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American Journal of SociologyAJS

Volume 115, Number 6, May 2010, pp. 1671-2000



V  Contributors




Compensation Benchmarking, Leapfrogs, and the Surge in Executive Pay1

Thomas A. DiPrete and Gregory M. Eirich

Columbia University

Matthew Pittinsky

Arizona State University

Abstract: Scholars frequently argue whether the sharp rise in chief executive officer (CEO) pay in recent years is “efficient” or is a consequence of “rent extraction” because of the failure of corporate governance in individual firms. This article argues that governance failure must be conceptualized at the market rather than the firm level because excessive pay increases for even relatively few CEOs a year spread to other firms through the cognitively and rhetorically constructed compensation networks of “peer groups,” which are used in the benchmarking process to negotiate the compensation of CEOs. Counterfactual simulation based on Standard and Poor’s ExecuComp data demonstrates that the effects of CEO “leapfrogging” potentially explain a considerable fraction of the overall upward movement of executive compensation since the early 1990s.





Toward a Historical Sociology of Social Situations

David Diehl and

Daniel McFarland

Stanford University

Abstract: In recent years there has been a growing call to historicize sociology by paying more attention to the contextual importance of time and place as well as to issues of process and contingency. Meeting this goal requires bringing historical sociology and interactionism into greater conversation via a historical theory of social situations. Toward this end, the authors of this article draw on Erving Goffman's work in Frame Analysis to conceptualize experience in social situations as grounded in multilayered cognitive frames and to demonstrate how such a framework helps illuminate historical changes in situated interaction.





Drawing Blood from Stones: Legal Debt and Social Inequality in the Contemporary United States

Alexes Harris,

Heather Evans, and

Katherine Beckett

University of Washington

Abstract: The expansion of the U.S. penal system has important consequences for poverty and inequality, yet little is known about the imposition of monetary sanctions. This study analyzes national and state-level court data to assess their imposition and interview data to identify their social and legal consequences. Findings indicate that monetary sanctions are imposed on a substantial majority of the millions of people convicted of crimes in the United States annually and that legal debt is substantial relative to expected earnings. This indebtedness reproduces disadvantage by reducing family income, by limiting access to opportunities and resources, and by increasing the likelihood of ongoing criminal justice involvement.





Cultural Objects as Objects: Materiality, Urban Space, and the Interpretation of AIDS Campaigns in Accra, Ghana

Terence E. McDonnell

Vanderbilt University

Abstract: AIDS media lead unexpected lives once distributed through urban space: billboards fade, posters go missing, bumper stickers travel to other cities. The materiality of AIDS campaign objects and of the urban settings in which they are displayed structures how the public interprets their messages. Ethnographic observation of AIDS media in situ and interview data reveal how the materiality of objects and places shapes the availability of AIDS knowledge in Accra, Ghana. Significantly for AIDS organizations, these material conditions often systematically obstruct access to AIDS knowledge for particular groups. Attending to materiality rethinks how scholars assess the cultural power of media.





A Signal Juncture: The Detroit Newspaper Strike and Post-Accord Labor Relations in the United States

Chris Rhomberg

Fordham University

Abstract: This essay uses a deviant case analysis of the 1995–2000 Detroit newspaper strike to critique and revise theories of strike activity. As the formal institutions regulating industrial relations in the United States have declined, workplace struggles have expanded or reentered into other arenas of the state and civil society. In addition, the essay develops the methodological concept of a “signal juncture,” that is, moments of conflict that reveal a “collision” of underlying developmental paths. Unlike the more familiar concept of the critical juncture, a signal juncture reveals ongoing structural tensions and conflicting actors within otherwise continuous trends.





Book Reviews



Righteous Dopefiend by Philippe Bourgois and Jeff Schonberg

Douglas Harper



Making Our Way through the World: Human Reflexivity and Social Mobility by Margaret S. Archer

Alan Cicourel



Alexis de Tocqueville: The First Social Scientist by Jon Elster

Richard Swedberg



Radical Ambition: C. Wright Mills, the Left, and American Social Thought by Daniel Geary

Neil McLaughlin



Abraham Lincoln in the PostHeroic Era: History and Memory in Late TwentiethCentury America by Barry Schwartz

Jeffrey K. Olick



How Professors Think: Inside the Curious World of Academic Judgment by Michèle Lamont

Andrew Pickering



Violence: A Microsociological Theory by Randall Collins

Michael Kimmel



Bankrupt: Global Lawmaking and Systemic Financial Crisis by Terence C. Halliday and Bruce G. Carruthers

Peter Evans



Corporate Power in Global Agrifood Governance, edited by Jennifer Clapp and Doris Fuchs

Philip H. Howard



bserving Bioethics by Renée C. Fox and Judith P. Swazey

Alan Petersen



Smart Governance: Governing the Global Knowledge Society by Helmut Willke

Alberto Martinelli



Rise of the Red Engineers: The Cultural Revolution and the Origins of China’s New Class by Joel Andreas

Johanna Bockman



Deliverance and Submission: Evangelical Women and the Negotiation of Patriarchy in South Korea by Kelly H. Chong

Brenda E. Brasher



Boundless Faith: The Global Outreach of American Churches by Robert Wuthnow

John Boli



Religion, Class Coalitions, and Welfare States, edited by Kees van Kersbergen and Philip Manow

Jason Beckfield



Gendered Trajectories: Women, Work, and Social Change in Japan and Taiwan by Weihsin Yu

Deborah Carr



Cosmopolitan Anxieties: Turkish Challenges to Citizenship and Belonging in Germany by Ruth Mandel

Schirin AmirMoazami



A Nation of Emigrants: How Mexico Manages Its Migration by David Fitzgerald

Anna C. Korteweg



The Foundations of Ethnic Politics: Separatism of States and Nations in Eurasia and the World by Henry E. Hale

Steven Pfaff



Lineages of Despotism and Development: British Colonialism and State Power by Matthew Lange

Julian Go



Governing Gaza: Bureaucracy, Authority, and the Work of Rule, 1917–1967 by Ilana Feldman

Nina Eliasoph



The New Welfare Bureaucrats: Entanglements of Race, Class, and Policy Reform by Celeste WatkinsHayes

Vicki Smith



BlueChip Black: Race, Class, and Status in the New Black Middle Class by Karyn R. Lacy

Kathryn M. Neckerman



Cracks in the Pavement: Social Change and Resilience in Poor Neighborhoods by Martín SánchezJankowski

Jack Katz



Contentious Performances by Charles Tilly

Charles C. Ragin



The Rise of the Ku Klux Klan: RightWing Movements and National Politics by Rory McVeigh

Nella Van Dyke



Republic of Drivers: A Cultural History of Automobility in America by Cotten Seiler

James M. Jasper



Caught in Play: How Entertainment Works on You by Peter G. Stromberg

Thomas Henricks



Eros and Civilization by Herbert Marcuse

Barbara Celarent




Acknowledgments to Referees




Contents of Volume 115




Book Reviewers for Volume 115