 South Korean youth, the current study attempts to fill the gaps by examining whether general strain theory can explain school bullying. As the theory suggests, youth who experience victimization by peers and conflict with parents are more likely to engage in bullying. However, there is limited evidence of the expected interaction effects between strains and conditioning factors. Inconsistent with general strain theory, parental attachment and positive relationships with teachers do not condition the effects of strains, and anger is not a mediating variable. Implications for interventions and for future research are discussed.

A Partial Test of Agnew’s General Theory of Crime and Delinquency
Yan Zhang, George Day, and Liqun Cao
In 2005, Agnew introduced a new integrated theory, which he labels a general theory of crime and delinquency. He proposes that delinquency is more likely to occur when constraints against delinquency are low and motivations for delinquency are high. In addition, he argues that constraints and motivations are influenced by variables in five life domains. Capitalizing on longitudinal data of Paternoster’s Youths and Deterrence: Columbia, South Carolina, 1979-1981, a structural equation model is developed to test Agnew’s theory. Data limitations preclude a full test of the theory, but the results support the core proposition of the theory: Life domains increase delinquency by reducing constraints against delinquency and by increasing motivations for delinquency. Other propositions of Agnew’s theory garner mixed results.

How Risky Is Marijuana Possession? Considering the Role of Age, Race, and Gender
Holly Nguyen and Peter Reuter
Arrest rates per capita for possession of marijuana have increased threefold over the last 20 years and now constitute the largest single arrest offense category. Despite the increase in arrest numbers, rates of use have remained stable during much of the same period. This article presents the first estimates of the arrest probabilities for marijuana, conditional on use in the previous 12 months; this is an appropriate measure of the intensity of enforcement against users. We analyze differences by age, race, and gender from 1982 to 2008. The probabilities of arrest for a marijuana user were similar across age and race categories until 1991. By 2006, that had changed sharply. Arrest rates among current marijuana users are disproportionately high for adolescents, Blacks, and males. The rate has varied between 0.8% and 1.8% across years; the rate per incident of use has ranged between about 1/3,000 and 1/6,000. There is no compelling account of why marijuana arrest probabilities have increased nationally or why the focus has been on youth, minorities, and males but the disproportionate increase for young Black males raises issues of disparate impact.

The Timing and Accumulation of Judicial Sanctions Among Drug Court Clients
Nick McRee and Laurie A. Drapela
Judicial sanctions are used by drug courts to encourage clients to comply with program requirements. However, few studies have explored the application of sanctions in drug courts or the relationship between sanctions and drug court graduation. This article reports the results of a study of sanctions as applied in a drug court in southwest Washington State. Results reveal no significant difference in the number of sanctions accrued between drug court graduates and noncompleters. However, noncompleters are significantly more likely than graduates to accrue sanctions within the first 30 days of entering drug court. Furthermore, accrual of an early sanction is highly predictive of eventual program failure. Severity of the first sanction (regardless of when it was received) is also related to a lower probability of graduation. The authors conclude that information about how offenders accrue sanctions may be useful to drug court personnel as they monitor clients and determine appropriate intervention strategies.

Drugs, Guns, and Disadvantaged Youths: Co-Occurring Behavior and the Code of the Street
Andrea N. Allen and Celia C. Lo
Guided by Anderson’s theory of the code of the street, this study explored social mechanisms linking individual-level disadvantage factors with the adoption of beliefs grounded in the code of the street and with drug trafficking and gun carrying—the co-occurring behavior shaping violence among young men in urban areas. Secondary data were employed from a sample of male inmates and a sample of male high school students. Data analysis indicated that the social disadvantage factor absent father significantly predicted this co-occurring behavior in the inmate sample, whereas the social disadvantage factor history of expulsion did so in the student sample. In both samples, race and adopting beliefs about gun carrying from the code of the street were significant predictors of drug trafficking and gun carrying. The results do not suggest that such code-based beliefs’ impact on drug trafficking and gun carrying differs by race. Implications for social policy are discussed.

A Squandered Opportunity?: A Review of SAMHSA’S National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices for Offenders
Benjamin J. Wright, Sheldon X. Zhang, and David Farabee
In the past decade, the push for evidence-based programs has taken on unprecedented prominence in the fields of substance abuse and correctional treatment as a key determinant for intervention funding. The National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP), managed and funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, was established in 1997 to aid community agencies in adopting intervention models for their particular clientele. Although well intentioned, the NREPP has also created opportunities that invite conflicts of interests and promulgate programs with questionable efficacy. After an exhaustive review of the literature that purports to have provided the “empirical evidence” for the NREPP registered programs, the authors found numerous irregularities in the studies with findings often based on small sample sizes. A more troubling finding is that much of the supporting literature is produced by the program developers themselves. There is a general lack of independent verification of the claimed treatment effects. If the NREPP is to fulfill its intended function, a tighter vetting process is needed for programs to be registered so that community agencies and treatment practitioners can consult with confidence.

Beyond Boston: Applying Theory to Understand and Address Sustainability Issues in Focused Deterrence Initiatives for Violence Reduction
Marie Skubak Tillyer, Robin S. Engel, and Brian Lovins
Focused deterrence initiatives, including the most famous, Boston’s Operation Ceasefire, have been associated with significant reductions in violence in several U.S. cities. Despite early successes, some cities have experienced long-term sustainability issues. Recent work in Cincinnati, Ohio, has focused on institutionalizing focused deterrence in an attempt to achieve sustainability. Despite these efforts, it became apparent that institutionalization was necessary, but insufficient, to achieve long-term success. This study turns to criminological theory to understand why focused deterrence works and how the model can be improved to maximize crime prevention potential. In doing so, the authors draw from the principles of effective intervention from correctional rehabilitation research and describe how these elements have been integrated into the Cincinnati Initiative to Reduce Violence.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Social Problems 59(4)

Social Problems, November 2012: Volume 59, Issue 4

“Another Second Chance”: Rethinking Rehabilitation through the Lens of California's Prison Fire Camps
Philip Goodman
Many scholars and practitioners treat rehabilitation as a black box that, if working, necessarily outputs low(er) recidivism rates. In contrast, this article proposes a constructionist view that asks how those on the front lines of the “carceral archipelago” actually think about, and experience, rehabilitation. Here I examine California's prison fire camps, atypical carceral settings in which state prisoners work as wildland firefighters. The camps present a puzzle: how is it that there exists in California—routinely considered an extreme case in the shift toward warehouse prisons—a penal setting in which rehabilitation not only survives, but affects many aspects of everyday life for prisoners, staff, and administrators alike? The answer, I argue, is that despite some important historical continuities—especially around work and the twin impulses to reform and punish (cf. Garland 1985; Hutchinson 2006)—rehabilitation has evolved considerably. This includes a focus on an abstract notion of work ethic not dependent on the learning of concrete work skills, as well as a neoliberal discourse about personal responsibility. In sum, rehabilitation exists in the fire camps not in spite of the “punitive turn,” but in many ways precisely because of it. Implications include: (1) rehabilitation can be (and perhaps always is) more malleable and multifaceted than is often recognized; (2) the fire camps are simultaneously prisons and nonprisons, and those in them both inmates and heroes; and (3) punishment is a messy, variegated phenomenon in which the relationships between larger discourses and social structures and practices on the ground are dynamic and varied.

Buying Time: Gendered Patterns in Union Contracts
Jillian Crocker and Dan Clawson
As products of negotiations, union contracts provide insight into areas of stress concerning work hours and schedules. Our analysis demonstrates the ways workers in two occupations—nurses and firefighters—use collective bargaining to develop workplace policies that enable them to manage jobs and family. The contracts show significant differences between firefighters and nurses over issues of work scheduling, overtime, and vacations. These differences reflect nurses' concern with putting boundaries on their work lives in favor of caregiving and firefighters' concern with breadwinning. Nurse contracts specify scheduling rules in detail, heavily restrict mandatory overtime, and outline guidelines for distributing prime time vacations. Firefighter contracts, by contrast, downplay the substance of scheduling processes in favor of emphasizing fairness among firefighters in the context of restrictive weekly schedules and equal access to overtime opportunities. Findings suggest not only that union contracts are an important tool with which workers manage the competing demands of work and family, but that the manner and extent to which such negotiations happen are shaped by gendered occupation.

Does This Make Me Look Fat? Aesthetic Labor and Fat Talk as Emotional Labor in a Women's Plus-Size Clothing Store
Kjerstin Gruys
Drawing on participant observation at a women's plus-size clothing store, “Real Style,” this article draws on the unique experiences of plus-sized women in their roles as workers, managers, and customers, to examine how mainstream beauty standards, body-accepting branding, and customers' diverse feeling rules shape service interactions. Despite branding that promoted prideful appreciation for “Real” bodies, the influence of these body-accepting discourses was constrained by women's internalization of mainstream fat stigma, resulting in an environment characterized by deep ambivalence toward larger body size. This ambivalence allowed hierarchies between women to be reified, rather than dissolved; although plus-sized employees and customers expressed gratitude to have Real Style as a “safe space” to work and shop, workers experienced gender segregation of jobs, and thinner employees were privileged with special tasks. Further, managers and white (but not black or Latina) customers used body-disparaging “fat talk” to elicit workers' emotional labor while confronting thinner workers for defying aesthetic expectations. This research offers a more nuanced understanding of the ties between aesthetic labor and emotional labor, while highlighting some of the factors that prevent stigmatized groups from successfully reclaiming status within consumer contexts.

Defying (Dis)Empowerment in a Battered Women's Shelter: Moral Rhetorics, Intersectionality, and Processes of Control and Resistance
Amanda M. Gengler
Power has been fruitfully conceptualized as a relationship between two or more actors or groups (Janeway 1980; Lukes 2005). Much of this work has treated power relations in generic terms (e.g., Foucault 1978; Scott 1990), paying little attention to how actors' positions in structures of inequality shape the interactional resources available to them as they devise strategies of control and resistance in interaction with one another. Here, I argue that we can better understand processes of control and resistance by examining how actors leverage their positions in structures of inequality and employ strategies likely to most deeply resonate with their (raced, classed, and gendered) target audiences. I explore these issues by analyzing how power struggles unfolded at a battered women's shelter. Using ethnographic data gathered over a ten-month period, I show how staff developed a gendered structure of control designed to obliquely manage shelter residents, while residents developed strategies of resistance that drew on resources available to them as poor and working-class women, and were directly responsive to the particular actors and structures of control they encountered in this context. The locally valued moral rhetoric of women's “empowerment” functioned as a key resource in this struggle. I aim here to broaden current discussions of control and resistance by highlighting the locally dependent, audience-specific, and profoundly intersectional nature of these interactions.

From Varieties of Capitalism to Varieties of Activism: The Antisweatshop Movement in Comparative Perspective
Jennifer Bair and Florence Palpacuer
Recent decades have witnessed an upsurge in activism around labor issues in global production networks. A particularly prominent example is the antisweatshop movement, a diverse collection of efforts to promote labor rights and improve working conditions in international supply chains for apparel and footwear products. Much of the literature on the antisweatshop movement emphasizes its global nature and the reliance of activists on transnational advocacy networks involving coalitions of Northern (usually U.S.-based) consumers and Southern workers. Drawing theoretical inspiration from the varieties of capitalism literature, we examine instead the emergence and institutionalization of antisweatshop politics within the global North. Based on interviews with groups in eight countries, we analyze the trajectories of antisweatshop activism in Western Europe, the United States, and Canada, finding marked variation in the leadership and composition of the movement across regions. Antisweatshop politics were particularly contentious in the United States, where labor leaders were active in framing the sweatshop scourge as a domestic as well as an international social problem. In Europe and Canada, the key role was played not by organized labor, but by other civil society groups that encouraged a multistakeholder approach to what was perceived primarily as an issue of social and economic development in the global South. Overall, our analysis highlights how national institutions and political cultures shape the way that actors assess a social problem and evaluate the possibilities available to effect meaningful change.

Modularity and Transferability of Repertoires of Contention
Takeshi Wada
A “modular repertoire of contention” denotes prevalent forms of interaction that are used by a variety of actors against a variety of targets for a variety of issues in a variety of locations. Modular repertoires are important in the literature of contentious politics and social movements because of their transferability across different contentious contexts. This study addresses three limitations in the literature. First, discussion about modular repertoires to date has been framed as if some forms of contention were modular and other forms were not—thus a dichotomy is set up between modular and nonmodular forms. Second, specific dimensions of modularity (transferability across actors, targets, issues, and locations) have been mostly ignored in the literature. Third, an empirical measure has not yet been developed for the concept. By assessing how broadly a form of contention is diffused across actors, targets, issues, and locations, this study develops a new measure of modularity. Using the measure, it evaluates Charles Tilly's modular repertoire hypothesis. According to the hypothesis, public meetings, petitions, and demonstrations became a modular repertoire in Great Britain during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries as a result of Parliament's rise as the center of British national politics. The results obtained here offer new insights. The empirical measure proposed will advance our understanding of repertoires of contention and political systems.

Journal of Quantitative Criminology 28(4)

Journal of Quantitative Criminology, December 2012: Volume 28, Issue 4

Race, Space, and Violence: Exploring Spatial Dependence in Structural Covariates of White and Black Violent Crime in US Counties
Michael T. Light & Casey T. Harris
Objectives: To join the literature on spatial analysis with research testing the racial invariance hypothesis by examining the extent to which claims of racial invariance are sensitive to the spatial dynamics of community structure and crime. Methods: Using 1999–2001 county-level arrest data, we employ seemingly unrelated regression models, spatial lag models, and geographically weighted regression analyses to (1) compare the extent of racial similarity/difference across these different modeling procedures, (2) evaluate the impact of spatial dependence on violent crime across racial groups, and (3) explore spatial heterogeneity in associations between macro-structural characteristics and violent crime. Results: Results indicate that spatial processes matter, that they are more strongly associated with white than black violent crime, and that accounting for space does not significantly attenuate race-group differences in the relationship between structural characteristics (e.g., structural disadvantage) and violent crime. Additionally, we find evidence of significant variation across space in the relationships between county characteristics and white and black violent crime, suggesting that conclusions of racial invariance/variation are sensitive to where one is looking. These results are robust to different specifications of the dependent variable as well as different units of analysis. Conclusions: Our study suggests the racial invariance debate is not yet settled. More importantly, our study has revealed an additional level of complexity—race specific patterns of spatially heterogeneous effects—that future research on social structure and racial differences in violence should incorporate both empirically and theoretically.

The Moving Home Effect: A Quasi Experiment Assessing Effect of Home Location on the Offence Location
Andrew Wheeler
Objectives: This study aims to test whether the home location has a causal effect on the crime location. To accomplish this the study capitalizes on the natural experiment that occurs when offender’s move, and uses a unique metric, the distance between sequential offenses, to determine if when an offender moves the offense location changes. Methods: Using a sample of over 40,000 custodial arrests from Syracuse, NY between 2003 and 2008, this quasi-experimental design uses t test’s of mean differences, and fixed effects regression modeling to determine if moving has a significant effect on the distance between sequential offenses. Results: This study finds that when offenders move they tend to commit crimes in locations farther away from past offences than would be expected without moving. The effect is rather small though, both in absolute terms (an elasticity coefficient of 0.02), and in relation to the effect of other independent variables (such as the time in between offenses). Conclusions: This finding suggests that the home has an impact on where an offender will choose to commit a crime, independent of offence, neighborhood, or offender characteristics. The effect is small though, suggesting other factors may play a larger role in influencing where offenders choose to commit crime.

Hyperbolic Time Discounting, Offender Time Preferences and Deterrence
Thomas A. Loughran, Ray Paternoster & Douglas Weiss
Objectives: This study examines the phenomena of intertemporal decision making—decisions involving costs and benefits that occur at different points in time. Two models of intertemporal time discounting are the exponential and hyperbolic models. Previous work in behavioral economics and psychology is relied on to make the case that the discounting of delayed outcomes (both gains and losses) may be hyperbolic rather than exponential. Methods: Data were collected from 478 university undergraduate students who responded to a hypothetical scenario involving drunk driving. The potential gains and losses of drunk driving were delayed at five different intervals from “tonight” to “10 years from now”, respondents were also asked to provide estimates of both the risk they would get caught if they did drink and drive and the probability that they would drink and drive under the conditions described in the scenario. Results: Our results imply that individuals have hyperbolic time preferences for both rewards and gains, and that—unlike severity, the effect of which may be muted by risk—these discount functions appear to be operating independently of changes in the risk certainty of detection. Consistent with hyperbolic discounting, for example, when the benefit of drinking and driving was delayed by 1 week the self-reported intention to drink and drive increased by nearly 10%, however, when the gain was delayed by one month, intentions to drink and drive increased by only 4%. A smaller effect was found for delayed costs. Conclusions: Avenues for additional research include the possibility of negative discount rates and the implications of persons’ awareness of their discount rates.

Post-release Employment and Recidivism in Norway
Torbjørn Skardhamar & Kjetil Telle
Objectives: Investigate the transition from prison to employment and the relationship between post-release employment and recidivism. Methods: We use a sample of every person released from Norwegian prisons in 2003 (N = 7,476), and they are followed through 2006 with monthly measures. We estimate the time to recidivism using discrete time survival models, conditioning upon both pre-release characteristics and post-release time-varying covariates (employment, educational enrollment and participation in labor market programs). Results: The majority of former inmates were employed at some point in our data window, but it took approximately 30 months for 30% of them to become employed. The hazard of recidivism is substantially lower (0.12, p < .001) when former inmates are employed compared with unemployed, although observable individual characteristics can account for a large share of this association (0.50, p < .001, after adjustment). The negative association between employment and recidivism remains when controlling for other post-release statuses. Although post-release employment periods are associated with a lower risk of recidivism for all categories of principal offence, the magnitude of the association varies. The association is smaller for those receiving social benefits. Conclusion: The findings are consistent with theories suggesting that employment reduces the risk of recidivism.

Examining What Makes Violent Crime Victims Unique: Extending Statistical Methods for Studying Specialization to the Analysis of Crime Victims
Christopher J. Schreck, Graham C. Ousey, Bonnie S. Fisher & Pamela Wilcox
Objectives: Much victimization research focuses on specific types of crime victims, which implies that the factors responsible for some victimization outcomes are distinct from others. Recent developments in victimization theory, however, take a more general approach, postulating that victimization regardless of type will share a similar basic etiology. This research examines how and whether the risk factors that are associated with violent victimization significantly differ from those that predict nonviolent victimization. Methods: Using data from 3,682 Kentucky youth, we employ Osgood and Schreck’s (2007) Item Response Theory-based statistical approach for detecting specialization to determine the properties and predictors of tendencies for individuals to fall victim to specific types of crime. Results: Findings show that victims typically experience varied outcomes, but some victims have a clear tendency toward violent victimization and that it is possible to predict this tendency. Conclusions: The findings indicate that a more nuanced general approach, one that accounts for tendencies toward specific victimization outcomes, might add insight about the causes of victimization. This research also shows how statistical methods designed to examine offense specialization can add value for research on victimization.

Does Self-Control Influence Maternal Attachment? A Reciprocal Effects Analysis from Early Childhood Through Middle Adolescence
Ryan C. Meldrum, Jacob T. N. Young, Carter Hay & Jamie L. Flexon
Objectives: The purpose of this study is twofold. First, this study assesses the extent to which self-control and maternal attachment mutually influence one another. Second, it investigates whether this process continues to occur during adolescence. To date, studies of the etiology of self-control have yet to adequately address these issues, despite the fact that a number of theoretical perspectives emphasize the reciprocal nature of the parent-child relationship. Methods: The current study seeks to shed light on these issues by examining the relationship between self-control and maternal attachment using structural equation modeling for eight waves of data spanning a period of time that encompasses early childhood through middle adolescence. Results: The results yield two findings bearing on the adequacy of Gottfredson and Hirschi’s model of self-control development. First, measures of self-control and maternal attachment were found to mutually influence one another during childhood. Second, these effects were reduced to nonsignificance during adolescence. Conclusions: This study finds that self-control emerges during childhood in a complex manner in which it both shapes and is shaped by parental attachment.

“Because You’re Mine, I Walk the Line”? Marriage, Spousal Criminality, and Criminal Offending Over the Life Course
Marieke van Schellen, Robert Apel & Paul Nieuwbeerta
Objectives: This study is an analysis of the relationship between marriage and crime in a high-risk sample of Dutch men and women. Marriages are classified as to whether the spouse had been convicted of a crime prior to the marriage, in order to ascertain if one’s criminal career after marriage unfolds differently depending on the criminal history of one’s spouse. Methods: Data are from the Criminal Career and Life-Course Study, a random sample of all individuals convicted of a criminal offense in the Netherlands in 1977 (N = 4,615). Lifetime criminal histories for all subjects are constructed from age 12 to calendar year 2003. Official marriage records are also consulted, and the criminal history of all spouses are similarly constructed. Fixed-effects Poisson models are estimated to quantify the relationship between marriage, spousal criminality, and conviction frequency, controlling for age, parenthood, prior conviction, and prior incarceration. Results: Among men, marriage reduces the frequency of criminal conviction, but only if the marriage is to a non-convicted spouse. Marriage to a convicted spouse, on the other hand, is indistinguishable from singlehood—it neither discourages nor promotes criminal behavior. Among women, marriage has a crime-reducing effect, regardless of the criminal history of the spouse. A set of preliminary follow-up analyses suggests further that men with more extensive criminal histories, and with more stable marriages, benefit in a more pronounced way from marriage to a non-convicted spouse. However, even unstable marriages to non-convicted spouses appear to reduce conviction frequency while they last. Conclusions: Marriage is indeed a salient transition in the criminal career, but there are important differences depending on the characteristics of the offender (gender, criminal history), the characteristics of the spouse (criminal history), and the characteristics of the marriage (duration). The authors conclude that while marriage matters, it does not necessarily mean the end of a criminal career, and that processes of both partner selection and partner influence deserve close attention by marriage-crime researchers. Qualifications of the study’s findings include the use of conviction data from official sources, the use of a sample of men and women who were all convicted of a crime at some point in their lives, the study of legal marriage in the Netherlands, and the inability to measure potential mechanisms for the observed marriage effects.