Contemporary articles citing Dimaggio P (1997) Annu Rev Sociol
processes, cultural, categories, past, public, memory, concepts, example, including, emphasize
- Manza, Jeff & Clem Brooks. 2012. "How Sociology Lost Public Opinion: a Genealogy of a Missing Concept in the Study of the Political." Sociological Theory. 30:2 89-113.
- In contemporary sociology the once prominent study of public opinion has virtually disappeared. None of the leading theoretical models in the closest disciplinary subfield (political sociology) currently provide ample or sufficiently clear space for consideration of public opinion as a possible factor in shaping or interacting with key policy or political outcomes in democratic polities. In this article, we unearth and document the sources of this curious development and raise questions about its implications for how political sociologists have come to understand policy making, state formation, and political conflict. We begin by reconstructing the dismissal of public opinion in the intellectual reorientation of political sociology from the late 1970s onward. We argue that the most influential scholarly works of this period (including those of Tilly, Skocpol, Mann, Esping-Andersen, and Domhoff) face an underlying paradox: While often rejecting public opinion, their theoretical logics ultimately presuppose its operation. These now classical writings did not move toward research programs seeking engagement with the operation and formation of public opinion, even though our immanent critique suggests they in fact require precisely this turn. We address the challenge of reconceptualizing how public opinion might be productively integrated into the sociological study of politics by demonstrating that the major arguments in the subfield can be fruitfully extended by grappling with public opinion. We conclude by considering several recent, interdisciplinary examples of scholarship that, we argue, point the way toward a fruitful revitalization.
- Hsu, Greta, Michael Hannan & Laszlo Polos. 2011. "Typecasting, Legitimation, and Form Emergence: a Formal Theory." Sociological Theory. 29:2 97-123.
- We propose a formal theory of multiple category memberships. This theory has the potential to unify two seemingly unconnected theories: typecasting and identity-based form emergence. Typecasting, a producer-level theory, considers the consequences of specializing versus spanning across category boundaries. Identity-based form emergence considers the evolution of categories and how the attributes of producers entering a category shape its likelihood of gaining legitimacy among relevant audiences. Both theory fragments treat the processes by which audience members assign category memberships to producers. This article develops this common foundation and outlines the arguments that lead to central implications of each theory. The arguments are formalized using modal expressions to represent key categorization processes according to the theory-building framework developed by Hannan et al. (2007).
- Fuhse, Jan. 2009. "The Meaning Structure of Social Networks." Sociological Theory. 27:1 51-73.
- This essay proposes to view networks as sociocultural structures. Following authors from Leopold von Wiese and Norbert Elias to Gary Alan Fine and Harrison White, networks are configurations of social relationships interwoven with meaning. Social relationships as the basic building blocks of networks are conceived of as dynamic structures of reciprocal (but not necessarily symmetric) expectations between alter and ego. Through their transactions, alter and ego construct an idiosyncratic ``relationship culture'' comprising symbols, narratives, and relational identities. The coupling of social relationships to networks, too, is heavily laden with meaning. The symbolic construction of persons is one instance of this coupling. Another instance is the application of social categories (like race or gender), which both map and structure social networks. The conclusion offers an agenda for research on this ``meaning structure of social networks.''.
- Moody, Michael. 2008. "Serial Reciprocity: a Preliminary Statement." Sociological Theory. 26:2 130-151.
- Serial reciprocity exists when people reciprocate for what they have received-for example, from a parent, a friend, a mentor, a stranger, a previous generation-by providing something to a third party, regardless of whether a return is also given to, or makes its way back to, the original giver. To understand serial reciprocity as reciprocity, this article delineates the general features of the serial type of reciprocity and outlines two general situations in which serial reciprocity provides a viable option-the only or the most appropriate option-for reciprocal return. It also argues for a more fundamental rethinking of reciprocity in general. A more cognitive and cultural perspective on reciprocity is proposed that focuses on the meaning of exchanges and treats reciprocity as a socially constructed element of a culturally available repertoire. This can better account for the existing serial type of reciprocity. The article concludes with suggestions for empirical research.
- Rydgren, Jens. 2007. "The Power of the Past: a Contribution to a Cognitive Sociology of Ethnic Conflic." Sociological Theory. 25:3 225-244.
- The aim of this article is to demonstrate the ways in which the past matters for ethnic conflict in the present. More specifically, by presenting a sociocognitive approach to the problem, this article sets out to specify macro-micro bridging mechanisms that explain why a history of prior conflict is likely to increase the likelihood that new conflicts will erupt. People's inclination toward simplified and/or invalid (but often useful) inductive reasoning in the form of analogism, and their innate disposition for ordering events in teleological narratives-to which causality is typically attributed-will be of particular interest for this article. The article will also emphasize the ways in which collective memory sites become activated in such belief formation processes. For instance, the memory biases inherent in analogical reasoning often lead people to overestimate the likelihood of future conflict, which may lead them to mobilize in order to defend themselves, and/or to take preemptive action in ways that foment conflict.
- Olick, JK. 1999. "Collective Memory: the Two Cultures." Sociological Theory. 17:3 333-348.
- What is collective about collective memory? Two different concepts of collective memory compete-one refers to the aggregation of socially framed individual memories and one refers to collective phenomena sui generis-though the difference is rarely articulated in the literature. This article theorizes the differences and relations between individualist and collectivist understandings of collective memory. The former are open to psychological considerations, including neurological and cognitive factors, but neglect technologies of memory other than the brain and the ways in which cognitive and even neurological patterns are constituted in part by genuinely social processes. The latter emphasize the social and cultural patternings of public and personal memory, but neglect the ways in which those processes are constituted in part by psychological dynamics. This article advocates, through the example of traumatic events, a strategy of multidimensional rapprochement between individualist and collectivist approaches.
- 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.