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American Sociological Review
Journal Prestige (SJR): 6.333
Citation Impact (citeScore): 6
Number of Followers: 332  
  Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
ISSN (Print) 0003-1224 - ISSN (Online) 1939-8271
Published by Sage Publications Homepage  [1090 journals]
  • A Numbers Game: Quantification of Work, Auto-Gamification, and Worker
    • Authors: Aruna Ranganathan, Alan Benson
      Abstract: American Sociological Review, Ahead of Print.
      Technological advances and the big-data revolution have facilitated fine-grained, high-frequency, low-cost measurement of individuals’ work. Yet we understand little about the influences of such quantification of work on workers’ behavior and performance. This article investigates how and when quantification of work affects worker productivity. We argue that quantification affects worker productivity via auto-gamification, or workers’ inadvertent transformation of work into an independent, individual-level game. We further argue that quantification is likely to raise productivity in a context of simple work, where auto-gamification is motivating because quantified metrics adequately measure the work being performed. When work is complex, by contrast, quantification reduces productivity because quantified metrics cannot adequately measure the multifaceted work being performed, causing auto-gamification to be demotivating. To substantiate our argument, we study implementation of an RFID measurement technology that quantifies individual workers’ output in real time at a garment factory in India. Qualitative evidence uncovers the auto-gamification mechanism and three conditions that enable it; a natural experiment tests the consequences of quantification of work for worker productivity. This article contributes to the study of quantification, work games, technology, and organizations, and we explore the policy implications of further quantification of work.
      Citation: American Sociological Review
      PubDate: 2020-07-10T03:01:55Z
      DOI: 10.1177/0003122420936665
  • Socially-Structured Mobility Networks and School Segregation Dynamics: The
           Role of Emergent Consideration Sets
    • Authors: Julia Burdick-Will, Jeffrey A. Grigg, Kiara Millay Nerenberg, Faith Connolly
      Abstract: American Sociological Review, Ahead of Print.
      This study proposes and applies a novel method for empirically evaluating the role of social structure in the school sorting process. We use administrative records from Baltimore City and suburban Baltimore County public elementary schools (2011 to 2015) to generate a network of schools based on student transfers. We then apply repeated calculations of the Louvian method of community detection to estimate emergent sets of schools that similar parents are likely to consider—which we term emergent consideration sets—and use gravity models to explore the role of social structure, demographics, and geography in observed enrollment patterns. We find that our network-derived emergent consideration sets are better defined by structural boundaries than by student composition or proficiency alone. Within consideration sets, students tend to avoid schools with relatively higher levels of free- and reduced-price meal eligibility and flock toward schools with higher proficiency levels. School racial composition, however, plays a much smaller role in predicting movement between schools, in part because structural constraints generate racially homogeneous consideration sets. Together, these findings highlight how regional social and geographic organization shapes school segregation processes and the policies used to combat them.
      Citation: American Sociological Review
      PubDate: 2020-07-07T03:19:21Z
      DOI: 10.1177/0003122420934739
  • What Explains Racial/Ethnic Inequality in Job Quality in the Service
    • Authors: Adam Storer, Daniel Schneider, Kristen Harknett
      Abstract: American Sociological Review, Ahead of Print.
      Precarious work in the United States is defined by economic and temporal dimensions. A large literature documents the extent of low wages and limited fringe benefits, but research has only recently examined the prevalence and consequences of unstable and unpredictable work schedules. Yet practices such as on-call shifts, last minute cancellations, and insufficient work hours are common in the retail and food-service sectors. Little research has examined racial/ethnic inequality in this temporal dimension of job quality, yet precarious scheduling practices may be a significant, if mostly hidden, site for racial/ethnic inequality, because scheduling practices differ significantly between firms and because front-line managers have substantial discretion in scheduling. We draw on innovative matched employer-employee data from The Shift Project to estimate racial/ethnic gaps in these temporal dimensions of job quality and to examine the contribution of firm-level sorting and intra-organizational dynamics to these gaps. We find significant racial/ethnic gaps in exposure to precarious scheduling that disadvantage non-white workers. We provide novel evidence that both firm segregation and racial discordance between workers and managers play significant roles in explaining racial/ethnic gaps in job quality. Notably, we find that racial/ethnic gaps are larger for women than for men.
      Citation: American Sociological Review
      PubDate: 2020-06-19T02:42:36Z
      DOI: 10.1177/0003122420930018
  • How Marriage Matters for the Intergenerational Mobility of Family Income:
           Heterogeneity by Gender, Life Course, and Birth Cohort
    • Authors: Seongsoo Choi, Inkwan Chung, Richard Breen
      First page: 353
      Abstract: American Sociological Review, Ahead of Print.
      Adult children’s labor market status and their type of marriage are major channels through which family advantages are passed from one generation to the next. However, these two routes are seldom studied together. We develop a theoretical approach to incorporate marriage entry and marital sorting into the intergenerational transmission of family income, accounting for differences between sons and daughters and considering education as a central explanatory factor. Using a novel decomposition method applied to data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, we find that marriage plays a major role in intergenerational transmission only among daughters and not until they reach their late-30s. This is more salient in the recent cohort in our data (people born 1963 to 1975). Marital status and marital sorting are comparably important in accounting for the role of marriage, but sorting becomes more important over cohorts. The increasing earnings returns to education over a husband’s career and the weakening association between parental income and daughter’s own earnings explain why marital sorting, and marriage overall, have been growing more important for intergenerational transmission from parents to their daughters.
      Citation: American Sociological Review
      PubDate: 2020-05-12T07:23:51Z
      DOI: 10.1177/0003122420917591
  • National Family Policies and Mothers’ Employment: How Earnings
           Inequality Shapes Policy Effects across and within Countries
    • Authors: Jennifer L. Hook, Eunjeong Paek
      First page: 381
      Abstract: American Sociological Review, Ahead of Print.
      Although researchers generally agree that national family policies play a role in shaping mothers’ employment, there is considerable debate about whether, how, and why policy effects vary across country contexts and within countries by mothers’ educational attainment. We hypothesize that family policies interact with national levels of earnings inequality to differentially affect mothers’ employment outcomes by educational attainment. We develop hypotheses about the two most commonly studied family policies—early childhood education and care (ECEC) and paid parental leave. We test these hypotheses by establishing a novel linkage between the EU-Labour Force Survey and the Current Population Survey 1999 to 2016 (n = 23 countries, 299 country-years, 1.2 million mothers of young children), combined with an original collection of country-year indicators. Using multilevel models, we find that ECEC spending is associated with a greater likelihood of maternal employment, but the association is strongest for non-college-educated mothers in high-inequality settings. The length of paid parental leave over six months is generally associated with a lower likelihood of maternal employment, but the association is most pronounced for mothers in high-inequality settings. We call for greater attention to the role of earnings inequality in shaping mothers’ employment and conditioning policy effects.
      Citation: American Sociological Review
      PubDate: 2020-06-01T03:58:52Z
      DOI: 10.1177/0003122420922505
  • Elaborating on the Abstract: Group Meaning-Making in a Colombian
           Microsavings Program
    • Authors: Laura B. Doering, Kristen McNeill
      First page: 417
      Abstract: American Sociological Review, Ahead of Print.
      Access to formal financial products like savings accounts constitutes a hallmark feature of economic development, but individuals do not uniformly embrace these products. In explaining such financial preferences, scholars have focused on institutional, cultural, and material factors, but they have paid less attention to organizations and small groups. In this article, we argue that these factors are crucial to understanding financial preferences. We investigate a government-sponsored microsavings program in Colombia and find that participants became less interested in banking services over the course of the program, even as they gained access to appropriate accounts and their savings increased. Turning to qualitative data to understand this curious finding, we show that organizational efforts to disseminate abstract information about banking triggered a process of “elaboration” among group members, leading many to develop financial preferences at odds with those promoted by the government. This study integrates insights from economic sociology, organizational theory, and microsociology to advance theories of financial preference. In doing so, we reveal how organizational efforts to compress information, followed by group efforts to personalize and expand upon the information, can shape preferences and potentially undermine organizational goals.
      Citation: American Sociological Review
      PubDate: 2020-06-05T02:07:20Z
      DOI: 10.1177/0003122420920647
  • Scientific Hegemony and the Field of Autism
    • Authors: Claire Laurier Decoteau, Meghan Daniel
      First page: 451
      Abstract: American Sociological Review, Ahead of Print.
      Autism is one of the twenty-first century’s most contested illnesses. Early controversies around vaccine harm have irrevocably structured the field of autism science. Despite incredible investment in genetic research on autism over the past 30 years, scientists have failed to identify a set of “genes for” autism, and genomic causality has become more complex. Yet, orthodox genetic explanations for autism have retained dominance over a vociferous field of heterodox experts pointing to a series of environmental insults (vaccines, heavy metal exposure, overuse of antibiotics, toxic pollution) as the main causes of autism. To make sense of this puzzling trend, we develop a novel theoretical synthesis combining a Bourdieusian field analysis with a Gramscian conception of hegemony, centered around the concept of “subsumptive orthodoxy.” Analyzing multiple years of archival data from the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee, we argue that when faced with heterodox challenges, dominant members of the field shore up hegemony by incorporating environmental causal factors into the genome, thus engaging in subsumptive orthodoxy. This move gives rhetorical space to environmental explanations without providing them substantive causal weight, which renders particular environmental causes (like vaccines) impossible. This article traces the strategies dominant members of the field use to retain control over the definition and etiology of autism. We develop the broader implications of the study within autism science and beyond.
      Citation: American Sociological Review
      PubDate: 2020-05-22T06:35:23Z
      DOI: 10.1177/0003122420922531
  • Measuring Stability and Change in Personal Culture Using Panel Data
    • Authors: Kevin Kiley, Stephen Vaisey
      First page: 477
      Abstract: American Sociological Review, Ahead of Print.
      Models of population-wide cultural change tend to invoke one of two broad models of individual change. One approach theorizes people actively updating their beliefs and behaviors in the face of new information. The other argues that, following early socialization experiences, dispositions are stable. We formalize these two models, elaborate empirical implications of each, and derive a simple combined model for comparing them using panel data. We test this model on 183 attitude and behavior items from the 2006 to 2014 rotating panels of the General Social Survey. The pattern of results is complex but more consistent with the settled dispositions model than with the active updating model. Most of the observed change in the GSS appears to be short-term attitude change or measurement error rather than persisting changes. When persistent change occurs, it is somewhat more likely to occur in younger people and for public behaviors and beliefs about high-profile issues than for private attitudes. We argue that we need both models in our theory of cultural evolution but that we need more research on the circumstances under which each is more likely to apply.
      Citation: American Sociological Review
      PubDate: 2020-06-05T02:07:18Z
      DOI: 10.1177/0003122420921538
  • Pluralistic Collapse: The “Oil Spill” Model of Mass Opinion
    • Authors: Daniel DellaPosta
      First page: 507
      Abstract: American Sociological Review, Ahead of Print.
      Despite widespread feeling that public opinion in the United States has become dramatically polarized along political lines, empirical support for such a pattern is surprisingly elusive. Reporting little evidence of mass polarization, previous studies assume polarization is evidenced via the amplification of existing political alignments. This article considers a different pathway: polarization occurring via social, cultural, and political alignments coming to encompass an increasingly diverse array of opinions and attitudes. The study uses 44 years of data from the General Social Survey representing opinions and attitudes across a wide array of domains as elements in an evolving belief network. Analyses of this network produce evidence that mass polarization has increased via a process of belief consolidation, entailing the collapse of previously cross-cutting alignments, thus creating increasingly broad and encompassing clusters organized around cohesive packages of beliefs. Further, the increasing salience of political ideology and partisanship only partly explains this trend. The structure of U.S. opinion has shifted in ways suggesting troubling implications for proponents of political and social pluralism.
      Citation: American Sociological Review
      PubDate: 2020-06-05T02:07:22Z
      DOI: 10.1177/0003122420922989
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