a beautiful method

Steven J. Tepper sent out  a request to various people looking for advice on “particularly good and
compelling examples of creative, parsimonious scholarship.” Here’s what he and those who responded came up with.

(compiled by Steven Tepper: Thanks to Shaul Kelner, Heather Talley, Karen Campbell, Eszter Hargittai, Terry McDonnell, Charles Kadushin, Kieran Healy, Bruce Barry, Larry Isaac, and Brian Steensland)

Armstrong, Elizabeth M. “Lessons in Control: Prenatal Education in the Hospital.” Social Problems Vol. 47, No. 4 (Nov., 2000): 583-605.

Bail, Christopher A. “The Configuration of Symbolic Boundaries against Immigrants in Europe.” American Sociological Review Vol. 73, No. 1 (Feb., 2008): 37-59.

Barley, Stephen R. “Technology as an Occasion for Structuring: Evidence from Observations of CT Scanners and the Social Order of Radiology Departments.” Administrative Science Quarterly Vol. 31, No. 1 (Mar., 1986): 78-108.

Bauer, Thomas, Gil Epstein, and Ira N. Gang. “Herd Effects or Migration Networks? The Location: Choice of Mexican Immigrants in the U.S.” IZA Discussion Papers No. 551 (Aug. 2002).

Bertrand, Marianne and Sendhil Mullainathan. “Are Emily and Greg More Employable than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination.” The American Economic Review Vol. 94, No. 4 (Sep., 2004): 991-1013.

Bryson, Bethany. “‘Anything But Heavy Metal’: Symbolic Exclusion and Musical Dislikes.” American Sociological Review Vol. 61, No. 5 (Oct., 1996): 884-899.

Budig, Michelle J. , and Paula England . “The Wage Penalty for Motherhood.” American Sociological Review Vol. 66, No. 2 (Apr., 2001): 204-225.

Burt, Ronald. 2004. “Structural holes and good ideas.” American Journal of Sociology Vol. 110, No. 2 (Sept 2004): 349-99

Chambliss, Daniel F. “The Mundanity of Excellence: An Ethnographic Report on Stratification and Olympic Swimmers.” Sociological Theory Vol. 7, No. 1 (Spring, 1989): 70-86.

Cole, Stephen. “Sex Discrimination and Admission to Medical School, 1929-1984.” American Journal of Sociology Vol. 92, No. 3 (Nov., 1986): 549-567.

Correll, Shelley J., Stephen Benard, and In Paik. “Getting a Job: Is There a Motherhood Penalty?” American Journal of Sociology Vol. 112, No. 5 (March 2007): 1297-1339.

Dolowitz, David P., and David Marsh. “Learning from Abroad: The Role of Policy Transfer in Contemporary Policy-Making.” Governance 13 (2000): 5–23.

Erikson, Emily, and Peter Bearman. “Malfeasance and the Foundations for Global Trade: The Structure of English Trade in the East Indies, 1601–1833.”

Freedman, David A. “Statistical Models and Shoe Leather.” Sociological Methodology 21 (1991): 291-313.

Gargiulo, Martin, and Mario Benassi. “Trapped in Your Own Net? Network Cohesion, Structural Holes, and the Adaptation of Social Capital.” Organization Science Vol. 11, No. 2 (Mar. – Apr., 2000): 183-196.

Goffman, Alice. “On the Run: Wanted Men in a Philadelphia Ghetto.” American Sociological Review 74 (June 2009): 339-357.

Griffin, Larry et al, 1986. “Capitalist Resistance to the Organization of Labor Before the New Deal: Why? How? Success?” American Sociological Review

Healy, Kieran. “Embedded Altruism: Blood Collection Regimes and the European Union’s Donor Population.” AJS Vol. 105, No. 6 (May 2000): 1633-1657.

Hossfeld, K.J. 2001. “Their logic against them: Contradictions in sex, race, and class on the Silicon Valley shop floor.” Technicolor: Race, Technology, and Everyday Life. Eds. Thuy Linh N. Tu and Alondra Nelson. New York: New York University Press, 2001. 34-63.

J. E. Dutton & J. Dukerich. 1991. “Keeping an Eye on the Mirror: Image and Identity in Organizational Adaptation.” Academy of Management Journal, 34: 517–554.

K. D. Elsbach & R. M. Kramer. 2003 “Assessing Creativity in Hollywood Pitch Meetings: Evidence for a Dual-Process Model of Creativity Judgments.” Academy of Management Journal, 46: 283–301.

Ka‐Yuet Liu, Marissa King and Peter S. Bearman. “Social Influence and the Autism Epidemic.” American Journal of Sociology Vol. 115, No. 5 (March 2010: 1387-1434.

Kandiyoti, Deniz. “Bargaining with Patriarchy.” Spec. Issue, Gender and Society Vol. 2, No. 3, (Sep., 1988): 274-290.

Kellogg, Katherine C. “Operating Room: Relational Spaces and Microinstitutional Change in Surgery.” American Journal of Sociology Vol. 115, No. 3 (November 2009): 657-711.

Langer, Ellen J. “The Illusion of Control.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology Vol. 32, No. 2, (1975): 311-328.

Langer, Ellen, Arthur Blank and Benzion Chanowitz. “The Mindlessness of Ostensibly Thoughtful Action: The Role of ‘Placebic’ Information in Interpersonal Interaction.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology Vol. 36, No. 6, (1978): 635-642.

Lazarsfeld, Paul F. “The American Soldier-An Expository Review.” The Public Opinion Quarterly Vol. 13, No. 3 (Autumn, 1949): 377-404.

Lazarsfeld, Paul F., and Robert K. Merton. Freedom and control in modern society. In Friendship as a social process: A substantive and methodological analysis. Ed. M. Berger, T. Abel and C. H. Page. New York: Octagon Books, 1978 [1955]. (in VU library)

Lieberson, Stanley, and Eleanor O. Bell. “Children’s First Names: An Empirical Study of Social Taste.” American Journal of Sociology Vol. 98, No. 3 (Nov., 1992): 511-554.

Lowenthal, Leo. 1944. “The Triumph of Mass Idols.” Literature, Popular Culture, and Society. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1961.

Luker, Kristin. 1984. Abortion and the Politics of Motherhood. UC Press: Berkeley.

Martin, John Levi. “What do animals do all day?: The division of labor, class bodies, and totemic thinking in the popular imagination.” Poetics 27 (2000): 195-231.

Merton, Robert K. “The Matthew Effect in Science, II: Cumulative Advantage and the Symbolism of Intellectual Property.” Isis Vol. 79, No. 4 (Dec., 1988): 606-623.

Pager, Devah. “The Mark of a Criminal Record.” AJS Vol. 108 No. 5 (March 2003): 937–75.

Putnam, Robert. 1995. “Tuning In, Tuning Out: The Strange Disappearance of Social Capital in America”. PS: Political Science & Politics

Rust, Paula C. “Sexual Identity and Bisexual Identities: The Struggle for Self-Description in a Changing Sexual Landscape.” Queer Studies: A Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered Anthology. Eds. Brett Beemyn and Mickey Eliason.
New York: NYU Press, 1996. 65-86.

Rust, Paula Rodriguez. 1996. “Sexual Identity and Bisexual Identities: The Struggle for Self-Description in a Changing Sexual Landscape.” In Queer Studies: A Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered Anthology.

Safford, Sean. “Why the Garden Club Couldn’t Save Youngstown: Civic Infrastructure and Mobilization in Economic Crises.” MIT IPC Working Paper Series IPC-04-002 (March 2004).

Sewell, William. 1996. “Political Events as Structural Transformations: Inventing Revolution at the Bastille.” Theory and Society

Sieber, Sam D. “The Integration of Fieldwork and Survey Methods.” American Journal of Sociology Vol. 78, No. 6 (May, 1973): 1335-1359.

Tengs, Tammy O., et al. “Five-Hundred Life-Saving Interventions and their Cost Effectiveness.” Risk Analysis. Vol. 15 No. 3 (1995): 369-390.

Uzzi, Brian. “Social Structure and Competition in Inter-firm Networks: The Paradox of Embeddedness.” Administrative Science Quarterly Vol. 42, No. 1 (Mar., 1997): 35-67.

West, Candace, and Don H. Zimmerman. “Doing Gender.” Gender and Society Vol. 1, No. 2 (Jun., 1987): 125-151 .

Western , Bruce, and Katherine Beckett. “How Unregulated Is the U.S. Labor Market? The Penal System as a Labor Market Institution.” AJS Vol. 104 No. 4 (January 1999): 1030–60.

Williams, Christine L. “The Glass Escalator: Hidden Advantages for Men in the ‘Female’ Professions.” Social Problems Vol. 39, No. 3 (Aug., 1992): 253-267.

Author: andrewperrin

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

3 thoughts on “a beautiful method”

  1. Wow. 40-50 articles and not ONE black sociologist? This made my stomach hurt. As a black graduate student, it’s so disheartening to think that my work my not be considered “particularly good and
    compelling examples of creative, parsimonious scholarship.” Especially in the depths of dissertating, it’s so sad to know you will never be considered one of the best in your field if this is the way lists are generated.


  2. GradMommy – I think this is an important point. I’m not sure how this list was compiled — but I think it was taken from this post: http://orgtheory.wordpress.com/2011/07/29/now-____________-is-a-great-paper/

    I personally recommended the Chambliss paper, because I think it’s under-read. I bet that if we/orgtheory had purposefully constructed a list (rather than ask people about what articles came to mind), it would look quite different. But it’s still important to ask why the work of no Black sociologists immediately came to mind when writing in comments to Teppo’s post.


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