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The White Working Class and Voter Turnout in U.S. Presidential Elections, 2004 to 2016

Stephen L. Morgan, Jiwon Lee

Sociological Science, November 20, 2017
DOI 10.15195/v4.a27

Through an analysis of the 2004, 2008, 2012, and 2016 Current Population Surveys as well as the 2004 through 2016 General Social Surveys, this article investigates class differences and patterns of voter turnout for the last four U.S. presidential elections. After developing some support for the claim that a surge of white, working-class voters emerged in competitive states in 2016, a portrait of class differences on political matters among white, non-Hispanic, eligible voters between 2004 and 2016 is offered to assess the electoral consequences of this surge. These latter results are consistent with the claim that racial prejudice, anti-immigrant sentiment, concerns about economic security, and frustration with government responsiveness may have led many white, working-class voters to support an outsider candidate who campaigned on these themes. However, these same results give no support to the related claim that the white working class changed its positions on these matters in response to the 2016 primary election campaign or in the months just before the general election.

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Stephen L. Morgan: Department of Sociology, Johns Hopkins University
Email: stephen.morgan@jhu.edu

Jiwon Lee: Department of Sociology, Johns Hopkins University
Email: jiwonlee@jhu.edu

Acknowledgements: We thank the editors for their incisive suggestions for revisions.

  • Citation: Morgan, Stephen L., and Jiwon Lee. 2017. “The White Working Class and Voter Turnout in U.S. Presidential Elections, 2004 to 2016.” Sociological Science 4: 656-685.
  • Received: October 2, 2017
  • Accepted: October 12, 2017
  • Editors: Jesper Sørensen, Delia Baldassarri
  • DOI: 10.15195/v4.a27
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Better Estimates from Binned Income Data: Interpolated CDFs and Mean-Matching

Paul T. von Hippel, David J. Hunter, McKalie Drown

Sociological Science, November 15, 2017
DOI 10.15195/v4.a26

Researchers often estimate income statistics from summaries that report the number of incomes in bins such as $0 to 10,000, $10,001 to 20,000, …, $200,000+. Some analysts assign incomes to bin midpoints, but this treats income as discrete. Other analysts fit a continuous parametric distribution, but the distribution may not fit well. We fit nonparametric continuous distributions that reproduce the bin counts perfectly by interpolating the cumulative distribution function (CDF). We also show how both midpoints and interpolated CDFs can be constrained to reproduce the mean of income when it is known. We evaluate the methods in estimating the Gini coefficients of all 3,221 U.S. counties. Fitting parametric distributions is very slow. Fitting interpolated CDFs is much faster and slightly more accurate. Both interpolated CDFs and midpoints give dramatically better estimates if constrained to match a known mean. We have implemented interpolated CDFs in the “binsmooth” package for R. We have implemented the midpoint method in the “rpme” command for Stata. Both implementations can be constrained to match a known mean.

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Paul T. von Hippel: Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin
Email: paulvonhippel.utaustin@gmail.com

David J. Hunter: Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, Westmont College
Email: dhunter@westmont.edu

McKalie Drown: Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, Westmont College
Email: mdrown@westmont.edu

Acknowledgements: Drown is grateful for support from a Tensor Grant of the Mathematical Association of America.

  • Citation: von Hippel, Paul T., David J. Hunter, and McKalie Drown. 2017. “Better Estimates from Binned Income Data: Interpolated CDFs and Mean-Matching.” Sociological Science 4: 641-655.
  • Received: September 23, 2017
  • Accepted: October 8, 2017
  • Editors: Jesper Sørensen, Stephen Morgan
  • DOI: 10.15195/v4.a26
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Global Diversity and Local Consensus in Status Beliefs: The Role of Network Clustering and Resistance to Belief Change

André Grow, Andreas Flache, Rafael P. M. Wittek

Sociological Science, November 6, 2017
DOI 10.15195/v4.a25

Formal models of status construction theory suggest that beliefs about the relative social worth and competence of members of different social groups can emerge from face-to-face interactions in task-focused groups and eventually become consensual in large populations. We propose two extensions of earlier models. First, we incorporate the microlevel behavioral assumption of status construction theory that people can become resistant to belief change when a belief appears consensual in their local social environment. Second, we integrate the insight that the macro-level social structure of face-to-face interactions in large populations often is a clustered network structure. Computational experiments identify an outcome that was not anticipated by earlier formalizations. The combination of network clustering at the macrolevel and resistance to belief change at the microlevel can constrain the diffusion of status beliefs and generate regional variation in status beliefs. Further experiments identify conditions under which this outcome obtains.

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André Grow: Centre for Sociological Research, KU Leuven
Email: andre.grow@kuleuven.be

Andreas Flache: Department of Sociology/Interuniversity Centre for Social Science Theory and Methodology, University of Groningen
Email: a.flache@rug.nl

Rafael P. M. Wittek: Department of Sociology/Interuniversity Centre for Social Science Theory and Methodology, University of Groningen
Email: r.p.m.wittek@rug.nl

Acknowledgements: The first author conducted most of his research for this article as a PhD student at the Department of Sociology/Interuniversity Centre for Social Science Theory and Methodology of the University of Groningen. We thank the members of the department, in particular the members of the research group Norms and Networks, for their helpful feedback. Earlier versions of this article have been presented at the 2013 Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association and the 2013 Conference of the International Network of Analytical Sociologists.

  • Citation: Grow, André, Andreas Flache, and Rafael P. M. Wittek. 2017. “Global Diversity and Local Consensus in Status Beliefs: The Role of Network Clustering and Resistance to Belief Change.” Sociological Science 4: 611-640.
  • Received: July 30, 2017
  • Accepted: September 23, 2017
  • Editors: Jesper Sørensen, Delia Baldassarri
  • DOI: 10.15195/v4.a25
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Faking It Is Hard to Do: Entrepreneurial Norm Enforcement and Suspicions of Deviance

Minjae Kim, Ezra W. Zuckerman Sivan

Sociological Science, October 25, 2017
DOI 10.15195/v4.a24

Recent research suggests that many norms may be upheld by closet deviants who engage in enforcement so as to hide their deviance. But various empirical accounts indicate that audiences are often quite sensitive to this ulterior motive. Our theory and experimental evidence identify when inferences of ulterior motive are drawn and clarify the implications of such inferences. Our main test pivots on two contextual factors: (1) the extent to which individuals might try to strategically feign commitment and (2) the contrast between “mandated” enforcement, where individuals are asked for their opinions of deviance, and “entrepreneurial” enforcement, where enforcement requires initiative to interrupt the flow of social interaction. When the context is one where individuals might have a strategic motive and enforcement requires entrepreneurial initiative, suspicions are aroused because the enforcers could have remained silent and enjoyed plausible deniability that they had witnessed the deviance or recognized its significance. Given that the mandate for enforcement might be rare, a key implication is that norms might frequently be underenforced.

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Minjae Kim: Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Email: minjae@mit.edu

Ezra W. Zuckerman Sivan: Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Email: ewzucker@mit.edu

Acknowledgements: We thank Ari Adut, Hannah Birnbaum, Ronald Burt, Vanessa Conzon, Daniel DellaPosta, Roberto Fernandez, Jae-Kyung Ha, Oliver Hahl, Kate Kellogg, Minkyung Kim, Josh Krieger, Aruna Ranganathan, Dawn Robinson, and Robb Willer; audiences in the 2016 Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association session on attitudes, norms, and behaviors; and the Economic Sociology Working Group and Behavioral Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management for their helpful comments and feedback. All the usual disclaimers apply.

  • Citation: Kim, Minjae, and Ezra W. Zuckerman Sivan. 2017. “Faking It Is Hard to Do: Entrepreneurial Norm Enforcement and Suspicions of Deviance” Sociological Science 4: 580-610.
  • Received: July 17, 2017
  • Accepted: September 13, 2017
  • Editors: Jesper Sørensen, Mario Small
  • DOI: 10.15195/v4.a24
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The Entrepreneur’s Network and Firm Performance

Victor Nee, Lisha Liu, Daniel DellaPosta

Sociological Science, October 18, 2017
DOI 10.15195/v4.a23

Diverse organizational forms coexist in China’s market economy, adapting and evolving in intensely competitive production markets. We examine the networks of founding chief executive officers of private manufacturing firms in seven cities of the Yangzi River Delta region in China. Through sequence analysis of ties that entrepreneurs relied on for help in the founding and critical events of their businesses, we identify three discrete forms of network governance: traditional kin-based, hybrid nonkin, and rational capitalist. We find that in traditional kin-based network governance, structural holes are linked to higher returns on assets and returns on equity. By contrast, in the rational capitalist form, structural holes and higher firm performance are not linked. We thus show that the content of the tie matters critically in the relationship between structural holes and firm performance.

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Victor Nee: Department of Sociology, Cornell University
Email: victor.nee@cornell.edu

Lisha Liu: Department of Sociology, Cornell University
Email: ll733@cornell.edu.com

Daniel DellaPosta: Department of Sociology and Criminology, Pennsylvania State University
Email: djd78@psu.edu

Acknowledgements: Victor Nee gratefully acknowledges grants from the John Templeton Foundation (2005–2010; 2015–2018), research assistant support from the College of Arts and Sciences at Cornell University, and the Jan Wallander and Tom Hedelius Foundation (2011–2013). We thank Michael Macy, Anne Tsui, Brett de Bary, Rachel Davis, Mario Molina, Lucas Drouhot, and David Strang for their helpful comments on an earlier draft. Victor Nee received helpful feedback on his presentation of the article at the 2017 Conference of the International Network of Analytical Sociologists in Oslo, Norway, on June 5 and 6 and the Annual Meeting of the Academy of International Business in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, from July 3 to 6. Lisha Liu and Daniel DellaPosta share equal responsibility in their contributions.

  • Citation: Nee, Victor, Lisha Liu, and Daniel DellaPosta. 2017. “The Entrepreneur’s Network and Firm Performance.” Sociological Science 4: 552-579.
  • Received: July 12, 2017
  • Accepted: September 5, 2017
  • Editors: Jesper Sørensen, Olav Sorenson
  • DOI: 10.15195/v4.a23
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Revisiting Broken Windows: The Role of Neighborhood and Individual Characteristics in Reaction to Disorder Cues

Beate Volker

Sociological Science, October 11, 2017
DOI 10.15195/v4.a22

The influential “broken windows” theory proposes that disorder cues in neighborhoods trigger littering and other antisocial behavior. Until now, the theory has been empirically tested only on a small scale and restricted to just one specific area. In this study, I investigated the effect of disorder cues on individual behavior once more, replicating and extending the original field experiments by Keizer, Lindenberg, and Steg (2008 and 2013). The data from 12,528 individuals were collected in 84 field experiments conducted in 33 neighborhoods. The results, based on multilevel techniques for binary data, show that the absolute effect of cues is smaller than originally thought and that neighborhood and individual characteristics moderate cue effects.

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Beate Volker: Department of Sociology, University of Amsterdam
Email: b.volker@uva.nl

Acknowledgements: This study greatly benefitted from the seminar of the program group “Institutions, Inequalities, and Life Courses” at the University of Amsterdam; the participants of the symposium “Order in Context” at Utrecht University on March 31, 2016; and from comments by Henk Flap.

  • Citation: Volker, Beate. 2017. “Revisiting Broken Windows: The Role of Neighborhood and Individual Characteristics in Reaction to Disorder Cues” Sociological Science 4: 528-551.
  • Received: July 22, 2017
  • Accepted: August 8, 2017
  • Editors: Jesper Sørensen, Mario Small
  • DOI: 10.15195/v4.a22
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Motherhood, Sex of the Offspring, and Religious Signaling

Ozan Aksoy

Sociological Science, September 27, 2017
DOI 10.15195/v4.a21

Using Turkey’s 2013 Demographic and Health Survey, I find that among married women, having a single child as opposed to no children is associated with an approximately five-percentage-point increase in the likelihood of religious veiling. Furthermore, the likelihood of religious veiling increases as the number of a woman’s children increases. Robustness checks show that these associations are rather stable across the Muslim world. In addition, I use the sex of a woman’s first child as a natural experiment and find that in Turkey, having a son versus a daughter increases the likelihood of religious veiling by 2.2 percentage points. In contrast, having a child and the sex of the first child have no significant effects on unobservable religious behaviors, traditional values, and gender norms. These results are consistent with the hypothesis derived from signaling theory that women use veiling strategically to foster family reputation.

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Ozan Aksoy: Department of Quantitative Social Science, University College London
Email: ozan.aksoy@ucl.ac.uk

Acknowledgements: I thank Aron Szekely, Francesco Billari, Alex Bryson, Diego Gambetta, Bilal Nasim, Nikki Shure, David Voas, and the participants of the University College London Department of Quantitative Social Science seminar for helpful suggestions and comments.

  • Citation: Aksoy, Ozan. 2017. “Motherhood, Sex of the Offspring, and Religious Signaling.” Sociological Science 4: 511-527.
  • Received: June 7, 2017
  • Accepted: July 27, 2017
  • Editors: Jesper Sørensen, Stephen Morgan
  • DOI: 10.15195/v4.a21
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Marriage, Choice, and Couplehood in the Age of the Internet

Michael J. Rosenfeld

Sociological Science, September 18, 2017
DOI 10.15195/v4.a20

How do the Internet and social media technology affect our romantic lives? Critics of the Internet’s effect on social life identify the overabundance of choice of potential partners online as a likely source of relationship instability. This study examines longitudinal data showing that meeting online does not predict couple breakup. Meeting online (and particularly meeting through online dating websites) predicts faster transitions to marriage for heterosexual couples. I do not claim to measure any causal effect of Internet technology on relationship longevity or marriage formation. Rather, I suggest that the data are more consistent with a positive or neutral association between Internet technology and relationships than with a negative association between the Internet and romantic relationships.

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Michael J. Rosenfeld: Department of Sociology, Stanford University
Email: mrosenfe@stanford.edu

Acknowledgements: This project was generously supported by the National Science Foundation, grants SES-0751977 and SES-1153867, M. Rosenfeld principal investigator, with additional funding from Stanford’s Institute for Research in the Social Sciences and Stanford’s United Parcel Service endowment. Thanks to Reuben J. Thomas, Amanda Mireles, Kate Weisshaar, Jasmine Hill, Ariela Schachter, Taylor Orth, Stanford’s Graduate Family Workshop, and anonymous reviewers for comments on earlier drafts.

  • Citation: Rosenfeld. Michael J. 2017. “Marriage, Choice, and Couplehood in the Age of the Internet.” Sociological Science 4: 490-510.
  • Received: June 6, 2017
  • Accepted: August 8, 2017
  • Editors: Olav Sorenson, Stephen Morgan
  • DOI: 10.15195/v4.a20
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How Black Are Lakisha and Jamal? Racial Perceptions from Names Used in Correspondence Audit Studies

S. Michael Gaddis

Sociological Science, September 6, 2017
DOI 10.15195/v4.a19

Online correspondence audit studies have emerged as the primary method to examine racial discrimination. Although audits use distinctive names to signal race, few studies scientifically examine data regarding the perception of race from names. Different names treated as black or white may be perceived in heterogeneous ways. I conduct a survey experiment that asks respondents to identify the race they associate with a series of names. I alter the first names given to each respondent and inclusion of last names. Names more commonly given by highly educated black mothers (e.g., Jalen and Nia) are less likely to be perceived as black than names given by less educated black mothers (e.g., DaShawn and Tanisha). The results suggest that a large body of social science evidence on racial discrimination operates under a misguided assumption that all black names are alike, and the findings from correspondence audits are likely sensitive to name selection.

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S. Michael Gaddis: Department of Sociology, University of California, Los Angeles
Email: mgaddis@soc.ucla.edu

Acknowledgements: An earlier version of this article was presented at the 2015 annual meeting of the American Sociological Association in Chicago, IL. Larry D. Schoen provided access to birth record data from New York. Anup Das, Qing Zheng, Betsy Cliff, and Neala Berkowski served as excellent research assistants on this project. I also thank Shawn Bauldry, Colleen Carey, Philip Cohen, Jonathan Daw, René Flores, Devah Pager, Lincoln Quillian, Charles Seguin, and Ashton Verdery for their helpful comments.

  • Citation: Gaddis, S. Michael. 2017. “How Black Are Lakisha and Jamal? Racial Perceptions from Names Used in Correspondence Audit Studies.” Sociological Science 4: 469-489.
  • Received: May 18, 2017
  • Accepted: June 12, 2017
  • Editors: Jesper Sørensen, Olav Sorenson
  • DOI: 10.15195/v4.a19
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The Partial Deinstitutionalization of Affirmative Action in U.S. Higher Education, 1988 to 2014

Daniel Hirschman, Ellen Berrey

Sociological Science, August 28, 2017
DOI 10.15195/v4.a18

Since the 1990s, affirmative action opponents have targeted colleges’ and universities’ race-conscious admissions policies and secured bans on the practice in eight states. Although scholarly and media attention has focused on these dynamics at a handful of elite institutions, little is known about race-conscious admissions across the broader field of higher education. We provide a descriptive, quantitative account of how different types of colleges and universities responded to this political context. Through analysis of almost 1,000 selective colleges and universities, we find a dramatic shift in stated organizational policy starting in the mid-1990s. In 1994, 60 percent of selective institutions publicly declared that they considered race in undergraduate admissions; by 2014, just 35 percent did. This decline varied depending on status (competitiveness) and sector (public or private). Race-conscious admissions remain the stated policy of almost all of the most elite public and private institutions. The retreat from race-conscious admissions occurs largely among schools lower in the status hierarchy: very competitive public institutions and competitive public and private institutions. These patterns are not explained by implementation of state-level bans. We suggest that the anti–affirmative action movement had a diffuse impact whose effects varied across different strata of American higher education.

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Daniel Hirschman: Department of Sociology, Brown University
Email: daniel_hirschman@brown.edu

Ellen Berrey: Department of Sociology, University of Toronto
Email: ellen.berrey@utoronto.ca

Acknowledgements: We thank Prabhdeep Kehal for his excellent research assistance and instructive comments. Mikaila Mariel Lemonik Arthur, Ronit Dinovitzer, Steve Hoffman, Ashley Rubin, and Terri Taylor provided feedback that improved this article. Research funding was provided by Brown University’s Program in Business, Entrepreneurship and Organizations.

  • Citation: Hirschman, Daniel, and Ellen Berrey. 2017. “The Partial Deinstitutionalization of Affirmative Action in U.S. Higher Education, 1988 to 2014.” Sociological Science 4: 449-468.
  • Received: June 21, 2017
  • Accepted: July 28, 2017
  • Editors: Jesper Sørensen, Sarah Soule
  • DOI: 10.15195/v4.a18
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