Member Publication: Home Care Fault Lines: Understanding Tensions and Creating Alliances

Please check out the recent publications by OOW member Cynthia Cranford. 2020. Home Care Fault Lines: Understanding Tensions and Creating Alliances. Cornell University Press.

Here is a short description of the book:

In this revealing look at home care, Cynthia J. Cranford illustrates how elderly and disabled people and the immigrant women workers who assist them in daily activities develop meaningful relationships even when their different ages, abilities, races, nationalities, and socioeconomic backgrounds generate tension. As Cranford shows, workers can experience devaluation within racialized and gendered class hierarchies, which shapes their pursuit of security.

Cranford analyzes the tensions, alliances, and compromises between security for workers and flexibility for elderly and disabled people, and she argues that workers and recipients negotiate flexibility and security within intersecting inequalities in varying ways depending on multiple interacting dynamics.

What comes through from Cranford’s analysis is the need for deeply democratic alliances across multiple axes of inequality. To support both flexible care and secure work, she argues for an intimate community unionism that advocates for universal state funding, designs culturally sensitive labor market intermediaries run by workers and recipients to help people find jobs or workers, and addresses everyday tensions in home workplaces.

You can find more about the book on the Cornell University Press website.

Member Publication: Knowledge Evolution and Societal Transformations

Please check out the recent publications by OOW member Jerrald Hage. 2020. Knowledge Evolution and Societal Transformations. Action Theory to Solve Adaptive Problems. Anthem.

A note from professor Hage:

“Dear Members:
In April, Anthem Press published my book Knowledge Evolution and Societal Transformations:  Action Theory to Solve Adaptive Problems.  Since the book is a general theory that integrates sociology, economics, and political science, not all of it will be of interest to you.  But Anthem does sell individual chapters.  This is an innnovation I demanded to reduce the costs for people who are interested in only part of a book.  Chapter Six is on the evolution of organizations and their contexts and the emergence of postmodern organizations and Chapter Seven is on the evolution of the network-choension links.   
Jerry Hage”

About the book

Knowledge is more than information but instead the organizing of information into theories and practices that allow us to do things and accomplish goals. The first stage of knowledge creation depended upon creative scientists and entrepreneurs, but the second stage required research laboratories and teams. Now cooperation between organizations is necessary to solve individual, organizational, institutional, and global problems that face us today.

Individuals presently are raised in four kinds of social contexts: traditional, modern, post-modern, and anomic. These contexts explain partisan divides as well as the inability of some to succeed in society. Post-modern contexts produce individuals who are cognitively complex, creative, critical but have empathy towards others. The acceleration in knowledge creation is caused by not only the growth of more post-modern individuals who are creative but organizational innovation and innovative regions. Organizational structures that discourage radical innovations are contrasted with those that facilitate it. Similarly, the histories of three innovative regions–Silicon Valley, Kistra in Sweden, and Hsinchu in Taiwan—are contrasted with the failure of Rt. 128 near Boston.

During the second wave of knowledge creation, social structures were differentiated vertically. Now in the third wave, the differentiation process is horizontal. In the stratification system this means different capitalist classes and work logics rather than social classes with super salaries, thus increasing social inequality. In the study of organizations, this translates into missionary and self-management forms where post-modern individuals obtain meaningful work and ask for customized service. In the study of networks it means the rise of systemic coordinated networks replacing supply chains.

Given the growing inefficiencies of labor markets, product/service markets, and public markets (elections), systemic coordinated networks are proposed as a solution. Furthermore, we need a national corps of individuals with special skills in sectors with shortages who can then be assigned to work in disadvantaged areas. Pre-school, primary school, and secondary school need to be reinvented to facilitate more upward social mobility. Agriculture and industry also require radical new innovations. To build a new civil society, governments have to encourage participation in programs that help others.

Member Publication: Making platforms work: relationship labor and the management of publics

Please check out the recent publications by OOW members Benjamin Shestakofsky and Shreeharsh Kelkar. “Making Platforms Work: Relationship Labor and the Management of Publics.” Theory and Society, Online first.

Abstract

How do digital platforms govern their users? Existing studies, with their focus on impersonal and procedural modes of governance, have largely neglected to examine the human labor through which platform companies attempt to elicit the consent of their users. This study describes the relationship labor that is systematically excised from many platforms’ accounts of what they do and missing from much of the scholarship on platform governance. Relationship labor is carried out by agents of platform companies who engage in interpersonal communications with a platform’s users in an effort to align diverse users’ activities and preferences with the company’s interests. The authors draw on ethnographic research conducted at AllDone (a for-profit startup that built an online market for local services) and edX (a non-profit startup that partnered with institutions to offer Massive Open Online Courses). The findings leverage variation in organizational contexts to elaborate the common practices and divergent strategies of relationship labor deployed by each platform. Both platforms relied on relationship workers to engage in account management practices aimed at addressing the particular concerns of individual users through interpersonal communications. Relationship workers in each setting also engaged in community management practices that facilitated contact and collaboration among users in pursuit of shared goals. However, our findings show that the relative frequency of relationship workers’ use of account management and community management practices varies with organizational conditions. This difference in strategies also corresponded to different ways of valuing relationship workers and incorporating them into organizational processes. The article demonstrates how variation in organizational context accounts for divergent strategies for governing user participation in digital platforms and for the particular processes through which governance is accomplished and contested.

Member Publication: “Be a Gutsy Girl!”: Essentialism in Success-at-Work Books for Women

Please check out the recent publications by OOW members Patti Giuffre and Gretchen R. Webber. 2020. “‘Be a Gutsy Girl!’: Essentialism in Success-at-Work Books for Women.” Gender Issues, Online First.

Abstract

This article examines how essentialism is depicted in recent popular press “success-at-work” books that are marketed for women. Our qualitative content analysis of fourteen advice books published from 2013 to 2018 identifies the subtle, yet powerful, messages about how men and women supposedly “are” and the depictions of men and women at work. We find a persistent tension in the advice that relies on two types of essentialism in this success discourse: (1) women are deficient, and, simultaneously, (2) women have unique strengths. We argue that these contradictory depictions of essentialism are embedded in the organizational logic of workplaces and bolster gendered ideal worker norms in the new economy. We discuss the implications of these conflicting representations and speculate about their impact and consequences for eradicating gender inequality at work.

Member Publication: The U.S. African-American Population Experienced a COVID-19 Double Disadvantage: Unemployment and Illness

Please check out the recent publications by OOW member Teresa A. Sullivan. 2020.  “The U.S. African-American Population Experienced a COVID-19 Double Disadvantage: Unemployment and Illness.”  Pp. 49-58 in Glenn Muschert, Kristen Budd, Michelle Christian, David Lane, and Jason Smith, eds. Social Problems in the Age of COVID-19: Volume 1 – U.S. Perspectives. Bristol: Bristol University Press

Member Publication: A Sociology of Luck

Please check out the recent publications by OOW member and past chair Michael Sauder. 2020. “A Sociology of Luck.” Sociological Theory, Online first.

Abstract

Sociology has been curiously silent about the concept of luck. The present article argues that this omission is, in fact, an oversight: An explicit and systematic engagement with luck provides a more accurate portrayal of the social world, opens potentially rich veins of empirical and theoretical inquiry, and offers a compelling alternative for challenging dominant meritocratic frames about inequality and the distribution of rewards. This article develops a framework for studying luck, first by proposing a working definition of luck, examining why sociology has ignored luck in the past, and making the case for the value of including luck in sociology’s conceptual repertoire. The article then demonstrates the fertile research potential of studying luck by identifying a host of research questions and hypotheses pertaining to the social construction of luck, the real effects of luck, and theoretical interventions related to luck. It concludes by highlighting the distinctive contributions sociology can make to the growing interdisciplinary interest in this topic.

Member Publications

Please check out the recent publications by OOW member Carolyn Cummings Perrucci.

Hogan, Richard, and Carolyn Cummings Perrucci. 2020. “Earnings Inequality in 2016 among Anglos, Latinxs, and Blacks.” Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences 42 (3): 363-380.

Abstract

In this article we estimate gross, net, and interactive effects of race, ethnicity, marriage and family status, labor and capital markets, class/occupation and education and employment experience/effort, using the 2017 Current Population Survey, March Supplement. Following the Tilly and Hogan conceptualization of durable inequality and the Hogan and Hogan and Perrucci empirical work on Black and White racial and gender inequality, we update and expand that analysis to include Latinos and Latinas, focusing on the ways in which relations with Anglo men create or sustain distinctive forms of exploitation and opportunity hoarding, concluding that Latinas are truly disadvantaged due to ethnic barriers to educational and employment opportunities and exploitation as unpaid or underpaid labor, at home and at work.

***

Perrucci, Carolyn Cummings, and Mangala Subramaniam, and Robert Perrucci, “Gender and Publication in Two Longstanding Sociology Journals, 1960-2010.” International Journal of Contemporary Sociology 57 (1): 25-47.

Call for Participants: AOM OMT Virtual Cafe: Sociology PhDs Navigating the Business School Job Market

OMT Virtual Cafe: Soc PhDs Navigating B-School Job Market

Date and time: August 14th 10AM ET

To receive the Zoom link, please fill out this form.

How can Sociology PhDs successfully navigate B-School job market?  Join this Virtual OMT Cafe to explore this question with a group of young scholars who have made the transition.

Confirmed participants: Pedro Aceves (PhD in Soc., Univ of Chicago), Tunde Cserpes (PhD in Soc., Univ of Illinois, Chicago), Daphne Demetry (PhD in Soc., Northwestern), Sharon Koppman (PhD in Soc., Univ of Arizona), Trevor Young-Hyman (PhD in Soc., Univ of Wisconsin-Madison), LT Zhang (PhD in Soc., Harvard). 

Organizer: Elena Obukhova (PhD in Soc., Univ of Chicago).

Book Launch: Coerced: Work Under Threat of Punishment

Please join us for a zoom discussion of Erin Hatton’s new book, Coerced: Work Under Threat of Punishment (University of California Press, 2020). 

Adia Harvey Wingfield (Washington University in St. Louis) and Victor Ray (University of Iowa) will share their brilliant takes on the book’s central question: What do incarcerated workers, workfare workers, student athletes, and graduate students have in common? 

Sept. 16, 2020 – 12pm Pacific// 2pm Central// 3pm Eastern (zoom link to follow) 

RSVP by Sept. 1st 

The Sociology of Worker Ownership: New Data Sets and Research Approaches

Worker ownership” offers both an alternative to the dominant capitalist model of the employment relationship and a means to broaden the ownership of wealth in society.

In the ASA Research and Policy workshop “The Sociology of Worker Ownership: New Data Sets and Research Approaches,” leading researchers introduce several datasets–some of which are new and most of which are publicly available–that enable the study of worker ownership and its effects. 

The prerecorded video opens with comments from Joyce Rothschild and Joseph Blasi, and is moderated by Adria Scharf.  Janet Boguslaw, Laura Hanson Schlachter, Nancy Weifek, and Joseph Blasi present data sets and research. Sarah Reibstein also contributed.

Join the live Q&A with the presenters on Tues., August 11th at 5:30 EDT, as part of the ASA alternative virtual engagement event program.