Thursday, January 26, 2012

American Sociological Review 77(1)

American Sociological Review, February 2012: Volume 77, Issue 1

C-Escalation and D-Escalation: A Theory of the Time-Dynamics of Conflict [2011 Presidential Address]
Randall Collins
Conflict escalates through a series of feedback loops. On the micro level, conflict generates conditions for intense interaction rituals, and internal solidarity fuels external conflict. Perceived atrocities reciprocally increase ideological polarization between opponents, while confrontational tension/fear makes violence incompetent and produces real atrocities. Conflict groups seek allies, drive out neutrals, and mobilize material resources. Both sides in a conflict counter-escalate through the same set of feedbacks. Winning and losing are determined by differences between rates of escalation and by attacks that one-sidedly destroy organizational and material capacity. Conflict de-escalates because both sides fail to find conditions for solidarity, cannot overcome confrontational tension/fear, and exhaust their material resources. Emotional burnout sets in through a time dynamic of explosion, plateau, and dissipation of enthusiasm. Defection of allies opens the way for third-party settlement. When both sides remain stalemated, initial enthusiasm and external polarization give way to emergent internal factions—a victory faction (hard-liners) versus a peace faction (negotiators)—creating new conflict identities. Ideals promoted at the outset of conflict become obstacles to resolution at the end.

Hot Spots and Hot Moments in Scientific Collaborations and Social Movements
John N. Parker and Edward J. Hackett
Emotions are essential but little understood components of research; they catalyze and sustain creative scientific work and fuel the scientific and intellectual social movements (SIMs) that propel scientific change. Adopting a micro-sociological focus, we examine how emotions shape two intellectual processes central to all scientific work: conceiving creative ideas and managing skepticism. We illustrate these processes through a longitudinal study of the Resilience Alliance, a tightly networked coherent group collaborating at the center of a burgeoning scientific social movement in the environmental sciences. We show how emotions structured and were structured by the group’s growth and development, and how socio-emotive processes facilitated the rapid production of highly creative science and helped overcome skepticism by outsiders. Hot spots and hot moments—that is, brief but intense periods of collaboration undertaken in remote and isolated settings—fueled the group’s scientific performance and drove the SIM. Paradoxically, however, the same socio-emotive processes that ignited and sustained creative scientific research also made skepticism more likely to occur and more difficult to manage. Similarly, emotions and social bonding were essential for the group’s growth and development, but increased size and diversity have the potential to erode the affective culture that generated initial successes.

Cultural Reception and Production: The Social Construction of Meaning in Book Clubs
C. Clayton Childress and Noah E. Friedkin
Investigations of the reception of textual objects have alternately emphasized demographically conditioned patterns of evaluation and taste, or the agency of viewers, readers, and listeners in constructing their own cultural interpretations. In the present article, we advance an empirical and formal analysis of the cultural reception of texts in which interpretations of the multiple dimensions on which a text may be evaluated are transmitted and modified within small groups of individuals in face-to-face contact. We contribute an approach in which the intersection of social structure, individual readings, and interactive group processes all may enter into readers’ interpretations of a novel. Our investigation focuses on a set of book clubs for which we collected data on group members’ pre- and post-discussion evaluations of a specific book, and the interpersonal influence networks that were formed during the groups’ discussions. We analyze these data with a multilevel model of individuals nested in groups, which allows us to address the effects of structure and group dynamics on cultural reception in a single analytic framework.

Globalization and Commitment in Corporate Social Responsibility: Cross-National Analyses of Institutional and Political-Economy Effects
Alwyn Lim and Kiyoteru Tsutsui
This article examines why global corporate social responsibility (CSR) frameworks have gained popularity in the past decade, despite their uncertain costs and benefits, and how they affect adherents’ behavior. We focus on the two largest global frameworks—the United Nations Global Compact and the Global Reporting Initiative—to examine patterns of CSR adoption by governments and corporations. Drawing on institutional and political-economy theories, we develop a new analytic framework that focuses on four key environmental factors—global institutional pressure, local receptivity, foreign economic penetration, and national economic system. We propose two arguments about the relationship between stated commitment and subsequent action: decoupling due to lack of capacity and organized hypocrisy due to lack of will. Our cross-national time-series analyses show that global institutional pressure through nongovernmental linkages encourages CSR adoption, but this pressure leads to ceremonial commitment in developed countries and to substantive commitment in developing countries. Moreover, in developed countries, liberal economic policies increase ceremonial commitment, suggesting a pattern of organized hypocrisy whereby corporations in developed countries make discursive commitments without subsequent action. We also find that in developing countries, short-term trade relations exert greater influence on corporate CSR behavior than do long-term investment transactions.

Politics of Organizational Adornment: Lessons from Las Vegas and Beyond
Jeffrey J. Sallaz
Practices of design, although integral to contemporary capitalism, are too often overlooked by economic sociologists. To remedy this, I study a novel technology of organizational adornment: theming. Case data drawn from the global casino industry reveal that theming has diffused worldwide as standard business practice. Close examination, however, reveals divergence across jurisdictions in terms of the meanings that themes convey. These patterns derive from neither successful marketing (i.e., customizing design for consumers) nor symbolic isomorphism (i.e., signaling deference to global norms). In line with the markets-as-politics paradigm, I analyze design as a field-specific conception of control. In this view, themes signal to particular constituencies that one is a certain kind of organization (and not another). The makeup of these signals and audiences—that is, what counts as socially legitimate action—will depend on the political field in which a firm is embedded. Results demonstrate the explanatory power of markets-as-politics and also extend this theory by elucidating the performative mechanisms that bridge economic and political domains.

A Theory of the Self for the Sociology of Morality
Jan E. Stets and Michael J. Carter
Sociology has seen a renewed interest in the study of morality. However, a theory of the self that explains individual variation in moral behavior and emotions is noticeably absent. In this study, we use identity theory to explain this variability. According to identity theory, actors are self-regulating entities whose goal is to verify their identities. An individual’s moral identity—wherever it falls on the moral–immoral continuum—guides behavior, and people experience negative emotions when identity verification does not ensue. Furthermore, the identity verification process occurs within situations that have cultural expectations—that is, framing rules and feeling rules—regarding how individuals should act and feel. These cultural expectations also influence the degree to which people behave morally. We test these assumptions on a sample of more than 350 university students. We investigate whether the moral identity and framing situations in moral terms influences behavior and feelings. Findings reveal that the identity process and framing of situations as moral are significantly associated with moral action and moral emotions of guilt and shame.

Forms of Exchange and Integrative Bonds: Effects of History and Embeddedness
Linda D. Molm, Monica M. Whitham, and David Melamed
In this study we bring together two sociological traditions: experimental research on how different forms of exchange affect attachments to partners and relationships, and organizational research in natural settings on how embeddedness contributes to social capital. We conceptualize embeddedness in terms of the underlying forms of exchange—negotiated and reciprocal—that are associated with economic exchanges and the social relationships in which they are embedded. Building upon the reciprocity theory of social exchange, we test predictions of how relationship histories (i.e., different sequences of the two forms of exchange) and relationship contexts (i.e., embedding one form of exchange within an ongoing relation of the other form) modify effects of each form in isolation. Results from two experiments show that the reciprocal form of exchange, independent of close ties or personal associations, is critical for producing the strong trust and affective bonds typically associated with embedded relationships. A history or context of reciprocal exchange significantly boosts integrative bonds for negotiated exchange, whereas a history or context of negotiated exchange dampens integrative bonds for reciprocal exchange only moderately. The relative effects of history and context vary by actors’ positions of power.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Social Forces 90(1)

Social Forces, September 2011: Volume 90, Issue 1

Labor Markets

2010 SSS Presidential Address: The Devolution of Risk and the Changing Life Course in the United States
Angela M. O'Rand
Recent patterns of labor exit in late life in the United States are increasingly heterogeneous. This heterogeneity stems from diverse employment careers that are emerging in the workplace where job security is declining. Individuals' structural locations in the labor market expose them to diverse risks for employment and income security at older ages. Among those risks are access to institutional mechanisms for retirement saving and the requirement to assume full responsibility for decisions about retirement savings that involve market risks. The spread of these individualized pressures to invest in retirement has elevated the importance of financial literacy in the 21st century. Late employment careers and patterns of financial literacy are studied in this article using the premier U.S. longitudinal dataset from the National Institute of Aging, the Health and Retirement Study initiated in 1992, which is linked to restricted Social Security earnings records that extend over several decades. These merged data afford the opportunity to observe continuous work histories in this sample from 1981 through 2006 to identify latent trajectories of employment in late life. In addition, a supplementary module attached to the 2004 wave of the HRS provides valuable information on the financial literacy of subgroups. The work-retirement trajectories and financial literacy patterns observed reflect persistent patterns of inequality amplified by modern risks in the labor market.

Labor Market Flexibility and Inequality: The Changing Skill-Based Temporary Employment and Unemployment Risks in Europe
Michael Gebel, Johannes Giesecke
In this article we use comparative micro data for 15 European countries covering the period 1992-2007 to study the impact of labor market reforms on the skill-related individual risk of holding a temporary contract and the risk of being unemployed. Our results indicate no general increase in either of these skill gaps. Using two-step multilevel analyses, we show that in the case of high protection of regular contracts, lowering restrictions on the use of temporary contracts increases the relative temporary employment rates of low-skilled workers. However, this kind of partial deregulation, which has been implemented in the majority of Western European countries, has not translated into decreasing unemployment risks of the low-skilled vis-à-vis medium- and highly-skilled persons.

Education, Labor Markets and the Retreat from Marriage
Kristen Harknett, Arielle Kuperberg
Using data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing study and the Current Population Survey, we find that labor market conditions play a large role in explaining the positive relationship between educational attainment and marriage. Our results suggest that if low-educated parents enjoyed the same, stronger labor market conditions as their more-educated counterparts, then differences in marriage by education would narrow considerably. Better labor markets are positively related to marriage for fathers at all educational levels. In contrast, better labor markets are positively related to marriage for less-educated mothers but not their more-educated counterparts. We discuss the implications of our findings for theories about women's earning power and marriage, the current economic recession and future studies of differences in family structure across education groups.

Expectation and Realities

What Do Children Know About Their Futures: Do Children's Expectations Predict Outcomes in Middle Age?
Björn Halleröd
Are children's statements about their futures related to outcomes in middle age? In 1966 almost 13,500 children ages 12-13 were asked whether they thought their futures would be worse, similar or better as compared to others of their own age. It was shown that children with low, and surprisingly high, expectations did suffer from increased mortality, economic hardship and weak labor market attachment risks in middle age. Although it cannot be ruled out that expectations worked as self-fulfilling prophesies, the analyses showed that expectations essentially reflected facts known to the children (i.e., upbringing conditions and their own abilities and achievements).

Change in the Stratification of Educational Expectations and Their Realization
John R. Reynolds, Monica Kirkpatrick Johnson
What do recent trends toward increasingly ambitious educational expectations and rising college completion rates mean for the stratification of higher education? This article shows that the odds of achieving expectations for a bachelor's degree increased across 15 cohorts of young adults, and to a lesser extent, for expectations to attend graduate/professional school. Gender-related constraints on realizing expectations for a bachelor's degree weakened, while constraints associated with minority racial/ethnic and lower socioeconomic statuses did not. Recent trends in educational stratification were thus a mixture of fulfilled expectations for growing proportions of some young adults, but continued social constraints for many others. Note, these results are derived from the experiences of high school seniors successfully reinterviewed over time, who are advantaged relative to school dropouts and nonrespondents.

Marriage and Divorce

The Happy Homemaker?: Married Women's Well-Being in Cross-National Perspective
Judith Treas, Tanja van der Lippe, Tsui-o ChloeTai
A long-standing debate questions whether homemakers or working wives are happier. Drawing on cross-national data for 28 countries, this research uses multi-level models to provide fresh evidence on this controversy. All things considered, homemakers are slightly happier than wives who work fulltime, but they have no advantage over part-time workers. The work status gap in happiness persists even controlling for family life mediators. Cross-level interactions between work status and macro-level variables suggest that country characteristics - GDP, social spending, women's labor force participation, liberal gender ideology and public child care - ameliorate the disadvantage in happiness for full-time working wives compared to homemakers and part-time workers.

Stigma or Separation?: Understanding the Incarceration-Divorce Relationship
Michael Massoglia, Brianna Remster, Ryan D. King
Prior research suggests a correlation between incarceration and marital dissolution, although questions remain as to why this association exists. Is it the stigma associated with "doing time" that drives couples apart? Or is it simply the duration of physical separation that leads to divorce? This research utilizes data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY79) and the Survey of Officer and Enlisted Personnel to shed light on these questions. The findings generally support a separation explanation of the incarceration-divorce relationship. Specifically, the data show that exposure to incarceration has no effect on marital dissolution after duration of incarceration is taken into account. In addition, across both datasets we find that individuals who spend substantial time away from spouses are at higher risk of divorce. The findings point to the importance of spousal separation for understanding the incarceration-marital dissolution relationship. Moreover, and in contrast to settings in which stigma appears quite salient (e.g., labor markets), our results suggest that the shared history and degree of intimacy among married partners may weaken the salience of the stigma of incarceration. Findings are discussed in the context of a burgeoning body of work on the collateral consequences of incarceration and have implications for the growing pool of men in American society returning from prison.


Substitution or Symbiosis?: Assessing the Relationship between Religious and Secular Giving
Jonathan P. Hill, Brandon Vaidyanathan
Research on philanthropy has not sufficiently examined whether charitable giving to religious causes impinges on giving to secular causes. Examining three waves of national panel data, we find that the relationship between religious and secular giving is generally not of a zero-sum nature; families that increase their religious giving also increase their secular giving. We argue that this finding is best accounted for by a practice theory of social action which emphasizes how religious congregations foster skills and practices related to charitable giving. We also argue that denominational variation in the influence of religious giving is best accounted for by the financial structuring of the denomination. We conclude with the implications for studies of religious causal influence more generally.

Higher Education and Religious Liberalization among Young Adults
Damon Mayrl, Jeremy E. Uecker
Going to college has long been assumed to liberalize students' religious beliefs. Using longitudinal data from the National Study of Youth and Religion, we compare change in the content of religious beliefs of those who do and do not attend college. We find that, in general, college students are no more likely to develop liberal religious beliefs than non-students. In some cases, collegians actually appear more likely to retain their initial beliefs. Change in religious beliefs appears instead to be more strongly associated with network effects. These findings indicate that college's effect on students' religious beliefs is both weak and fragmented, and suggest that the multiplicity of social worlds on college campuses may help to sustain religious beliefs as well as religious practice and commitment.

Gender Roles and Sexual Relationships

The Effect of a Child's Sex on Support for Traditional Gender Roles
Emily Fitzgibbons Shafer, Neil Malhotra
We examine whether sex of child affects parents' beliefs about traditional gender roles. Using an improved methodological approach that explicitly analyzes the natural experiment via differences in differences, we find that having a daughter (vs. having a son) causes men to reduce their support for traditional gender roles, but a female child has no such effect among women, representing less than 4 percent of the size of the standard deviation of the attitude scale.

Social Exchange and the Progression of Sexual Relationships in Emerging Adulthood
Sharon Sassler, Kara Joyner
Research has extensively examined matching on race and other characteristics in cohabitation and marriage, but it has generally disregarded sexual and romantic relationships. Using data from the 2002 National Survey of Family Growth and the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, we examine the tempo of key transitions in the recent relationships of young adults ages 18-24. We focus on how the racial mix of partners in relationships is associated with the timing of sex, cohabitation and marriage. We find evidence that relationships between white men and minority women proceed more rapidly from romance to sexual involvement and from sexual involvement to cohabitation compared to relationships involving other racial combinations. Our findings have important implications for social exchange perspectives on mate selection.

Consequences of Sex Ratios

Too Many Men?: Sex Ratios and Women's Partnering Behavior in China
Katherine Trent, Scott J. South
The relative numbers of women and men are changing dramatically in China, but the consequences of these imbalanced sex ratios have received little empirical attention. We merge data from the Chinese Health and Family Life Survey with community-level data from Chinese censuses to examine the relationship between cohort- and community-specific sex ratios and women's partnering behavior. Consistent with demographic-opportunity theory and sociocultural theory, we find that high sex ratios (indicating more men relative to women) are associated with an increased likelihood that women marry before age 25. However, high sex ratios are also associated with an increased likelihood that women engage in premarital and extramarital sexual relationships and have more than one sexual partner, findings consistent with demographic-opportunity theory but inconsistent with sociocultural theory.

Relationship Formation and Stability in Emerging Adulthood: Do Sex Ratios Matter?
Tara D. Warner, Wendy D. Manning, Peggy C. Giordano, Monica A. Longmore
Research links sex ratios with the likelihood of marriage and divorce. However, whether sex ratios similarly influence precursors to marriage (transitions in and out of dating or cohabiting relationships) is unknown. Utilizing data from the Toledo Adolescent Relationships Study and the 2000 U.S. Census, this study assesses whether sex ratios influence the formation and stability of emerging adults' romantic relationships. Findings show that relationship formation is unaffected by partner availability, yet the presence of partners increases women's odds of cohabiting, decreases men's odds of cohabiting, and increases number of dating partners and cheating among men. It appears that sex ratios influence not only transitions in and out of marriage, but also the process through which individuals search for and evaluate partners prior to marriage.


Intergenerational Continuity of Taste: Parental and Adolescent Music Preferences
Tom F.M. ter Bogt, Marc J.M.H. Delsing, Maarten van Zalk, Peter G. Christenson, Wim H.J. Meeus
In this article, the continuity in music taste from parents to their children is discussed via a multi-actor design. In our models music preferences of 325 adolescents and both their parents were linked, with parental and adolescent educational level as covariates. Parents' preferences for different types of music that had been popular when they were young were subsumed under the general labels of Pop, Rock and Highbrow. Current adolescent music preferences resolved into Pop, Rock, Highbrow and Dance. Among partners in a couple, tastes were similar; for both generations, education was linked to taste; and parental preferences predicted adolescent music choices. More specifically, the preference of fathers and mothers for Pop was associated with adolescent preferences for Pop and Dance. Parents' preferences for Rock seemed to indicate their daughters would also like Rock music, but not their sons. Parental passion for Highbrow music was associated with Highbrow preferences among their children. It is concluded that preferences for cultural artifacts such as (popular) music show continuity from generation to generation.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Journal of Marriage and Family 74(1)

Journal of Marriage and Family, February 2012: Volume 74, Issue 1


Reexamining the Case for Marriage: Union Formation and Changes in Well-being
Kelly Musick and Larry Bumpass

Marriage and Desistance From Crime: A Consideration of Gene–Environment Correlation
J. C. Barnes and Kevin M. Beaver

Marriage (In)equality: The Perspectives of Adolescents and Emerging Adults With Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Parents
Abbie E. Goldberg and Katherine A. Kuvalanka

Variation in the Relationship Between Education and Marriage: Marriage Market Mismatch?
Kelly Musick, Jennie E. Brand and Dwight Davis

Family Influences on Intermarriage Attitudes: A Sibling Analysis in the Netherlands
Willem Huijnk and Aart C. Liefbroer

I Do … Want to Save: Marriage and Retirement Savings in Young Households
Melissa A. Z. Knoll, Christopher R. Tamborini and Kevin Whitman

Intergenerational Relationships

Life Course Status and Exchanges of Support Between Young Adults and Parents
Freek Bucx, Frits van Wel and Trudie Knijn

Gender and Material Transfers Between Older Parents and Children in Ismailia, Egypt
Kathryn M. Yount, Solveig A. Cunningham, Michal Engelman and Emily M. Agree

“I'm Not Supporting His Kids”: Nonresident Fathers' Contributions Given Mothers' New Fertility
Daniel R. Meyer and Maria Cancian

Neighborhood Contexts, Fathers, and Mexican American Young Adolescents' Internalizing Symptoms
Rebecca M. B. White and Mark W. Roosa

Of General Interest

Adolescents' Pregnancy Intentions, Wantedness, and Regret: Cross-Lagged Relations With Mental Health and Harsh Parenting
Patricia L. East, Nina C. Chien and Jennifer S. Barber

Domestic Work and the Wage Penalty for Motherhood in West Germany
Michael Kühhirt and Volker Ludwig

Mate Availability and Women's Sexual Experiences in China
Katherine Trent and Scott J. South

Familial Reciprocity and Subjective Well-being in Ghana
Ming-Chang Tsai and Dan-Bright S. Dzorgbo