SAGE Publications Inc: American Sociological Review: Table of Contents
Immigration and Welfare Support in Germany: Methodological Reevaluations and Substantive Conclusions
American Sociological Review, Volume 84, Issue 4, Page 764-768, August 2019.
Does Immigration Reduce the Support for Welfare Spending? A Cautionary Tale on Spatial Panel Data Analysis
American Sociological Review, Volume 84, Issue 4, Page 754-763, August 2019.
There has been a long-lasting debate over whether increasing ethnic diversity undermines support for social welfare, and whether this conflict thesis applies not only to the United States, but also to European welfare states. In their 2016 ASR article, Schmidt-Catran and Spies analyzed a panel (1994 to 2010) of regional units in Germany and concluded that this thesis also holds for Germany. We argue that their analysis suffers from misspecification: their model specification assumes parallel time trends in welfare support in all German regions. However, time trends strongly differed between Western and Eastern Germany after reunification. In the 1990s, Eastern Germans’ attitudes adapted to a less interventionist Western welfare system (“Goodbye Lenin effect”). When allowing for heterogeneous time trends, we find no evidence that increasing proportions of foreigners undermine welfare support, or that this association is moderated by economic hardship (high unemployment rates). We conclude with some general suggestions regarding the conceptualization of context effects in spatial analyses.
American Sociological Review, Volume 84, Issue 4, Page 634-663, August 2019.
Research disrupts the social world, often by making respondents aware that they are being observed or by instigating reflection upon particular aspects of life via the very act of asking questions. Building on insights from the first Hawthorne studies, reflexive ethnographers, and methodologists concerned with panel conditioning, we draw on six years of research within a community in southern Malawi to introduce a conceptual framework for theorizing disruption in observational research. We present a series of poignant-yet-typical tales from the field and two additional tools—the refresher-sample-as-comparison and study-focused ethnography—for measuring disruption empirically in a longitudinal study. We find evidence of study effects in many domains of life that relate directly to our scope of inquiry (i.e., union formation, fertility) and in some that extend beyond it (i.e., health). Moreover, some study effects were already known and discussed in the broader community, which was also affected by our research in unintended ways. We conclude that the assumption of non-interactivity in observational research is shaky at best, urging data-gatherers and users to think more seriously about the role of disruption in their work.
American Sociological Review, Volume 84, Issue 4, Page 726-753, August 2019.
What rhetorics run throughout radical discourse, and why do some gain prominence over others? The scholarship on radicalism largely portrays radical discourse as opposition to powerful ideas and enemies, but radicals often evince great interest in personal and local concerns. To shed light on how radicals use and adopt rhetoric, we analyze an original corpus of more than 23,000 pages produced by Afghan radical groups between 1979 and 2001 using a novel computational abductive approach. We first identify how radicalism not only attacks dominant ideas, actors, and institutions using a rhetoric of subversion, but also how it can use a rhetoric of reversion to urge intimate transformations in morals and behavior. Next, we find evidence that radicals’ networks of support affect the rhetorical mixture they espouse, due to social ties drawing radicals into encounters with backers’ social domains. Our study advances a relational understanding of radical discourse, while also showing how a combination of computational and abductive methods can help theorize and analyze discourses of contention.
American Sociological Review, Volume 84, Issue 4, Page 609-633, August 2019.
Household labor is commonly defined as a set of physical tasks such as cooking, cleaning, and shopping. Sociologists sometimes reference non-physical activities related to “household management,” but these are typically mentioned in passing, imprecisely defined, or treated as equivalent to physical tasks. Using 70 in-depth interviews with members of 35 couples, this study argues that such tasks are better understood as examples of a unique dimension of housework: cognitive labor. The data demonstrate that cognitive labor entails anticipating needs, identifying options for filling them, making decisions, and monitoring progress. Because such work is taxing but often invisible to both cognitive laborers and their partners, it is a frequent source of conflict for couples. Cognitive labor is also a gendered phenomenon: women in this study do more cognitive labor overall and more of the anticipation and monitoring work in particular. However, male and female participation in decision-making, arguably the cognitive labor component most closely linked to power and influence, is roughly equal. These findings identify and define an overlooked—yet potentially consequential—source of gender inequality at the household level and suggest a new direction for research on the division of household labor.
American Sociological Review, Volume 84, Issue 4, Page 690-725, August 2019.
Despite marked declines in black-white segregation over the past half century, there has been limited scholarly attention to the effects of increasing integration. This is a significant omission given that sociologists have long viewed residential segregation as a fundamental determinant of racial inequality, and extant research has produced inconsistent findings on the consequences of segregation for different racial groups. Using the case of violence, this study leverages a unique combination of race-specific information on homicide, socioeconomic, and demographic characteristics for 103 major metropolitan areas across five decades (1970 to 2010) to examine the criminogenic consequences of segregation for whites and blacks. Three notable findings emerge from our inquiry: (1) racial segregation substantially increases the risk of homicide victimization for blacks while (2) simultaneously decreasing the risk of white homicide victimization. The result of these heterogeneous effects is that (3) segregation plays a central role in driving black-white differences in homicide mortality. These findings suggest the declines in racial segregation since 1970 have substantially attenuated the black-white homicide gap.
Between Tolerant Containment and Concerted Constraint: Managing Madness for the City and the Privileged Family
American Sociological Review, Volume 84, Issue 4, Page 664-689, August 2019.
How do public safety net and elite private mental health providers cope with a key dilemma since psychiatric deinstitutionalization—managing madness when people have the right to refuse care? I observed two approaches to voluntary community-based services, one that tolerates “non-compliance” and deviant choices, and another that attempts to therapeutically discipline clientele. The puzzle, given theories of the paternalistic governance of poverty, is that select poor patients are given autonomy while the privileged are micro-managed. Drawing on comparative fieldwork in Los Angeles, I show how contrasting ecological pressures and resource bases shape divergent practices. In the context of urban poverty governance, mental health care and low-barrier housing offer a way to remove problem people from public space. This “tolerant containment” is linked to limited therapeutic capacity and the construction of clients as beyond transformation. In the context of family systems governance, elite private mental health care is a project to reform wayward relatives and equip them with respectable futures. A “concerted constraint” of deviance, akin to Lareau’s theory of privileged childrearing, is reserved for those who can afford rehabilitation and conceivably recover. Using these cases, I contribute to theories of social control and inequality in advanced liberal societies.
American Sociological Review, Volume 84, Issue 4, Page 577-608, August 2019.
Opioid use claims many thousands of lives each year. This article considers the diffusion of prescription opioid (PO) use within family households as one potential culprit of the proliferation of these medications. In an analysis of hundreds of millions of medical claims and almost 14 million opioid prescriptions in one state between 2010 and 2015, we show that the use of POs spreads within family households. We also show that the treatment effect of exposure to a family member’s PO use is driven by an increase in PO consumption for medical conditions that members of treated and untreated families experience at nearly identical rates. This pattern of results suggests household exposure causes an uptick in patient demand for prescription opioids. We use an instrumental variable estimation strategy to address the well-known challenges to estimating a causal effect of intra-household contagion, such as genotypic similarities among family members, assortative matching in partner selection, and clustering of health conditions within households. The results spotlight the salience of the most ubiquitous social structure, the family household, in accelerating opioid consumption to unprecedented levels. The findings also suggest that rather than direct social influence between physicians, the spread of prescription behavior in physician networks may be driven by shifts in patient demand that propagate through the patient sharing network.
The American Sociological Review is the flagship journal of the American Sociological Association (ASA). The ASA founded this journal in 1936 with the mission to publish original works of interest to the sociology discipline in general, new theoretical developments, results of research that advance our understanding of fundamental social processes, and important methodological innovations. All areas of sociology are welcome in the American Sociological Review. Emphasis is on exceptional quality and general interest. The American Sociological Review does not publish book reviews.