American Sociological Review

Published by American Sociological Association
Online ISSN: 0003-1224
Publications
Article
Theoretical arguments that structural modernization reduces fertility rates are reviewed and empirical work discussed. The view that Latin American fertility has not responded to increasing modernization because the Roman Catholic Church is a powerful pronatalist institution is tested with a historical model. Characteristics of Spanish rule before 1830 and 19th century immigration patterns are determinants of the level of modernization and Catholic institutional strength in 1900. Modernization reduces crude birth rates in 1910 and later years and also depresses illegitimate and marital fertility. A strong negative effect of Catholic strength on illegitimacy is counter-balanced by its strong positive impact on marital fertility.
 
Percent of the Labor Force Employed in Agriculture, United States, 1800 to 2000 Sources: Weiss 1992:22; Integrated Public Use Microdata Series: Version 3.0 (Ruggles et al. 2004).  
Percent of Intergenerational Households in which the Older Generation is Head or Householder: United States Households with Persons Age 65+ Residing with Own Children, 1850 to 2000 Source: Ruggles et al. 2004.  
Percent of Elderly Residing with Children, Showing Potential Effects of Removing Social Security Income: United States Individuals and Couples age 65+, 1850 to 2000 Source: Integrated Public Use Microdata Series: Version 3.0 (Ruggles et al. 2004). Note: See text for explanation of method. Delivered by Ingenta to : UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA. Fri, 22 May 2009 20:31:03  
Article
In the mid-nineteenth century, almost 70 percent of persons age 65 or older resided with their adult children; by the end of the twentieth century, fewer than 15 percent did so. Many scholars have argued that the simplification of the living arrangements of the aged resulted primarily from an increase in their resources, which enabled increasing numbers of elders to afford independent living. This article supports a different interpretation: the evidence suggests that the decline of coresidence between generations had less to do with the growing affluence of the aged than with the increasing opportunities of the younger generation. Using data from the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS), I examine long-run trends in the characteristics of both the older and the younger generations to gain insight into changing motivations for coresidence. In particular, I investigate headship patterns, occupational status, income, and spatial coresidence patterns. I also reassess the potential impact of the Social Security program. I conclude that the decline of intergenerational coresidence resulted mainly from increasing opportunities for the young and declining parental control over their children.
 
Article
The 1890 Ghost Dance may be considered a demographic revitalization movement. It occurred at the time of the American Indian population nadir and had the objective of returning deceased Indian populations to life. Differential tribal participation in the Dance is analyzed as a result of the demographic characteristics-population change and size. Both were found important, though size had a stronger influence as virtually all smaller tribes participated. Size also mediated the impact of prior population changes on participation. Such demographic variables may have importance for the analysis of other nativistic movements, as well.
 
Article
Social alienation and self-alienation resulting from disjunctions between social demands and values and individual needs and inclinations are postulated. To test the hypothesis that social alienation has been decreasing in middle class American society, while self-alienation has been increasing, a content analysis of popular magazine fiction in the 1900's and the 1950's was undertaken. Results indicated an over-all rise in the appearance of alienation themes, a slight decrease in social alienation, and a large increase in self-alienation. Additionally, both types of alienation assumed somewhat different forms in each period. Composite pictures of the nature of self- and social alienation in each period are drawn, and an attempt is then made to explain these differences in terms of the social structure and value changes which have occurred in American society since 1900. These changes are seen as having produced a greater flexibility or fluidity in the society of the 1950's. With society providing less rigid guidelines to behavior, the form of social alienation involving rejection of society becomes infrequent but the greater degree of behavioral flexibility becomes a new kind of burden, which often leads to self-alienation.
 
Article
Age-specific marital fertility rates are derived for the rural South in 1905-10 and 1935-40. Separate estimates are made for blacks and whites and for farm and nonfarm residents. The resulting marital fertility schedules are used to estimate the degree of family limitation practiced by the different population groups. Both black and white marital fertility fell sharply during this thirty-year period, with especially sharp declines for nonfarm residents. There is also evidence that deliberate family limitation became more widespread for both races during this period. By 1935-40, nonfarm residents had adopted essentially modern childbearing patterns. While high fertility persisted longer among farm women, they, too, experienced sharp reductions in marital fertility and a nascent adoption of family limitation.
 
Figure Al
Effects of Income Loss on Changes in Marital Relations and Personality in the early l930s: Regression Coefficients in Standard Form
Article
Economic stress in families and lives represent interdependent problem areas, although most work to date has ignored this critical relationship. Consistent with Burgess's concept of the family, as a "unity of interacting personalities," a life course perspective on family development attends to the complex interaction of individual personalities and emergent social patterns in family change. With longitudinal data from the Berkeley Guidance panel, this study examines the impact of relative income loss (1929-33) on change in the marital relations and personalities of 111 couples up to the 1940s. Economic loss produced marked declines in marital quality among middle- and working-class families. In large part, this outcome reflected the acute deprivational meaning of income loss to husbands. Marital discord increased under economic pressure as men who lacked adaptive resources became more difficult to live with, more tense, irritable, and explosive. But even apart from such change, marital relations generally grew more tense and conflicted as couples were forced to adapt family needs to unexpected income constraints. These adverse effects are one side of the Depression picture. Another side is evidence of remarkable personal and marital adaptation among couples whose marital bond was strong before hard times and among men of personal stability when they encountered hard times in the Great Depression.
 
Article
Research on the impact of suicide stories in the media on imitative suicides has been marked by poor theory and undifferentiated indexes. This study focuses on celebrity suicides. It uses a taxonomy of celebrities based on Tarde's laws of imitation and Pareto's concept of elite. Propositions are drawn from differential identification theory, using mass cultural values and beliefs as points of identification. The imitation effect holds only for American entertainers and political celebrities, not for artists, villains, and the economic elite. The amount of publicity given to suicides was positively related to the monthly incidence of suicide, but problems common to the celebrities and the suicidal population (divorce, physical illness, and poor mental health) were not. An interactive model in which the impact of a suicide story is mediated by the suicidogenic mood of the media audience did not improve on the simple additive model. Age, gender, and race-specific suicide rates tended to support identification theory.
 
Article
In recent years a great deal of interest has developed in the "sex role hypothesis" as a way of understanding the high rates of psychological distress among women in our society. Although this work has been almost entirely cross-sectional, the underlying hypothesis predicts that the relationship between sex and distress should decline as sex roles become more comparable. Basing our analysis on three national surveys and two community surveys spanning the years 1957 to 1976--a period of rapid changes in the roles of women--we document a reduction in the relationship between sex and one indicator of distress, a screening scale of psychophysiological symptoms. Specification analyses show that the increased labor-force participation of women has been responsible for part of this trend. However, there appear to be no relationships between the decline in psychophysiological symptoms and changes in educational attainment, rates of marriage, marital dissolution, or childbearing.
 
Article
The determination of U.S. federal budget deficits and surpluses during a period of Keynesian fiscal activism is modeled in light of relevant social science literatures. Rational-choice emphases upon electoral manipulation of the economy and Keynesian stabilization; Marxian emphases upon monopolization and fiscal control of labor militancy; organizational-decision theory emphases upon budgeting inertia; and a number of additional thrusts from other literatures are supported by time-series regression analyses of 1961-1978 surpluses/deficits. The final model is statistically well behaved. Analysis of so-called "high-employment" measures of "discretionary" surpluses/deficits supports all interpretations requiring discretionary policy making, but an indication of "automatic" stabilization emerges as well. A focus upon executive policy-making roles is suggested as one means to further theoretical integration of explanations of state macroeconomic policy.
 
Article
This paper documents a tremendous shift women have made towards more egalitarian sex role attitudes between 1962 and 1977. The shift toward egalitarianism was considerably more pronounced for the global items concerned with the general principles of role segregation and division of authority within the home than for more specific aspects of role specialization, such as the sharing of housework or the legitimacy of nonhome activities for mothers. In 1962 sex role attitudes bore no appreciable relation to a wide spectrum of individual characteristics. By 1977 many of these basic characteristics were related to sex role attitudes. Younger women, those with more education, those with better educated husbands, and those who were working in 1962 were more likely than others to adopt egalitarian sex role attitudes, while mothers of large families and fundamentalist Protestants tended to retain traditional attitudes. The experience of the women during the 1962 to 1977 intersurvey period also was associated with a shift in sex role attitudes. Additional education, work for pay, and exposure to divorce were associated with shifts toward egalitarian attitudes while additional births were associated with retaining traditional attitudes.
 
Article
This paper uses data from five sample surveys taken between 1964 and 1974 to investigate recent change in U.S. women's sex-role attitudes. It employs several statistical techniques to insure comparability among samples before making inferences about attitude change. The results of the analysis suggest there has been considerable movement toward more egalitarian role definitions in the past decade, with such change occurring equally among higher and lower status women. The analysis also finds evidence that women's attitudes about their rights in the labor market are becoming more strongly related to their attitudes about their roles in the home and shows that educational attainment and employment are among the most important individual-level predictors of attitudes at a given point in time. Little evidence is found for the unique influence of the women's movement on change in women's sex-role attitudes, but the sizable changes in these attitudes since 1964 may help explain the rise of the movement.
 
Unstandardized Coefficients from the Regression of Quality-of-Life Variables on Selected Independent Variables: General Social Surveys, 1972 to 1996 Quality-of-Life Variable Life Marital Independent Variable Satisfaction Happiness Happiness Anomia Mistrust Health 
Article
More than a decade ago, we (Thomas and Hughes 1986) demonstrated that the subjective well-being of African Americans in the United States was significantly and consistently lower than that for whites over the 14-year period from 1972 to 1985. Since then, evidence has accumulated on several important dimensions of well-being that African Americans fare as well as or better than whites, suggesting a change in the pattern observed for nearly 40 years. Using data from the General Social Survey (GSS) for the period 1972 to 1996, we show that quality of life continues to be worse for African Americans than it is for whites, although anemia and mistrust have increased a little more rapidly in recent years for whites than for blacks. Racial disparities in quality of life do not vary by and are not explained by socioeconomic status. Although racial inequality appears to be the primary cause of these differences, the exact processes producing them are as yet unknown.
 
Article
Although talk is the fundamental material of human relations, the sociology of talk remains undeveloped. This article presents an analysis of one kind of talk, the employment of accounts--statements made to explain untoward behavior and bridge the gap between actions and expectations. Accounts may be classified by content as excuses and justifications, each with its own subtypes. Excuses and justifications are socially approved vocabularies which neutralize an act or its consequences when one or both are called into question. The honoring of an account represents the restoration of equilibrium. There are also strategies for avoiding accounts. More broadly, accounts are manifestations of the underlying negotiation of identities within speech communities.
 
Article
This paper estimates the effects on future occupational achievement and mobility levels of maintaining current class differences in fertility. Separate computations are made for the white and non-white populations, under the assumption that both groups are henceforth subject to the mobility regime of all men recorded in the 1962 Current Population Survey. Because fertility differentials are larger in the non-white population, maintaining them has a greater impact on this group. Differential fertility reduces the proportion of non-white men in the top three occupational groups by 10-11% in the second generation and beyond, and raises the proportion in the bottom three groups by 21-23%. Eliminating unwanted fertility from recorded class differences largely removes the effect of differential fertility on occupational distributions.
 
Article
Data from 1455 freshmen high school males are used to evaluate the tenability of two causal orderings of adolescent achievement variables. Model I depicts the variables according to the ordering suggested by Hyman, Sewell, Rosen and others; namely, adolescent educational expectations are linked with parental socioeconomic status via achievement values (mobility attitudes) and measured intelligence. Model II depicts the variables according to the ordering suggested by Turner; namely, mobility attitudes and measured intelligence are linked with parental socioeconomic status via educational expectations. The criteria for temporal sequence as per the Simon-Blalock correlational procedure render Model II more tenable than Model I. A discussion of the theoretical plausibility of Model II is presented as is a caveat regarding the testing of temporal inferences from cross-sectional data.
 
Article
This paper suggests that there are three important types of reference groups which act together to foster achievement level striving. These are the normative group, the role model and the audience. The normative group defines the roles the individual is to assume, the model provides exemplification of how the role is to be performed, at least adequately, and the audience provides anticipation of rewards for outstanding performance in the role. Expectations for performance level attained in two types of situations are discussed: (a) instances where one or more of the three reference groups is missing in the individual's reference group reporters, and (b) instances where the three reference groups are not "located" in the same concrete group or person. Finally, the reference group theory of achievement is compared with David McClelland's theory of n-Achievement and Max Weber's theory of achievement implicit in The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism.
 
Article
Analysis of 1957 national sample data indicates several religious differences in occupational achievement: (1) Protestants are more likely than Catholics of the same occupational origin to enter high-status nonmanual occupations; (2) Catholics are more likely than Protestants of the same origin to enter low-status nonmanual occupations; (3) Protestants are more often sharply up-mobile, and Catholics are more often sharply down-mobile. These differences are small but are not diminished by controls for ethnicity, region in which reared, age, generation, and size of community in which reared.
 
Article
Data from the Post-Censal Survey of Scientific and Technical Personnel are used to explore the relationship between educational attainment beyond the high school level and exposure to public, parochial and other private elementary and high school education. Among scientists and engineers, 25-54, exposure to parochial schools is related to lower attainment of advanced academic levels. However, the conditional probabilities of moving on to the next academic level, given completion of the previous stage, suggest greater similarity of attainment for those from different types of school. Because the similarity is greatest for respondents 45-54, it is suggested that scientists and engineers with parochial school backgrounds may take longer to secure their highest academic degrees. For age group 20-24, parochial school training among 1960 engineers and scientists makes advancement no less likely than other school backgrounds. These findings support the hypothesis that the earlier lack of scientific achievement among Catholics reflected economic rather than religious factors.
 
Article
In this study of a large randomly selected cohort of Wisconsin high school seniors, who were followed for a seven-year period, multivariate cross-tabular and regression analyses showed that father's education has a slightly stronger effect than mother's education on perceived parental encouragement, college plans, college attendance, and college graduation for males, but that both father's and mother's education have almost equal effect for females. Mother's education has a modest effect independent of father's education, but the independent effect of mother's education is stronger for females than for males. When parents have discrepant levels of educational achievement, the answer to the question of which parent's education has more effect on educational aspiration and achievement depends on the child's sex and intelligence level as well as on each parent's level of educational achievement. In terms of the additional amount of variance explained, the interaction effect is negligible for all of the dependent variables. Discrepancy in parents' educational achievements is far less important in motivating children to high-level aspiration and achievement than is consistently high educational achievement of both parents.
 
Article
Merton's "Social Structure and Anomie" is a large step toward a general theory of deviant behavior. Among the tasks that remain are: further clarification of the ways in which alter's experience and adaptations affect ego's strain and choice of solutions; fuller incorporation of the recognition that deviant behavior develops in the course of an interaction process; exploring ways of conceptualizing this interaction process; and integration of anomie theory with Meadian role theory.
 
Article
The present paper investigates the effect of selected situational variables on the relationship between a verbal attitude and overt behavior toward the object of that attitude. It provides data which suggest reformulation of two theoretical schemes describing the relationship between prejudice, discrimination and the situation of action. In a relatively large-scale field experiment in a university setting, two multidimensional factors, "social constraint" and "social distance," were systematically introduced as intervening conditions in order to assess the degree to which they reduced correspondence between verbal attitudes toward Negroes and overt acts of acceptance or rejection of Negroes. Generally, these intervening factors had different mediating influences on different types of subjects.
 
Article
We draw on conversation analytic methods and research to explicate the interactional phenomenon of requesting in general and the specific case of requesting participation in survey interviews. Recent work on survey participation has given much attention to leverage-saliency theory, but has not engaged how the key concepts of this theory are exhibited in the actual unfolding interaction of interviewers and potential respondents. We do so using digitally recorded and transcribed calls to recruit participation in the 2004 Wisconsin Longitudinal Study. We describe how potential respondents present interactional environments that are relatively discouraging or encouraging, and how, in response, interviewers may be relatively cautious or presumptive in their requesting actions. We consider how the ability of interviewers to tailor their behavior to their interactional environment can affect whether the introduction reaches the point at which a request to participate is made, the form that this request takes, and the sample person's response. Our analysis contributes to understanding how we might use insights from the analysis of interaction to increase cooperation with requests to participate in surveys.
 
Article
The idea that waging war might increase the level of domestic violence in warring societies has occurred to many researchers. Discussions of this possibility have been limited to a very small number of case studies--often as limited as the experience of a single nation in a single war. A major obstacle to the general investigation of this question has been the unavailability of comparative data on homicide rates. Over a three-year period, a Comparative Crime Data File was assembled. The file includes time-series rates of homicide for roughly 110 nations beginning in about 1900. Postwar rather than wartime homicide rates were analyzed, since postwar data appear much less problematic and are likely to be affected by artifacts in only a conservative direction. The homicide data were analyzed to: (1) determine if postwar increases did occur and (2) identify which of seven competing theoretical models appeared to offer the most adequate explanation. The homicide rate changes after 50 "nation-wars" were compared with the changes experienced by 30 control nations. The major finding of the study was that most of the nation-wars in the study did experience substantial postwar increases in their rates of homicide. These increases were pervasive, and occurred after large wars and smaller wars, with several types of homicide rate indicators, in victorious as well as defeated nations, in nations with both improved and worsened postwar economies, among both men and women offenders and among offenders of several age groups. Homicide rate increases occurred with particular consistency among nations with large numbers of combat deaths. Using homicide and other data, it was possible to disconfirm or demonstrate the insufficiency of six of the seven explanatory models.
 
Article
This study is one of a series devoted to the analysis of the relation between adult socialization patterns and adaptation. Panel data collected for an older sample are drawn upon to document further the equivocal nature of this relationship when conventional measures of social role and interaction are compared with three different types of indicators of adaptation. The comparative importance, respectively, of social privilege and social deprivation for adaptation varies in accordance with the subjectivity of adaptive measure used. It also differs for self as compared with professional appraisals of well-being. Regardless of the overall pattern of these interrelationships, deviant cells are sizeable. The introduction of a variable bearing on the quality of social relationships, in this case the presence or absence of a confidant, helps considerably to explicate both sets of findings. The presence of an intimate relationship serves as a buffer both against gradual social losses in role and interaction and against the more traumatic losses accompanying widowhood and retirement. Age and sex differences may have implications for the differential in the survival rates of men and women, as well as for the relation between socialization patterns and adaptation at earlier stages of the lifespan.
 
Article
This paper examines disability as a social process. The designation of some forms of exceptional behavior as disability provides a means for the normalization of incapacity in terms of existing role relationships. The requirements for long-term or permanent exemption from role obligations involve legitimation and adjustment to role maintenance. Behavioral rewards and punishments are not effective for regulating behavior recognized as beyond the control of the individual. Agents of social control may, however, influence or regulate behavior through their ability to provide or withhold alternative sources of gratification. Sanctions may be applied in the process of recognition of inadequate role performance, the attribution of responsibility, or the legitimation of performance failure. The accredited disabled individual is excused from role performance by legitimation and may be provided with alternative behavioral patterns for obtaining income, care, rehabilitation or other services. Legitimation may stipulate the behavioral requirements to consolidate modified expectations into a coherent pattern of adaptation--as normalization of the behavior of the incapacitated individual. This conceptualization suggests a more concentrated focus on the elaboration of behavioral alternatives within existing role relationships rather than the proliferation of specialized role repertoires.
 
Article
The relation between three status dimensions (occupation, education, race-ethnicity) and symptoms of stress is reexamined, using a dummy-variable regression analysis and data from a national sample survey. A simple additive regression model is not fully adequate to explain the variation in symptom level by status. Two alternative regression models are set forth, incorporating separate terms for status inconsistency conceived as an interaction effect. In the first model separate terms for the effects of sharp status inconsistency are added. In the second model, drawn up under the hypothesis that racial-ethnic status per se has no additive effect, terms for sharp inconsistency are included, but the additive terms for racial-ethnic status are omitted. These alternative models both fit the data better than the simple additive model, supporting the hypothesis that status inconsistency explains a portion of the variation in symptom level left unexplained by status ranks per se.
 
Article
Among all the members of three successive classes at a men's liberal arts college, students who were identified as emotionally maladjusted on the basis of MMPI records secured at matriculation had higher subsequent psychiatric treatment rates than did the "adjusted" students. With controls for initial presence of maladjustment, students affiliated with fraternities or athletic teams had lower psychiatric treatment rates than did their unaffiliated classmates. These relationships also held within each of the three major religious groups in the student body.
 
Article
This paper reports on a test of the status resource hypothesis of type of mental hospitalization (voluntary vs. involuntary). Findings are based on all 21-64 year-old first admissions to all state mental hospitals in Tennessee between 1956 and 1965. Analysis based on the linear probability estimation model (Grizzle et al., 1969) consistently supports the hypothesis. The analysis also supports two interaction hypotheses, namely, that the effect of status resources varies depending on psychiatric status and level of behavioral deviance.
 
Article
The purpose of this study is to examine the impact of the movement into early adolescence upon the self-esteem of children. Which children are most vulnerable to this role-transition and what is the effect of changes in school environment, pubertal development, and social behavior? With repeated survey interviews and nurses' measurements, 798 school children were followed from sixth into seventh grade in two different types of school systems. Findings indicate that, in seventh grade, white adolescent girls who have entered the new environment of junior high school appear to be at a disadvantage in comparison both to boys in general and to girls who do not have to change schools. Among the girls, the ones with lowest self-esteem appear to be those who have recently experienced multiple changes, that is, who have changed schools, have reached puberty, and who have also started to "date." Among boys, in contrast, early pubertal development is an advantage for self-esteem. These data thus demonstrate the way in which coping with a major role transition can be significantly affected by environmental context, level of biological development, and social behavior.
 
Article
The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to investigate whether adolescence is a period of disturbance for the child's self-image and, if so, at what age of adolescence and under what social conditions the disturbance is greatest. Several dimensions of the self-image were measured among 1,917 urban school children in grades three through twelve. Compared to children in the eight to eleven age group, the early adolescents, particularly those between twelve and thirteen, were shown to exhibit heightened self-consciousness, greater instability of the self-image, slightly lower self-esteem, and a less favorable view of the opinions held of them by significant others. Evidence is presented suggesting that the child's environment may have a stronger effect than his age in producing such changes. Children who had entered junior high school appeared more disturbed along these lines than their age-peers still in elementary school.
 
Violent Crime vs. Concentrated Disadvantage, by Gender Note: Concentrated disadvantage ranges from 1.7 SDs below the mean to 2.1 SDs above the mean.  
Article
Although researchers consistently demonstrate that females engage in less criminal behavior than males across the life course, research on the variability of the gender gap across contexts is sparse. To address this issue, we examine the gender gap in self-reported violent crime among adolescents across neighborhoods. Multilevel models using data from the Project of Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods (PHDCN) indicate that the gender gap in violent crime decreases as levels of neighborhood disadvantage increase. Further, the narrowing of the gender gap is explained by gender differences in peer influence on violent offending. Neighborhood disadvantage increases exposure to peer violence for both sexes, but peer violence has a stronger impact on violent offending for females than for males, producing the reduction in the gender gap at higher levels of disadvantage. We also find that the gender difference in the relationship between peer violence and offending is explained, in part, by (1) the tendency for females to have more intimate friendships than males, and (2) the moderating effect of peer intimacy on the relationship between peer violence and self-reported violent behavior.
 
Article
Adolescent societies-whether arising from weak, short-term classroom friendships or from close, long-term friendships-exhibit various levels of network clustering, segregation, and hierarchy. Some are rank-ordered caste systems and others are flat, cliquish worlds. Explaining the source of such structural variation remains a challenge, however, because global network features are generally treated as the agglomeration of micro-level tie-formation mechanisms, namely balance, homophily, and dominance. How do the same micro-mechanisms generate significant variation in global network structures? To answer this question we propose and test a network ecological theory that specifies the ways features of organizational environments moderate the expression of tie-formation processes, thereby generating variability in global network structures across settings. We develop this argument using longitudinal friendship data on schools (Add Health study) and classrooms (Classroom Engagement study), and by extending exponential random graph models to the study of multiple societies over time.
 
Article
Most theoretical perspectives on neighborhood effects on youth assume that neighborhood context serves as a source of socialization, but the exact sources and processes underlying adolescent socialization in disadvantaged neighborhoods are largely unspecified and unelaborated. This paper proposes that cross-cohort socialization by older neighborhood peers is one source of socialization for adolescent boys in such neighborhoods. Data from the National Educational Longitudinal Survey suggest that adolescents in disadvantaged neighborhoods are more likely to spend time with older individuals. Qualitative interview data from 60 adolescent boys in three neighborhoods in Boston are analyzed to understand the causes and consequences of these interactions and relationships. I find that some of the strategies these adolescents employ to cope with violence in disadvantaged neighborhoods promote interaction with older peers, particularly those who are most disadvantaged, and that such interactions can expose adolescents to local, "unconventional," or "alternative" cultural models.
 
Predicted Network Sizes of Older Adults, by Age Note: Predicted values are calculated using generalized ordered logit regression. Covariates are held at their mean values, and set to their modal values in the case of categorical predictors.  
Older Adults' Predicted Volume of Interaction with Network Members, per Year, by Age, before and after Controlling for Life Course Factors Note: Predicted values are calculated using Poisson regression. Covariates are held at their mean values, and set at modal values in the case of categorical predictors.  
Predicted Levels of Closeness to Network Members among Older Adults, by Age, Given Different Degrees of Interaction Frequency with Network Members  
Article
For decades, scholars have wrestled with the notion that old age is characterized by social isolation. However, there has been no systematic, nationally representative evaluation of this possibility in terms of social network connectedness. In this paper, the authors develop a profile of older adults' social integration with respect to nine dimensions of connectedness to interpersonal networks and voluntary associations. The authors use new data from the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project (NSHAP), a population-based study of non-institutionalized older Americans aged 57-85 conducted in 2005-2006. Findings suggest that among older adults, age is negatively related to network size, closeness to network members, and number of non-primary-group ties. On the other hand, age is positively related to frequency of socializing with neighbors, religious participation, and volunteering. In addition, it has a U-shaped relationship with volume of contact with network members. These findings are inconsistent with the notion that old age has a universal negative influence on social connectedness. Instead, life course factors have divergent consequences for different forms of social connectedness. Some later life transitions, like retirement and bereavement, may prompt greater connectedness. The authors close by urging increased dialogue between social gerontological and social network research.
 
Employment affects
Article
Work is believed to be important for the mental health of men and women. With limited empirical support, social scientists have argued that employment is important as both an income source and a source of "extraeconomic" benefits as well. The latter include social status, an interpersonal context, and psychologically rewarding activities. Although jobs in the middle and upper status range appear to be obvious sources of extraeconomic benefits, this is less apparent at the lower margins where jobs are less socially desirable. The analyses described here examine the economic and extraeconomic benefits of employment among one portion of the marginal labor force--ex-felons. Drawing on data from TARP, a field experiment involving about 2000 ex-felons released in Texas and Georgia in 1976, a nonrecursive model of the functions of employment was formulated and tested. Using three-stage least squares, employment was found to reduce affective distress among ex-felons by providing both income support and extraeconomic benefits. Furthermore, there were some feedback effects in that affective stress was found to reduce subsequent work activity, further aggravating feelings of displacement and stigmatization among unemployed ex-felons.
 
Article
Comparisons of total, between-group, and within-group relationship, involving selected socioeconomic characteristics, including delinquency, were made possible by first intercorrelating variables as characteristics of individuals (516 male, second and third-year high school students in a city of 30,000) and then aggregating individuals into areal or neighborhood units and intercorrelating variables expressed as subgroup means; three levels of aggregation yielded 47, 21, and 10 areal units, each level producing a matrix of between-group correlations. The well-known tendency for between-group r's to be numerically greater than total r's was observed, with the largest increases found for pairs of variables for which within-group homogeneity was highest; also, the effect of increasing aggregate size was to strengthen between-group r's. Using analysis of covariance, within-group regressions were examined in an effort to detect area effects as evidenced by the tendency for certain areas to diverge significantly from the composite within-group relationship; divergent areas were found to possess little or no contextual similarity in terms of SES or geographic proximity. The results obtaining at each level of analysis suggest a number of possible pitfalls related to the "ecological fallacy" issue.
 
Article
Although G×E studies are typically based on the assumption that some individuals possess genetic variants that enhance their vulnerability to environmental adversity, the differential susceptibility perspective posits that these individuals are simply more susceptible to environmental influence than others. An important implication of this model is that those persons most vulnerable to adverse social environments are the same ones who reap the most benefit from environmental support. The present study tested several implications of this proposition. Using longitudinal data from a sample of several hundred African Americans, we found that relatively common variants of the dopamine receptor gene and the serotonin transporter gene interact with social environmental conditions to predict aggression in a manner consonant with differential susceptibility. When the social environment was adverse, individuals with these genetic variants manifested more aggression than other genotypes, whereas when the environment was supportive they demonstrated less aggression than other genotypes. Further, we found that these genetic variants interact with environmental conditions to foster various cognitive schemas and emotions in a manner consistent with differential susceptibility and that a latent construct formed by these schemas and emotions mediated the effect of gene by environment interaction on aggression.
 
Article
In a cross-national sample, the relationship between economic development and lethal aggression varies by religious tradition. Aggression decreases with industrialization in Protestant nations, increases with industrialization in non-Christian nations, and is unrelated to industrialization in Catholic nations. Regardless of religious tradition, increasing industrialization is accompanied by an increasing tendency for lethal aggression to take the form of suicide rather than homicide. Protestant nations show a tendency to express aggression as suicide, while Catholic and non-Christian nations have a greater tendency toward homicide. An interpretation based on a two-factor model of suicide and homicide is suggested.
 
Article
Human aggression is explained in terms of resource competition. Resource competition results from both the pressure exerted by population on material resources and from socially created demands for material and psychic resources. Resource competition produces aggression which is in turn mediated through territoriality and hierarchy. The latter two have the paradoxical effect of both regulating and provoking aggression. Drawing comparative evidence from primates, I suggest that Homo sapiens rates high on territoriality, hierarchy and aggression, and that these forms of behavior are biologically predisposed. With the food growing revolution, the cultural elaborations on these biological predispositions became increasingly important; but an understanding of human behavior must necessarily be both biological and socio-cultural.
 
Article
The study of age differences in job satisfaction is a useful focus for investigating the interplay among work, self, and family concepts as they produce changes in role outcomes during the life course. Using data from the 1972-73 Quality of Employment Survey as well as other data sets, we find that age is positively related to job satisfaction. A relatively substantial portion of these differences are explained by age variations in work values and job rewards. These findings are consistent with both cohort and job change explanations of age differences in job satisfaction. However, some of these age inequalities are not explicable on the basis of the variables in our model. Though some unknown portion of these age differences are undoubtedly due to compositional effects, we argue that they also partly reflect more general processes of aging and development.
 
Article
The relationship between wealth and adoption of agricultural innovations is usually reported to be positive. A theory which predicts that wealth has a negative relationship to adoption in some cases is developed and is modified to predict that the relationship will have curvilinear and negative parts at different points in the wealth-rank continuum. Hypotheses derived from the theory are tested with data from seven studies of agricultural innovation. The "middle class" (second from the top wealth quartile) is found to be more conservative than would be predicted if the relationship were positive and linear, and the relationship is found to differ in earlier and later stages of the adoption process. The theory is stated in general terms and is potentially applicable to any situation involving stratification and risk-taking.
 
Article
Sociologists widely acknowledge that uncertainty matters for decision making, but they rarely measure it directly. In this article, we demonstrate the importance of theorizing about, measuring, and analyzing uncertainty as experienced by individuals. We adapt a novel probabilistic solicitation technique to measure personal uncertainty about HIV status in a high HIV prevalence area of southern Malawi. Using data from 2,000 young adults (ages 15 to 25 years), we demonstrate that uncertainty about HIV status is widespread and that it expands as young adults assess their proximate and distant futures. In conceptualizing HIV status as something more than sero-status itself, we gain insight into how what individuals know they don't know influences their lives. Young people who are uncertain about their HIV status express desires to accelerate their childbearing relative to their counterparts who are certain they are uninfected. Our approach and findings show that personal uncertainty is a measurable and meaningful phenomenon that can illuminate much about individuals' aspirations and behaviors.
 
Article
The correlates of drinking behavior, and of drinking problems, are examined, using a sample of some 450 employed males in a metropolitan community. Multiple indices bearing on three domains of alienation--work experience, powerlessness, and social isolation--are employed to predict drinking habits and problems. Regression and covariance analyses establish that: (1) the sense of low control (high powerlessness) is consistently associated with heavier drinking and with drinking problems; (2) contrary to predictions that derive from an emphasis on the centrality of work, none of the work experience indices (e.g., job satisfaction, substantive complexity, or the level of intrinsic reward in work) is significantly associated with drinking phenomena; and (3) the hypothesis that social integration might serve as a buffer (ameliorating the negative impact of high powerlessness or of alienated work) is not supported since high social involvement correlates positively with heavier drinking. An analysis of the interaction among the three forms of alienation indicates that though powerlessness has the most consistent main effect, engagement in alienated work and involvement in social networks combine with powerlessness to yield distinctive drinking patterns.
 
Article
Twenty-five years have passed since the last major study of Jewish drinking patterns. During that time Jews have drifted away from the Orthodox religious affiliations which the earlier studies (Snyder, 1958; 1978) found to be important in maintaining low alcohol problem rates, and yet these rates remain low. Data from a detailed study of Jews in an American community suggest a revised explanation that focuses upon four protective social processes: (1) association of alcohol abuse with non-Jews; (2) integration of moderate drinking norms, practices and symbolism during childhood by means of religious and secular ritual; (3) restriction of most adult primary relationships to other moderate drinkers; and (4) a repertoire of techniques to avoid excess drinking under social pressure. The results are discussed from the perspective of informal social controls.
 
Article
A presumed high rate of U.S. drinking problems often has been ascribed to ambivalence over alcohol. Ambivalence is argued to be a necessary component of normative explanations which contemplate only constraining norms, as exemplified also in the place of ambivalence in Parsons' theory of deviance. Although ambivalence refers broadly to the individual's experience of conflicting norms, its psychotherapeutic origins in analyzing special kinds of relationship give it connotations of continuity in time and of excitation and potential explosiveness. It is these connotations which give ambivalence the appearance of providing an explanation of the origin and maintenance of deviance. Although sociologists have treated ambivalence as a property of the individual mind, possible meanings of ambivalence seated at aggregate levels are explored. The use of ambivalence as an explanatory concept should be replaced by analysis in terms of the conflicting norms and values the concept purports to cover.
 
Article
Value orientations, as components of both formal organization and individual personality, are central to the dynamics of organizational behavior. The Stouffer-Toby Role Conflict Scale was administered to 230 Mexican, Mexican-American, and Anglo-American bank employees in 13 bank branches, and the results support the hypothesis that the value orientation "particularism" is influenced by cultural background. Since the bank is a universalistically oriented work organization, employee particularism contributes to alienation from work. The results indicated that longevity, level of position, expressed satisfaction with position, and plans to continue working in the bank are negatively related to both particularism and alienation.
 
Top-cited authors
Walter W. Powell
  • Stanford University
Michael Hannan
  • Stanford University
Marcus Felson
  • Texas State University
Brian Uzzi
  • Northwestern University
David Snow
  • University of California, Irvine