A Brief Report on Research in the Sociology of Work

Steven Vallas, Northeastern University

Sociologists studying work, organizations, and economic institutions will already know about Research in the Sociology of Work, sponsored by OOW for several years now. Here’s brief report on recent events. Now using a hybrid model, RSW is open to both general-topic submissions in the field and to papers responding to thematic calls for special issues.

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New Member Publication: Doering on Personal Ties in Microfinance

OOW members may be interested in this new publication from Laura Doering at the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto:

Doering, Laura. 2018. “Risk, Returns and Relational Lending: Personal Ties in Microfinance.” American Journal of Sociology 123(5):1341–81.

Personal relationships often facilitate credit transactions. However, existing research holds different expectations about whether personal ties prove detrimental or beneficial for lenders. Economic sociology highlights the advantages lenders accrue when they have personal ties with borrowers. Yet research from social psychology suggests that personal ties can be costly because lenders may “escalate commitment” to poor performers. This study uses data from a microfinance bank to ask: When are personal relationships detrimental or beneficial for lenders? It shows that lenders with personal ties to borrowers are less likely to cut those ties and their borrowers miss fewer payments. However, these trends vary with frequency of contact. When lenders and borrowers interact infrequently, lenders continue to show strong commitment, but borrowers become less compliant, creating potential problems for lenders. This study integrates theories from economic sociology and social psychology to offer a more nuanced, temporally informed understanding of personal ties in finance.

New Member Publication: Lemmon, Patterson and Martin on Mothers’ Time and Relationship with Adolescent Children

Congratulations to Megan Lemmon, Sarah E. Patterson and Molly A Martin on their new publication in the Journal of Family Issues.  OOW members may find the new article to be of interest:

Lemmon, Megan, Patterson, Sarah E., and Molly A. Martin. Online First. Mothers’ Time and Relationship with their Adolescent Children: The Intersecting Influence of Family Structure and Maternal Labor Force Participation.  Journal of Family Issues.  

Time-limited Open Access to Chapter within New Volume on Precarious Work

OOW members will be interested in the just-published volume, Precarious Work, edited by Arne Kalleberg and Steven Vallas. Published under the auspices of Research in the Sociology of Work, the volume contains 16 original chapters on various facets of precarious (or non-standard) employment. Contributors include prominent scholars in many fields, addressing the precarization of work in Europe, the United States, and the developing world. Readers will benefit from open access to one of the volume’s chapters in particular: the article by Sharon Zukin and Max Papadanotakis, “Hackathons as Cooptation Ritual: Socializing Workers and Institutionalizing Innovation in the ‘New’ Economy.” The link to use is here and here: https://www.book2look.com/book/4F8kzkJuje. Readers can access the abstracts for all the volume’s papers here and here: http://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/book/10.1108/S0277-2833201731

New Papers of Interest on Work and Organizations

A note from the editor of Research in the Sociology of Work

OOW members will be pleased to learn a few things about RSW, one of the section’s two scholarly outlets (sister of Research in the Sociology of Organizations, edited by Michael Lounsbury).

Volume 30 of RSW, entitled Emerging Conceptions of Work, Management, and the Labor Market, has just been published. It contains articles on a wide array of themes and topics, including organizational change in health care organizations, the workings of internal labor markets in the financial industry, the link between management rhetoric and corporate downsizing, racial disparities at work after the great recession, and the authority systems found in UK call centers.

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New Book: Scott, Kirst and Colleagues on Higher Ed and Silicon Valley

W. Richard (Dick) Scott together with Michael W. Kirst and other colleagues have completed a book on HIGHER EDUCATION AND SILICON VALLEY, to be published summer of 2017 by John Hopkins University Press.  The book focuses on higher education as an organization field and also considers colleges as part of the regional economic field of Silicon Valley.  They take a longitudinal view, reviewing changes since 1970, and also examine the efforts of a sample of 16 diverse colleges to adapt to conflicting pressures stemming from an attempt to abide by academic norms and also respond to economic challenges.

Work and Occupations Special Issue on “Making Jobs Better”

Work and Occupations has recently published a special issue on “Making Jobs Better” (Volume 44, Number 1).  Please find the table of contents & article descriptions below.

Daniel B. Cornfield (Vanderbilt University) is the current editor of Work and Occupations. The journal can be accessed at: journals.sagepub.com/home/wox and manuscripts can be submitted at: http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/wox

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