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  Subjects -> SOCIOLOGY (Total: 553 journals)
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American Sociologist
Journal Prestige (SJR): 0.35
Number of Followers: 15  
 
  Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
ISSN (Print) 1936-4784 - ISSN (Online) 0003-1232
Published by Springer-Verlag Homepage  [2467 journals]
  • From Spatial Forms to Perception: Reassessing Georg Simmel’s Theory
           of Space

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      Abstract: Abstract Among the founders of sociology, it was Georg Simmel who provided the most thorough analysis and theory of space. This paper aims to reconstruct Simmel’s spatial theory and his observations of spatial relations. The German sociologist engaged with spatiality in a threefold way. First, he tried to provide a systematic social theory of space; second, analyzing spatial relations was important for his diagnosis of modernity; third, he dealt with the subjective constitutions of space in his shorter, essayistic writings. This paper argues that the importance of the third strand for a sociological understanding of space has seldom been recognized in sociology. In addition, it also shows that despite the diversity in perspectives, there is an underlying coherence to Simmel’s theory of space. As a result, it becomes evident that Simmel was not only ground-breaking in conceptualizing space from a sociological point of view, but that his theory of space continues to be inspirational and relevant to this day for interpreting the entanglement of social and spatial relations.
      PubDate: 2022-11-26
       
  • Transcending the Liberal Grammar of Critical Sociology: The Theoretical
           Turn in Israeli Sociology

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      PubDate: 2022-11-25
       
  • Liberal Grammar and the Construction of American Jewish Identity

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      Abstract: Abstract Both scholars of American Jewry and advocates working in American Jewish communities have linked a moral commitment to greater inclusion of ethnically and racially diverse Jews with a constructivist approach toward the study of American Jewish identity. What has gone unquestioned is the applicability of this constructivist approach to the study of all types of American Jews. In this article, I examine the assumptions embedded in the social scientific constructivist notion of Jewish identity and argue for acknowledgment and interrogation of its liberal grammar. Drawing on original field data, I examine a Syrian Sephardic Jewish community in the United States and posit that the Jewishness negotiated in this group cannot be properly understood through this perspective and must instead be viewed through the framework of tradition. I argue that interpreting American Jewish identity through a subjective liberal lens is itself a construction that not only cannot capture traditional notions of Judaism but in fact excludes them. This analysis and these findings shed light on the discrepancy between constructivist social scientific categories of study which are presented as not only proper but also more ethical due to their supposed universality and the way these categories can end up omitting groups they are meant to include.
      PubDate: 2022-11-14
       
  • Founding Women, Sociology, and Hope

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      Abstract: Abstract From the perspective of revolutions, utopias and/or optimism, the logic of transforming the future has been one of the axes at the beginning of the social sciences of the 19th and 20th centuries. If hope is understood as a practice of anticipating the future, in the sense that Ernest Bloch gave it, it is easy to see how these actions that perform and “pre-form” the connection between past, present and future acquire a special interest for sociology. In this article, we will take as a platform for reflection the thought of Harriet Martineau (1802–1876) and Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860–1935). The two, from different perspectives, thematize hope as an emotion, social practice and behaviour pattern, which offers an unbeatable possibility for reflection on hope today. The objective of the article is to reconstruct the notion of hope from the perspective of the women who originated sociological theory, taking up the thought of the aforementioned authors and presenting some central topics needed to build a sociology of hope. To achieve this objective, the following argumentative strategy has been followed: (a) it is established what constitutes a sociological ‘classic’, and in what sense Martineau and Perkin Gilman are such; (b) hope according to Harriet Martineau is presented; (c) the concept of Hope according to Charlotte Perkins Gilman is synthetized, (d) some clues for sociology of hope are developed, based on the thoughts of Martineau and Perkins Gilman; and (e) some notes for a sociology of hope are summarized.
      PubDate: 2022-10-27
       
  • The Border Within: Examining the Role of Group Boundaries in
           Mixed-Observance Families in Israel

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      Abstract: Abstract This article re-examines the social role of group boundaries in mixed families. While most studies depict, resonate, or even endorse a progressive vision of mixed families, characterized by the crossing, blurring, or challenging of group boundaries, this paper portrays a vision designated by the reinforcement, safeguarding, and tense management of group boundaries. This vision arises from the lived experience of religious educators who belong to a non-liberal group in Israeli society – the ultra-Orthodox Mizrahi community. As I will demonstrate, many Mizrahim in Israel (Jews originating from Muslim countries in the Middle East and North Africa) live in mixed families. Yet, these families are significantly unlike those often described in the literature. First, their mixedness is not conjugal; instead, it is forged through differences between parents and children, siblings, cousins, etc. Second, the dissimilarities between these family members are not ethnic, racial, national, religious, or class-based, but rather stem from differences in observance. By this, I refer to disparities in religious ways of life, stringency of observance, and openness to modernity of family members who belong to distant, sometimes even hostile, sub-groups in Jewish society in Israel: ultra-Orthodox, religious, traditionalists, and secular. I will show how ultra-Orthodox Mizrahim who live in mixed-observance families maintain their bonds with their non-ultra-Orthodox relatives by safeguarding the boundaries that separate them. Hence, the tolerant vision that arises from their experience invites reconsideration of how living together differently is possible in societies in which liberal and non-liberal groups share a joint political space.
      PubDate: 2022-10-08
       
  • Correction to: Intersectional Coloniality in 19th Century India: The
           Sociological Praxis of Savitribai Phule and the Women Activists of Satya
           Shodhak Samaj (Truth Seeker Society)

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      PubDate: 2022-10-07
       
  • Responsibility in Medical Sociology: A Second, Reflexive Look

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      Abstract: Abstract Personal responsibility has emerged as an important element in many countries’ public health planning, and has attracted substantial debate in public health discourse. Contemporary medical sociology typically resists such “responsibilization” as victim-blaming, by privileged elites, that obscures important structural factors and inequities. This paper, based primarily on a broad review of how contemporary Anglophone medical sociology literatures treat responsibility and blame, points out advantages of taking responsibility seriously, particularly from the individual’s perspective. These advantages include: empowerment; responsibility-as-coping-mechanism; moral dignity; and the pragmatic logic of doing for oneself, rather than passively awaiting societal reforms. We also offer possible reasons why sociologists and their subjects view these issues so differently, and suggest some areas for future research.
      PubDate: 2022-10-07
       
  • Making a Career in Academia: The Case of Edward Shils and Mid-Twentieth
           Century Sociology

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      Abstract: Abstract This paper analyses, on the basis of the available archival documents, the early career of Edward A. Shils (1910–1995), especially in the period around 1950, as well as the changing expectations in the field of sociology in this period more generally. It starts with an overview of Shils’ translations of German texts, especially of Karl Mannheim and Max Weber, and the way in which he benefited from the growing reputational standing of these authors. The focus next shifts to Shils’ transatlantic presence, at both the University of Chicago and the London School of Economics, and the choices he made in this regard. Afterwards we look at his work with Talcott Parsons at Harvard University and the successful last-minute claim to the co-editorship of Toward a General Theory of Action. In the concluding section, it is emphasized that Shils was captivated by the perception of his own life and that of others in terms of a career trajectory – with its specific successes and failures.
      PubDate: 2022-10-06
       
  • The Emotions of Hope: From Optimism to Sanguinity, from Pessimism to
           Despair

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      Abstract: The concept of hope has become a topic of growing interest across many areas of sociological research and theory, motivated in part by the widening perception of an uncertain future given the deterioration of the social fabric of contemporary societies. Hope has been theorized to be primarily a cognitive assessment of a goal-intention, a state of mind based upon the prospect that some desired objective, outcome, or situation will be realized, and where obstacles, obstructions, and unforeseen circumstances, even fate, can determine success or failure. The cognitivist theory of hope as necessarily involving agency and planning is critically evaluated, and it is argued that hope, while not itself an emotion, is an affect-laden phenomenon. Hope theorists have not systematically investigated the specific emotions that might be involved in hope. To address this lacuna, a sociological theory of the emotions of hope is presented. This conceptualization utilizes basic-emotion theory and the author’s hierarchical classification of primary, secondary, and tertiary emotions. As whatever is hoped for is seen with increasing optimism or pessimism, opposite clusters of emotions––the tertiary-level emotions of sanguinity and despair––emerge at the valenced poles of hope, hopefulness and hopelessness. Sanguinity includes in its meaning the primary emotions acceptance, joy–happiness, and anticipation, and the secondary emotions optimism, fatalism and love. But if pessimism ensues from plans unravelling and obstacles becoming unsurmountable, a sense of hopelessness comes to include an opposite set of emotions, consisting of the primary emotions disgust, sadness, and surprise, and the secondary emotions loneliness, disappointment, and shock. Sanguinity is a positive resource, but can become pathological if based on an unrealistic sense of over-confidence. The phenomenological nature of despair is explored in terms of the collapse of one’s social resources and social involvements, the demise of one’s social world, and a disintegration of self-representation. The ambiguous nature of hope is discussed, as what is hoped for is apt to be abstract and ill-defined, so that the reality of a hope, realized, can differ from what was imagined, and can involve self-deception concerning the sociomoral reality of what has actually happened.
      PubDate: 2022-09-30
       
  • Empirical Fiction: Composite Character Narratives in Analytical Sociology

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      Abstract: Abstract This paper discusses methods for using narratives of composite characters in qualitative social scientific writing. When anonymization is required, authors can use composite narratives to better protect participants, to compress data into intelligible sequences, and to avoid problematic claims to scientific authority. However, to date, authors of composite texts have failed to adequately explain how they deal with problems of sampling, selection, and sequence from an analytical perspective. Analytical qualitative researchers interested in creating composite character narratives can learn lessons, both positive and negative, from other forms of fiction that are in common usage in sociology. Drawing on a variety of fictive methods for clustering together cases and determining the objective possibility of narrative elements, this paper proposes a method of constructing composite narratives that forces their author to abductively construct theory and interrogate the narratives’ causal logics. The Sequence-Based Composites (SBC) method is explained with reference to four criteria for evaluating empirically grounded social scientific arguments: reliability, reactivity, representativeness, and replicability. Examples of composite character construction are drawn from an ethnographic study of news production in Turkey.
      PubDate: 2022-09-23
      DOI: 10.1007/s12108-022-09546-z
       
  • The Sacred and the Profane: the Differential Organization of Social
           Spheres between Liberal Elites and Lower Class Mizrahim in Israel

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      Abstract: Abstract This article addresses an Israeli sociological riddle: Working class Israeli Jews of Middle Eastern and North African origin have good and empathetic relations with Arab co-workers and fellow students in work and school spaces while affirming, right wing, ethno-centric political attitudes and behaviors that tend to deny Arabs and Palestinians political and even civil rights (often offensively). The article explores the fact that both sociologists and liberal activists note this behaviour but tend to treat it as an anomaly without attempting to explain it. The article argues that both functionalist and critical sociologists tend to treat Mizrahim in an essentialist manner which does not allow for differentiation in their behaviour. The second part of the article suggests that lower class Mizrahim possess a radically different cosmology than liberal elites. The cosmology of traditional Mizrahim is that of “ritual” (Seligman et al., 2008) which posits a disjunction between spheres of social interaction especially between the “sacred” and “profane” spheres. The cosmology of the liberal elites is that of totalizing utopian social ordering which demands that all the spheres of interaction be organized according to the same principles. According to the Mizrahi cosmology, the spheres of work and school are “profane” and hence they can allow relations of friendship and empathy based upon joint work and fellowship. In the sacred spheres of politics and the family, relations with Arabs often are expressed in ritual contexts which emphasize subjunctive, ideal states of Jewish purity and victoriousness.
      PubDate: 2022-09-22
      DOI: 10.1007/s12108-022-09543-2
       
  • The State and Soul of Intellectual Property Law

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      Abstract: Abstract This essay reviews Laura Ford’s The Intellectual Property of Nations, with particular attention to its implications for the study of religion and politics. I argue that Ford’s book offers helpful insights for scholars working in these fields, with especially productive extensions for the study of the state and for sociological analyses of law and religion.
      PubDate: 2022-09-19
      DOI: 10.1007/s12108-022-09542-3
       
  • Genealogies of Property as Power: New Throughlines in the Sociology of
           Intellectual Property

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      Abstract: Abstract This review essay addresses Laura R. Ford’s recent book, The Intellectual Property of Nations: Sociological and Historical Perspectives on a Modern Legal Institution. It begins with a discussion of the broad aims of this genealogical project and its impact on the sociological study of intellectual property. It then highlights two of the theoretical contributions Ford’s work makes to the field’s analyses of intellectual property right in particular and property rights more generally. The first point relates to the explicit conceptualization of (intellectual) property rights as instruments of power, wielded by individuals and organizations, but ultimately backed by the prospect of state force. The second point concerns the long durée of intellectual property’s moral architectures, namely the oft-neglected religious origins of these rights. The essay concludes with a reflection on the pedagogical virtues of the book’s accessibility and, through this, its potential to engender future sociological interest in the subject.
      PubDate: 2022-09-08
      DOI: 10.1007/s12108-022-09547-y
       
  • Editor’s Introduction: Canons, Recovered Contributions and
           International Influences

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      PubDate: 2022-09-02
      DOI: 10.1007/s12108-022-09548-x
       
  • Beyond Altruism – The Moral Economy of Israelis Who Donated A Kidney
           to Strangers

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      Abstract: Abstract Israel leads the worldwide record of living non-directed kidney donations: People who volunteer to donate one of their kidneys to people they do not know. This paper explores this phenomenon by localizing the theoretical question of the tension between altruism and solidarity in the actual structure of Israeli society. Specifically, the paper introduces the work of Matnat Chaim, a non-profit organization of matching donors with renal patients in need of a transplantation. This organization allows its volunteers to select their recipient’s background and indeed almost all donations are directed to Jewish patients. The paper enters the ethical discussion regarding this practice, by presenting the stories of the donors themselves and their donation justifications. This paper portrays a nuanced understanding of the connections between altruism and solidarity which digresses from liberal interpretations of these concepts. I concludes by pointing to the dialectics of altruism and solidarity.
      PubDate: 2022-09-02
      DOI: 10.1007/s12108-022-09538-z
       
  • The Rhetoric of the Canon: Functional, Historicist, and Humanist
           Justifications

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      Abstract: Abstract This paper seeks to uncover the modes of justification by which sociological theorists legitimize the “canon” of sociological theory in practice, through the stories they tell to students in sociological theory textbooks. Specifically, we ask: how do textbook authors rationalize their decisions to include and exclude some theorists' Further, what are the modes or “rules of the conceptual game” underlying these justifications' To address these questions, we undertake a rhetorical examination of a corpus of 250 English-language editions of sociological theory textbooks. Focusing on their Introductions and Conclusions, we highlight texts that presume the canon is a social fact and investigate the justifications they provide for assenting to this fact. We articulate and illustrate three forms of legitimation: functionalist, historicist, and humanist. Functionalist justifications legitimate the canon by appealing to its capacity to generate disciplinary unity and integrity. Historicist justifications legitimate the canon by appealing to its members’ foundational and influential role in defining the direction of the field. Humanist justifications legitimate the canon through appealing to the intrinsic qualities of its texts and authors. Identifying these pathways is the primary empirical contribution of this paper, which in turn contributes to the collective project of disciplinary self-reflection.
      PubDate: 2022-09-01
       
  • A Forgotten Figure: Hans L. Zetterberg at Columbia and the Transfer of
           Knowledge Between the United States and Sweden

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      Abstract: Abstract The main purpose of this paper is to provide a biographical sketch of the late Hans L. Zetterberg and a historical background to a translation of an essay based on a lecture given by Zetterberg in Stockholm in 1995. In it, he recounts his time at the Department of Sociology at Columbia University in the years 1953–1964. This essay is full of insights into an inspiring and formative period for Zetterberg in the United States, particularly in the stimulating milieu that was Columbia, at this time the center of American sociology led by Robert K. Merton and Paul Lazarsfeld. In the introduction to this translated essay, I give a brief overview of the establishment of sociology as a discipline in Sweden, and the transfer of knowledge between the United States and Sweden (and Europe, more broadly), embodied in Hans Zetterberg. In the post-WWII years, American sociology, which had a strong positivistic imprint, played an important role in shaping the beginnings of Swedish sociology. However, the transfer of knowledge went both ways, with Zetterberg, a semi-central and often neglected figure, being both a significant contributor to sociology at Columbia in its period of greatest prominence, and in his native Sweden.
      PubDate: 2022-09-01
       
  • Rediscovering Fei Xiaotong: Blending Indigenous Chinese Thought and
           Western Social Science

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      Abstract: Abstract The assimilation of the theoretical and methodological constructions of Western sociology into the investigation of primarily reform oriented social research problems of twentieth century China, is the background to the work done by most of the pioneering Chinese sociologists such as Fei Xiaotong. The aim of this paper is to analyse the movement of ideas and research methods in the global circulation of knowledge and the formulation of distinct traditions of academic enquiry, in this case, Chinese sociology. This article uses the chronology of Fei’s life to present the interactions between American (Robert Parks and the Chicago School), British (Malinowski and social anthropology of 1930s), Russian (Shirokogoroff) and Chinese (Wu Wenzao and Yenching school) sociological traditions and their influences in Fei’s works, primarily his most famous work, From the Soil. Fei’s indigenous concept of Chaxugeju, presents a clear distinction between Chinese and Western societies. In this article, we apply Chaxugeju in some of the fairly common social research questions on family structure, gender and state- society relations to bring out the nuanced distinctions in the American and Chinese theoretical traditions. We also look into the problems in Fei’s theorising in the use of community studies, in tackling the colonialism aspect and with respect to the cultural context in Chinese sociology and its similarities in its challenges with Chicago school.
      PubDate: 2022-09-01
       
  • Intersectional Coloniality in 19th Century India: The Sociological Praxis
           of Savitribai Phule and the Women Activists of Satya Shodhak Samaj (Truth
           Seeker Society)

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      Abstract: Abstract In this article we contribute to the decolonial and global turn in sociology by highlighting the sociological contributions of 19th century scholar activist Savitribai Phule and the women activists of Satya Shodhak Samaj. In particular, we show how based on the lived experiences of those most marginalized by colonial capitalism, pre-colonial caste stratification,1 and Brahminic patriarchy they theorized an intersectional analysis of colonial Indian society we call intersectional coloniality, that was missing from most sociological writing of the time and even today. Beyond conceptualizing intersectional coloniality, through the praxis of personal reflections and writing (foreshadowing the current focus in sociological research and teaching on personal narratives) they also fostered a critique of it to enable social transformation. Thus, their work is sociological and relevant to broadening the history of sociology and the discourse of global sociology today. Moreover, their work today inspires social justice activism by Dalit and non-Dalit movements today in India and the U.S.
      PubDate: 2022-08-30
      DOI: 10.1007/s12108-022-09536-1
       
  • The Immigrant Sociologist: Paul Siu at Chicago

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      Abstract: Abstract Paul Siu’s dissertation on the experience of Chinese laundry workers in the United States is a hallmark study in the Chicago sociology of migration. Siu joined the Chicago sociology program in 1932, defended his dissertation in 1953, and had it published as a book in 1987. This article identifies Siu’s key contributions and discusses the relationship between Siu’s work and the Chicago sociology of migration. An immigrant himself, Siu offered an approach to migration that was closer to the migrants: an immediate and often intimate window into the subjective dimension of migration. While Siu’s closeness to the migrants allowed him to collect the kind of firsthand data associated with Chicago sociology, it also revealed elements of the migrant experience that stretched the boundaries of Chicago’s analytical framework. Siu’s understanding of migration as temporary, in particular, departed from Chicago sociology’s emphasis on immigrant assimilation. This article seeks to reexamine Siu’s contribution and underline its value for current and future research on migration.
      PubDate: 2022-08-27
      DOI: 10.1007/s12108-022-09540-5
       
 
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