Acta Sociologica

Published by SAGE Publications
Recent decades have witnessed a drastic increase in biomedical research. As this type of research often implies experimentation with human subjects, ethical considerations concerning doctors' use of their patients in experiments become necessary. According to the Helsinki Declaration, the human sub jects must have given their informed consent before being included in any experiment. Based on a case from an ongoing research project concerning voluntary participation in experimentation this paper descnbes practices and attitudes of the doctor as well as the patient in the process of obtaining informed consent. It is however doubtful whether such consent is always obtained. The reason for this can be found in the educational background and research traditions of the medical profession. Patients are objectified and made powerless and thus become unable to make decisions about their own situations. The predominant ethics within the health sector are utilitarian ethics which regard the individual as means to an end Deontological ethics, on the other hand, demand respect for the autonomy and integrity of the individual. Future goals for deontological ethics are discussed.
Percentage of European Union trade with a destination of Europe.  
Percentage of world merchandise imports and exports by region, 1980-1999.
Number of mergers and joint ventures for the 1000 largest European Union firms. (Source: OECD 1 99 6: Table 1:12.)  
Percentage of mergers of the 1000 largest European Union (EU) corporations within nation, across the EU and by non-EU firms. (Source: OECD 1996: Table 1:12.)  
Cross-border mergers by region, sales and purchases. 1990-1999.
At the core of the European Union, has been the gradual creation of the "single market" across western Europe. The European Union began as the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) and expanded to become the European Economic Community (EEC). The original intent of the ECSC was to stabilize the production of steel across Europe in order to prevent ruinous competition. The EEC formed to expand the activities of the alliance to cooperation in agricultural policies and various industrial policies. The Treaty of Rome which produced the EEC, had the goal of reducing tariffs and other trade barriers, thereby promoting free trade and economic growth. Both Schumann and Monet, the principal intellectual architects of the EEC felt that if the European societies had economies that were more integrated, governments would be less tempted to engage in military activities that would end up in war.
This paper examines the relationship between class of origin, educational attainment, and class of entry to the labour force, in three cohorts of men in the Republic of Ireland using data collected in 1987 The three cohorts comprise men born (i) before 1937; (ii) between 1937 and 1949; and (m) between 1950 and 1962. The paper assesses the degree of change over the three cohorts in respect of (a) the gross relationship between origins and entry class; (b) the partial effect (controlling for education) of origin class on entry class; (c) the partial effect of education (controlling for ongins) on class of entry. In broad terms the liberal theory of industrialism would imply a movement, over the three cohorts, towards (a) increasing social fluidity, (b) a weakening of the partial effect of origin class; (c) a strengthening of the partial effect of education These latter two trends should be particularly noticeable in the youngest cohort, which would, to some degree, have benefited from the introduction of free post-primary education in Ireland in 1967
This paper estimates the risk preferences of cotton farmers in Southern Peru, using the results from a multiple-price-list lottery game. Assuming that preferences conform to two of the leading models of decision under risk--Expected Utility Theory (EUT) and Cumulative Prospect Theory (CPT)--we find strong evidence of moderate risk aversion. Once we include individual characteristics in the estimation of risk parameters, we observe that farmers use subjective nonlinear probability weighting, a behavior consistent with CPT. Interestingly, when we allow for preference heterogeneity via the estimation of mixture models--where the proportion of subjects who behave according to EUT or to CPT is endogenously determined--we find that the majority of farmers' choices are best explained by CPT. We further hypothesize that the multiple switching behavior observed in our sample can be explained by nonlinear probability weighting made in a context of large random calculation mistakes; the evidence found on this regard is mixed. Finally, we find that attaining higher education is the single most important individual characteristic correlated with risk preferences, a result that suggests a connection between cognitive abilities and behavior towards risk.
This paper develops a framework for studying individuals’ ideas about what constitutes just compensation for chief executive officers (CEOs) and reports estimates of just CEO pay and the principles guiding ideas of justice. The sample consists of students pursuing a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree in Sweden and the United States. The framework, based on justice theory and making use of Rossi’s factorial survey method, enables assessment of ideas of fairness in CEO compensation, including (1) the just CEO compensation, in the eyes of each observer; (2) the principles of microjustice - observers’ ideas about "who should get what" based on characteristics of CEOs and their firms; and (3) principles of macrojustice - ideas about the just level and dispersion in compensation across all CEOs. Our estimates yield the following main results: First, there is broad agreement on the median just CEO compensation but substantial inter-individual variation in the principles of microjustice and the other principles of macrojustice. Second, there is remarkable similarity in the distributions of the principles of microjustice and macrojustice across the MBA groups. Other important results include a pervasive gender attentiveness among MBA students and tolerance for large variability in CEO pay.
In this article an attempt is made to discuss some new strategies of the social state as an alternative to welfare-state management One example is the emergence of 'social networks' by means of which it is hoped to shrink the state apparatus, diminish costs, bring the social bureaucracies closer to the people, and produce ideologies of natural and national togetherness But a network society in which 'everyone becomes a social worker for everyone else' seems likely to universalize the repressive character of the therapeutic society. The new social state is increasingly a critical manifestation of heroic socio- cultural practices The influence of social bureaucracies is not weakening but getting stronger The community rhetoric becomes a form that symbolizes and reinforces social life. Critical discussion on the social state easily becomes propagandistic. And the focus of the new discussion seems to be both on the simple order of everyday life and on the contradictions and complexities of modern society.
In this article we examine transformation of the Finnish employee ideal since the Second World War. Our qualitative analysis is based on the data of 490 job advertisements from 1944 to 2009, and follows the change in employee requirements during this period. Our results show that requirements for transferable, particularly interpersonal, skills increased considerably during the research period. While workmanship, diligence, competence and work experience were the most common employee requirements in the job advertisements of the 1940s and 1950s, employees today are required to possess qualities such as stress resilience, flexibility, productivity, inventiveness and the desire to learn new things. The qualities required of white-collar employees have increased in particular. We conclude that, unlike the post-war period, today the ideal employee is characterized by flexibility and interpersonal skills reflecting changes in the organization of work, work organizations and work culture.
Studies on the relation between class and voting behaviour traditionally use measures of absolute class voting (Alford indices), and apply simple class schemes (a manual/non-manual class dichotomy). Almost all these studies showed that levels of class voting differed between countries and that declines in levels of class voting occurred in most countries in the postwar period. However, recently, scholars have argued that using measures of relative class voting (e.g. log-odds-ratios) and more detailed class schemes (e.g. the EGP class scheme) might yield different conclusions. In this article the tenability of this claim is tested analysing comparable data from twenty Western industrial democracies in the period 1945-90. The main finding is that the different measurement procedures do not lead to essentially different conclusions. Using various procedures, a similar ranking of the countries with respect to their levels of class voting was obtained: the Scandinavian countries and Britain having the highest levels of class voting, and the United States and Canada the lowest. Furthermore, on using the various procedures, declines in levels of relative class voting were indicated in the same countries (particularly the Scandinavian countries, Germany and Britain), while no evidence of substantial declines was found in others (Canada, Ireland, Luxembourg, Switzerland and The Netherlands).
The employment structure of The Netherlands and other advanced countries is evolving from industrial to postindustrial. Yet existing social class schemata, like the well-known Erikson, Goldthorpe and Portocarero (EGP) class schema, were constructed for an industrial employment structure. In this study, we adjust the EGP class schema to account for this transformation by using new class theories. We distinguish a ‘new’ class of social and cultural specialists and an ‘old’ class of technocrats with both a higher and a lower version in the service class. Our research question concerns the extent to which the adjusted EGP class schema is a better predictor of people’s political orientation than the standard EGP class schema. We assume that the ‘new’ classes differ in their political orientation from the ‘old’ classes. We also assume that, during their formation, the ‘new’ classes become increasingly effective in explaining differences in people’s political orientation. Experts’ knowledge is employed to classify the occupations. In addition, we use the data of 34,856 respondents gathered between 1970 and 2003 in The Netherlands. The adjusted EGP class schema explains people’s political orientation substantially better than the standard EGP class schema; the ‘new’ classes vote significantly more for leftist parties and differ substantially in their political orientation from the ‘old’ classes. Furthermore, our results show that the political orientation of the low-grade social and cultural specialists has become more crystallized since 1970.
Both educational attainment and fields of study have been found to influence individuals’ socio-economic position, but their joint socio-economic impact has received considerably less research attention to date. Focusing on Finland, the article attempts to address this gap. Using large-scale and mainly register-based cross-sectional data, the logged annual earnings of young Finnish adults are estimated by means of median regression models for the years 1985, 1995 and 2005. Results show that whether or not educational level raises individuals’ socio-economic position crucially depends on the fields of study involved. Educational attainment increases earnings mainly within the same field of study, but not necessarily when comparing the impact of qualifications across different areas of specialization. Furthermore, trends over time in the economic value of educational qualifications are heterogeneous, with stability, decline and growth simultaneously affecting different fields of study within a given educational level. Gender differences in the returns to vocational education tentatively indicate that, at lower educational levels, female-dominated fields of study might be more beneficial for women’s earnings than stereotypically male fields, yet this result does not appear robust over alternative measures of socio-economic status. On the whole, it is suggested that theories of social closure and status competition may be more suited to account for the relationship between education and earnings stratification in Finland than arguments based on personal characteristics such as individuals' productivity.
Utilizing the 'Metropolitan' database, which provides unique longitudinal data on a cohort of 15,000 individuals born in Stockholm in 1953, the paper tests various hypotheses on how conditions in childhood and social upbringing influence sickness absence in adulthood. The hypotheses were derived from different perspectives within the social sciences. The findings suggest that the effects of social background are transmitted via several mechanisms, and that it is useful to see some of the competing hypotheses on social class and health-related phenomena as complementary rather than contradictory. However, the results also suggest that both 'the culture of poverty hypothesis' and the 'biological imprint hypothesis' should be rejected. Because effects of social background are mediated by career variables such as school performance, educational level and current socio-economic status, the results support the 'unfavourable life career hypothesis'. In addition to these effects, an influence of being brought up in a family with serious domestic problems is found. This is congruent with 'the social imprint hypothesis', that childhood conditions may have lasting effects on conditions and behaviours in adult life, irrespective of later exposure.
Network analysis has grown rapidly over the past two decades, but criticisms of the approach have increased as well This article focuses on several accomplishments and unresolved problems of the network approach In the first section. I illustrate the value of the network model in several substantive areas. focusing on studies of centrahty and power, network subgroups, and interorganizational relations I then discuss three issues over which the approach has provoked controversy the relation between network analysis and rational choice theory; the role of norms and culture, and the question of human agency I conclude with some examples of how network theorists are addressing these problems Peer Reviewed
Theodor Geiger is one of the sociological discipline's unappreciated classics. This article focuses on a particular and often neglected part of his work, the study of revolutionary crowds. The article has two main objectives. First, it presents and discusses Geiger's subtle and thoroughly sociological account of crowds and their revolutionary character. This includes an outlook to his theory of differentiation and to his critique of communitarian pathos in modern society. Second, the article demonstrates that Geiger's theory has much to offer contemporary debates on revolution. This is shown more specifically by contrasting Geiger's theory with Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri's recent work. According to Hardt and Negri, the present imperial world order may be radically transformed by a new revolutionary subject, the multitude. The article contends that in many respects Geiger's theory provides a more complex picture of the possibility of revolution.
Social movement activism requires emotional motivation and entails emotional costs, and, because of this, activists tend to be deeply involved in the management of emotions – or emotion work – and not just in connection with protest events, but also on an everyday basis. Based on a case study of animal rights activism in Sweden, this article identifies five types of emotion work that animal rights activists typically perform: containing, ventilation, ritualization, micro-shocking and normalization of guilt. The emotion work performed by activists, it is argued, is best understood from a moral-sociological perspective building on Durkheim’s sociology of morality, based on which the article then outlines key elements of a comprehensive theoretical framework for the study of emotion work in social movements.
This report should be regarded as a contribution to the debate on "cumulative activities", i.e. it endeavours to throw light on the question whcther various kinds of leisure time activity are associated with each other. To examine these problems, survey data were collected in 1969 for a sample of 322 persons, representing the population of Oslo. The main conclusions reached are that the data support a hypothesis tor a so-called "partial cumulative pattern" for different activities. In addition it was found that the level of education played a major part in the development of the cumulative activity pattern.
In this article we study how the frequency of book-reading – a form of legitimate culture – develops in the period from adolescence to young adulthood and how it is influenced by parents’ education, parental reading socialization climate, school and their interactions. In disentangling parental and educational effects we contribute to the cultural reproduction–cultural mobility debate. We use multi-actor panel data on three cohorts of Dutch secondary school students (and their parents) who took part in a classroom survey between the ages of 14 and 17, and who participated in at least one of the follow-up surveys two, four and six years later. We find that the amount of book-reading is more strongly associated with education than with parents’ reading socialization. The influence of parents increases slightly in the period from adolescence to young adulthood. Differences in reading behaviour between students of different educational programmes increase during secondary education, but decrease in the period after secondary schooling. The transition to tertiary education hardly affects the frequency of reading. Overall, the results are more in line with the cultural reproduction model than with the cultural mobility model.
Mean dispersion analysis (variables with p<0.05 are given in boldface)
Control models IV, V and VI
Research on public opinion on economic inequality mainly focuses on the legitimation of inequalities and possible discrepancies between public opinion on fair economic inequality and factual income distributions. However, what has been neglected is the extent to which individual or country characteristics affect deviations from average public opinion. To account for these deviations, we establish a joint multi-level mean–dispersion model and scrutinize the impact of educational systems as a hitherto neglected factor that may affect dispersion in opinion distributions. Besides an individual’s level of education and welfare state characteristics, we show that vocational orientation of educational systems, too, has a substantial impact. This institutional feature appears to reduce the extent to which individual opinions deviate from average public opinion on the fairness of economic inequalities.
The widely held assumption that the welfare society model is superseding the welfare state model has restructured the common view of the future of social policy all around the world. This study brings local issues into focus with an investigation of the applicability of the welfare society model in the Scandinavian context. The study first examines the strength of the various welfare agents sector by sector to define the sectoral rationale, and second it seeks to reveal the system rationale of the Scandinavian welfare state by using the perspective of private-public interplay. The basic argument is that the public sector-led structure of welfare provision prevents non-public agents from realizing their full potential. The far-reaching institutional integration of the private and public spheres leaves little room for voluntary (welfare) agents to operate; the weak sense of reciprocality, combined with a strong notion of welfare right, still renders normative support for a system of state welfare. These conditions will surely vitiate the high hopes that some hold for the welfare society model in Scandinavia.
Scientific discussion about homosexuality is often a mixture of science, myth, religion, politics and emotion. Homosexual behaviour has been variously defined as sick, criminally deviant and heathen, its participants in need of punishment, cure and control In the 1980s, with the appearance of the deadly AIDS virus, this overt and covert hostility has gained new impetus. Not only are gays a threat to a multitude of 'decent' values in society, they are also a threat to the 'decent' members of society. Alongside control-talk the new virus has provided a challenge to the medical profession. Careers and monetary gain can be made out of AIDS The news media received its cut by exploiting public curiosity and fear and by satisfying the need for villains and heros, entering and feeding the general rush for emotion, using and being used, all for profit Struggle for expertise means defining out the perceived competition and alternative viewpoints. An attempt by the medical profession to define the AIDS issue as a medical problem has, above all, to do with power, prestige and especially profit. In the middle of all these secondary issues, those suffering from AIDS or fearing it, tend to be forgotten.
Alcoholic beverages have multiple objective uses that can be analyzed to some degree independently of prevailing cultural attitudes. Three main uses which are directly based on the physical properties of beverage alcohol as a substance are identified: nutritional use. medicinal use and use as an intoxicant The following physical properties of beverage alcohol are singled out for discussion. medicinal effects, caloric content, liquid state, taste and intoxicating effects. The use of alcohol as a gift and for sacral purposes are examples of the derived uses that are based on its cultural meanings rather than on its physical properties In consuming alcohol, its nutritional, med icinal and intoxicating effects are always simultaneously present. Thus the different uses interact on the level of drinking behavior without distinct boundaries The histoncally dominant use is of prime importance, however, from the perspective of the dynamics of cultural regulation. Restraining the side effects of nutritives is different from domesticating an intoxicant. Cul tures in which nutritional use is of little historical importance are faced with the latter task In a critique of Pittman's typology, it is argued that Italy and France, on the one hand, and the Jews, Scandinavians and Camba, on the other, are variations of two basic types with regard to alcohol. In Italy and France, the nutritional use of alcohol is historically dominant, but the French have developed more tolerant attitudes towards the intoxicating side effects of wine Among the Jews, the Scandinavians and the Camba alike, alcohol is an intoxicant, but these three cultures have developed alternative nor mative solutions for the regulation of its use.
A general assumption is that alienation correlates with consumption of escape-type content from the mass media. In the study reported here this was not observed. In order to interpret this result alienation was considered as a process beginning with difficulties in situation definitions. Assumedly the 'heavy' information of the mass media offers such definitions. In the beginning of the alienation process people thus feel difficulties in defining the situations and assumedly react in such a situation compensatively, with heightened intake of 'heavy' information. If this does not help in defining the situations, a second reaction, restriction of or withdrawal from 'heavy' information is plausible. Some results supported this interpretation, but there were conflicting results, too.
In this article I argue against the widespread opinion that social mechanisms and grand theories of Modernity are conflicting approaches to social theory. My main thesis is that even though they clearly differ, they exhibit complementary strengths and weaknesses. Hence, I argue for a cooperative solution to the question of their coexistence within sociology. I present what I call a Weberian solution to this query. More precisely, I claim that a grand theory of Modernity should be conceived of as a constellation of social mechanisms. As a result, grand theories of Modernity may be both more properly articulated and tested empirically, whereas social mechanisms may be reconnected to the classical project of sociology, namely to construct a comprehensive theory of modernity. I illustrate the fruitfulness of my Weberian solution with a particular case, the sociology of freedom.
We analysed the effects of social origin on social class and income for a large sample of Swedish employees, aged 25-45, in 1990. The statistical models are particularly strong in handling mediating effects of educational attainment. The results show that, controlling for level and type of education, sons and daughters of higher white-collar origin have substantially greater chances of reaching service class positions than children of unskilled working class origin. We also found origin effects on income. In a model evaluating level, type of education and work experience, the advantage to income of having a white-collar origin is about 3-8 per cent. While origin effects on class position appear at the onset of work life, origin effects on income tend to be more evident throughout people's careers. Hypotheses about four mechanisms behind origin effects- Networks, Favouritism, Productivity, and Aspirations - are discussed on the basis of the results.
In this article, we determine changes in the relationship between education and the labor market in The Netherlands since 1960, for which both developments in the distribution of the labor force according to educational attainment and level of occupation (structural changes) and shifts in the mechanism to allocate educated individuals to occupational positions (which modify the net association between education and occupation) are used. To observe both developments, we make use of data from the 1960 Census and four Labor Force Surveys held in 1973, 1977, 1985, and 1991. Loglinear analysis shows that the association between education and occupation has altered. We conclude that changes in the relationship between education and occupation are not only the result of structural changes, but also the outcome of changes in the way educated individuals are allocated to jobs. These shifts in the allocation mechanism are largely connected with the state of the business cycle: in times of high unemployment, employers increasingly select employees on the basis of their education. We also find some support for modernization theory, but as soon as the state of the business cycle is accounted for, the impact of modernization becomes non-significant.
The aim of the study was to identify the specific factors that affect the risk of attempted suicide in Norwegian gay, lesbian and bisexual (GLB) youths beyond the effect of general risk factors presumed to be of importance irrespective of sexual orientation. The national non-probability sample included 407 GLB youths aged between 16 and 25 years of age, among whom 26 per cent of both genders reported a previous suicide attempt. General risk factors for attempted suicide among GLB youths were: lack of parental contact, internalizing problems (depression/anxiety), low self-esteem, regular smoking and victimization. The following risk factors specific for GLB youths increased the risk of attempted suicide even when controlling for general risk factors: currently being in a steady heterosexual relationship, early heterosexual debut (<16), young age of coming out (<15), infrequent contact with heterosexual friends and openness to all heterosexual friends. For practitioners engaged in social work among young people in general or GLB youths in particular, these results show that while coming out is a vital aspect of sexual identity formation that enhances psychological well-being and should be celebrated, in another sense it is a serious stressor with potentially negative consequences unless a strong social support network is there to be relied upon.
People today lead busy, hurried lives with competing time claims between the spheres of paid work and the household. The aim of this article is to provide more insight into the way men and women experience the multiple claims on their time and to attempt to understand the differences between European countries in this respect. Are we able to draw a sharp line in the work–family balance experienced in eastern and western Europe? Expectations are formulated at the individual level (work and home-related factors) and at the contextual level (gender culture and family policy). Data were gathered in 2001 within the international research programme ‘Households, Work and Flexibility’, financed by the European Union. The eight countries included in the analyses are Sweden, the Netherlands, UK, Slovenia, Hungary, Czech Republic, Romania and Bulgaria, and hypotheses are tested using multivariate regression analyses. At the contextual level, results reflect more support for the gender culture hypothesis than for the family friendly policy hypothesis. The multiplicity of options in western European countries due to the emancipation process causes time pressure. Individual factors are especially important in explaining combination pressure in the three western European countries: long working hours, overtime work, demanding job and having young children all add to the pressure men and women experience.
This article provides insight into the daily lives of separated parents involved in two types of living arrangements: single parents (mainly mothers) living with their children full-time and co-parents living with their children part-time. Earlier studies have stated that the everyday lives of separated mothers are more constrained than those of married mothers. We show that the growing diversity of post-separation living arrangements should no longer be ignored in studies of the consequences of separation, in policy frameworks or in debates on separation. Our findings reveal that single mothers experience more constraints in combining work, care and leisure in daily life than co-parents do. The differences between the groups are explained by different commitments in the work and care domains. These differences are not solely matters of choice. Single mothers who are less highly educated and work fewer hours than co-parents have limited resources with which to arrange or negotiate a more gender-equal outcome. Empirical evidence is drawn from individual in-depth interviews with 18 separated parents living in The Netherlands.
The paper challenges the belief that economic reality is perceived and economic policy formulated solely on the basis of the state of the economy and the trends within it Taken into account are the characteristics of the social institutions responsible for following economic development and for taking measures to control the economy themselves or through their author ized recommendations to other institutions within the social system The institutional and historical material used in this paper covers the four major Nordic countries The discussion focuses on the status of the central banks, especially their relation to government and parliament, and concludes (1) that central bank status varies greatly between the Nordic countries, and (2) that the autonomous status of the central bank appears to correlate with monetarist features of economic policy. Central banks have less autonomy in the more 'Keynesian' Scandinavian countries. Sweden and Norway, where Keynesianism is often connected with strong and long-term social democratic rule. The genesis of the structural status of the different central banks cannot be explained by the strength of social democracy Present differences in the structural status of the Scandinavian central banks existed as early as the nineteenth century, long before social democracy began to play a role in the government policy of any Scandinavian country or before the birth of Keynesianism as an economic doctrine.
This essay traces the discussion of ethnic group inclusion from Talcott Parsons to the present. It illustrates unappreciated convergences between earlier and current work while identifying what is genuinely novel about contemporary efforts.
This article has a triple aim: (1) it explores how the stunning advance of modern bioscience is affecting the social world, and how once-set boundaries are now being quickly transgressed; (2) it is suggested that the theoretical divides between modernists and post-modernists can be fruitfully viewed, from a sociology of knowledge perspective, as traces of a much more profound and ongoing evolutionary discourse now also affecting the social and the human sciences; (3) concerns are expressed regarding the destabilization of both the natural and the social world alike as a consequence of bioscience: the long-term social effects of the emphasis on individual choice, as presently argued, will eventually erode the system of collective responsibility altogether.
The objective of this article is to examine the association between women’s income and first birth risks in two fairly similar countries: Denmark and Finland. The benefit of comparing these two countries is that observed variation in fertility behaviour might be attributed to the few differences in context factors, with a special focus on detailed differences in family policies. The economic theory of fertility, as well as models about bargaining processes within the family, serve as a theoretical framework for explaining individual childbearing decisions within the specific context of each country. Discrete time multiple regressions are estimated to test the hypotheses on the data from the European Community Household Panel (1994–2001). In Denmark, women’s income has a positive effect on first birth risks, but the effect in Finland is insignificant. A second result is that Finnish women who earn more than their partner have lower first birth risks than those earning approximately the same.
Higher proportions of births outside marriage and more family breakdown indicate that children experience increased diversity of family circumstances at birth and during childhood. While England/Wales and Norway have many similar features, there are distinct differences in social and welfare policies. This article compares children’s experiences in the two countries in relation to these policies. Emphasis is put particularly on the impact of consensual unions. Children are the statistical unit and data from surveys and national statistics are compared. In both countries there is considerable risk of family dissolution in the case of children born into consensual unions, but the more so in England/Wales than in Norway. Even though the rate of extramarital births is much higher in Norway than in England/Wales, the corresponding rate of family change is lower. The article suggests that behind parental break-up lies an old pattern of social stratification masked as family change.
Today, there is widespread political optimism regarding the role of scientific knowledge as a driving force for innovation and economic growth. Could this lead us to overestimate science’s ability to provide innovation central to solving the challenges facing our society? This article is a study of the appropriation of science in knowledge intensive services: specifically, about how consulting engineers engage with new environmental knowledge. First, I investigate research communities’ efforts with respect to transfer of new environmental knowledge to the consulting engineering industry. Second, I analyse consulting engineers’ accounts of acquisition and use of scientific and other forms of new knowledge relevant to dealing with environmental issues. The article engages with the optimistic view by employing three theoretical perspectives, representing greater caution and highlighting different aspects of knowledge transfer and acquisition: Mode 2 theory, Latourian sociology of innovation and two-community theory. The ensuing empirical analysis challenges the optimistic views with regard to the role of new scientific knowledge for innovation; transfer efforts are limited and slow. Instead, the importance of indirect roads of transfer of scientific knowledge is emphasized, such as newly educated candidates and the development of regulations and codes. Another main finding is that consulting engineers’ acquisition of new knowledge was guided mainly by pragmatic demand, generated through problem-solving in the context of application.
This paper represents an attempt to compare the incidence of relative deprivation and poverty in Sweden and Great Britain. The study goes beyond the limitations of traditional income-based comparisons and the method applied builds on Mack & Lansley's (1985) direct consensual definition of deprivation. The analyses show that deprivation is more prevalent and more unevenly distributed in Britain compared with Sweden. However, more detailed analyses reveal that the probability of being poor is distributed in a similar way in the two countries. Low income households, the unemployed, those dependent on means-tested benefits and lone parents are worse off in both countries. Thus, it is very much the same processes that generate deprivation and poverty. However, Swedes are less deprived because incomes have been distributed more equally, unemployment has been lower, means-tested benefits have been more generous, and the situation for lone parents has been better in Sweden than in Britain during the 1980s.
The skills, qualifications and credentials generated by educational systems are strongly related to labour market attainment. The centrality of the educational system for the structuring of individuals’ life chances has generated a long-lived and intense debate around the proper design of educational systems. The purpose of this article is to examine whether vocational training provided within the educational system protects graduates against employment precariousness over the life course. The extent and character of vocational training are related here to the transition from school to work, the risk of unemployment once established on the labour market, and the likelihood of finding new employment if unemployed. The data used consist of life history data from Great Britain, the Netherlands and Sweden. The results suggest that the impact of vocational training on labour market precariousness changes over people’s work career. Vocational training reduces precariousness during the transition from school to work, whereas there is no difference in the impact of general and vocational education on unemployment risk once established on the labour market. Instead, among those who do become unemployed there are indications that general education may be more beneficial.
Talking to teachers is an important part of home-school relationships, and yet research into parental involvement rarely includes an analysis of home-school interaction. Drawing on a UK study of mothers' involvement in their children's primary schooling, this paper uses Bourdieu's concepts of linguistic and cultural capitals to explore the differences in both how mothers approach teaching staff and how they perceive the contact they have with their children's teachers. The paper examines some of the ways in which maternal involvement is mediated by power relations between mothers and teachers, and draws on empirical data, which suggest that social class positioning has a powerful influence on mothers' ability to get what they want for their children. Cultural capital, including linguistic capital, personal histories and mothers' own educational experiences all contribute to mothers' sense of efficacy in relation to home-school interaction.
This article sorts the various aspects of social capital (networks, trust, civism) theoretically and constructs an instrument for measuring its multifacetedness. The instrument is validated using data from the 1999/2000 wave of the European Values Study survey. Using the same data, the article describes how social capital, by its various aspects, is distributed geographically among European countries and regions (North, West, South, East), and socially among social categories of European citizens. As far as the geographical distribution of social capital is concerned, there are some particular differences, but, on the whole, European countries and regions, with the possible exception of Northern Europe, appear not to be substantially different in aggregate levels of social capital. In Scandinavia, social capital levels tend to be slightly higher, with the exception of family bonding. Some remarkable European patterns are found in regard to the social distribution of social capital. There is evidence of accumulation of human, economic and social capital; social capital is strongly gendered and is related to religious beliefs and behaviour, and to a political left–right stance.
Even though voluntary sport organizations make up the largest part of the voluntary sector in many western countries, few studies have been carried out focusing on sport as part of civil society. Against this background, the aim of the article is to study how voluntary sport organizations operate and what social and political effects they might have through the concept of social capital. The theoretical part of the article identifies the most useful dimensions of the social-capital concept for this topic, lists hypotheses and suggests three relevant social mechanisms. Empirical studies show how social capital related to participation in voluntary sport organizations is distributed and the consequences this has for various forms of social capital: generalized trust and political commitments. Analyses are based on Norwegian data. The results show that being a member of a voluntary sport organization involves social capital which is conducive to generalized trust and political commitment. Yet, the effect of sport organizations is weaker than for voluntary organizations in general, stronger when membership in sport organizations goes together with other memberships (more weak ties) and stronger the less politicized the social effect in question.
The issue of what people consider as reasons for living in poverty is often neglected in the literature on poverty. Studies of public perceptions are needed both on academic grounds and in terms of policy-making processes. In this article, I study three different meanings of poverty: the individualistic, the fatalistic and the structural. I explore whether different meanings can be attributed to specific socio-demographic characteristics, economic circumstances and attitudes towards the welfare state. The data derive from a cross-sectional survey conducted in Finland in 2005 and the results indicate that there is strong consensus in the Finnish population on the causes of poverty. Finns are more likely to blame the flaws and inadequacies of the labour market than the behaviour of individuals or societal injustice. In other words, structural explanations of poverty have the greatest support. However, fatalistic explanations are also supported, since a considerable proportion of people regard bad luck and lack of opportunities as reasons for poverty. Applied multivariate analysis indicates that perceptions of the causes of poverty are at least to some extent related to socio-demographic characteristics, economic circumstances and attitudes to the welfare state. However, the effects, as well as the group differences, are small.
The comparative study of nations and countries has been built on the notion that causal inferences in the field should approximate the design of natural science expenments. It seems fair to say, however, that there is not a single social science comparative study which has succeeded many strict manner in complyingwith the rulesof scientific experiments and the canons of John Stuart Mill. The attempts to base comparative sociology on a quantitative tradition with roots in the rules forscientific expenments have nevertheless been fruitful in the sense that they have helped to raise and formulate many core problems of comparative research. Yet, the time is ripe for realizing that most comparative studies would greatly profit from a combined quantitative and qualitative approach It is generally assumed that the qualitative study is best at the explorative stage of a project and that it ought to be followed by a more strict quantitative study In the light of expenence from many comparative studies it is reasonable to argue that it is the other way around and that quantitative analysis usually is at its best at the explorative stage whereas a qualitative- oriented analysis provides the final insight and understandmg The need for a reversal of the order of the two kinds of approach is not a purely methodological issue. The call for quantitative, comparative research proliferated at a time when internationalization and the integration of single countnes into bigger units appeared to be not only politically salient but also humane goals. Today the preservation of the nationally and ethnically unique in the midst of hom ogenizing and uniformizing international tendencies has at least in small coun tries become not only politically but also humanely important.
From the work of Weber onwards charisma has been primarily explained in terms of its relationship to underlying social structural and psychological environments. The paper redresses this imbalance and examines the cultural structures that operate as preconditions for the attribution of charisma to political and religious leaders. Drawing on Weberian, Durkheimian and semiotic theory the paper argues that charisma arises in conjunction with salvation narratives. The internal structure of these narratives requires binary oppositions contrasting good and evil. The model is exemplified with reference to case studies of Hitler, Churchill and Martin Luther King.
The study of children is either totally absent in sociology or is treated within very limited contexts which are considered marginal for sociological theory and research. The paper aims at examining why there is no sociology of childhood and what kind of sociological rethinking is needed to bnng children into sociology. First, the conventional approach in child-related themes- recognized as 'socialization' - is discussed. Secondly, sociological notions of the family' are taken up and criticized on the basis of the feminist project of deconstructing the family. Finally, childhood is considered as a social construct and some demands for research on children and childhood are developed that may help to avoid the long-held and unnecessanly limiting views on these topics and make way for the emergence of a sociology of childhood.
Inglehart's short postmaterialism index uses partial ranking of four items to classify respondents within three classes, i.e. a materialist, a postmaterialist and a mixed category. An appropriate technique for validating this index is a latent class choice model. Analysing data from the Eurobarometer surveys with this approach confirms the existence of a postmaterialist class. However, a materialist class cannot be identified irrevocably. Rather, an `authoritarian' or `conservative' latent class has to be distinguished from an `economic materialist' latent class. As such, there is empirical evidence for theoretical arguments that have been raised in the past, even within the restricted framework of the Inglehart thesis. Furthermore, I demonstrate that the cohort variable is unrelated to the `economic materialist' latent class, putting strain on adherents of the scarcity hypothesis. Education proves to be the key covariate of `economic' materialism, whereas cohort differences are pronounced in the case of `maintaining order in the nation'. Country differences also shift depending on the latent class model that is selected.
Those State employees in Finland who had no qualifications and performed manual labour had from 1850 onwards a social status very close to that of industrial workers, the 'traditional' working class. What distinguished State employees was the fact that they enjoyed greater job security. Upper grade white-collar civil servants, on the other hand, had a very different status from that of industrial workers: greater job security and better standard of living. From the end of the 19th century onwards, the social status of State employees and industrial workers converged. The trend accelerated immediately after World War II, which constituted the moment when the position of State employees underwent the greatest structural change. The changes that took place then were even reinforced between the two World Wars. The convergence with industrial workers was most marked in the case of upper grade white-collar State employees. A clear distinction must also be drawn between the ruling class and wage- earners employed by the State Whereas there were differences between State employees and other wage-earners, the social status of State employees as wage-earners meant that they had little in common with the ruling class. We may therefore say that in Finland before World War II, State employees constituted a wage-earning grouping, an intermediate class within capitalist society.
In the earlv 1980s many social theorists claimed that the 'New Social Move ments' (NSMs) were the authentic social movements of our time This claim is discussed in relation to two traditions in the analysis of social movements. The 'American' tradition focuses on the single-issue movement of a protest and mobilizing character The 'European' tradition focuses on the relation between major societal changes and processes of class formation, the labour movement being the classic case. In the article the women's movement is discussed as a major cultural revolutionary movement, the different campaigns dealing with the new urban forms of socialized reproduction, housing, planning, etc , as movements for the defence of the 'real consumption', the green and environmentalist movements taking up the conflicting relation nature-society Is the relation between the NSMs and the new and growing social strata of students and employees within the welfare state, which make up their audience and activist core, to be understood as a parallel to the part played by the 'old' social movements in the making of the working class, the farmer class, etc? It is argued that there is no 'necessary' relationship between the societal changes and the NSMs, as there was between industrialization and the labour movement. The societal relations and changes around which the NSMs organize themselves - gender contradictions, socialization of reproduction, con tradictions in the forms of modern urban living, nature society - do not single out a new social force as their 'natural' counterpart. They are both more encompassing in their reach and more non-partisan in character. The most likely centre for a possible coalescence of a multitude of NSMs into a major social movement, if not in the class formative sense, is the societally basic relationship, nature-society The themes and issues raised by the NSMs can in the political process become articulated with existing political and social forces. The capacity of these forces and institutions to absorb the issues raised by the NSMs deter mine the possibility for the NSMs to emerge as a new major social force.
Starting from a critical evaluation of earlier work, this article proposes a new kind of Marxist theory on the new middle classes. The centre-piece of this new theory is the analysis of different forms of mental work, which are outlined on the basis of power resources and strategies at the level of ‘politics of production�. This means that class criteria are derived from an analysis of the processes of class relations. The theory is illustrated by an empirical analysis of the class situation of Finnish wage-earners, in which it is concluded that a distinction must be made between the core and marginal groups of, the new middle classes. While the situation of the core groups differs very clearly from that of the working class, the situation of the marginal groups combines both working-class and middle-class features.
Top-cited authors
John Gelissen
  • Tilburg University
Wil Arts
  • Tilburg University
John Goldthorpe
  • University of Oxford
Sara Ferlander
  • Södertörn University
Mikael Hjerm
  • Umeå University