Contemporary articles citing Coleman J (1988) Am J Sociol
life, forms, mechanisms, empirical, actors, important, concept, capital, exchange, understanding
- Molm, Linda, David Schaefer & Jessica Collett. 2009. "Fragile and Resilient Trust: Risk and Uncertainty in Negotiated and Reciprocal Exchange." Sociological Theory. 27:1 1-32.
- Both experimental and ethnographic studies show that reciprocal exchanges (in which actors unilaterally provide benefits to each other without formal agreements) produce stronger trust than negotiated exchanges secured by binding agreements. We develop the theoretical role of risk and uncertainty as causal mechanisms that potentially explain these results, and then test their effects in two laboratory experiments that vary risk and uncertainty within negotiated and reciprocal forms of exchange. We increase risk in negotiated exchanges by making agreements nonbinding and decrease uncertainty in reciprocal exchanges by having actors communicate their intentions. Our findings support three main theoretical conclusions. (1) Increasing risk in negotiated exchange produces levels of trust comparable to those in reciprocal exchange only if the partner's trustworthiness is near-absolute. (2) Decreasing uncertainty in reciprocal exchange either increases or decreases trust, depending on network structure. (3) Even when reciprocal and negotiated exchanges produce comparable levels of trust, their trust differs in kind, with reciprocal exchange partners developing trust that is more resilient and affect-based.
- Green, Adam. 2008. "The Social Organization of Desire: the Sexual Fields Approach." Sociological Theory. 26:1 25-50.
- Modern urban life is increasingly characterized by specialized erotic worlds designed for sexual partnership and sexual sociality. In this article, I build on sociological theory developed in areas other than the sociology of sexuality to formulate a framework uniquely suited to the analysis of such modern erotic worlds-the sexual fields framework. Coupling Goffman's social psychological focus on situational negotiation with a Bourdieusian model of routine practice, the sexual fields framework highlights the relationship of interactional work to fields of objective relations wherein historically specific erotic schemas acquire a structural manifestation that erotic players must navigate. In so doing, the sexual fields approach advances a set of sensitizing concepts for identifying the structures of collective sexual life, and raises a set of new lines of sociological inquiry, including the relationship of sexual fields to both psychoanalytic and macro-level structures and processes.
- Savage, J & S Kanazawa. 2004. "Social Capital and the Human Psyche: Why Is Social Life ``capital''?." Sociological Theory. 22:3 504-524.
- In this article, we propose a revised definition of social capital, premised on the principles of evolutionary psychology. We define social capital as any feature of a social relationship that, directly or indirectly, confers reproductive benefits to a participant in that relationship. This definition grounds the construct of social capital in human nature by providing a basis for inferring the underlying motivations that humans may have in common, rather than leaving the matter of what humans use capital for unspoken. Discussions and empirical reviews are presented on the innateness of human sociability, sex differences in sociability, and psychological mechanisms that mediate sociability.
- Wuthnow, R. 2004. "The Religious Factor Revisited." Sociological Theory. 22:2 205-218.
- Four decades have passed since the publication of Gerhard Lenski's The Religious Factor. While generally regarded as a classic in the sociology of religion, the book has had a curious history, largely because of the interest it generated in differences between Protestants and Catholics. In this paper I provide an alternative reading of The Religious Factor's impact on sociology of religion that points to its larger theoretical implications. I argue that the book should be understood in relation to continuing debates about the classification of religious traditions, differentiation among socioreligious groups, intergroup relations among religious traditions, and friendship ties within religious communities. Through understanding these contributions, the book's legacy as well as continuities and new opportunities in the study of religion can be appreciated.
- Molm, LD. 2003. "Theoretical Comparisons of Forms of Exchange." Sociological Theory. 21:1 1-17.
- A recent program comparing negotiated and reciprocal forms of social exchange offers important implications for theory development. Results of these investigations show that the form of exchange studied-negotiated or reciprocal-affects many of the processes and assumptions underlying contemporary theories of exchange. Three such effects are discussed here. First, the form of exchange affects the causal mechanisms underlying power use and the relation between network structure and power. Second, whether exchange is negotiated or reciprocal affects the relative emphasis on learning or rational-choice models and the breadth of motivations assumed for ``self-interested'' actors, including reward maximization, loss avoidance, and reciprocity. Third, the form of exchange affects the salience of the cooperative and competitive `faces'' of exchange, influencing actors' subjective experiences with exchange. These results show the limitations of theories based on any single form of exchange and the need for greater understanding of the full range of exchange forms that characterize social life.
- Fligstein, N. 2001. "Social Skill and the Theory of Fields." Sociological Theory. 19:2 105-125.
- The problem of the relationship between actors and the social structures in which they are embedded is central to sociological theory. This paper suggests that the ``new institutionalist ``focus on fields, domains, or games provides an alternative view of how to think about this problem by focusing on the construction of loca( orders. This paper criticizes the conception of actors in both rational choice and sociological versions of these theories. A more sociological view of action, what is called ``social skill,'' is developed. The idea of social skill originates in symbolic interactionism and is defined as the ability to induct cooperation in others. This idea is elaborated to suggest how actors are important to the construction and reproduction of local orders. I show how, its elements already inform existing work. Finally I show how the idea can sensitize scholars to the role of actors in empirical work.
- Brint, S. 2001. "Gemeinschaft Revisited: a Critique and Reconstruction of the Community Concept." Sociological Theory. 19:1 1-23.
- Community remains a potent symbol and aspiration in political and intellectual life. However, it has largely passed out of sociological analysis. The paper shows why this has occurred, and it develops a new typology that can make the concept useful again in sociology: The neu typology is based on identifying structurally distinct subtypes of community using a small number of partitioning variables. The first partition is defined by the ultimate context of interaction; the second by the primary motivation for interaction; the third by rates of interaction and location of members; and the fourth by the amount of face-to-face as opposed ro computer-mediated interaction. This small number of partitioning variables yields eight major subtypes of community. The paper shows how and why these major subtypes are related to important variations in the behavioral and organizational outcomes of community. The paper also seeks to resolve some disagreements between classical liberalism and communitarians. It shows that only a few of the major subtypes of community are likely to be as illiberal and intolerant as the selective imagery of classical liberals asserts, while at the same time only a few are prone to generate as much fraternalism and equity as the selective imagery of communitarians suggests. The paper concludes by discussing the forms of community that are best suited to the modern world.
- Young, AA. 1999. "The (non)accumulation of Capital: Explicating the Relationship of Structure and Agency in the Lives of Poor Black Men." Sociological Theory. 17:2 201-227.
- The concepts of habitus and capital are crucial in the research tradition of social and cultural reproduction. This article applies both terms to an analysis of aspects of the life histories of low-income African American men. In exploring how their past experiences relate to their present-day statuses as nonmobile individuals, this article also revisits and redefines the utility of habitus and capital as conceptual devices for the study of social inequality. It expands the empirical terrain covered by the concept of capital to include that which allows low-income individuals to manage their existence in socioeconomically disadvantaged communities while also hindering their mobility in the broader social world. One implication of this approach is an improved cultural analysis of low-income individuals. The improvement lies in that their behavior can be better understood as reflections of their readings of social reality, which are based upon the material and ideational resources that they have accumulated throughout their lives, and not simply as manifestations of flawed value-systems or normative orientations.