Contemporary articles citing Blau P (1967) Am Occupational Stru

inequality, stratification, sociologists, mainstream, power, scientists, led, understanding, studies, science

Adkins, Daniel & Stephen Vaisey. 2009. "Toward a Unified Stratification Theory: Structure, Genome, and Status Across Human Societies." Sociological Theory. 27:2 99-121. Link
While social scientists and geneticists have a shared interest in the personal characteristics instrumental to status attainment, little has been done to integrate these disparate perspectives. This is unfortunate, as the perspectives offer complementary insights, which, if properly combined, stand to substantially improve understanding of the stratification process. This article synthesizes research from the social sciences and genetics to develop a multistage theory of how social structure moderates the influence of the genome on status outcomes. Its thesis is that the strength of the genome's influence on status is primarily moderated by two properties of social structure-levels of resource inequality and social mobility. Thus, it is theorized that under conditions of low inequality and high social mobility, the influence of the genome on status will be high relative to conditions of high inequality and low social mobility. The essential logic is (1) as inequality increases, the characteristics and abilities intrinsically useful in status attainment are increasingly influenced by individuals' social backgrounds and decreasingly determined by their genomes; and (2) as social closure and inequality increase, the utility of these characteristics and abilities to status attainment is diminished. In sum, a model of status attainment is developed proposing that while both genome and social background influence the status attainment process, the relative importance of these factors is determined by the surrounding structure of the society.

Collins, R. 2004. "Lenski's Power Theory of Economic Inequality: a Central Neglected Question in Stratification Research." Sociological Theory. 22:2 219-228. Link

Huber, J. 2004. "Lenski Effects on Sex Stratification Theory." Sociological Theory. 22:2 258-268. Link
This paper tries to explain why the Lenski (1970) theory of stratification based on ecology and subsistence technology had relatively little effect on theories of sex inequality. In cultural anthropology, generalization was held to be impossible. Feminist explanation in sociology was social-psychological. Moreover, by the 1980s, the bias against biology in feminist theory came to include all of science. Exceptions to these trends include the work of Blumberg, Chafetz, Collins, Coltrane, and Turner. Whether feminist sociologists will follow their lead remains to be seen.

Gould, M. 1999. "Race and Theory: Culture, Poverty, and Adaptation to Discrimination in Wilson and Ogbu." Sociological Theory. 17:2 171-200. Link
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.

Szelenyi, S, I Szelenyi & I Kovach. 1995. "The Making of the Hungarian Postcommunist Elite: Circulation in Politics, Reproduction in the Economy." Theory and Society. 24:5 697-722. Link

Mizruchi, MS. 2004. "Berle and Means Revisited: the Governance and Power of Large Us Corporations." Theory and Society. 33:5 579-617. Link
In The Modern Corporation and Private Property ( 1932), Berle and Means warned of the concentration of economic power brought on by the rise of the large corporation and the emergence of a powerful class of professional managers, insulated from the pressure not only of stockholders, but of the larger public as well. In the tradition of Thomas Jefferson, Berle and Means warned that the ascendance of management control and unchecked corporate power had potentially serious consequences for the democratic character of the United States. Social scientists who drew on Berle and Means in subsequent decades presented a far more benign interpretation of the rise of managerialism, however. For them, the separation of ownership from control actually led to an increased level of democratization in the society as a whole. Beginning in the late 1960s, sociologists and other social scientists rekindled the debate over ownership and control, culminating in a series of rigorous empirical studies on the nature of corporate power in American society. In recent years, however, sociologists have largely abandoned the topic, ceding it to finance economists, legal scholars, and corporate strategy researchers. In this article, I provide a brief history of the sociological and finance/legal/strategy debates over corporate ownership and control. I discuss some of the similarities between the two streams of thought, and I discuss the reasons that the issue was of such significance sociologically. I then argue that by neglecting this topic in recent years, sociologists have failed to contribute to an understanding of some of the key issues in contemporary business behavior. I provide brief reviews of four loosely developed current perspectives and then present an argument of my own about the changing nature of the U. S. corporate elite over the past three decades. I conclude with a call for sociologists to refocus their attention on an issue that, however fruitfully handled by scholars in other fields, cries out for sociological analysis.

Mohr, John & Roger Friedland. 2008. "Theorizing the Institution: Foundations, Duality, and Data." Theory and Society. 37:5 421-426. Link
Although a central construct for sociologists, the concept of institution continues to elude clear and full specification. One reason for this lack of clarity is that about 50 years ago empirical researchers in the field of sociology turned their gaze downward, away from macro-sociological constructs in order to focus their attention on middle-range empirical projects. It took almost 20 years for the concept of the institution to work its back onto the empirical research agenda of mainstream sociologists. The new institutional project in organizational sociology led the way. Since then, scholars in this tradition have achieved a great deal but there is still much more to accomplish. Here, future directions for research are considered by reviewing how the concept of the institution has come to be treated by mainstream philosophers, sociologists of science and technology studies, and social network theorists.