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  Subjects -> SOCIOLOGY (Total: 553 journals)
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Qualitative Sociology
Journal Prestige (SJR): 0.984
Citation Impact (citeScore): 1
Number of Followers: 47  
 
  Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
ISSN (Print) 1573-7837 - ISSN (Online) 0162-0436
Published by Springer-Verlag Homepage  [2467 journals]
  • Making Babies Pay Rent: Race Suicide, and the Subsidization of Whiteness
           Through Rental Housing

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      Abstract: Abstract Research demonstrates that, since the beginning of contemporary US cities, the rental market has been a site of regulation and material disadvantage for residents racialized as non-White. We know much less, however, about the other side of the coin: rental housing and those racialized as White. In this paper, I use the panic over race suicide in the early twentieth century – the perceived decline in the birth rate among Anglo-Saxon women coupled with the putative high rates of fertility of immigrant women – as a case to demonstrate how various social actors used rental housing to regulate the sexualities of (1) immigrant women (who were racialized as non-White); and (2) women racialized as White. A variety of social actors sought to reform the physical conditions and arrangements of tenements that they associated with large immigrant families and discipline residents. At the same time, developers built new buildings that were more amenable to children and landlords offered financial incentives to have babies to women racialized as White. By illuminating these bifurcated racialized practices, this article adds to work demonstrating that rental housing can be adapted and adopted for various political racialized projects. The article also reveals rental regulations and domestic space as a hitherto unknown mechanism for subsidizing Whiteness.
      PubDate: 2022-12-02
       
  • Pathways to Mobility: Family and Education in the Lives of Latinx Youth

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      Abstract: Abstract In the context of US higher education, the collective advancement of low-income youth, especially youth of color, has been limited. Latinxs are faring the worst, with the lowest college graduation rates when compared to Blacks, whites and Asian Americans. Yet, while collective mobility stagnates a growing number of Latinx youth are finding their way into elite colleges and universities. In this paper, we draw from life history interviews and focus groups to explore the mobility pathways of low-income Latinx youth who have achieved admission into a highly selective college. We pay special attention to how Latinx youth are experiencing educational mobility as members of socially marginalized families and communities. Our findings highlight the importance of three overlapping networks - family networks, local school and community networks, and elite recruitment networks- to students’ ability to achieve mobility into education’s upper echelons. We argue that place shapes both network access and the meaning educational mobility has in youths’ lives.
      PubDate: 2022-11-29
       
  • Making a Market for NGOs: Chinese Neo-Corporatism and Its Divergent
           Patterns of Regulating Migrant Labor

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      Abstract: Abstract How do authoritarian regimes remain in power in the context of market transition' By investigating China’s dialectical relationship between marketization on the one hand and the trajectory from corporatism to neo-corporatism on the other, this research suggests that the state may adopt the market logic to reconfigure its relationship with civil associations and marginalized groups. In the case of migrant laborers and grassroots NGOs, the Chinese state has undergone a transition of tactics from political exclusion to market incorporation. Through the institutionalization of the government’s procurement of social services, the state attempts to reconfigure its relationship with the previously excluded social forces to create a state–society framework that can be conceptualized as “neo-corporatism.” However, as ethnographic data show, the practice of neo-corporatism is more heterogeneous than what the state has envisioned. Depending on different state logic and NGO strategies, the state–NGO–migrants relationship can be established through either a top-down or a bottom-up approach. However, neither of these approaches fulfill the corporatist promise of a general scheme that incorporates the state, NGOs, and marginalized populations. The Chinese neo-corporatism is instead caught in a dilemma between disengagement with the migrant community and the precarious relationship with the state.
      PubDate: 2022-11-18
       
  • “It’s the Seeing and Feeling”: How Embodied and Conceptual
           Knowledges Relate in Pipeline Engineering Work

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      Abstract: Abstract This paper examines the relationship between conceptual and embodied reasoning in engineering work. In the last decade across multiple research projects on pipeline engineering, we have observed only a few times when engineers have expressed embodied or sensory aspects of their practice, as if the activity itself is disembodied. Yet, they also often speak about the importance of field experience. In this paper, we look at engineers’ accounts of the value of field experience showing how it works on their sense of what the technology that they are designing looks, feels, and sounds like in practice, and so what this means for construction and operation, and the management of risk. We show how office-based pipeline engineering work is an exercise in embodied imagination that humanizes the socio-technical system as it manifests in the technical artifacts that they work with. Engineers take the role of the other to reason through the practicability of their designs and risk acceptability.
      PubDate: 2022-10-20
       
  • “I Want to Get on the Next Bus and Leave This City Now”: A Study of
           Violence and Deportation on the Texas-Tamaulipas Border

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      Abstract: Abstract The rapid increase in deportations during the last decade has provided multiple avenues to analyze the experiences of deportees immediately after deportation. More than 90% of the deportations to Mexico occur in border cities. Deporting people to the border is problematic since most of these deportees are not familiar with the area and do not have a social support network. On top of that, Mexican border cities are experiencing a growing spiral of violence due to the aftermath effects of the “Mexican drug war.” Within this context, migrant shelters have become one of the few survival resources for deportees. Using an ethnographic approach, in this study, I investigate how violence is not singular but multiple and multilayered by inspecting deportation policies and practices as the junction where migrant shelters interact with cartel forces and state-made violence to support deported migrants. The paper demonstrates how deportation policies produce or perpetuate various forms of violence toward Mexican deportees in already hyper-violent border cities in Tamaulipas. The empirical findings shed light on how violence against migrants is not exclusively about cartel forces. It is a matter of institutional and structural violence coming from US deportation policies and practices that migrant shelters can hardly handle. Therefore, in this paper, I approach violence not exclusively as direct violence that inflicts physical pain but as a complex process that uncovers other more subtle forms of structural and symbolic violence, carrying nonphysical injuries that can be more enduring and traumatic than those caused by physical pain.
      PubDate: 2022-10-11
       
  • Code Ethnography and the Materiality of Power in Internet Governance

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      Abstract: Abstract The purpose of this article is to discuss an ethnography of code, specifically code ethnography, a method for examining code as a socio-technical actor, considering its social, political, and economic dynamics in the context of digital infrastructures. While it can be applied to any code, the article presents the results of code ethnography application in the study of internet interconnection dynamics, having the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) as code and two of the largest internet exchange points (IXPs) in the world as points of data collection, DE-CIX Frankfurt, and IX.br São Paulo. The results show inequalities in the flows of information between the global North and the global South and concentration of power at the level of interconnection infrastructure hitherto unknown in the context of the political economy of the internet. Code ethnography is explained in terms of code assemblage, code literacy, and code materiality. It demonstrates the grammar of BGP in context, making its logical and physical dimensions visible in the analysis of the formation of giant internet nodes and infrastructural interdependencies in the circulation information infrastructure of the internet.
      PubDate: 2022-08-30
      DOI: 10.1007/s11133-022-09517-3
       
  • “I don’t know what’s racist”: White Invisibility Among Explicitly
           Color-conscious Volunteers

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      Abstract: Abstract Americans are increasingly aware of structural racial disadvantages, and especially aware of Black disadvantage. In turn, this paper asks to what degree do whites interested in undermining systems of oppression and privilege understand their own place within those systems (if at all)' Based on participant observation of four grassroots organizations serving the unhoused and 30 semi-structured interviews with volunteers, I show that even explicitly color-conscious white volunteers, many of whom spoke about structural inequality and systemic racism without prompting, struggled to see how their race was important in their day-to-day service interactions. A general inability to speak about interracial interactions despite many interracial service experiences highlights the pervasive power and privilege embedded in the taken-for-granted nature of whiteness and provides empirical support to the idea that racialized social systems discourage racial self-awareness among whites. These findings have implications for social justice- and/or service-oriented whites who seek to undermine the systems they identify as problematic and emphasize that antiracism is a continuous process.
      PubDate: 2022-08-06
      DOI: 10.1007/s11133-022-09511-9
       
  • Latency and Crisis: Mutual Aid Activism in the Covid-19 Pandemic

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      Abstract: Abstract Activists have responded to the Covid-19 pandemic by organizing for mutual aid: creating collective action to meet people’s material needs and build ties of solidarity. I examine the difficulties encountered by mutual aid activists during the pandemic through Alberto Melucci’s notions of latency and collective identity. Through digital ethnographic observations of the Instagram accounts of mutual aid groups based in Philadelphia, USA, as well as interviews with the activists, I explore how mutual aid, conceptualized as latency work, was practiced by activists in the unprecedented conditions of the pandemic and how activists approached collective identity processes. I show that activists experienced a compression of latency and mobilization within the crisis context of the pandemic, which made it more difficult for them to pursue the construction of a collective identity. I also suggest that the effects of this compression were further exacerbated by the logic of immediacy that characterizes social network sites.
      PubDate: 2022-08-05
      DOI: 10.1007/s11133-022-09513-7
       
  • Exploring Social Media Contexts for Cultivating Connected Learning with
           Black Youth in Urban Communities: The Case of Dreamer Studio

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      Abstract: Abstract Using the Connected Learning framework as a conceptual lens, this study utilizes digital ethnographic methods to explore outcomes of a Hip-Hop Based Education program developed to provide music related career pathways for Chicago youth. Using the narratives of the participants within the program, I draw on participant observation online and in-depth interviews collected to explore the link between the tenets of Connected Learning and digital participation in this artistic community of practice. I explore participants’ work within social media platforms toward building their creative skill, cultivating a public voice, connecting to mentors, and communicating in ways that strengthens the social bonds within their peer community. This study’s findings affirm prior studies that suggest late adolescence is an important time frame where children are developing social identities online in affinity spaces but in ways that are tied to civic engagement, self-empowerment, and critical skill development for their future pathways. To conclude, I suggest that investigating participant activity on social media platforms as a part of field work can help ethnographers to better connect their impact to the agency and life trajectories of their youth participants.
      PubDate: 2022-08-05
      DOI: 10.1007/s11133-022-09514-6
       
  • Ethnography Upgraded

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      Abstract: Abstract The basic practice of ethnography has essentially remained unchanged in hundreds of years. How has online life changed things' I contrast two transformative inventions, the telephone and the internet, with respect to their impact on fieldwork. I argue that our current era has created entirely new constraints and opportunities for ethnographic research.
      PubDate: 2022-08-02
      DOI: 10.1007/s11133-022-09519-1
       
  • How Social Media Use Mitigates Urban Violence: Communication Visibility
           and Third-Party Intervention Processes in Digital Urban Contexts

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      Abstract: Abstract There is growing alarm among the media and public that digital social media amplify the frequency and severity of urban violence. Contrary to popular imagination, however, emerging research suggests that social media may just as readily offer novel tools for informal social control and de-escalation. Toward building an empirically grounded theory of urban violence in the digital age, we examine a key mechanism by which social media afford communities newfound capacities to mitigate conflicts. Drawing on digital, urban, ethnographic fieldwork in Harlem and Chicago’s South Side, we argue that social media afford a historic level of what new media scholars refer to as “communication visibility.” Specifically, social media allow onlookers to observe others’ online behavior and, in turn, exert influence over subsequent relationships, exchanges, and actions in ways that can prevent and reduce violence. First, we examine how young women protectors and a street pastor exert direct third-party influence by monitoring and manipulating social media communication to extricate potential combatants from risky situations. Second, we examine indirect third-party influence whereby potential combatants, in anticipation of onlookers’ intervention, proactively alter their own behavior in ways that encourage peaceful conflict resolution. These findings not only improve contemporary theories of violence, but also provide actionable lessons for enhancing the life-saving work of violence intervention and street outreach programs.
      PubDate: 2022-08-02
      DOI: 10.1007/s11133-022-09510-w
       
  • Convivial Quarantines: Cultivating Co-presence at a Distance

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      Abstract: Abstract Sociology’s focus on sociality and co-presence has long oriented studies of commensality—the social dimension of eating together. This literature commonly prioritizes face-to-face interactions and takes physical proximity for granted. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020 largely halted in-person gatherings and altered everyday foodways. Consequently, many people turned to digital commensality, cooking and eating together through video-call technology such as Zoom and FaceTime. We explore the implications of these new foodways and ask: has digital commensality helped cultivate co-presence amidst pandemic-induced physical separation' If so, how' To address these questions, we analyze two forms of qualitative data collected by the first author: interviews with individuals who cooked and ate together at a distance since March 2020 and digital ethnography during different groups’ online food events (e.g., happy hours, dinners, holiday gatherings, and birthday celebrations). Digital commensality helps foster a sense of co-presence and social connectedness at a distance. Specifically, participants use three temporally oriented strategies to create or maintain co-presence: they draw on pre-pandemic pasts and reinvent culinary traditions to meet new circumstances; they creatively adapt novel digital foodways through online dining; and they actively imagine post-pandemic futures where physically proximate commensality is again possible.
      PubDate: 2022-07-28
      DOI: 10.1007/s11133-022-09512-8
       
  • Do I Know You' Managing Offline Interaction in Acquainted Stranger
           Relationships

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      Abstract: Abstract Sociology has a long history of analyzing relationships between strangers in everyday life. The ubiquity of social media and mobile technologies, however, necessitates refined theories of how people relate to and interact with strangers in a social world where online and offline contexts are intertwined. This study examines public encounters between acquainted strangers, a type of connection fostered through social media wherein people are both digital acquaintances and offline strangers. Drawing on ethnographic data of queer men who use mobile dating and hookup apps, I find that queer men experience these encounters as routine yet problematic, which past theories of stranger relationships cannot fully explain. I argue that offline interactions with acquainted strangers amplify interactional uncertainties around identification (e.g. “I know them, but do they know me'”) and recognition (e.g. “What are the moral demands of our relationship'”). Managing these uncertainties is socially significant as the decision to regard or ignore an acquainted stranger marks not only interpersonal acceptance/rejection but also broader forms of belonging and exclusion. These findings underscore how mobile technologies are fundamentally transforming what it means to be a “stranger.”
      PubDate: 2022-07-28
      DOI: 10.1007/s11133-022-09515-5
       
  • Diagnosis as Subculture: Subversions of Health and Medical Knowledges in
           the Orthorexia Recovery Community on Instagram

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      Abstract: Abstract Diagnoses are powerful tools that fulfill various practical and symbolic functions. In this paper, I examine how a contested diagnosis called orthorexia nervosa has been taken up by users on Instagram, where tens of thousands of posts engage with the topic, many of them from individuals who identify with the condition. I put scholarship on medicalization and diagnosis in conversation with literature on subcultures to foreground the subversive work that is enabled through this diagnosis. Drawing on more than 350 hours of online ethnographic fieldwork and 34 in-depth interviews, I examine how participants construct a shared identity, draw on common language and norms, and undertake collective practices, as they negotiate dominant understandings of health. I show how they draw on the legitimacy endowed by the diagnostic label to validate and make sense of experiences of suffering but also to counter dominant health-seeking discourses, practices, and aesthetics in an online space where these are highly visible and valued. I also discuss some ways Instagram as a digital platform shapes its uptake by this community in meaningful ways. On the one hand, participants draw heavily on the language and framing of medicine to make sense of their fraught experiences with food and their bodies, effectively advocating for the medicalization of their own suffering while also creating a sense of community and shared identity. However, on the other hand, they actively use the diagnosis and the recovery process enabled through it to effectively resignify dominant beliefs, values, and practices that are experienced as injurious, including some that are particularly prevalent on Instagram.
      PubDate: 2022-07-27
      DOI: 10.1007/s11133-022-09518-2
       
  • Digital Ethnography for Sociology: Craft, Rigor, and Creativity

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      Abstract: Abstract This special issue gathers empirical papers that develop and employ digital ethnographic methods to answer core sociological questions related to community, culture, urban life, violence, activism, professional identity, health, and sociality. Each paper, in its own right, offers key sociological insights, and as a collection, this special issue demonstrates the need to bring ethnographic methods to digital communities, interactions, practices, and tools. Both as a topic and a methodological approach, “the digital” points us to the need to update, rethink, and grow qualitative sociology. The exemplary papers comprising this special issue exhibit this curiosity and expansiveness, with lessons and implications for an interdisciplinary set of fields and research problems.
      PubDate: 2022-07-16
      DOI: 10.1007/s11133-022-09509-3
       
  • “Hurry up and wait”: Stigma, Poverty, and Contractual
           Citizenship

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      Abstract: Abstract The emergence of welfare contractualism in the United States in the 1970s marked a shift from viewing welfare as an entitlement to viewing welfare as a right to be earned through work. Combined with the continual degradation of labor markets since the 1970s, the rise of neoliberal ideology emphasizing individualism, and the passage of the 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act, the devolved welfare system – most often managed by a myriad of social service nonprofits – has exacerbated the difficulties of the poor. Scholars have noted, for instance, the loss of civil rights and the proliferation of administrative burdens – including incessant waiting – with which poor people seeking aid are increasingly faced. But “contractual citizenship,” I argue, has not just remade relations between the poor and the state. Rather, as a diffuse cultural ethos, contractual citizenship has also remade relations between and amongst the poor themselves, exacerbating stigmatization, distancing, and denigration. Drawing upon an ethnography of a soup kitchen based in Syracuse, New York, I argue that as a consequence of contractual citizenship, prospective recipients of aid and the poor more broadly adapt their behavior to appear as deserving, worthy citizens and, simultaneously, externally defame their peers for their lesser behaviors. Those who take maximum advantage of free resources – such as attending multiple emergency food programs and taking more than one plate of food – are often deemed by other poor recipients of aid as greedy, ungrateful, and selfish. Thus, the repetitious and time-consuming nature of interacting with the state for basic resources – such as housing or welfare – is further complicated by this intraclass stigma. These findings not only shed light on the challenges of building solidarity amongst the poor but show how political and economic shifts influence how poor people interact with each other and the state.
      PubDate: 2022-04-26
      DOI: 10.1007/s11133-022-09507-5
       
  • ‘It Isn't Charity because We've Paid into it’: Social Citizenship and
           the Moral Economy of Welfare Recipients in the Wake of 2012 UK Welfare
           Reform Act

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      Abstract: Abstract Drawing on interviews with welfare claimants living in Essex, UK, this article examines the material and symbolic effects of the UK government’s 2012 Welfare Reform Act, and it highlights the participants’ interpretations of and responses to that. In reaction to their sense of material and symbolic exclusion, participants made moral claims for their inclusion through a notion of social citizenship based on collective reciprocity and care. They claimed to have paid-in to the national purse in various material and moral ways until circumstances outside of their control meant they could no longer do so. They thus asserted a moral-economic right to social inclusion and an ensuing right to receive adequate, non-stigmatised, and non-punitive welfare. These moral-economic claims differ from other, more public, counter-narratives to welfare reform and government austerity, and they assert a clear but subtle opposition to the market-bound logic of the reform.
      PubDate: 2022-02-10
      DOI: 10.1007/s11133-021-09505-z
       
  • How Place Matters for Migrants’ Socio-Legal Experiences: Local Reasoning
           about the Law and the Importance of Becoming a “Moral Insider”

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      Abstract: Abstract In this article, we argue that migrants’ socio-legal experiences in the places where they settle are formed in interaction with how local residents morally reason about the law. Specifically, based on nine months of fieldwork in an impoverished Italian town, we argue that aligning with how local residents approach the law, including when they justify disobeying it, matters a great deal for migrants’ lives. Focusing on the workings of a reception center for asylum seekers, we first show how local residents regularly support various violations of the law by referring to alternative—and in their view higher—principles of justice. Migrants find themselves caught up in these local moral tensions, at times even becoming involved in illegal practices unbeknownst to them. We then show how migrants’ reactions to the marginality of the law in the town affect their access to local support. Those who align with local nonlegal moral norms obtain access to opportunities, while those who in similar situations invoke the primacy of legality tend to experience ostracization. By investigating the dynamic role of local moralities in situated interaction, this article contributes to both the sociology of morality and the sociology of migration. It shows how moral decision-making processes can and should be studied in their collective dimension, beyond individual-level experiments. Further, with its focus on processes of moral (mis)alignment, it allows us to grasp how place matters for migrants’ lives beyond overly general notions of ‘hostile’ versus ‘hospitable’ localities.
      PubDate: 2022-01-28
      DOI: 10.1007/s11133-021-09503-1
       
  • Sticking to it or Opting for Alternatives: Managing Contested Work
           Identities in Nonstandard Work

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      Abstract: Abstract Research shows that people who face stigmatized work identities attempt to reconfigure their employment more positively, such as by concealing their involvement with their jobs or reframing the value of it. Yet, in an era of rising nonstandard work, how might managing work identities also involve managing multiple jobs across fluid employment contexts' We draw insights from two cases of nonstandard workers facing differing degrees of contested work identity—frontline restaurant workers and sex workers. We find that these workers use similar strategies to manage their employment that involve identity work and job searching, yet their decision to stick to their line of work or opt for alternatives stems in part from the symbolic characteristics of their respective jobs. We conclude by laying out a broader framework for how workers manage contested work identities in an era of nonstandard employment.
      PubDate: 2022-01-19
      DOI: 10.1007/s11133-021-09506-y
       
  • Redemption Performance in Exoneration and Parole: Two Pathways Home

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      Abstract: Abstract This article, drawing from interviews, provides an examination of life after prison for two distinct groups returning from prison: people on parole and people exonerated of crimes. There is extensive research concerning people’s experiences after prison; however, the post-prison trajectories of those who have been subsequently exonerated after being falsely convicted of crimes is a far less studied topic. Exonerees benefit after prison from social support arising from various sources such as their families and non-profit organizations. Social networks allow exonerees to be successful in the job market, as well as assist them financially. I find that with the help of dense social networks exonerees must perform their redemption in order to have their basic needs met. Redemption performances are labor that aim to prove that previously incarcerated individuals are worthy of assistance from society. The various negative social and economic consequences of prison are more notable for individuals on parole who are less likely than exonerees to be equipped with networks to draw on for their redemption performances. However, despite exonerees having more support during their return home, they, like individuals on parole, were also left feeling isolated, lost, and de-humanized. I show how resources and the brokering of stigma of incarceration leads to diverging outcomes for people returning from prison, but that trauma still remains.
      PubDate: 2021-09-15
      DOI: 10.1007/s11133-021-09495-y
       
 
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