Contemporary articles citing Wilson W (1987) Truly Disadvantaged
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- Horne, C. 2004. "Values and Evolutionary Psychology." Sociological Theory. 22:3 477-503.
- Scholars suggest that evolutionary psychology may provide a foundation for assumptions regarding human values. I explore this suggestion by developing two arguments regarding the permissiveness of norms regulating male and female sexual activity. The first relies on the standard rational choice assumption that people value resources, and the second relies on an assumption suggested by evolutionary psychology that actors value seeing their children successfully reach adulthood. These two assumptions produce contrasting predictions regarding sex norms. I describe the implications of these predictions for explaining cross-cultural variation and present evidence that supports the evolutionary psychology-based predictions in this context. I also suggest implications of the two approaches for explaining norms cross-nationally and within the United States. The article provides support for the utility of evolutionary psychology in developing assumptions about values.
- Sjoberg, G, EA Gill & LD Cain. 2003. "Countersystem Analysis and the Construction of Alternative Futures." Sociological Theory. 21:3 210-235.
- This essay explicates the role of countersystem analysis as an essential mode of social inquiry. In the process, particular attention is given to the place of negation and the future. One underlying theme is the asymmetry between the negative and the positive features of social activities, the negative being more readily identifiable empirically than the positive. A corollary theme, building on the observations of George Herbert Mead, is: one engages the present through experience; one engages the future through ideas. Furthermore, as Anthony Giddens, Ulrich Beck, and Niklas Luhmann suggest, we in late modernity seem to be facing a future that is more contingent than it was in early modernity. After articulating the foundations of the mode of inquiry we term ``countersystem analysis,'' we employ Karl Mannheim as a point of departure for critically surveying a constellation of scholars-conservatives as well as reformers-who have relied upon some version of countersystem analysis in addressing the future. Such an orientation serves to advance not only theoretical inquiry but empirical investigation as well.
- Blau, JR & ES Brown. 2001. "Du Bois and Diasporic Identity: the Veil and the Unveiling Project." Sociological Theory. 19:2 219-233.
- Positioning Du Bois's arguments in The Souls of Black Folk (1903) within social theory enhances our understanding of the phenomenological dimensions of radical oppression and of how oppressed groups build on members' differences,as well as on what they share, to construct a cosmopolitan and richly textured community. Du Bois wrote Souls just at the beginning of the Great Migration but indicated that geographical dispersion would deepen racial solidarity, enhance the meaningfulness of community, and emancipate individual group members through participation in mainstream society while maintaining their black identity. Du Bois's writings have powerful implications for understanding how to promote racial justice, and contemporary readers might consider that they have implications for social justice more generally. An analysis of black newspapers that were published during the period of 1900 to 1935 illustrates how Du Bois's conceptions were woven into discourse and everyday practices.
- 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.
- Thistle, S. 2000. "The Trouble With Modernity: Gender and the Remaking of Social Theory." Sociological Theory. 18:2 275-288.
- There is continued frustration over the failure of established social theory to be altered despite dramatic developments in women's lives and feminist theory. I argue that this process has been blocked by an overly static conception of society and gender itself. Close examination of the actual circumstances of African American and white women in the nineteenth- and twentieth-century United States reveals the relationship between gender and economic and political development has been a dynamic historical one, culminating recently in a radical transformation of women's lives and work. I develop the implications of this argument for older analytic divisions between work and home, or productive and reproductive labor, and for recent shifts in theory. Coherent grasp of the events currently altering women's lives provides a clear way to join gender with earlier theoretical concerns, as another moment of social transformation brought about by a still-infolding process of economic and political development.
- Gould, M. 1999. "Race and Theory: Culture, Poverty, and Adaptation to Discrimination in Wilson and Ogbu." Sociological Theory. 17:2 171-200.
- This article provides the theoretical resources to resolve a number of conundrums in the work of William Julius Wilson and John Ogbu. Contrary to what Wilson's and Ogbu's work sometimes imply, inner-city blacks are not enmeshed in a ``culture of poverty,'' but rather are generally committed to mainstream values and their normative expectations. Activities that deviate from these values derive from the cognitive expectations inner-city blacks have formed in the face of their restricted legitimate opportunity structures. These expectations, which suggest that educational and occupational success are improbable for inner-city residents, are accurate. If their opportunities were to improve, their cognitive expectations would change and most would be committed to taking advantage of these new opportunities. The differences that separate the inner-city poor from whites center on cultural symbols, which help constitute their identity, sometimes in opposition to the white majority. Most deficiencies in performance among blacks stem not from these cultural attributes, but from the way they are processed in white-dominated organizations. Given a majority commitment to equal opportunity and a majority belief that blacks actually have equal opportunity, many conclude from their performance that blacks are in some sense inferior. This ``new racism `` overdetermines the performance of blacks.
- 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.