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American Journal of SociologyAJS

Volume 116, Number 1, July 2010, pp. 1-340


V  Contributors




Redistributing toward the Rich: Strategic Policy Crafting in the Campaign to Repeal the Sixteenth Amendment, 1938–1958

Isaac William Martin

University of California, San Diego

Abstract: Beginning in 1938, some American business groups campaigned to repeal the Sixteenth Amendment and limit the federal taxation of income and wealth. Although their proposed upward-redistributive policy would benefit few voters, it won the support of 31 state legislatures. To explain this outcome, this article offers a theory of strategic policy crafting by advocacy groups. Such groups may succeed even in otherwise unfavorable institutional environments if they craft their proposals to fit the salient policy context. Archival evidence and event history analysis support this hypothesis. Public opinion also helps explain legislative support for upward-redistributive policy.





Trouble in Store: Probes, Protests, and Store Openings by Wal-Mart, 1998–2007

Paul Ingram

Lori Qingyuan Yue

Columbia University

Hayagreeva Rao

Stanford University

Abstract: The authors consider how uncertainty over protest occurrence shapes the strategic interaction between companies and activists. Analyzing Wal-Mart, the authors find support for their theory that companies respond to this uncertainty through a “test for protest” approach. In Wal-Mart’s case, this consists of low-cost probes in the form of new store proposals. They then withdraw if they face protests, especially when those protests signal future problems. Wal-Mart is more likely to open stores that are particularly profitable, even if they are protested. This uncertainty-based account stands in sharp contrast to full-information models that characterize protests as rare miscalculations.





Changing to Win? Threat, Resistance, and the Role of Unions in Strikes, 1984–2002

Andrew W. Martin

Ohio State University

Marc Dixon

Dartmouth College

Abstract: Much of what we know about strikes is grounded in the context of postwar Fordism, a unique historical moment of relatively institutionalized labor-management relations. Yet the resurgence of corporate resistance over the past quarter century, coupled with an increasingly hostile political and economic climate, has fundamentally transformed the American industrial landscape. Drawing from this research and insights on social movements and formal organizations, we expect unions will vary considerably in their response to threats. Our analysis, based on a comprehensive data set of U.S. strikes from 1984 to 2002, reveals the importance of such intramovement cleavages for strike activity and for the prospects of organized labor in the contemporary United States. We conclude by discussing the implications of our findings for scholarship on threat and social movement challenges more generally.





The Civilizing Process and Its Discontents: Suicide and Crimes against Persons in France, 1825–1830

Hugh P. Whitt

University of Nebraska—Lincoln

Abstract: A spatial analysis of data for French départements assembled in the 1830s by André-Michel Guerry and Adolphe d’Angeville examines the impacts of modernization and resistance to governmental “Frenchification” policies on measures of violence and its direction. In the context of Unnithan et al.’s integrated model of suicide and homicide, high suicide rates in the northern core and a predilection for violence against others in the southern periphery may be consistently interpreted in terms of theories of the civilizing process and internal colonialism. Alternative explanations of southern violence in 19th-century France are explored and rejected, and additional theoretical applications are suggested.





Racial Boundary Formation at the Dawn of Jim Crow: The Determinants and Effects of Black/Mulatto Occupational Differences in the United States, 1880

Aaron Gullickson

University of Oregon

Abstract: This article examines variation in the social position of mixed-race populations by exploiting county-level variation in the degree of occupational differentiation between blacks and mulattoes in the 1880 U.S. census. The role of the mixed-race category as either a “buffer class” or a status threat depended on the class composition of whites. Black/mulatto occupational differentiation was greatest where whites had high occupational prestige and thus little to fear from a mulatto group. Furthermore, differentiation increased the risk of lynching where whites had relatively low status and decreased the risk of lynching where whites had relatively high status.





Falling Short of the Promise: Poverty Vulnerability in the United States and Britain, 1993–2003

Diana Worts

University of Toronto

Amanda Sacker

University of Essex

Peggy McDonough

University of Toronto

Abstract: The welfare state promises to moderate the duration and concentration of poverty. The authors ask how well this promise has been fulfilled in the United States and Britain from 1993 to 2003. They examine two aspects of poverty vulnerability during this period of welfare reform: (1) its persistence and associated risk factors and (2) the efficacy of social transfers. After accounting for measurement error, sociodemographic characteristics, and the impact of redistributive programs, the authors find that poverty is often persistent and risk is concentrated, especially in the United States. Moreover, the British safety net appears to better protect those at risk.






Book Reviews



Liquidated: An Ethnography of Wall Street by Karen Ho. Durham

Mitchel Y. Abolafia



Social Performance: Symbolic Action, Cultural Pragmatics, and Ritual, edited by Jeffrey C. Alexander, Bernhard Giesen, and Jason L. Mast

Mabel Berezin



Educating Scholars: Doctoral Education in the Humanities by Ronald G. Ehrenberg, Harriet Zuckerman, Jeffrey A. Groen, and Sharon M. Brucker

Steven Brint



Little Saigon: Staying Vietnamese in America by Karin AguilarSan Juan

Angie Y. Chung



Codes of the Underworld: How Criminals Communicate by Diego Gambetta

Randall Collins



Will to Live: AIDS Therapies and the Politics of Survival by João Biehl

Steven Epstein



Blurring the Color Line: The New Chance for a More Integrated America by Richard Alba

Joe Feagin



On the Origin of Societies by Natural Selection by Jonathan H. Turner and Alexandra Maryanski

Rosemary Hopcroft



Rich Democracies, Poor People by David Brady

Michael B. Katz



Cop in the Hood: My Year Policing Baltimore’s Eastern District by Peter Moskos

Andrew V. Papachristos



Enabling Creative Chaos: The Organization Behind the Burning Man Event by Katherine K. Chen

Francesca Polletta



Theorizing Discrimination in an Era of Contested Prejudice: Discrimination in the United States by Samuel Roundfield Lucas

Mario Luis Small



Tocqueville’s Political Economy by Richard Swedberg

Alan Sica



Semicitizenship in Democratic Politics by Elizabeth F. Cohen

Catherine Bolzendahl



Behind the Development Banks: Washington Politics, World Poverty, and the Wealth of Nations by Sarah Babb

Richard Feinberg



Queer Mobilizations: LGBT Activists Confront the Law, edited by Scott Barclay, Mary Bernstein, and AnnaMaria Marshall

Tina Fetner



Commercial Agreements and Social Dynamics in Medieval Genoa by Quentin Van Doosselaere

Paul D. McLean



New Languages of the State: Indigenous Resurgence and the Politics of Knowledge in Bolivia by Bret Gustafson

Kwai Hang Ng



Impossible Engineering: Technology and Territoriality on the Canal du Midi by Chandra Mukerji

William H. Sewell, Jr.



Global Justice Networks: Geographies of Transnational Solidarity by Paul Routledge and Andrew Cumbers

Jackie Smith



Cosmopolitan Communications: Cultural Diversity in a Globalized World by Pippa Norris and Ronald Inglehart

John Sinclair



From the Ground Up: Translating Geography into Community through Neighbor Networks by Rick Grannis

Liam Downey



Intellectuals and Their Publics: Perspectives from the Social Sciences, edited by Christian Fleck, Andreas Hess, and E. Stina Lyon

Jeffrey C. Goldfarb



Backstage at the Revolution: How the Royal Paris Opera Survived the End of the Old Regime by Victoria Johnson

Victoria D. Alexander



Nationalist Politics and Everyday Ethnicity in a Transylvanian Town by Rogers Brubaker, Margit Feischmidt, Jon Fox, and Liana Grancea

Teresa Staniewicz



Democracy and the Culture of Skepticism: Political Trust in Argentina and Mexico by Matthew R. Cleary and Susan C. Stokes

Thomas Ertman



Preferences and Situations: Points of Intersection Between Historical and Rational Choice Institutionalism, edited by Ira Katznelson and Barry R. Weingast

Ivan Ermakoff



The Making of a Human Bomb: Ethnography of Palestinian Resistance by Nasser Abufarha

Albert J. Bergesen



The Masters and the Slaves by Gilberto Freyre

Barbara Celarent