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American Journal of SociologyAJS

Volume 115, Number 4, January 2010, pp. 991-1350



V  Contributors



Six Degrees of “Who Cares?”

Rick Grannis

University of California, Los Angeles

Abstract: The concept that we live in small world networks connected by short paths has proved fascinating. These networks, however, do not typically emerge as linear responses to individual-level changes; rather, subtle changes in relations produce extraordinarily different macrolevel outcomes. Similarly, nuances in how we conceptualize, define, and measure relations can lead to widely different network characterizations. The author demonstrates this variability using a spectrum of interaction types and argue that the dependence of results on subtleties in definition or measurement makes theoretical interpretation difficult. He offers an index to calculate how much inaccuracy or imprecision relational definitions or data-gathering techniques can tolerate before results yield utterly different interpretations.





The Social Structure of the World Polity

Jason Beckfield

Harvard University

Abstract: World polity research argues that modern states are shaped by embeddedness in a network of international organizations, and yet the structure of that network is rarely examined. This is surprising, given that world polity theory implies that the world polity should be an increasingly dense, even, flat field of association. This article describes the social structure of the world polity, using network analysis of the complete population of intergovernmental organizations as it has evolved since 1820. Analysis of the world polity's structure reveals growing fragmentation, driven by exclusive rather than universalist intergovernmental organizations. The world polity has thus grown less cohesive, more fragmented, more heterogeneous, and less “small worldly” in its structure. This structure reflects a recent rise in the regionalization of the world polity.





Global Neighborhoods: New Pathways to Diversity and Separation

John R. LoganV

Brown University

Charles Zhang

Texas A&M University

Abstract: Analyses of neighborhood racial composition in 1980–2000 demonstrate that in multiethnic metropolitan regions there is an emerging pathway of change that leads to relatively stable integration These are “global neighborhoods” where Hispanics and Asians are the pioneer integrators of previously all-white zones, later followed by blacks. However, region-wide segregation is maintained at high levels by whites' avoidance of all-minority areas and by their continued exodus (albeit at reduced levels) from mixed settings. Globalization of neighborhoods adds a positive new element of diversity that alters but does not erase the traditional dynamic of minority invasion succession.





Interneighborhood Migration, Race, and Environmental Hazards: Modeling Microlevel Processes of Environmental Inequality

Kyle CrowderV

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Liam Downey

University of Colorado

Abstract: This study combines longitudinal individual-level data with neighborhood-level industrial hazard data to examine the extent and sources of environmental inequality. Results indicate that profound racial and ethnic differences in proximity to industrial pollution persist when differences in individual education, household income, and other microlevel characteristics are controlled. Examination of underlying migration patterns further reveals that black and Latino householders move into neighborhoods with significantly higher hazard levels than do comparable whites and that racial differences in proximity to neighborhood pollution are maintained more by these disparate mobility destinations than by differential effects of pollution on the decision to move.





Structural Folds: Generative Disruption in Overlapping Groups

Balázs Vedres

Central European University

David Stark

Columbia University

Abstract: Entrepreneurial groups face a twinned challenge: recognizing and implementing new ideas. We argue that entrepreneurship is less about importing ideas than about generating new knowledge by recombining resources. In contrast to the brokerage-plus-closure perspective, we address the overlapping of cohesive group structures. In analyzing the network processes of intercohesion, we identify a distinctive network topology: the structural fold. Actors at the structural fold are multiple insiders, facilitating familiar access to diverse resources. Our data set records personnel ties among the largest 1,696 Hungarian enterprises from 1987 to 2001. First, we test whether structural folding contributes to group performance. Second, because entrepreneurship is a process of generative disruption, we test the contribution of structural folds to group instability. Third, we move from dynamic methods to historical network analysis and demonstrate that coherence is a property of interwoven lineages of cohesion, built up through repeated separation and reunification.





Leadership, Membership, and Voice: Civic Associations That Work

Kenneth T. Andrews

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Marshall Ganz

Harvard University

Matthew Baggetta

Harvard University

Hahrie Han

Wellesley College

Chaeyoon Lim

University of Wisconsin—Madison

Abstract: Why are some civic associations more effective than others? The authors introduce a multidimensional framework for analyzing the effectiveness of civic associations in terms of public recognition, member engagement, and leader development. Using original surveys of local Sierra Club organizations and leaders, the authors assess prevailing explanations in organization and movement studies alongside a model highlighting leadership and internal organizational practices. Although available resources and favorable contexts matter, the core findings show that associations with more committed activists, that build organizational capacity, that carry out strong programmatic activity, and whose leaders work independently, generate greater effectiveness across outcomes.





Book Reviews


P 1277

Punishment and Culture by Philip Smith

Rosemary Gartner


P 1279

Arguing with Tradition: The Language of Law in Hopi Tribal Court by Justin B. Richland

Kwai Hang Ng


P 1281

Lawyers of the Right: Professionalizing the Conservative Coalition by Ann Southworth

Ursula Castellano


Partisan Publics: Communication and Contention across Brazilian Youth Activist Networks by Ann Mische

Armando Salvatore


P 1286

Development, Democracy, and Welfare States: Latin America, East Asia, and Eastern Europe by Stephan Haggard and Robert R. Kaufman

Alexander Hicks


P 1289

The Politics of Free Markets: The Rise of Neoliberal Economic Policies in Britain, France, Germany, and the United States by Monica Prasad

Nitsan Chorev


P 1291

Into the Red: The Birth of the Credit Card Market in Postcommunist Russia by Alya Guseva

Sarah Busse Spencer


P 1293

The Industrious Revolution: Consumer Behavior and the Household Economy, 1650 to the Present by Jan de Vries

Bruce G. Carruthers


 P 1295

Market, Class, and Employment by Patrick McGovern, Stephen Hill, Colin Mills, and Michael White

Colin C. Williams


 P 1297

The Good Temp by Vicki Smith and Esther B. Neuwirth

Rachel Sherman


P 1300

Skill Formation: Interdisciplinary and CrossNational Perspectives, edited by Karl Ulrich Mayer and Heike Solga

David Bills


 P 1302

Moral Gray Zones: Side Productions, Identity, and Regulation in an Aeronautic Plant by Michel Anteby

Tim Bartley


P 1304

On the Fireline: Living and Dying with Wildland Firefighters by Matthew Desmond

Phaedra Daipha


 P 1306

BlueGreen Coalitions: Fighting for Safe Workplaces and Healthy Communities by Brian Mayer

Brian K. Obach


 P 1308

The New Urban Renewal: The Economic Transformation of Harlem and Bronzeville by Derek Hyra

Japonica BrownSaracino


 P 1311

Smallville: Institutionalizing Community in TwentyFirstCentury America by Carl Milofsky

Douglas Baer


 P 1313

The Political Influence of Churches by Paul A. Djupe and Christopher P. Gilbert

Steve Bruce


P 1315

Small Towns and Big Business: Challenging WalMart Superstores by Stephen Halebsky

Todd L. Matthews


P 1317

The Fight Over Food: Producers, Consumers, and Activists Challenge the Global Food System, edited by Wynne Wright and Gerad Middendorf

Patricia Allen


 P 1319

The Politics of Food Supply: U.S. Agricultural Policy in the World Economy by Bill Winders

Edward C. Jaenicke


 P 1321

Two Bits: The Cultural Significance of Free Software by Christopher M. Kelty

Zack Kertcher


 P 1324

Debugging the Link between Social Theory and Social Insects by Diane M. Rodgers

Charlotte Sleigh


P 1325

On Scandal: Moral Disturbances in Society, Politics, and Art by Ari Adut

Isaac Reed


P 1328

Wannabes, Goths, and Christians: The Boundaries of Sex, Style, and Status by Amy C. Wilkins

Jennifer Keys


P 1330

Courting Change: Queer Parents, Judges, and the Transformation of American Family Law by Kimberly D. Richman

Kathleen E. Hull


P 1332

Risky Lessons: Sex Education and Social Inequality by Jessica Fields

Amy L. Best


 P 1335

The Biopolitics of Breast Cancer: Changing Cultures of Disease and Activism by Maren Klawiter

Anne Esacove


 P 1337

Trusting Doctors: The Decline of Moral Authority in American Medicine by Jonathan B. Imber

Robert Zussman


P 1339

Out of Reach: Place, Poverty, and the New American Welfare State by Scott W. Allard

Laura R. Peck


 P 1341

Mothers without Citizenship: Asian Immigrant Families and the Consequences of Welfare Reform by Lynn Fujiwara

Robin Rogers


 P 1342

Metropolitan Migrants: The Migration of Urban Mexicans to the United States by Rubén HernándezLeón

Susan González Baker


 P 1345

Human Behavior: An Inventory of Scientific Findings by Bernard Berelson and Gary A. Steiner

Barbara Celarent