historical_sociology   119

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The People of Hamilton, Canada West — Michael B. Katz | Harvard University Press
In this brilliant book, Michael Katz creates with vigor and sensitivity a decade in the life of a small Canadian city. He writes with the verve of a historical novelist, but in the process fulfills completely his reputation as one of the continent’s most exciting younger historians. One is totally captivated by his recreation and his analysis.

Katz makes it clear that his book is a “mixture of hard data and rash speculation,” but he has, in fact, amassed extraordinarily complete data which he uses to make a series of important statements about the people who lived in Hamilton, the structure of their inequality, their social and physical mobility, their growing up and growing rich, or not. He blends history, sociology, and psychology in a unique fashion when he describes growing up in the nineteenth century, either as a member of the entrepreneurial class in a small but thriving commercial city, or as one less favored.

This book will profoundly affect the future direction of social history because of its focus, its methods, and its style, and because the author asks a series of extraordinarily provocative questions. What connections, for example, can we assume between the structure of the family and attitudes and emotions of the people within it? Can we assume that growing up within a nineteenth-century extended family produced a different set of attitudes or a different personality in a child than life within a nuclear family? What inference can we draw from the stability of the distribution of wealth across time?
book  cities  historical_sociology  economic_geography  inequality  19th_century 
january 2019 by rvenkat
Ordinalization: Lewis A. Coser Memorial Award for Theoretical Agenda Setting 2014 - Marion Fourcade, 2016
We can think of three basic principles of classificatory judgment for comparing things and people. I call these judgments nominal (oriented to essence), cardinal (oriented to quantities), and ordinal (oriented to relative positions). Most social orders throughout history are organized around the intersection of these different types. In line with the ideals of political liberalism, however, democratic societies have developed an arsenal of institutions to untangle nominal and ordinal judgments in various domains of social life. In doing so, I suggest, they have contributed to the parallel amplification of both. In this article, I specifically discuss the socio-technical channels through which ordinal judgments are now elaborated, a process I call ordinalization. I conclude by exploring the political and economic possibilities of a society in which ordinal processes are ubiquitous.
economic_sociology  inequality  social_theory  institutions  historical_sociology  comparative 
february 2018 by rvenkat
Becoming White: How Mass Warfare Turned Immigrants into Americans
How do groups on the social periphery assimilate into the social core of a nation? I develop a theory of cultural assimilation that highlights the way in which mass mobilization around warfare can reduce ethnic stratifications by incorporating low-status ethnic groups into the dominant national culture. To test the theory, I hone in on the case of World War I in the United States–a period that closely followed a massive wave of immigration into the United States. Using an instrumental variables strategy exploiting the combination of the exogenous timing of the war and features of the draft system, I show that individuals of foreign, European nativity–especially, the Italians and Eastern Europeans–were more likely to assimilate into American society. I also provide evidence of backlash against Germans despite their service for the United States in World War I. The theory and results contribute to our understanding of the ways in which states make identity and the prospects for immigrant assimilation in an age without mass warfare.

-- Ta-nehisi Coates argues that such processes somehow never really happened for Blacks in these United States. Wonder if there is similar data on that.
political_sociology  historical_sociology  immigration  united_states_of_america  via:nyhan 
november 2017 by rvenkat
Frontier Culture: The Roots and Persistence of "Rugged Individualism" in the United States
In a classic 1893 essay, Frederick Jackson Turner argued that the American frontier promoted individualism. We revisit the Frontier Thesis and examine its relevance at the subnational level. Using Census data and GIS techniques, we track the frontier throughout the 1790-1890 period and construct a novel, county-level measure of historical frontier experience. We document skewed sex ratios and other distinctive demographics of frontier locations, as well as their greater individualism (proxied by infrequent children names). Many decades after the closing of the frontier, counties with longer historical frontier experience exhibit more prevalent individualism and opposition to redistribution and regulation. We take several steps towards a causal interpretation, including an instrumental variables approach that exploits variation in the speed of westward expansion induced by national immigration inflows. Using linked historical Census data, we identify mechanisms giving rise to a persistent frontier culture. Selective migration contributed to greater individualism, and frontier conditions may have further shaped behavior and values. We provide evidence suggesting that rugged individualism may be rooted in its adaptive advantage on the frontier and the opportunities for upward mobility through effort.
political_sociology  norms  historical_sociology  causal_inference  18th_century  19th_century  united_states_of_america  via:nyhan 
november 2017 by rvenkat
The Changing Norms of Racial Political Rhetoric and the End of Racial Priming: The Journal of Politics: Vol 0, No 0
We explore the conjecture that norms of racial rhetoric in US campaigns have shifted over the last several years. Prior work suggests that the way politicians talk about race affects the power of racial attitudes in political judgments. Racial priming theory suggests that explicit racial rhetoric—messages overtly hostile toward minorities—would be rejected. When race is cued subtly, however, the power of racial attitudes on issues is significantly enhanced. Replication attempts have recently failed. We identify two historically related shifts that lead us to expect that the effective distinction between explicit and implicit racial rhetoric has declined in recent years. Four nationally representative survey experiments strongly support our predictions: regardless of whether political messages are racially explicit or implicit, the power of racial attitudes is large and stable. Finally, many citizens recognize racially hostile content in political communications but are no longer angered or disturbed by it.
public_opinion  media_studies  race  polarization  democracy  historical_sociology  norms  us_politics 
october 2017 by rvenkat
When Work Disappears: Manufacturing Decline and the Falling Marriage-Market Value of Men
The structure of marriage and child-rearing in U.S. households has undergone two marked shifts in the last three decades: a steep decline in the prevalence of marriage among young adults, and a sharp rise in the fraction of children born to unmarried mothers or living in single-headed households. A potential contributor to both phenomena is the declining labor-market opportunities faced by males, which make them less valuable as marital partners. We exploit large scale, plausibly exogenous labor-demand shocks stemming from rising international manufacturing competition to test how shifts in the supply of young ‘marriageable’ males affect marriage, fertility and children's living circumstances. Trade shocks to manufacturing industries have differentially negative impacts on the labor market prospects of men and degrade their marriage-market value along multiple dimensions: diminishing their relative earnings—particularly at the lower segment of the distribution—reducing their physical availability in trade-impacted labor markets, and increasing their participation in risky and damaging behaviors. As predicted by a simple model of marital decision-making under uncertainty, we document that adverse shocks to the supply of `marriageable' men reduce the prevalence of marriage and lower fertility but raise the fraction of children born to young and unwed mothers and living in in poor single-parent households. The falling marriage-market value of young men appears to be a quantitatively important contributor to the rising rate of out-of-wedlock childbearing and single-headed childrearing in the United States.
inequality  united_states_of_america  economic_sociology  historical_sociology  microeconomics 
september 2017 by rvenkat
Shorthand for Suffering: Siberia Under the Czars - The New York Times
-- gives credence to the persistence of social structures argument given in Levi Martin's work
russia  19th_century  incarceration  history  book_review  social_structure  historical_sociology 
january 2017 by rvenkat
Harry Garretsen and Ron Martin - Rethinking (New) Economic Geography Models: Taking Geography and History More Seriously | Spatial Economic Analysis: Vol 5, No 2 (2010)
Harry Garretsen and Ron Martin -- Spatial Economic Analysis, Vol. 5 , Iss. 2, 2010 -- Two aspects of New Economic Geography models are often singled out for criticism, especially by geographers: the treatment of geography, typically as a pre-given, fixed and highly idealized abstract geometric space; and the treatment of history, typically as ‘logical’ time (the movement to equilibrium in a model's solution space) rather than real history. In this paper we examine the basis for these criticisms, and explore how far and in what ways NEG models might be made more credible with respect to their representation of geography and history, and particularly whether and to what extent the work of geographers themselves provides some insights in this regard. We argue that the conceptualization of space and time is in fact a challenge for both NEG theorists and economic geographers, and that, notwithstanding their ontological and epistemological differences, both groups would benefit from an interchange of ideas on this front. -- downloaded to Tab S2
article  downloaded  economic_theory  economic_sociology  geography-and-economics  geography  economic_models  philosophy_of_social_science  historical_sociology  historiography 
august 2016 by dunnettreader
Failed states and the paradox of civilisation - Ernesto Dal Bó, Pablo Hernandez-Lagos, Sebastián Mazzuca | Vox.EU - July 2016
While cases of state failure have risen in the last decade, most notably in the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa, they are not a new phenomenon. Historical evidence from the early modern period, and even the Bronze Age, shows that the majority of formed states have failed rather than thrived. This column introduces the ‘paradox of civilisation’ to characterise the obstacles settlements face in establishing civilisations. The paradox defines the success of a civilisation as a trade-off between the ability to produce economic surplus and to protect it. It is therefore important to correctly balance military and economic support when providing aid. - Summary of NBER paper- downloaded vox version to Tab S2
paper  downloaded  ancient_history  civilization-concept  state-building  institutional_capacity  institution-building  failed_states  military  economic_growth  historical_sociology  agriculture  ancient_Near_East  ancient_Egypt  Sub-Saharan_Africa  MENA  Iraq  Syria  ISIS 
july 2016 by dunnettreader
Kenneth R Westphal - 'Analytic Philosophy
The definitive version of this article appears in:
The Owl of Minerva , 42.1–2 (2010–11):1–18.
Rejection of the philosophical relevance of history of philosophy remains pronounced within contemporary Anglophone analytic philosophy. The two main reasons for this rejection presuppose that strict deduction isboth necessary and sufficient for rational justification. However, this justificatory ideal of scientia holds only within strictly formal domains. This is confirmed by a neglected non-sequitur in van Fraassen’s original defence of ‘Constructive Empiricism’. Conversely, strict deduction is insufficient for rationaljustification in non-formal, substantive domains of inquiry. In non-formal, substantive domains, rational justification is also, in part, ineliminably social and historical, for sound reasons Hegel was the first to articulate. -- Downloaded via iPhone to DBOX
history_of_philosophy  historical_sociology  analytical_philosophy  Logical_Positivism  deduction  contextualism  evolution-social  development_process  Hegel  contingency  intellectual_history  logic  historicism  evolution-as-model  philosophy_of_social_science  van_Frassen  article  downloaded  analysis-logic  epistemology  epistemology-social  empiricism 
july 2016 by dunnettreader
What Life Was Like in America 100 Years Ago - The Atlantic
The following original article from the Bureau of Labor Statistics seems to have inspired this article.


--wonder if I can track down some historical datasets
american_history  20th_century  good_old_days_illusion  historical_sociology 
february 2016 by rvenkat
Alvin Gouldner: "Romanticism and Classicism: Deep Structures in Social Science" | Ralph Dumain: "The Autodidact Project"
Gouldner, Alvin W. "Romanticism and Classicism: Deep Structures in Social Science," in For Sociology: Renewal and Critique in Sociology Today (New York: Basic Books, 1973), Chapter 11, pp. 323-366. Bibliographical note, pp. 464-465. -- "Bibliographical Note (by A Gouldner) -- 'Romanticism and Classicism' is part of my ongoing, larger commitment to the study of the origins of Western social theory. This essay is the programmatic statement that has been guiding my joint work on Romanticism with Nedra Carp these last few years. Previouly unpublished." -- Dumain copied the text from the 1973 book of Gouldner's collected essays
social_theory  intellectual_history  cultural_history  political_culture  18thC  19thC  20thC  Romanticism  German_Idealism  Hegel  Hegelian-Left  elites  elite_culture  historicism  historical_sociology  Hellenophiles  Antiquarianism  classicism  Methodenstreit  Gouldner  class_conflict 
january 2016 by dunnettreader

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