Contemporary articles citing West C (1987) Gender Soc
studies, concepts, empirical, yet, feminist, actors, concept, welfare, must, women's
- Orloff, Ann. 2009. "Gendering the Comparative Analysis of Welfare States: an Unfinished Agenda." Sociological Theory. 27:3 317-343.
- Can feminists count on welfare states-or at least some aspects of these complex systems-as resources in the struggle for gender equality ? Gender analysts of ``welfare states'' investigate this question and the broader set of issues around the mutually constitutive relationship between systems of social provision and regulation and gender. Feminist scholars have moved to bring the contingent practice of politics back into grounded fields of action and social change and away from the reification and abstractions that had come to dominate models of politics focused on ``big'' structures and systems, including those focused on ``welfare states.'' Conceptual innovations and reconceptualizations of foundational terms have been especially prominent in the comparative scholarship on welfare states, starting with gender, and including care, autonomy, citizenship, (in)dependence, political agency, and equality. In contrast to other subfields of political science and sociology, gendered insights have to some extent been incorporated into mainstream comparative scholarship on welfare states. The arguments between feminists and mainstream scholars over the course of the last two decades have been productive, powering the development of key themes and concepts pioneered by gender scholars, including ``defamilialization,'' the significance of unpaid care work in families and the difficulties of work-family ``reconciliation,'' gendered welfare state institutions, the relation between fertility and women's employment, and the partisan correlates of different family and gender policy models. Yet the mainstream still resists the deeper implications of feminist work, and has difficulties assimilating concepts of care, gendered power, dependency, and interdependency. Thus, the agenda of gendering comparative welfare state studies remains unfinished. To develop an understanding of what might be needed to finish that agenda, I assess the gendered contributions to the analysis of modern systems of social provision, starting with the concept of gender itself, then moving to studies of the gendered division of labor (including care) and of gendered political power.
- Armstrong, Elizabeth & Mary Bernstein. 2008. "Culture, Power, and Institutions: a Multi-institutional Politics Approach to Social Movements." Sociological Theory. 26:1 74-99.
- We argue that critiques of political process theory are beginning to coalesce into a new approach to social movements-a ``multi-institutional politics'' approach. While the political process model assumes that domination is organized by and around one source of power, the alternative perspective views domination as organized around multiple sources of power, each of which is simultaneously material and symbolic. We examine the conceptions of social movements, politics, actors, goals, and strategies supported by each model, demonstrating that the view of society and power underlying the political process model is too narrow to encompass the diversity of contemporary change efforts. Through empirical examples, we demonstrate that the alternative approach provides powerful analytical tools for the analysis of a wide variety of contemporary change efforts.
- Green, Adam. 2007. "Queer Theory and Sociology: Locating the Subject and the Self in Sexuality Studies." Sociological Theory. 25:1 26-45.
- Beemer, JK. 2006. "Breaching the Theoretical Divide: Reassessing the Ordinary and Everyday in Habermas and Garfinkel." Sociological Theory. 24:1 81-104.
- This article argues that Habermas and Garfinkel present complementary perspectives on the dynamics of ordinary language and the ways in which communication is configured and prefigured in interactive settings. Together they provide a basis for thinking about action and its environments not simply in terms of the in situ or formal conditions in isolation from one another, but as extensions of an integrated dependency between the local (indexical) contexts in which interactions occur and the rational (pretheoretical) presuppositions that make such interactions possible. The conditions on which actors are identified as rational agents or as being bound by the structured environments in which they move are not differentiated in the course of everyday life. Communication consists of produced events that admit both rational presuppositions and practical accomplishments. Taken concomitantly, these properties constitute the necessary and sufficient conditions for creating the intersubjective links that individuals rely on when interacting.
- Lewis, AE. 2004. "``what Group?'' - Studying Whites and Whiteness in the Era of ``color-blindness''." Sociological Theory. 22:4 623-646.
- In this article I argue that despite the claims of some, all whites in racialized societies ``have race.'' But because of the current context of race in our society, I argue that scholars of ``whiteness ``face several difficult theoretical and methodological challenges. First is the problem of how to avoid essentializing race when talking about whites as a social collective. That is, scholars must contend with the challenge of how to write about what is shared by those racialized as white without implying that their experiences of racialization all will be the same. Second, within the current context of color-blind racial discourse researchers must confront the reality that some whites claim not to experience their whiteness at all. Third, studies of whiteness must not be conducted in a vacuum: racial discourse or ``culture'' cannot be separated from material realities. Only by attending to and by recognizing these challenges will empirical research on whiteness be able to push the boundaries of our understandings about the role of whites as racial actors and thereby also contribute to our understanding of how race works more generally.
- Korteweg, AC. 2003. "Welfare Reform and the Subject of the Working Mother: ``get a Job, a Better Job, Then a Career''." Theory and Society. 32:4 445-480.
- Until 1996, poor single mothers in the United States could claim welfare benefits for themselves and their children under the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program if they had no other source of income. With the 1996 passage of the Personal Responsibility Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA), paid work and work-related activities became a mandatory condition for receiving aid. At the same time, the law promotes marriage as a route out of poverty. Using a feminist reinterpretation of Althusser's concept of interpellation, I turn to Job Clubs, mandatory week-long workshops that teach job search skills, to analyze the citizen-subject generated by front-line representatives of the state in the context of this new legislation. Based on participant-observation, I conclude that while PRWORA ostensibly promotes both marriage and paid employment, Job Club trainers enforced a masculine worker-citizen subject through the deployment of three discursive strategies. These discursive strategies 1) promoted paid work over welfare-receipt as both a pragmatic and moral choice, 2) posited an individual-psychological account of women's welfare receipt, and 3) portrayed parenting skills as marketable skills. In the conclusion, I speculate that current welfare reform efforts require the generation of a self-reproducing worker-citizen and that workshops like Job Club become a site in which the existence of this autonomous citizen is affirmed.
- Schippers, Mimi. 2007. "Recovering the Feminine Other: Masculinity, Femininity, and Gender Hegemony." Theory and Society. 36:1 85-102.
- R. W. Connell's path-breaking notion of multiple masculinities (Connell, 1995) and hegemonic masculinity (Connell, 1987, 1995) have been taken up as central constructs in the sociology of gender. Although there has been a great deal of empirical research and theory published that has built upon and utilized Connell's concepts, an adequate conceptualization of hegemonic femininity and multiple femininities has not yet been developed. To redress this, the author presents a theoretical framework that builds upon the insights of Connell and others, offers a definition of hegemonic masculinity and hegemonic femininity that allows for multiple configurations within each, and that can be used empirically across settings and groups. The author also outlines how hegemonic masculinity and hegemonic femininity are implicated in and intersect with other systems of inequality such as class, race, and ethnicity.
- Green, Adam. 2008. "Erotic Habitus: Toward a Sociology of Desire." Theory and Society. 37:6 597-626.
- In the sociology of sexuality, sexual conduct has received extensive theoretical attention, while sexual desire has been left either unattended, or, analyzed through a scripting model ill-suited to the task. In this article, I seek to address two related aspects of the problem of desire for sociology-what might roughly be referred to as a micro-level and a macro-level conceptual hurdle, respectively. At the micro-level, the sociology of sexuality continues to reject or more commonly gloss the role of psychodynamic processes and structures in favor of an insulated analysis of interactions and institutions. At the macro-level, the sociology of sexuality has yet to provide an analysis of the structural antecedents of sexual ideation. Scripting theory, grounded in a social learning framework, cannot provide a proper conceptual resolution to these problems but, rather, reproduces them. By contrast, I argue that an effective sociological treatment of desire must incorporate a more penetrating conception of the somatization of social relations found in Bourdieu's notion of `embodiment' and his corresponding analysis of habitus. In this vein, I develop the sensitizing concepts erotic habitus and erotic work, and apply these to a cross-section of feminist and sociological literatures on desire. I argue that a framework grounded in embodiment, but complimented by scripting theory, provides a promising lead in the direction of an effective sociology of desire.