SAGE Publications Inc: American Sociological Review: Table of Contents


American Sociological Review, Volume 85, Issue 1, Page 197-197, February 2020.


11 February 2020, 5:33 pm
Vaccine Refusal and Pharmaceutical Acquiescence: Parental Control and Ambivalence in Managing Children’s Health

American Sociological Review, Volume 85, Issue 1, Page 106-127, February 2020.
Parents who confidently reject vaccines and other forms of medical intervention often seek out pediatric care, medical treatments, and prescription medications for their children in ways that seem to contradict these views. Drawing on in-depth interviews with 34 parents who rejected some or all vaccines for their children, this article examines the strategies they use to pharmaceutically manage their children’s health, even when espousing a larger rejection of pharmaceutical interventions like childhood vaccines. Rather than treating decision-making as solely an internal process, this article shows how medication use results from individual, interactional, and institutional contexts, with different mechanisms of encouragement and enforcement. Using three illustrative cases, I show how parents manage ambivalence, which allows them to accept medication for their children as a tool to be deployed as deemed necessary in particular contexts while at the same time communicating their rejection of it. I conclude with suggestions for how to engage parents around healthcare decision-making.

11 February 2020, 5:33 pm
Evidence of the Effect of Police Violence on Citizen Crime Reporting

American Sociological Review, Volume 85, Issue 1, Page 184-190, February 2020.


30 January 2020, 2:16 pm
Do Police Brutality Stories Reduce 911 Calls? Reassessing an Important Criminological Finding

American Sociological Review, Volume 85, Issue 1, Page 176-183, February 2020.
This comment reassesses the prominent claim from Desmond, Papachristos, and Kirk (2016) (DPK) that 911 calls plummeted—and homicides surged—because of a police brutality story in Milwaukee (the Jude story). The results in DPK depend on a substantial outlier 47 weeks after the Jude story, the final week of data. Identical analyses without the outlier final week show that the Jude story had no statistically significant effect on either total 911 calls or violent crime 911 calls. Modeling choices that do not extrapolate from data many weeks after the Jude story—including an event study and “regression discontinuity in time”—also find no evidence that calls declined, a consistent result across predominantly black neighborhoods, predominantly white neighborhoods, and citywide. Finally, plotting the raw data demonstrates stable 911 calls in the weeks around the Jude story. Overall, the existing empirical evidence does not support the theory that publishing brutality stories decreases crime reporting and increases murders.

30 January 2020, 2:16 pm
Educational Expansion, Skills Diffusion, and the Economic Value of Credentials and Skills

American Sociological Review, Volume 85, Issue 1, Page 128-175, February 2020.
Examining the economic value of education has been a central research agenda of social scientists for decades. However, prior research inadequately accounts for the discrepancy between educational credentials and skills at both the individual and societal levels. In this article, I investigate the link between credentials, skills, and labor market outcomes against a background of societal-level educational expansion and skills diffusion. Using internationally comparable OECD data for approximately 30,000 individuals in 26 countries, I find that both credentials and skills generally contribute to occupational and monetary rewards. In particular, the premium for credentials far outweighs that for skills. This is in contrast to recent arguments that skills are the key to economic success. Nevertheless, returns to credentials decline in tandem with educational expansion, whereas skills retain their premium even as they diffuse in a given society. Furthermore, skills diffusion also leads to the diminishing monetary return to high credentials. These findings suggest that skills diffusion promotes more meritocratic reward allocation via devaluing high credentials without explicit depreciation of high skills.

30 January 2020, 2:16 pm
Exploiting Ambiguity: A Moral Polysemy Approach to Variation in Economic Practices

American Sociological Review, Volume 85, Issue 1, Page 76-105, February 2020.
Sociologists have shown that the relationships people establish between moral orientations and market practices vary considerably across historical, geographic, and institutional contexts. Less attention has been paid to situational variation in how the same actors moralize different economic goals, especially in their workplace. This article offers an account of situational variation by theorizing the implications of the ambiguity of moral values for economic activity. I draw on the case of a post-acute care unit, where reimbursement policies create the contradictory demands of discharging elderly patients quickly while ensuring their safety to avoid re-hospitalization. Using ethnography and interviews, I show that the same actors switched between different normative evaluations of “independent aging” to legitimize divergent organizational goals. A shared understanding of autonomy as synonymous with “home” moralized the organizational mission of discharging patients off the unit. Expectations that elderly people attain independence by acknowledging need for assistance moralized the extension of services. Conversely, interpreting independence as a constellation of duties to be self-reliant moralized practices that lead to fast discharge. Based on these findings, I develop a framework of moral polysemy to analyze ambiguity as a resource for cooperation in organizations and a tool to expand understanding of moral economies.

30 January 2020, 2:16 pm
Mano Suave–Mano Dura: Legitimacy Policing and Latino Stop-and-Frisk

American Sociological Review, Volume 85, Issue 1, Page 58-75, February 2020.
Stop-and-frisk and other punitive policing practices disproportionately affect marginalized communities of color. In response to calls for reform, police departments have implemented community policing programs aimed at improving relations with racialized communities. This study examines how a police unit used courtesy and respect in its engagement with a criminalized population, gang-associated Latinos, while relying on the stop-and-frisk practice. Our study reveals contextual and situational contradictions between modern police departments’ attempts to establish legitimacy and the hegemonic practice of investigatory stops. Drawing on observations and interviews conducted during a ride-along study, we find that stop-and-frisk, simultaneously used with reform practices like courtesy policing, yield a paradoxical policing approach, “the legitimacy policing continuum.” Officers regularly articulate a goal of respectfully interacting with courtesy to build community and trust—what we term “the mano suave”—while practicing a dominant logic of crime prevention through punitive measures—what we term “the mano dura.” We argue that community and courtesy policing are drawn on strategically in interaction and ultimately intertwined with and constrained by the racial bias at the heart of punitive policing practices like stop-and-frisk.

30 January 2020, 2:16 pm
Sociology Engaged in Social Justice

American Sociological Review, Volume 85, Issue 1, Page 1-30, February 2020.
This article expands on my presidential address to further bolster the case that sociology has, from its inception, been engaged in social justice. I argue that a critical review of our discipline and our Association’s vaunted empiricist tradition of objectivity, in which sociologists are detached from their research, was accomplished by a false history and sociology of sociology that ignored, isolated, and marginalized some of the founders. In the past half-century, scholar-activists, working-class sociologists, sociologists of color, women sociologists, indigenous sociologists, and LGBTQ sociologists have similarly been marginalized and discouraged from pursuing social justice issues and applied research within our discipline. Being ignored by academic sociology departments has led them to create or join homes in interdisciplinary programs and other associations that embrace applied and scholar-activist scholarship. I offer thoughts about practices that the discipline and Association should use to reclaim sociology’s social justice tradition.

2 January 2020, 2:30 pm
Getting In, Getting Hired, Getting Sideways Looks: Organizational Hierarchy and Perceptions of Racial Discrimination

American Sociological Review, Volume 85, Issue 1, Page 31-57, February 2020.
This article argues that black workers’ perceptions of racial discrimination derive not just from being in the minority, but also from their position in the organizational structure. Researchers have shown that black individuals encounter an enormous amount of racial discrimination in the workplace, including but not limited to exclusion from critical social networks, wage disparities, and hiring disadvantages. But fewer studies examine the extent to which black workers believe racial discrimination is a salient factor in their occupational mobility or the factors that might explain their divergent perceptions of racial discrimination. Based on 60 in-depth interviews with black medical doctors, nurses, and technicians in the healthcare industry, we show that black workers’ status within an organizational hierarchy fundamentally informs perceptions of the nature and type of workplace racial discrimination. These findings have implications for understanding how racial dynamics at work are linked to mental health, occupational satisfaction, and organizational change.

2 January 2020, 2:30 pm

American Sociological Review

The American Sociological Review is the flagship journal of the American Sociological Association (ASA). The ASA founded this journal in 1936 with the mission to publish original works of interest to the sociology discipline in general, new theoretical developments, results of research that advance our understanding of fundamental social processes, and important methodological innovations. All areas of sociology are welcome in the American Sociological Review. Emphasis is on exceptional quality and general interest. The American Sociological Review does not publish book reviews.