Sociology Department Faculty Publication Series

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Now showing 1 - 5 of 14
  • Publication
    Occupations, workplaces or jobs? An exploration of stratification contexts using administrative data
    (2020-01-01) Avent-Holt, Dustin; Henriksen, Lasse Folke; Hägglund, Anna Erika; Jung, Jiwook; Kodama, Naomi; Melzer, Silvia Maja; Mun, Eunmi; Rainey, Anthony; Tomaskovic-Devey, Donald
    Occupations have long been held by sociologists, from the older status attainment tradition to the more recent micro-class tradition, to be at the center of stratification writ large. Occupations are specifically argued to be central to shaping wages. Indeed, this has been understood as the comparative advantage of sociology relative to economics in understanding wage setting. However, an undercurrent has for decades existed in sociology that suggests other contexts, mainly workplaces and jobs, may be as important if not more important stratification contexts. Until recently data with the capacity to simultaneously assess all three contexts has been virtually non-existent. In this paper we use administrative data from five countries (Denmark, Finland, Germany, Japan, and South Korea) to assess the relative contributions of occupations, establishments, and jobs to wages. Our core finding is that there is no universal link between occupations and wages, with occupations explaining between 30 and 56 % of wage variance across country-years. As well, in all countries except Finland establishments explain more of the variance in wages than do occupations. Jobs and establishment figure prominently in the social organization of wages, and must be included in theoretical models and whenever possible in empirical analyses of social stratification.
  • Publication
    Zika virus public health crisis and the perpetuation of gender inequality in Brazil
    (2021-01-01) Zanatta Coutinho, Raquel; Villanueva Montalvo, Aida; Weitzman, Abigail; Junqueira Marteleto, Letícia
    Background In 2015–2017, the Americas experienced a highly consequential epidemics for pregnancy and childbearing. Mainly transmitted by the mosquito Aedes aegypti, but also through sexual intercourse, the Zika virus poses the risk of congenital Zika syndrome to fetus, which includes microcephaly and other child development complications. When a public health crisis taps directly into reproductive health, typically a feminine realm, responses to the emergency may exacerbate deeply-rooted gender norms. This paper investigates the role of gender in two relational contexts: (a) the government-led response to the pandemic in terms of communication campaigns aimed at preventing Zika infections; and (b) an individual level of response to the emergency, concerning women’s negotiation with their sexual partners with regard to the prevention of Zika as well as pregnancies. Methods We conducted content analysis of 94 unique pieces from public health communication campaigns produced by governmental agencies with the goal of promoting Zika awareness. Print and online materials were collected from May 2016 to August 2017, and included TV ads, Internet Pop-ups, and pamphlets. We also analyzed transcripts from 16 focus groups conducted with reproductive-aged women (18–40) in Belo Horizonte and Recife, two large cities differently affected by the Zika outbreak. Women answered open-ended questions connected to the epidemic, in areas such as personal knowledge and experiences with the Zika virus, experiences of their friends and acquaintances, their primary information sources, their perceptions of public health efforts toward containing the outbreak, as well as women’s contraceptive use. Results Campaign pieces handling pregnancy and microcephaly were largely gendered. Pieces targeted women, placing on their shoulders the responsibility for protecting a potential fetus from the disease. Importantly, campaigns neglected addressing male’s participation on Zika prevention and contraceptive management, while failing to take into account Brazil’s large proportion of unplanned pregnancies. Women were placed in a double bind by being expected to prevent both pregnancy and Zika, in a context where gendered power imbalances often translate in women having little power/means for condom negotiation/avoiding unprotected sexual intercourse. Conclusion Government and individual responses to the epidemics reinforced gender roles, situating pregnant women as responsible for averting mosquito bites and microcephaly. Further, prevention campaigns largely excluded men. Since low-socioeconomic status women possessed fewer resources to preclude infection, we also found that beyond the gender divide, this subgroup faced more pronounced Zika prevention challenges as they found it harder to negotiate condom use with their sexual partners and often could not access other types of contraceptives resulting in unplanned pregnancies.
  • Publication
    Collaboration and Gender Equity among Academic Scientists
    (2017-01-01) Misra, Joya; Smith-Doerr, Laurel; Dasgupta, Nilanjana; Weaver, Gabriela; Normanly, Jennifer
    Universities were established as hierarchical bureaucracies that reward individual attainment in evaluating success. Yet collaboration is crucial both to 21st century science and, we argue, to advancing equity for women academic scientists. We draw from research on gender equity and on collaboration in higher education, and report on data collected on one campus. Sixteen focus group meetings were held with 85 faculty members from STEM departments, separated by faculty rank and gender (i.e., assistant professor men, full professor women). Participants were asked structured questions about the role of collaboration in research, career development, and departmental decision-making. Inductive analyses of focus group data led to the development of a theoretical model in which resources, recognition, and relationships create conditions under which collaboration is likely to produce more gender equitable outcomes for STEM faculty. Ensuring women faculty have equal access to resources is central to safeguarding their success; relationships, including mutual mentoring, inclusion and collegiality, facilitate women’s careers in academia; and recognition of collaborative work bolsters women’s professional advancement. We further propose that gender equity will be stronger in STEM where resources, relationships, and recognition intersect—having multiplicative rather than additive effects.
  • Publication
    Beware Financialization, Attractive and Dangerous, but Mostly Dangerous
    (2015-01-01) Tomaskovic-Devey, Donald
    One of the central projects of neoliberalism has been the financialization of the global economy. Financialization refers to both the rising political and economic power of financial service firms and the growing importance of financial, rather than production, strategies in the rest of the economy. In the US case at least, financialization also accompanied a shift from values associated with employment and production to a normative elevation of financial investment. In the US the financialization dimension of neoliberalism has increased national and global systemic risk, increased income inequality between sectors of the economy, capital and labor and among classes of workers, and at the same time has led to decreased employment and a less productive economy. The lesson is that, despite the surface attractiveness of globalized finance, financialization is a particular dangerous dimension of neoliberal politics and policy
  • Publication
    Race and Workplace Integration: A Politically Mediated Process?
    (2005-01-01) Tomaskovic-Devey, Donald; Stainback, Kevin; Robinson, Corre
    The Civil Rights Act of 1964 stands as one of the greatest achievements in U.S. history. Although the law made discrimination illegal, its effectiveness, especially Title VII covering the employment domain, remains highly contested. The authors argue that legal shifts produce workplace racial integration only to the extent that there are additional political pressures on firms to desegregate. They examine fluctuating national political pressure to enforce equal employment opportunity law and affirmative action mandates as key influences on the pace of workplace racial desegregation and explore trajectories of Black-White integration in U.S. workplaces since 1966. Their results show that although federal and state equal employment opportunity pressures had initial successes in reducing racial segregation in workplaces, little progress has been made since the early 1980s. They conclude that racial desegregation is an ongoing politically mediated process, not a natural or inevitable outcome of early civil rights movement victories.