Sociological Science: Recent Research

Neighborhood and Network Disadvantage among Urban Renters

Mathew Desmond, Weihua An

Sociological Science, June 24, 2015
DOI 10.15195/v2.a16

Abstract

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Drawing on novel survey data, this study maps the distribution of neighborhood and network disadvantage in a population of Milwaukee renters and evaluates the relationship between each disadvantage and multiple social and health outcomes. We find that many families live in neighborhoods with above average disadvantage but are embedded in networks with below average disadvantage, and vice versa. Neighborhood (but not network) disadvantage is associated with lower levels of neighborly trust but also with higher levels of community support (e.g., providing neighbors with food). Network (but not neighborhood) disadvantage is associated with lower levels of civic engagement. Asthma and diabetes are associated exclusively with neighborhood disadvantage, but depression is associated exclusively with network disadvantage. These findings imply that some social problems may be better addressed by neighborhood interventions and others by network interventions.
 
Mathew Desmond: Department of Sociology and Social Studies, Harvard University.  Email: mdesmond@fas.harvard.edu

Weihua An: Department of Sociology and Statistics, Indiana University.

Acknowledgements: Supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, through its “How Housing Matters” initiative, and the Harvard Society of Fellows. Deborah De Laurell, Carl Gershenson, Barbara Kiviat, Kristin Perkins, Tracey Shollenberger, Adam Slez, Van Tran, and the Sociological Science editors provided helpful comments on earlier drafts.

  • Citation: Desmond, Matthew, and Weihua An. 2015. “Neighborhood and Network Disadvantage among Urban Renters.” Sociological Science 2: 329-350
  • Received: January 15, 2015
  • Accepted: March 6, 2015
  • Editors: Jesper Sørensen, Kim Weeden
  • DOI: 10.15195/v2.a16

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Niche Overlap and Discrediting Acts: An Empirical Analysis of Informing in Hollywood

Giacomo Negro, Sasha Goodman

Sociological Science, June 9, 2015
DOI 10.15195/v2.a15

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This article examines informing on others as a discrediting act between individual agents in a labor market. We conduct an empirical analysis of artists called to testify during the 1950s Congressional hearings into Communism in Hollywood, and multi-level regression models reveal that the odds of an artist informing on another increase when their career histories are more similar. The similarity reflects levels of niche overlap in the labor market. The finding that similarity contributes to discredit in the context of resource competition is compatible with a social comparison process, whereby uncertainty about performance leads more similar people to attend to and exclude one another to a greater extent.
 
Giacomo Negro: Emory University.  Email: giacomo.negro@emory.edu

Sasha Goodman: Northeastern University and Harvard University. Email: s.goodman@neu.edu

Acknowledgements: Emily Bianchi, Michael Hannan, Balázs Kovács, Wes Longhofer, John Levi Martin, James Moody, Jill Perry-Smith, Elizabeth Pontikes, Chris Rider, Peter Roberts, Gabriel Rossman, Jesper Sørensen, Olav Sorenson, Anand Swaminathan, Jim Wade, Dave Waguespack, and seminar participants at Stanford University, Oxford University, and Yale University offered helpful critiques on the current or previous versions of the manuscript. We thank Hayagreeva Rao for his contributions to earlier stages of the study. Olgert Denas provided research assistance.

  • Citation: Negro, Giacomo and Sasha Goodman. 2015. “Niche Overlap and Discrediting Acts: An Empirical Analysis of Informing in Hollywood” Sociological Science 2: 308-328
  • Received: January 16, 2015
  • Accepted: March 5, 2015
  • Editors: Jesper Sørensen, Gabriel Rossman
  • DOI: 10.15195/v2.a15

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Extending the INGO Network Country Score 1950-2008

Pamela Paxton, Melanie M. Hughes, Nicholas E. Reith

Sociological Science, May 20, 2015
DOI 10.15195/v2.a14

Abstract

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Hughes et al. (2009) introduced the INGO Network Country Score (INCS), a measure of country-level connectedness to the world polity, for three years: 1978, 1988, and 1998. The measure scores countries by centrality in the world country-INGO network, rather than on raw counts of INGO ties that do not acknowledge networks or power. In this article, we extend the measure by time, space, organization, and calculation. First, we extend the measure to the period 1950âAS2008, allowing closer correspondence to the years typically assessed by researchers. Second, we extend the country samples upon which the scores are based, allowing researchers greater flexibility in choosing samples. Third, we extend the number of INGOs from which the scores are created. The Hughes et al. (2009) INCS were based on a single-year maximum of 476 INGOs; ours are based on a single-year maximum of 1,604 INGOs (5,291 INGOs across all years). Finally, we provide both raw and scaled scores, which we use to discuss the observed increasing density in the world polity from 1950 to 2008, comparing scores across regions. Results reveal higher average INCS with less variability among Western countries, and significant inequality between the West and the rest of the world.
 
Pamela Paxton: Department of Sociology, The University of Texas at Austin.  Email: ppaxton@prc.utexas.edu

Melanie M. Hughes: Department of Sociology, University of Pittsburgh. Email: hughesm@pitt.edu

Nicholas E. Reith: Department of Sociology, The University of Texas at Austin.  Email:nreith@utexas.edu

Acknowledgements: We gratefully acknowledge the support of the National Science Foundation SES-1067218 and SES-1323130.

  • Citation: Paxton, Pamela, Melanie M. Hughes, and Nicholas E. Reith. 2015. “Extending the INGO Network Country Score, 1950–2008” Sociological Science 2: 287-307.
  • Received: July 15, 2014
  • Accepted: November 26, 2014
  • Editors: Jesper Sorensen, Sarah Soule
  • DOI: 10.15195/v2.a14

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Conceptual Spaces and the Consequences of Category Spanning

Balázs Kovács, Michael T. Hannan

Sociological Science, May 13, 2015
DOI 10.15195/v2.a13

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A general finding in economic and organizational sociology shows that objects that span categories lose appeal to audiences. This paper argues that the negative consequences of crossing boundaries are more severe when the categories spanned are distant and have high contrast. Available empirical strategies do not incorporate information on the distances among categories. Here we introduce novel measures of distance in conceptual space and derive measures for typicality, category contrast, and categorical niche width. Using the proposed measurement approach, we test our theory using data on online reviews of books and restaurants.
 
Balázs Kovács: Universita della Svizzerá italiana.  Email: kovacsb@usi.ch

Micheal T. Hannan: Graduate School of Business, Stanford University. Email: hannan@stanford.edu

  • Citation: Kovács, Balázs, and Michael T. Hannan. 2015. “Conceptual Spaces and the Consequences of Category Spanning.” Sociological Science 2: 252-286.
  • Received: July 21, 2014
  • Accepted: September 24, 2014
  • Editors: Olav Sorenson
  • DOI: 10.15195/v2.a13

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Making Up for an Unlucky Month of Birth in School: Causal Evidence on the Compensatory Advantage of Family Background in England

Fabrizio Bernardi, Michael Grätz

Sociological Science, May 6, 2015
DOI 10.15195/v2.a12

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Previous research has shown that being born in the months immediately preceding the school entry cut-off date leads to lower educational outcomes in countries with a strict admission policy. In this article we use the effect of age at school entry in England as an identification device to provide a causal estimate of the compensatory advantage enjoyed by children from high social origin families. We find that the negative effects of a young school entry age are stronger for children from low social origin families. We also investigate when social origin differences in school entry age effects emerge, and test possible mechanisms. We find that before starting school, a younger school entry age leads to lower test scores for children of both low and highly educated families. For children from highly educated families the negative effect, however, progressively declines over the school career and almost vanishes by age 16. With respect to the mechanisms underlying this compensatory effect, we find no strong mediating role for parental involvement in homework and private lessons or for school choice.
Fabrizio Bernardi: European University Institute Department of Political and Social Sciences.  Email: fabrizio.bernardi@eui.eu

Michael Grätz: European University Institute Department of Political and Social Sciences.   Email: michael.gratz@eui.eu

  • Citation: Bernardi, Fabrizio and Michael Grätz. 2015. “Making Up for an Unlucky Month of Birth in School: Causal Evidence on the Compensatory Advantage of Family Background in England.” Sociological Science 2:235-251
  • Received: November 13, 2014
  • Accepted: January 21, 2015
  • Editors: Jesper Sørensen,  Kim Weeden
  • DOI: 10.15195/v2.a12

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Class Inequality and Adult Attainment Projects among Middle-Aged Men in the United States, 1980—2010

Jeremy Pais, D. Matthew Ray

Sociological Science, April 29, 2015
DOI 10.15195/v2.a11

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Adult attainment projects (AAP) consist of a series of traditional adult statuses: labor force participation, residential independence, marriage, parenthood, and homeownership. This article examines these status indicators as integral parts of an individualized attainment project that is best assessed later in adulthood. Close examination of AAP gives novel insights into the changing U.S. opportunity structure that go beyond what can be achieved through studying temporal patterns of adult status indicators independently. From 1980 to 2010, rates of completed AAP declined by double digits, and the difference in the odds of completing AAP between men on different ends of the income distribution doubled. There are structural and cultural explanations for these trends. Divergence hypotheses favor structural explanations involving social stratification processes. Convergence hypotheses favor cultural explanations based on the loosening of norms regarding traditional adult statuses. This article uses factor analytic models on data from the Current Population Survey, in conjunction with formal measurement invariance testing, to evaluate these hypotheses. The adaptive differentiation hypothesis, a blended explanation positing analytically distinct AAP profiles for different socioeconomic groups, receives the most empirical support. The results affirm a structurally prevailing change in the lives of poor, working class, and lower-middle class Americans.
Jeremy Pais: Department of Sociology, University of Connecticut.  Email: j.pais@uconn.edu

D. Matthew Ray: Department of Sociology, University of Connecticut.   Email: matt.ray@uconn.edu

  • Citation: Pais, Jeremy, and D. Matthew Ray. 2015. “Class Inequality and Adult Attainment Projects among Middle-Aged Men in the United States, 1980—2010.” Sociological Science 2:211-234.
  • Received: October 10, 2014
  • Accepted: January 17, 2015
  • Editors: Jesper Sørensen,  Stephen Morgan
  • DOI: 10.15195/v2.a11

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