Sunday, December 21, 2014

American Journal of Sociology 120(1)

“I Don’t Like Passing as a Straight Woman”: Queer Negotiations of Identity and Social Group Membership
Carla A. Pfeffer
For decades, sociological theory has documented how our lives are simultaneously produced through and against normative structures of sex, gender, and sexuality. These normative structures are often believed to operate along presumably “natural,” biological, and essentialized binaries of male/female, man/woman, and heterosexual/homosexual. However, as the lives and experiences of transgender people and their families become increasingly socially visible, these normative structuring binaries are called into stark question as they fail to adequately articulate and encompass these social actors’ identities and social group memberships. Utilizing in-depth interviews with 50 women from the United States, Canada, and Australia, who detail 61 unique relationships with transgender men, this study considers how the experiences of these queer social actors hold the potential to rattle the very foundations upon which normative binaries rest, highlighting the increasingly blurry intersections, tensions, and overlaps between sex, gender, and sexual orientation in the 21st century. This work also considers the potential for these normative disruptions to engender opportunities for social collaboration, solidarity, and transformation.

Neither Ideologues nor Agnostics: Alternative Voters’ Belief System in an Age of Partisan Politics
Delia Baldassarri and Amir Goldberg
How do Americans organize their political beliefs? This article argues that party polarization and the growing prominence of moral issues in recent decades have catalyzed different responses by different groups of Americans. The article investigates systematic heterogeneity in the organization of political attitudes using relational class analysis, a graph-based method for detecting multiple patterns of opinion in survey data. Three subpopulations, each characterized by a distinctive way of organizing its political beliefs, are identified: ideologues, whose political attitudes strongly align with either liberal or conservative categories; alternatives, who are instead morally conservative but economically liberal, or vice versa; and agnostics, who exhibit weak associations between political beliefs. Individuals’ sociodemographic profiles, particularly their income, education, and religiosity, lie at the core of the different ways in which they understand politics. Results show that while ideologues have gone through a process of issue alignment, alternatives have grown increasingly apart from the political agendas of both parties. The conflictual presence of conservative and liberal preferences has often been resolved by alternative voters in favor of the Republican Party.

Governing Inside the Organization: Interpreting Regulation and Compliance
Garry C. Gray and Susan S. Silbey
Looking inside organizations at the different positions, expertise, and autonomy of the actors, the authors use multisite ethnographic data on safety practices to develop a typology of how the regulator, as the focal actor in the regulatory process, is interpreted within organizations. The findings show that organizational actors express constructions of the regulator as an ally, threat, and obstacle that vary with organizational expertise, authority, and continuity of relationship between the organizational member and the regulator. The article makes three contributions to the current understandings of organizational governance and regulatory compliance, thereby extending both institutional and ecological accounts of organizations’ behavior with respect to their environments. First, the authors document not only variation across organizations but variable compliance within an organization. Second, the variations described do not derive from alternative institutional logics, but from variations in positions, autonomy, and expertise within each organization. From their grounded theory, the authors hypothesize that these constructions carry differential normative interpretations of regulation and probabilities for compliance, and thus the third contribution, the typology, when correlated with organizational hierarchy provides the link between microlevel action and discourse and organizational performance.

Blocked Acculturation: Cultural Heterodoxy among Europe’s Immigrants
Andreas Wimmer and Thomas Soehl
Which immigrant groups differ most from the cultural values held by mainstream society and why? The authors explore this question using data from the European Social Survey on the values held by almost 100,000 individuals associated with 305 immigrant groups and the native majorities of 23 countries. They test whether distant linguistic or religious origins (including in Islam), value differences that immigrants “import” from their home countries, the maintenance of transnational ties and thus diasporic cultures, or legal and social disadvantage in the country of settlement shape acculturation processes. They find that only legally or socially disadvantaged groups differ from mainstream values in significant ways. For first generation immigrants, this is because the values of their countries of origin diverge more from those of natives. Among children of disadvantaged immigrants, however, value heterodoxy emerges because acculturation processes are blocked and the values of the parent generation partially maintained. From the second generation onward, therefore, cultural values are endogenous to the formation and dissolution of social boundaries, rather than shaping these as an exogenous force.

Issue Bricolage: Explaining the Configuration of the Social Movement Sector, 1960–1995
Wooseok Jung, Brayden G. King, and Sarah A. Soule
Social movements occupy a shared ideational and resource space, which is often referred to as the social movement sector. This article contributes to the understanding of the relational dynamics of the social movement sector by demonstrating how ideational linkages are formed through protest events. Using a data set of protest events occurring in the United States from 1960 to 1995, the authors model the mechanisms shaping why certain movement issues (e.g., women’s and peace or environmental and gay rights) appear together at protest events. They argue that both cultural similarity and status differences between two social movement issues are the underlying mechanisms that shape joint protest and the resultant ideational linkages between issues. Finally, they show that the linking of issues at protest events results in changes in the prominence of a given issue in the social movement sector.

Coevolution in Management Fashion: An Agent-Based Model of Consultant-Driven Innovation
David Strang, Robert J. David, and Saeed Akhlaghpour
The rise of management consultancy has been accompanied by increasingly marked faddish cycles in management techniques, but the mechanisms that underlie this relationship are not well understood. The authors develop a simple agent-based framework that models innovation adoption and abandonment on both the supply and demand sides. In opposition to conceptions of consultants as rhetorical wizards who engineer waves of management fashion, firms and consultants are treated as boundedly rational actors who chase the secrets of success by mimicking their highest-performing peers. Computational experiments demonstrate that consultant-driven versions of this dynamic in which the outcomes of firms are strongly conditioned by their choice of consultant are robustly faddish. The invasion of boom markets by low-quality consultants undercuts popular innovations while simultaneously restarting the fashion cycle by prompting the flight of high-quality consultants into less densely occupied niches. Computational experiments also indicate conditions involving consultant mobility, aspiration levels, mimic probabilities, and client-provider matching that attenuate faddishness.

Criminology & Public Policy 13(4)

Criminology & Public Policy, November 2014: Volume 13, Issue 4

Special Issue: Remodeling American Sentencing

Editorial Introduction: Reinventing Sentencing in the United States
Daniel S. Nagin

Research Article

Remodeling American Sentencing: A Ten-Step Blueprint for Moving Past Mass Incarceration
Michael Tonry
When and if the will to roll back mass incarceration and to create just, fair, and effective sentencing systems becomes manifest, the way forward is clear.
First, three-strikes, mandatory minimum sentence, and comparable laws should be repealed.
Second, any three-strikes, mandatory minimum sentence, and comparable laws that are not repealed should be substantially narrowed in scope and severity.
Third, any three-strikes, mandatory minimum sentence, and comparable laws that are not repealed should be amended to include provisions authorizing judges to impose some other sentence “in the interest of justice.”
Fourth, life-without-possibility-of-parole laws should be repealed or substantially narrowed.
Fifth, truth-in-sentencing laws should be repealed.
Sixth, criminal codes should be amended to set substantially lower maximum sentences scaled to the seriousness of crimes.
Seventh, every state that does not already have one should establish a sentencing commission and promulgate presumptive sentencing guidelines.
Eighth, every state that does not already have one should establish a parole board and every state should establish a parole guidelines system.
Ninth, every state and the federal government should reduce its combined rate of jail and prison confinement to half its 2014 level by 2020.
Tenth, every state should enact legislation making all prisoners serving fixed terms longer than 5 years, or indeterminate terms, eligible for consideration for release at the expiration of 5 years, and making all prisoners 35 years of age or older eligible for consideration for release after serving 3 years.
These proposals are evidence-based and mostly technocratic. Those calling for prison population targets and reducing the lengths of sentences being served may seem bold to some. Relative to the problems they address, they are modest and partial. Decreasing rates of imprisonment by half in the United States, a country with comparatively low crime rates, to a level that will remain 3 to 3.5 times those of other developed Western countries, can hardly be considered overly ambitious.


Twentieth-Century Sentencing Reform Movement: Looking Backward, Moving Forward
Cassia Spohn

Creating the Will to Change: The Challenges of Decarceration in the United States
Anthony N. Doob and Cheryl Marie Webster

Ending Mass Incarceration: Some Observations and Responses to Professor Tonry
Gerard E. Lynch

Assessing the State of Mass Incarceration: Tipping Point or the New Normal?
Jeremy Travis

How Do We Reduce Incarceration Rates While Maintaining Public Safety?
Steven Raphael

Sunday, December 14, 2014

The ANNALS of the AAPSS 657

The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social ScienceJanuary 2015: Volume 657

Monitoring Social Mobility in the Twenty-First Century

2014 Daniel Patrick Moynihan Lecture on Social Science and Public Policy
Inequality in America: A Policy Agenda for a Stronger Future
Joseph E. Stiglitz

Section I: The State of Knowledge about Mobility

The Measure of a Nation
Richard Reeves

A Summary of What We Know about Social Mobility
Michael Hout

Analyses of Intergenerational Mobility: An Interdisciplinary Review
Florencia Torche

A New Infrastructure for Monitoring Social Mobility in the United States
David B. Grusky, Timothy M. Smeeding, and C. Matthew Snipp

Section II: Special Topics Relevant to Building a New Infrastructure

Social Mobility in an Era of Family Instability and Complexity
Laura Tach

Measuring Networks beyond the Origin Family
Robert D. Mare

Assessing the Socioeconomic Mobility and Integration of U.S. Immigrants and Their Descendants
Brian Duncan and Stephen J. Trejo

Measuring Education and Skill
Chandra Muller

Political Mobility and Political Reproduction from Generation to Generation
Henry E. Brady, Kay Lehman Schlozman, and Sidney Verba

Using Occupation to Measure Intergenerational Mobility
Bhashkar Mazumder and Miguel Acosta

The Engagement Gap: Social Mobility and Extracurricular Participation among American Youth
Kaisa Snellman, Jennifer M. Silva, Carl B. Frederick, and Robert D. Putnam

Section III: Issues of Implementation

Potential Data Sources for a New Study of Social Mobility in the United States
John Robert Warren

The Opportunities and Challenges of Using Administrative Data Linkages to Evaluate Mobility
David S. Johnson, Catherine Massey, and Amy O’Hara

Who Is Listening? When Scholars Think They Are Talking to Congress
Kenneth Prewitt

British Journal of Criminology 55(1)

British Journal of Criminology, January 2015: Volume 55, Issue 1

Editor's Choice: Policing Humanitarian Borderlands: Frontex, Human Rights and the Precariousness of Life
Katja Franko Aas and Helene O. I. Gundhus
The article critically examines the peculiar co-existence of the securitization of the border and the growing presence and prominence of human rights and humanitarian ideals in border policing practices. Concretely, it focuses on Frontex, the agency tasked with management of EU’s external borders. Based on interviews with Frontex officials and border guard officers, and on the analysis of relevant policy documents and official reports, the article explores what may come across as a discrepancy between the organization’s activities and its public self-presentation. The objective is to provide an insight into the complex and volatile relationship between policing and human rights, which marks contemporary migration control as well as mundane forms of professional and personal self-understanding.

Half a Story? Missing Perspectives in the Criminological Accounts of British Muslim Communities, Crime and the Criminal Justice System
Julian Hargreaves
An examination of recent scholarly criminological literature concerning British Muslim reveals dominant discursive themes of victimization, discrimination and demonization and a highly politicized discourse, often rhetorical in nature and seldom supported by empirical evidence. Where such evidence is adduced, criminologists rely predominantly on limited qualitative research designs and small non-representative sample sizes. This article presents analysis of British Crime Survey/Crime Survey of England and Wales data and argues that quantitative findings highlight the need for a more nuanced criminological picture of British Muslim communities. It is argued that criminologists should place renewed focus on household crime, the effects of socio-economic factors, crimes involving non-physical forms of violence and Muslim respondents who report positive attitudes towards the police.

The 2011 England Riots in Recent Historical Perspective
Tim Newburn
The riots of 2011 arguably represent the most significant civil disorder on the British mainland in at least a generation. Over four days, there were five deaths, injuries to dozens of police officers and civilians and damage to property running into the tens of millions of pounds. Commentators writing in the aftermath of the riots have pointed both to what are taken to be unusual aspects of the 2011 disorders—the role of gangs, the nature and extent of looting and use of social media among others—as well as some of the parallels with previous riots. In placing the 2011 riots in their recent historical context, this article outlines a model for structuring comparative analysis of disorder and then moves on to consider some of the similarities between 2011 and riots in the post-war period, concluding by identifying four significant points of departure.

The 2011 English ‘Riots’: Prosecutorial Zeal and Judicial Abandon
Carly Lightowlers and Hannah Quirk
Much attention has focussed on the severity of the sentences imposed following the 2011 ‘summer rioting’ in England. The Court of Appeal confirmed that participation in a collective outbreak of disorder takes offending outside the sentencing guidelines. The position for sentencing riot-related offending in future is unclear, however, as the Court gave no indication of how to calibrate this departure, and the Sentencing Council has made offending during public disorder an aggravating factor only in its burglary guideline. This article explores new empirical evidence regarding the sentences imposed in Manchester, together with national Ministry of Justice data, to demonstrate for the first time how this ‘uplift’ effect was a feature throughout the criminal process, from arrest to sentence.

An Australian Indigenous-focussed Justice Response to Intimate Partner Violence: Offenders’ Perceptions of the Sentencing Process
Elena Marchetti
This article draws on research conducted over the past four years on the use of Indigenous sentencing courts in Australia for sentencing Indigenous offenders of intimate partner violence (IPV). It presents interview findings of offenders’ perceptions of justice of a sentencing process that involves the participation of Elders and Community Representatives, as moral and cultural guides. This study concludes that the vast majority of interview participants found an Indigenous sentencing court process is fairer than a mainstream sentencing court process despite the fact that it is more challenging and confronting facing Elders and Community Representatives when being sentenced for an IPV offence. Their respect for Elders and Community Representatives, and the respect afforded to Elders and Community Representatives by the mainstream criminal justice system created a forum that both ‘shamed’ and supported the offenders in ways that reflected cultural values and norms.

‘So Now I’m the Man’: Intimate Partner Femicide and Its Interconnections With Expressions of Masculinities in South Africa
Shanaaz Mathews, Rachel Jewkes, and Naeemah Abrahams
Intimate femicide, the killing of a woman by an intimate partner, is the leading cause of female murder in South Africa. Research on men who kill in South Africa has highlighted the psychological damage caused by exposure to severe adversity in childhood, but this alone does not explain the gendered context of these murders. This article presents analyses from in-depth interviews with 20 incarcerated men who killed their partners and explores their views on and relationships with women. We show that the men sought to perform exaggerated versions of predominant ideals of masculinity, emphasizing an extreme control of and dominance over women. We show killing as an ultimate means of taking back control in a context where gendered relationships legitimize men’s use of violence to assert power and control. Interventions to prevent intimate femicide need to be highly cognisant of the gendered context.

Craft(y)ness: An Ethnographic Study of Hacking
Kevin F. Steinmetz
The idea of the ‘hacker’ is a contested concept both inside and outside the hacker community, including academia. Addressing such contestation the current study uses ethnographic field research and content analysis to create a grounded understanding of ‘the hacker’. In doing so, hacking is revealed to parallel features found in craftwork, often sharing (1) a particular mentality, (2) an emphasis on skill, (3) a sense of ownership over tools and objects of labour, (4) guild-like social and learning structures, (5) a deep sense of commitment, (6) an emphasis on process over result, (7) a common phenomenological experience, and (8) tendencies towards transgression. The final result is that hacking is identified as a kind of transgressive craft or craft(y).

The Cultural Idiosyncrasy of Penal Populism: The Case of Contemporary China
Enshen Li
This article explores the socio-cultural divergences of penal populism in a Chinese context. It examines whether penal populism has become an influence on shaping China’s punishment after the Maoist era. By tracing the trends in criminal justice and penal policy over the last three decades, it argues that China has developed a relatively weak version of penal populism compared to a commonly understood form of this conception in some western democracies. Although China’s social and cultural conditions seem to be conducive to the rise of penal populism, this penal force can be easily submerged by political will and blocked by bureaucratic power. Penal populism has a limited impact on penal development in contemporary China.

Social Mobility and Crime: Evidence From a Total Birth Cohort
Jukka Savolainen, Mikko Aaltonen, Marko Merikukka, Reija Paananen, and Mika Gissler
This research examined intergenerational educational mobility as an antecedent of criminal offending. Anomie theory and the general theory of crime assume an inverse association between intergenerational mobility and criminal behaviour. In addition, Moffitt’s taxonomic theory and general strain theory expect intergenerational continuity in low educational attainment to be especially criminogenic. We examined the hypothesized associations with total birth cohort data from Finland. The results suggest that neither downward nor upward mobility is an important correlate of crime. For most individuals, the educational background of the family of origin was unrelated to offending net of personal attainment. As an important exception, parents’ educational attainment buffered the strong positive association between offspring educational marginalization and crime. Among those who did not pursue education beyond comprehensive school, having a parent with minimal educational credentials doubled the risk of serious offending compared with those with university-educated parents. Evidence from multivariate analysis suggests that this interaction effect is related to family adversity and psychological risk characteristics.

The Mis-synchronization of Juvenile Reform: Competing Constructions of Temporality and Risk Among Rehabilitation Programs and Young Offenders
Valli Rajah, Ronald Kramer, and Hung-En Sung
In the United States, juvenile rehabilitation programs have moved towards ‘risk-needs’ models, which not only assess risks of recidivism, but also address young peoples’ needs. While laudable for their responsiveness, we argue ‘risk-needs’ models are based on a series of beliefs concerning time and/or temporality that are inconsistent with the social locations and life experiences of young offenders. Based on observations and interview data collected from young male prisoners participating in a cognitive-treatment program, we argue that the temporal lessons that imprisoned youth learn, which are often inapplicable to their post-release lives, may limit the effectiveness of efforts to rehabilitate juvenile offenders. Study implications are discussed.