Sociological Focus

Articles

Vol. 42, No. 4, November

North Central Sociological Association 2009 Ruth and John Useem Plenary Address:* Education for Democracy in Peirce, James, Dewey, and Mead
C. Wright Mills frequently referred to the "classical tradition of sociological thinking" as the intellectual foundation of the social sciences. He recognized, however, that though the classical thinkers understood the social and political structure...
Read preview Overview
Social Smoking: An Untenable Position
Social smokers manage the conflicting aspects of their liminal identities by negotiating complex roles of performance and exchange. Using a combination of methods, including both participant observation of cultural performances and informal interviews,...
Read preview Overview
Managing Organizational Emotions: Framing Feelings of Illegitimacy in the Radical Women's Prison Movement
This article examines how activists manage the potentially deleterious emotions that arise in social movement organizations. Using data from a case study of an organization in the contemporary radical women's prison movement in California, I explore...
Read preview Overview
Transiting Social Worlds: Accounts of Formerly Married Lesbians
The research presented in this article focuses on understanding the lives of women who transit from heterosexual marriage to lesbian identity. The authors explore the social and interpersonal contexts in which lesbians enter, exist in, and exit heterosexual...
Read preview Overview
"Oh, No, I'm Not Infertile": Culture, Support Groups, and the Infertile Identity
Using in-depth interviews with forty subfecund women, I explore how subfecundity affects a woman's sense of self. I examine the role that culture plays in the content of our identities, particularly in disrupted lives. I examine the role that culture,...
Read preview Overview

Vol. 42, No. 3, August

Editors' Introduction
Welcome to the penultimate issue of Carlton-Ford and Dubeck's editorship of Sociological Focus. Our first issue was published in February 2005; the last issue of our editorial term will come out this November. We are pleased to introduce the incoming...
Read preview Overview
North Central Sociological Association Presidential Address: What the World Needs Now: A Model of Rational Altruism
This address challenges the widely held view that social-economic rationality is rooted in egoistical behavior. Based on an examination of the concept of altruism in sociology, the discussion features the outlines of a formal alternative model of motivation....
Read preview Overview
Reflections on Teaching: North Central Sociological Association 2009 John F. Schnabel Lecture: I Teach
Randy Pausch has made it hard for keynote speakers. Not only was his "last lecture" well received, but it has been made into a national bestselling book. Pausch, as many of you know, was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer. His last lecture, given...
Read preview Overview
Guest Editors' Introduction: The Great Convergence? China and the United States in the New Century
China was an important subject of sociological inquiry in the classic works of Marx and Weber and one of the important powers in Wallerstein's world-system theory (1974). It is perhaps less well known that China also plays a role in the development of...
Read preview Overview
The Developing Trend of the People's Mediation in China
Mediation has long been the preferred method for dispute resolution in China because it serves multiple functions, such as maintaining harmonious social relationships, smoothing away discord, and repressing social conflict. The sustaining forces that...
Read preview Overview
A Response to "The Developing Trend of the People's Mediation in China": An Institutional Transformation of Grassroots Mediation in Conflict Resolution: Where Is China Headed?
Where China is likely to move in its sociolegal development is an enduring topic for sociological inquiry in the areas of law and social control. A general consensus has emerged that the Chinese legal system has transformed itself, as shown by the court's...
Read preview Overview
Transnational Corruption in Weapons Procurement in East Asia: A Case Analysis
This case study analyzes the Lafayette scandal, which alleges that up to US$760 million in bribes and kickbacks was split among French, Chinese, and Taiwanese officials for the 1992 sale of French frigates to Taiwan. The case was unique in its complexity,...
Read preview Overview
A Response to "Transnational Corruption in Weapons Procurement in East Asia": Using Network Analysis to Better Explore Patterns of Corruption
Cotruption is a persistent problem all over the world (Rose-Ackerman 2004): As the pace of international economic integration has quickened, corruption has increasingly carried transnational dimensions. Major multinational firms use their extensive networks...
Read preview Overview
Social Change, Life Strain, and Delinquency among Chinese Urban Adolescents
Using Agnew's general strain theory (1992, 2006) as a theoretical framework, this study examines how China's ongoing social transformation has affected its youth, particularly in urban areas, and how general strain theory can be fruitfully applied to...
Read preview Overview
A Response to "Social Change, Life Strain, and Delinquency among Chinese Urban Adolescents": Thoughts on the Broader Implication of China's Economic Success on the Production of Delinquency
The institutional changes that have resulted from China's rapid transformation from a closed communist society to a more open, market-driven society are both impressive and daunting. A hundred years from now, people will look back to try to understand...
Read preview Overview

Vol. 42, No. 2, May

Guest Editor's Introduction: Sociological Perspectives on Racial and Ethnic Inequality in Health and Health Care
I am pleased to introduce this special issue of Sociobgical Focus, "Sociological Perspectives on Racial and Ethnic Inequality in Health and Health Care." Although researchers from a broad set of discipli nes contribute to efforts to answer questions...
Read preview Overview
The Developmental Health of Hispanic Children: Evidence from the 2003 National Survey of Children's Health
A recent study found that Hispanic children are less likely than white children to have been diagnosed with an emotional, developmental, or behavioral problem. However, it is unclear whether the lower rates reflect the epidemiologic paradox of surprisingly...
Read preview Overview
Parental Accounts of Children's Asthma Care: The Role of Cultural and Social Capital in Health Disparities
This article explores the roles of cultural and social capital in shaping parental experiences with children's health care in order to better understand how socioeconomic status (SES) functions as a fundamental cause of health disparities. Specifically,...
Read preview Overview
The (In)Significance of Race and Discrimination among Latino Youth: The Case of Depressive Symptoms
Despite the growing population of Latinos in the United States, there is little research that explores how discrimination affects the mental health of Latino youth along racial lines. In this paper we ask two closely related questions. First, do black...
Read preview Overview
Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Health: The Role of Lifestyle, Education, Income, and Wealth
This article addresses the persistent relationship between race/ethnicity, SES, health-related lifestyle behaviors, and self-reported health using data from the 1995 National Health Interview Survey and its topical supplements. Through a series of models,...
Read preview Overview
Racial and Ethnic Composition as a Correlate of Medication Availability within Addiction Treatment Organizations
Most analyses of racial and ethnic disparities in health care focus on individuals rather than organizations. Health care organizations may be a mechanism that produces disparities, if the representation of minorities within organizations' patient populations...
Read preview Overview

Vol. 42, No. 1, February

Forming a More Perfect Union: Racial Perceptions of Unity and Division in the United States
This research analyzes 105 interviews from the Lilly Survey of Attitudes and Friendship to assess attitudes on bridging U.S. cultural difference. Interviewees across social categories were most likely to identify freedom as the principle that unites...
Read preview Overview
Examining Racial Differences in the Effects of Substance Abuse on High School Students' Academic Achievement
Many studies document racial disparities in the American educational system, finding that white students generally outperform black students. Researchers justifiably focus on structural explanations for such disparities, but generally pay less attention...
Read preview Overview
The Effects of Absolute and Relative Incomes on Job Satisfaction among Male Workers in Japan
Using a series of cross-sectional surveys, we investigate the sources of job satisfaction among Japanese male workers from 1955 to 1985. Our analysis focuses on income and disentangles the net effects of absolute income versus relative income during...
Read preview Overview
Workplace Dispute Resolution in the Homecare Industry: The Triangle of Worker, Client, and Manager
This study explores contrary predictions of workers' dispute resolution strategies by examining three different types of homecare businesses: a conventional, hierarchical business that is run for profit; a hierarchically organized charity; and a worker-owned,...
Read preview Overview

Vol. 41, No. 4, November

North Central Sociological Association 2008 Plenary Address: The Practice of Scientific Theorizing in Sociology and the Use of Scientific Theory in Sociological Practice
Sociological practice operates at the margins of sociology partly because theorists do not develop testable theories, while researchers rely heavily on methodologies that are not conducive to theory testing. Sociological theorizing engages in activities...
Read preview Overview
Uncovering Political Influence by Using Network Analyses and Exploring Contribution/Party Interactions: The Case of Ohio Legislative Voting
Legislative roll call voting is a decisive moment in the exercise of democratic power, and understanding how campaign contributions affect roll call voting speaks directly to timely issues of influence and corruption. Methodological limitations on the...
Read preview Overview
How Do Elites Define Influence? Personality and Respect as Sources of Social Power
How well do theories of elites' sources of social power match the reality as perceived by the elites themselves? Using data from interviews with 312 elites from a large midwestern American city, and employing an inductive coding method situated in grounded...
Read preview Overview
A Test of Three Theories of Anti-Science Attitudes
Science has become a key social institution in the contemporary United States. Recent high profile debates regarding the scientific validity of intelligent design in Pennsylvania and Kansas signal the need for social scientific understanding of people's...
Read preview Overview

Vol. 41, No. 3, August

North Central Sociological Association Presidential Address: Micro Lessons for the Macro World
Microsociological studies employ a variety of techniques to examine relationships between social actors. Some of these studies focus on real-world situations and strive for high levels of face validity. Others focus on abstract social situations and...
Read preview Overview
Personal Brand in Online Advertisements: Comparing White and Brazilian Male Sex Workers
We examine marketing strategies used by Brazilian and white American male sex workers in their online advertisements and the degree to which ethnicity is emphasized as an aspect of personal branding. The results show that both groups emphasize similar...
Read preview Overview
Research Note: Religious Affiliation and Poverty Explanations: Individual, Structural, and Divine Causes
Prior studies of people's explanations for poverty have relied upon individual, structural, and fatalistic explanations. This paper explores an additional explanation for poverty, divine intervention. Using a sample of 360 college students, I show that...
Read preview Overview
Deploying for Deliverance: The Digital Divide in Municipal Wireless Networks
The use of information technology (IT) is growing; access and use differ among those from different races, ethnicities, income and education levels, jobs, ages, and genders. Although some argue that broadband technology could be the platform for universal...
Read preview Overview
Reflections on Teaching: North Central Sociological Association 2008 John F. Schnabel Lecture: Notes on Biography and History: All You Really Need
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUEI want to begin by thanking our teaching award committee chair, Kathy Rowell, for the very kind, and largely undeserved, introduction. And, of course, my sincere gratitude goes to the NCSA, the fine organization over which I...
Read preview Overview

Vol. 41, No. 2, May

Working Hard or Hardly Working: Sources of Legitimation for High School Students' Academic Engagement
Academic engagement is a precursor to student achievement, and thus exploring its potential antecedents informs studies of adolescent development. We employ a theory from structural social psychology, the theory of the legitimacy of authority, to craft...
Read preview Overview
Does It Take a Village to Make a Marriage? Exploring the Relationship between Community and Marital Satisfaction
This paper explores the relationship between community and marital satisfaction using evidence from Utah. To do so, we analyze the effects of three sets of independent variables on marital satisfaction: demographic variables (number of children, education,...
Read preview Overview
Mother's Work History in the Construction of Adult Daughter's Worker-Mother Discursive Strategies
This study explores how adult daughters perceive their mothers' worker-mother identities and compares these perceptions to their own worker-mother identities. Interviews were conducted with 98 mothers, stratified by employment status, with one or more...
Read preview Overview
Glass Ceilings and Productivity: The Effects of Ethnicity and Sex in the Presence of Agreed-Upon Productivity Measures among Collegiate Basketball Coaches
Workers from traditionally disadvantaged groups sometimes find their career paths blocked by glass ceilings that prevent them from acquiring top jobs. In the presence of clear and agreed-upon measures of productivity, however, employers should be able...
Read preview Overview
The Same-Sex-Referent-Work Satisfaction Relationship: Assessing the Mediating Role of Distributive Justice Perceptions
Crosby (1982) described the "paradox of the contented female worker": women's relatively high work satisfaction coexists with relatively lower rewards when compared to men. Explanations of this paradox often point to women's use of other women for comparisons...
Read preview Overview

Vol. 41, No. 1, February

Public Support for Attacking the "Root Causes" of Crime: The Impact of Egalitarian and Racial Beliefs
Based on a sample drawn from the 2000 American National Election Survey, we explore the sources of public support for policies aimed at punishing individual offenders as opposed to attacking the social structural sources of crime. The analysis revealed...
Read preview Overview
Gendered Fear Strategies: Intersections of Doing Gender and Fear Management Strategies in Married and Divorced Women's Lives
Using a gendered context, this paper examines women's fear management strategies. Using twenty-six in-depth interviews with married and divorced participants, the researcher considers one question: "How does gender influence fear management strategies...
Read preview Overview
Another Layer of Ignominy: Beliefs about Public Views of Sex Offenders
A sample of college students (N = 664) estimated the extent to which "most people" would devalue and discriminate against persons with the labels "ex-convict" and "sex offender." Respondents expect both groups to face rejection, with those labeled sex...
Read preview Overview
Influences and the Assignment of Responsibility for Wrongdoing in Organizational Settings
How do the media and an actor's social role influence a person's perception of organizational wrongdoing? We argue that the manner in which events are framed in media presentations influences how people attribute responsibility, regardless of the actor's...
Read preview Overview

Vol. 40, No. 4, November

Sociological Focus's Editorial Assistant: Moving on and Moving Up
In the spring of 2004 Paula Dubeck and I started looking for a graduate student to assist with Sociological Focus. We talked with previous editors about the duties-which are legion-and the type of person most likely to perform them well-someone with...
Read preview Overview
North Central Sociological Association 2007 Reflections on Teaching Address: Teaching and Learning across Academic Cultures
It is an honor to be recognized with the teaching award from the NCSA, and I am very humbled to be included in the list of previous teaching award recipients, especially since many of these recipients have played an indirect role in mentoring me as a...
Read preview Overview
The Educational Expectations of South African Youth
Educational expectations, in particular the relationship between race/ ethnicity and educational expectations, have been understudied in less developed countries. We use data from the Cape Area Panel Study (CAPS) to examine the educational expectations...
Read preview Overview
School Failure as an Adolescent Turning Point
Recently, researchers have devoted significant attention to the influence of turning points such as marriage, employment, and military service on criminal desistance in adulthood. Because offending peaks in adolescence, the relative lack of research...
Read preview Overview
Identities and Social-Psychological Well-Being among African American College Students
This study investigates African American college students to show the impact of role, social, and personal identities on social-psychological well-being, and compares the relationship between identity processes and academic achievement for black and...
Read preview Overview
Family Diversity and Children's Behavioral Outcomes in Canada: From Structure to Process
Using data from the 1994/1995 and 1996/1997 Canadian National Longitudinal Survey for Children and Youth, we explore the roles of economic resources and family processes as explanations for family structure differences on children's internalizing (emotional...
Read preview Overview
"Everyone Knows It's a Social Construct": Contemporary Science and the Nature of Race
Sociological literature frequently claims that scientists across the disciplinary spectrum have arrived at the common conclusion that race is socially constructed, not biologically anchored. I investigate contemporary scientific thinking about race by...
Read preview Overview

Vol. 40, No. 3, August

Guest Editor's Introduction: The Intellectual Legacy of Herbert Blumer: Theory, Method, and Contemporary Challenges
This special issue of Sociological Focus is dedicated to the work of Herbert Blumer and his ongoing influence on our discipline and our practice. I trust that readers will find the articles included in this volume of interest to members of the sociological...
Read preview Overview
2007 North Central Sociological Association Presidential Address: Teaching and Learning and the Culture of the Regional Association in American Sociology
In this essay, I examine the role of teaching and learning in the culture of the regional association in American sociology. I analyze the programs of (1) the 2007 joint meeting of the North Central Sociological Association (NCSA) and the Midwest Sociological...
Read preview Overview
Causality, Agency, and Reality: Plato and Aristotle Meet George Herbert Mead and Herbert Blumer
Causal theorizing in sociology is often presumed best handled in the domain of multivariate, quantitative variable research. In contrast, we argue that such theorizing may be more authentically accomplished within the theoretical and methodological impetus...
Read preview Overview
Symbolic Interactionism and the Concept of Social Structure
Although Blumer asserts that to deny the existence of "structure" in human society is "ridiculous," just such a denial has commonly been attributed to him. The more conventional mainstream understanding of structure in sociology, however, is theoretically...
Read preview Overview
Extending and Broadening Blumer's Conceptualization of Fashion: Adding Notions of Generic Social Process and Semiotic Transformation
Herbert Blumer's critics and followers have, for the most part, neglected the significance of his theory of fashion. In this paper I revisit Blumer's thesis on fashion by identifying the fashion process as an instance of the generic social process of...
Read preview Overview
Mind, Self, and Human-Animal Joint Action
Because Herbert Blumer maintained that symbolic interactionism was useful in examining all realms of social behavior, and advocated what Martin Hammersley refers to as "critical commonsensism," this paper focuses on one of the most common contemporary...
Read preview Overview

Vol. 40, No. 2, May

Guest Editors' Introduction: Group Process as Social Microcosm
We began the process of editing for this special issue with a call for papers that was distributed to members of the discipline both broadly and narrowly. The notice appeared in the American Sociological Association newsletter, footnotes, and we distributed...
Read preview Overview
Symbolic Interactionism and Expectation States Theory: Similarities and Differences
Theories in the expectation states theoretical research program are often seen as based on the orienting strategy of symbolic interactionism. Certainly there are similarities. For example, both consider the actor's definition of the situation central...
Read preview Overview
Votes, Favors, Toys, and Ideas: The Effect of Resource Characteristics on Power in Exchange Networks
The goal of this research is to understand how resource characteristics influence the development of power in exchange networks. Transferability and duplicability are identified as fundamental resource characteristics that have not been examined systematically...
Read preview Overview
Time Dependence in Micro Social Interaction: An Elaboration of Information Exchange Theory and Initial Empirical Test
Many micro sociological theories describe social interaction as a process, implying the importance of time. Yet, time is seriously undertheorized and underanalyzed in micro social interaction. We show that time plays a conceptually relevant role in information...
Read preview Overview
Delegation of Authority, Interdependence, and Productivity: Managing Writing Response Groups through an Organizational Approach
This study of writing response groups in six high school English classrooms tested Cohen, Lotan, and Leechor's (1989) conceptualization of the delegation of authority in task groups. The study compared two treatments that differed in type of supervision...
Read preview Overview
Power, Status, and Affect Control
Power, status, and the evaluation, potency, and activity dimensions of affect control theory may be interrelated to a degree allowing for bridges between these theories. This paper makes two preliminary hypotheses: Occupational power will significantly...
Read preview Overview
(Ap)parent Boundaries: Parents' Boundary Work at Cultural Events for Families with Children Adopted from China
The adoption of children from China by American families represents a rich case study for an expanding sociological literature on boundaries: it brings to lite many of our most salient borders and highlights their very permeability. This paper represents...
Read preview Overview

Vol. 40, No. 1, February

A Word from the Editors
Welcome to the second of our two special issues on the war in Iraq. This issue, which our special guest editor, Louis Hicks, introduces in more detail below, examines the Iraq war from the outside. The November 2006 issue covered events inside Iraq-the...
Read preview Overview
Guest Editor Introduction: Iraq from the Outside
Welcome to my second special issue of Sociological Focus. In the November issue, I presented six articles that focused primarily on internal aspects of the Iraq war. In this, I present a group of articles that address various external aspects of the...
Read preview Overview
Talking War: How Elite U.S. Newspaper Editorials and Opinion Pieces Debated the Attack on Iraq
This paper examines how elite newspaper editorials and opinion pieces (hereafter collectively called op-eds) debated the attack on Iraq. The period examined was the two months preceding Congress's October 2002 authorization of the use of force against...
Read preview Overview
The Microlevel Discourse of Social Movement Framing: Debating Antiwar Protests on a University Listserv
Over the past two decades, researchers have increasingly employed frame analysis in attempts to understand the genesis, development, and outcomes of social movements. Relatively little attention, however, has focused on the microlevel processes involved...
Read preview Overview
Greedy Media: Army Families, Embedded Reporting, and War in Iraq
Embedded reporting in Operation Iraqi Freedom provided real-time coverage of soldiers in war that was viewed and read by publics around the globe. Most constituents, such as the military, media, and the larger U.S. public perceived this coverage as positive;...
Read preview Overview
The Making of Heroes: An Attributional Perspective
Through the use of posed vignettes in a telephone survey, we investigate the construction of heroes. We examine the extent to which respondents attribute hero status to three potential 9/11 and "war on terrorism" heroes: Todd Beamer, Army Private Jessica...
Read preview Overview
Globalization and the Invasion of Iraq: State Power and the Enforcement of Neoliberalism
A number of critical theorists of capitalist globalization argue that the power of capital is based on a consensus for global neoliberalism generated by a transnational bloc of capitalists, state officials, and intellectuals. I argue in this paper that...
Read preview Overview