If you are a student member of ASA or know of a student member who is interested in the sociology of organizations, occupations, and work, please consider joining or encouraging him/her to join the ASA Organization, Occupations, and Work (OOW) section. Thanks to the generous support of our members, OOW is covering the section membership fees ($5) for the first 50 students whose full names are emailed to Michel Anteby, treasurer of the section, at

Please note that students must already be members of the ASA to be eligible for this offer. They will be signed up on a first come, first served basis. Any sponsors who sends more than 10 eligible names will be recognized in our next newsletter. Please send names at your earliest convenience and no later than September 30, 2015. Thanks!

The Enigma of Diversity: The Language of Race and the Limits of Racial Justice by Ellen Berrey.  University of Chicago Press (May 2015)


Diversity today is a widely honored American value. But does this public commitment to diversity constitute a civil rights victory? Drawing on six years of fieldwork and historical sources dating back to the 1950s, Ellen Berrey examines three case studies from widely varying arenas: affirmative action in the University of Michigan’s admissions program, housing redevelopment in Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood, and a human resources department at a Fortune 500 company. The book explores the complicated meanings, uses, and effects of diversity as it is invoked by different organizational actors for different, often symbolic ends. In each case, diversity affirms inclusiveness, especially in the most coveted jobs and colleges, yet it resists fundamental change in practices and cultures that are the foundation of social inequality. The Enigma of Diversity identifies the true cost of the popular embrace of diversity: the taming of demands for racial justice.

Learn more:

Dear Section Members,

As you have perhaps know by now, Randy Hodson, a member of the section and prior recipient of the OOW section’s Max Weber (1999) and W. Richard Scott Awards (2005) and the IPM section’s Robert M. Hauser Distinguished Scholar Award (2014), passed away this Spring at young age of 62. Friend’s and admirers of Randy and his work will be gathering for a remembrance, to share thoughts regarding Randy as a friend and colleague, at this year’s ASA in Chicago.  We hope anyone who knew of or appreciated Randy as a person and/or scholar in the field will join us for this event.  Time, date and location will be on the ASA program, but are listed here, below, for your convenience.

Event Name:                    Memorial Gathering in Honor of Randy Hodson

Room Assignment:         Hilton Chicago, Astoria Room, Third Floor

Event Date and Time:        Sunday, 8/23/2015; 8:00-10:00pm

Best Wishes,

Vinnie Roscigno

A new publication from Tania Jenkins that may be of interest to OOW members.

Jenkins, T. M. (2015). ‘It’s time she stopped torturing herself’: Structural constraints to decision-making about life-sustaining treatment by medical trainees. Social Science & Medicine, 132, 132-140. doi:

Abstract: This article explores how structural factors associated with the profession and organization of medicine
can constrain internal medicine residents, leading them to sometimes limit or terminate treatment in
end-of-life care in ways that do not always embrace patient autonomy. Specifically, it examines the
opportunities and motivations that explain why residents sometimes arrogate decision-making for
themselves about life-sustaining treatment. Using ethnographic data drawn from over two years at an
American community hospital, I contend that unlike previous studies which aggregate junior and senior
physicians’ perspectives, medical trainees face unique constraints that can lead them to intentionally or
unintentionally overlook patient preferences. This is especially salient in cases where they misunderstand
their patients’ wishes, disagree about what is in their best interest, and/or lack the standing to
pursue alternative ethical approaches to resolving these tensions. The study concludes with recommendations
that take into account the structural underpinnings of arrogance in decision-making about
life-sustaining treatment.

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 150 other followers