what are the key findings in your subfield?

Hey gang – as I think about final lecture/discussion preparations for my theory classes next week, I’d like to be able to talk about theorizing some key findings in sociology. What are some of the key findings in your area? Interesting and provocative theses are useful too, but data-based findings would be the best. Thanks for your thoughts.

Author: andrewperrin

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

7 thoughts on “what are the key findings in your subfield?”

  1. Strat outcomes related to group size: Black-White inequality is greater in markets with bigger Black populations; wages are lower in jobs with more women. Time goes by, these are still true. This I believe.


  2. From strat and family demography: Childhood family characteristics (particularly parental education and childhood family structure) matter for most child and adult outcomes, with children with more educated parents and with two parents stably together generally having more resources and better outcomes.

    I hesitate to even contribute this point because it is far from new or provocative, but, like Philip Cohen’s key findings, these associations (and maybe effects?) continue to hold across time and birth cohorts.


  3. Not my subfield- because I don’t talk about my subfield in blogs- but I’ve always thought pairing Bethany Bryson’s “Anything but heavy metal” article with Edgell et al.’s “Atheists as other” paper makes for a pretty interesting bit on symbolic boundaries and culture.


  4. From social movements: (1) Mobilization against oppression and for rights or social reforms is affected by resources, power, opportunities, and the social organization/networks of aggrieved groups. (This may seem obvious to sociologists for whom the resource mobilization and political opportunity frameworks are old hat, but it isn’t to students.) (2) More subtle: “external” resources and support matter, but they are often pulled into a movement by the local mobilizations of the aggrieved. Disruption tends to precede the inflow of external support. (3) Even more subtle: the outcome of a political struggle is an ongoing two-sided (or multi-sided) process shaped by the actions & choices of different actors. No one actor can determine the outcomes by their actions alone.


  5. In the sociology of religion, the most exciting new research is once again noting the importance of religious cultures for stratification outcomes. While the Protestant Ethic Thesis research waned for a long time, contemporary researchers have now focused on the negative effects of sectarian Protestant ties and fundamentalist religious beliefs for hindering a variety of stratification outcomes, particularly educational attainment (Glass, Massengill, Lehrer), female labor force participation (Lehrer, Read), and wealth attainment (Keister).


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