Articles

Marriage, Choice, and Couplehood in the Age of the Internet

Michael J. Rosenfeld

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

Abstract

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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.

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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

Abstract

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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

Abstract

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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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A Taste of Inequality: Food’s Symbolic Value across the Socioeconomic Spectrum

Priya Fielding-Singh

Sociological Science, August 10, 2017
DOI 10.15195/v4.a17

Abstract

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Scholars commonly account for dietary disparities across socioeconomic status (SES) using structural explanations that highlight differences in individuals’ wealth, income, or location. These explanations emphasize food’s material value. But food also carries symbolic value. This article shows how food’s symbolic value helps drive dietary disparities. In-depth interviews with 160 parents and adolescents and 80 hours of observations with four families demonstrate how a family’s socioeconomic position in part shapes the meanings that parents attach to food. These differing meanings contribute to distinct feeding strategies across the socioeconomic spectrum: whereas low-SES parents use food to buffer against deprivation, high-SES parents provision food to fulfill classed values around health and parenting. The findings suggest that an understanding of how families’ material circumstances shape food’s symbolic value is critical to fully account for dietary differences across SES.

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Priya Fielding-Singh: Department of Sociology, Department of Sociology, Stanford University
Email: priyafs@stanford.edu

Acknowledgements: This research was supported by Stanford University’s Vice Provost for Graduate Education and the Department of Sociology. I thank Tomás Jiménez, Michelle Jackson, Doug McAdam, Jeremy Freese, Christopher Gardner, Marianne Cooper, Caitlin Daniel, Kristine Kilanski, Aliya Rao, Melissa Abad, Jennifer Wang, Anshuman Sahoo, Adrienne Frech, and the students in my course, “The Social Determinants of Health,” for their constructive feedback on various drafts of this article. I am grateful to my collaborators at Hillview Central High School as well as to the families who participated in this research and shared their insights and experiences.

  • Citation:Fielding-Singh, Priya. 2017. “A Taste of Inequality: Food’s Symbolic Value across the Socioeconomic Spectrum.” Sociological Science 4: 424-448.
  • Received: June 15, 2017
  • Accepted: July 2, 2017
  • Editors: Mario Small
  • DOI: 10.15195/v4.a17
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Social Class and Party Identification During the Clinton, Bush, and Obama Presidencies

Stephen L. Morgan, Jiwon Lee

Sociological Science, August 3, 2017
DOI 10.15195/v4.a16

Abstract

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Through an analysis of the 1994 through 2016 General Social Surveys, this article demonstrates that a substantial proportion of eligible voters within the working class turned away from solid identification with either the Democratic Party or the Republican Party during the Obama presidency. Even before the 2016 election cycle commenced, conditions were uncharacteristically propitious for a Republican candidate who could appeal to prospective voters in the working class, especially those who had not voted in recent presidential elections but could be mobilized to vote. These findings support the contested position that variation in party identification is a genuine leading indicator of electoral outcomes and perhaps also, in this case, of party realignment.

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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 Danny Schlozman for a helpful orienting discussion of these topics as well as Andy Cherlin, Mike Hout, Jennifer Silva, and Tom Smith for comments on the penultimate draft.

  • Citation: Morgan, Stephen L., and Jiwon Lee. 2017. “Social Class and Party Identification During the Clinton, Bush, and Obama Presidencies.” Sociological Science 4: 394-423.
  • Received: June 12, 2017
  • Accepted: June 25, 2017
  • Editors: Jesper Sørensen, Sarah Soule
  • DOI: 10.15195/v4.a16
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Improving the Measurement of Shared Cultural Schemas with Correlational Class Analysis: Theory and Method

Andrei Boutyline

Sociological Science, May 29, 2017
DOI 10.15195/v4.a15

Abstract

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Measurement of shared cultural schemas is a central methodological challenge for the sociology of culture. Relational Class Analysis (RCA) is a recently developed technique for identifying such schemas in survey data. However, existing work lacks a clear definition of such schemas, which leaves RCA’s accuracy largely unknown. Here, I build on the theoretical intuitions behind RCA to arrive at this definition. I demonstrate that shared schemas should result in linear dependencies between survey rows—the relationship usually measured with Pearson’s correlation. I thus modify RCA into a “Correlational Class Analysis” (CCA). When I compare the methods using a broad set of simulations, results show that CCA is reliably more accurate at detecting shared schemas than RCA, even in scenarios that substantially violate CCA’s assumptions. I find no evidence of theoretical settings where RCA is more accurate. I then revisit a previous RCA analysis of the 1993 General Social Survey musical tastes module. Whereas RCA partitioned these data into three schematic classes, CCA partitions them into four. I compare these results with a multiple-groups analysis in structural equation modeling and find that CCA’s partition yields greatly improved model fit over RCA. I conclude with a parsimonious framework for future work.

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Andrei Boutyline: Department of Sociology, University of California, Berkeley
Email: boutyline@berkeley.edu

Acknowledgements: This research was supported in part by fellowships from National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program and Interdisciplinary Graduate Education and Research Traineeship Program. I thank Ronald Breiger, Neil Fligstein, John Flournoy, Amir Goldberg, Monica Lee, Valden Kamph, James Kitts, Fabiana Silva, Matthew Stimpson, Stephen Vaisey, Robb Willer, and the participants of the Berkeley Mathematical, Analytical, and Experimental Sociology workshop for feedback on the article. I am also grateful to Amir Goldberg for generously discussing RCA and making its software implementation available online. Direct all correspondence to Andrei Boutyline at Department of Sociology, 410 Barrows Hall, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720. E-mail: boutyline@berkeley.edu

  • Citation: Boutyline, Andrei. 2017. “Improving the Measurement of Shared Cultural Schemas with Correlational Class Analysis: Theory and Method.” Sociological Science 4: 353-393.
  • Received: July 22, 2016
  • Accepted: April 4, 2017
  • Editors: Olav Sorenson, Gabriel Rossman
  • DOI: 10.15195/v4.a15
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Interactions, Actors, and Time: Dynamic Network Actor Models for Relational Events

Christoph Stadtfeld, Per Block

Sociological Science, May 15, 2017
DOI 10.15195/v4.a14

Abstract

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Ample theoretical work on social networks is explicitly or implicitly concerned with the role of interpersonal interaction. However, empirical studies to date mostly focus on the analysis of stable relations. This article introduces Dynamic Network Actor Models (DyNAMs) for the study of directed, interpersonal interaction through time. The presented model addresses three important aspects of interpersonal interaction. First, interactions unfold in a larger social context and depend on complex structures in social systems. Second, interactions emanate from individuals and are based on personal preferences, restricted by the available interaction opportunities. Third, sequences of interactions develop dynamically, and the timing of interactions relative to one another contains useful information. We refer to these aspects as the network nature, the actor-oriented nature, and the dynamic nature of social interaction. A case study compares the DyNAM framework to the relational event model, a widely used statistical method for the study of social interaction data.

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Christoph Stadtfeld: Department of Humanities, Social and Political Sciences, ETH Zürich
Email: c.stadtfeld@ethz.ch

Per Block: Department of Humanities, Social and Political Sciences, ETH Zürich
Email: per.block@gess.ethz.ch

Acknowledgements: Useful feedback and comments that considerably improved this article were graciously provided by James Hollway, by members of the social network research group in Zürich, by participants of the Swiss Networks Workshop in Zürich, and by the 9th International Conference on Social Science Methodology (RC33) in Leicester. Discussions with Alessandro Lomi and Viviana Amati contributed to the formulation of the idea of network mechanisms that operate on different time scales—they refer to this idea as “process time.”

  • Citation: Stadtfeld, Christoph, and Per Block. 2017. “Interactions, Actors, and Time: Dynamic Network Actor Models for Relational Events.” Sociological Science 4: 318-352.
  • Received: March 10, 2017
  • Accepted: April 9, 2017
  • Editors: Jesper B. Sørensen, Olav Sorenson
  • DOI: 10.15195/v4.a14
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Obesity Is in the Eye of the Beholder: BMI and Socioeconomic Outcomes across Cohorts

Vida Maralani, Douglas McKee

Sociological Science, April 19, 2017
DOI 10.15195/v4.a13

Abstract

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The biological and social costs of body mass cannot be conceptualized in the same way. Using semiparametric methods, we show that the association between body mass index (BMI) and socioeconomic outcomes such as wages, being married, and family income is distinctly shaped by gender, race, and cohort rather than being above a specific threshold of BMI. For white men, the correlation between BMI and outcomes is positive across the “normal” range of BMI and turns negative near the cusp of the overweight range, a pattern that persists across cohorts. For white women, thinner is nearly always better, a pattern that also persists across cohorts. For black men in the 1979 cohort, the association between BMI and wages is positive across the normal and overweight ranges for wages and family income and inverted U–shaped for marriage. For black women in the 1979 cohort, thinner is better for wages and marriage. By the 1997 cohort, however, the negative association between body mass and outcomes dissipates for black Americans but not for white Americans. In the social world, “too fat” is a subjective, contingent, and fluid judgment that differs depending on who is being judged, who does the judging, and the social domain.

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Vida Maralani: Department of Sociology, Cornell University
Email: vida.maralani@cornell.edu

Douglas McKee: Department of Economics, Cornell University
Email: douglas.mckee@cornell.edu

Acknowledgements: We thank Maurice Gesthuizen, Richard Breen, and Jason Fletcher for their comments and suggestions and Sam Stabler, Luke Wagner, Kate Bradley, and Isadora Milanez for providing superb research assistance.

This research uses data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 and 1997, and also data from Add Health, a program project directed by Kathleen Mullan Harris and designed by J. Richard Udry, Peter S. Bearman, and Kathleen Mullan Harris at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and funded by grant P01-HD31921 from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, with cooperative funding from 23 other federal agencies and foundations. Special acknowledgment is due Ronald R. Rindfuss and Barbara Entwisle for assistance in the original design. Information on how to obtain the Add Health data files is available on the Add Health website (http://www.cpc.unc.edu/addhealth). No direct support was received from grant P01-HD31921 for this analysis.

  • Citation: Maralani, Vida, and Douglas McKee. 2017. “Obesity Is in the Eye of the Beholder: BMI and Socioeconomic Outcomes across Cohorts.” Sociological Science 4: 288-317.
  • Received: January 30, 2017
  • Accepted: February 27, 2017
  • Editors: Jesper B. Sørensen, Stephen Morgan
  • DOI: 10.15195/v4.a13
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More than Money: Social Class, Income, and the Intergenerational Persistence of Advantage

Carina Mood

Sociological Science, April 5, 2017
DOI 10.15195/v4.a12

Abstract

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I provide a uniquely comprehensive empirical integration of the sociological and economic approaches to the intergenerational transmission of advantage. I analyze the independent and interactive associations that parental income and social class share with children’s later earnings, using large-scale Swedish register data with matched parent–child records that allow exact and reliable measurement of occupations and incomes. I show that parental class matters at a given income and income matters within a given social class, and the net associations are substantial. Because measurement error is minimal, this result strongly suggests that income and class capture partly different underlying advantages and transmission mechanisms. If including only one of these measures, rather than both, we underestimate intergenerational persistence by around a quarter. The nonlinearity of the income–earnings association is found to be largely a compositional effect capturing the main effect of class.

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Carina Mood: Swedish Institute for Social Research, Stockholm University
Email: carina.mood@sofi.su.se

Acknowledgements: I have benefited from helpful comments from members of the Level-of-Living team at the Swedish Institute for Social Research, and in particular from detailed comments given by Per Engzell, Robert Erikson, Michael Gähler, Jan O. Jonsson, and Georg Treuter.

  • Citation: Mood, Carina. 2017. “More than Money: Social Class, Income, and the Intergenerational Persistence of Advantage.” Sociological Science 4: 263-287.
  • Received: January 3, 2017
  • Accepted: February 21, 2017
  • Editors: Jesper B. Sørensen, Kim Weeden
  • DOI: 10.15195/v4.a12
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Does Social Value Orientation Theory Apply to Social Relations?

Patricia Danielle Lewis, David Willer

Sociological Science, March 29, 2017
DOI 10.15195/v4.a11

Abstract

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This research asks whether Social Value Orientations (SVOs) apply to the social relations of exchange networks. SVO literature identifies three types of orientation to rational action, determined by how actors value outcomes to self and other. Only the individualist is the self-interested, rational actor previously seen in exchange networks. The prosocial actor seeks to maximize joint outcomes and equality whereas the competitor seeks to maximize differences between self and other. The competitor and individualist are frequently collapsed into a proself type. Whereas SVO research has focused on games and social dilemmas, this research places prosocials and proselfs in equal, weak, and strong power exchange structures. We show that, if SVO applies, the behaviors of proself and prosocial will be very different. Experimental results demonstrate, however, that prosocials’ actions in exchanges are indistinguishable from activities of proselfs.

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Patricia Danielle Lewis: Department of Sociology, University of South Carolina
Email: p.danielle.lewis@gmail.com

David Willer: Department of Sociology, University of South Carolina
Email: Willer@mailbox.sc.edu

Acknowledgements: This research was funded by an NSF grant to David Willer.

  • Citation: Lewis, Patricia Danielle, and David Willer. 2017. “Does Social Value Orientation Theory Apply to Social Relations?” Sociological Science 3: 249-262.
  • Received: December 19, 2016
  • Accepted: January 11, 2017
  • Editors: Jesper B. Sørensen, Sarah Soule
  • DOI: 10.15195/v4.a11
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