Featured Articles Spring 2013
Women, Work and Public Spaces: Conflict and Coexistence in Karachi's Poor Neighborhoods
Kamran Asdar Ali
International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 36.3:585-605, 2012
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Abstract: This article focuses on how working-class women encounter and negotiate economic uncertainty, social vulnerability and sexually threatening public spaces in contemporary Karachi, showcasing women's everyday experiences of social and physical violence as a microcosm of the city's life in order to explore the possibilities of a future politics for cities like Karachi that are haunted by the possibility of violent eruptions. By concentrating on people's everyday practices, it proposes a different register by which to understand cities and their politics, a register constituted by an emergent politics that is not always dependent on an analysis of conflict and friction, but which instead focuses on living with disagreements. Hence the article uses the ethnographic depiction of women's lives to understand the mechanisms through which people continue to coexist, share resources and work together, despite the endemic personal, social and political violence in Karachi's working-class neighborhoods.
The Impacts of Social Capital on the Digital Divides in America
The Information Society 29(1):13-25, 2013
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Abstract: The existing literature is oriented toward examining how Internet access and use may affect social capital. The role of social capital in narrowing the digital divides has been frequently mentioned but few studies have empirically examined how various types of social capital may affect people's access and use of the Internet. Drawing on a two-wave national panel data set, this article aims to fill this gap. Results demonstrate that social capital facilitates Internet access and use. In particular resource-rich bonding social capital helps overcome the digital divides in access, general use, and online communication. Before the Internet can revitalize social capital, there must be the right social capital in place to close the digital divides. Highlighting the relationship between social connectivity and digital connectivity, the findings have important implications for policymakers and practitioners.
Grain inflation: Identifying Agent Discretion in Response to a Conditional School Nutrition Program Original Research Article
Leigh L. Linden and Gauri Kartini Shastry
Journal of Development Economics 99(1):128-138, 2012
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Abstract: Many incentive programs rely on local agents with significant discretion to allocate benefits. We estimate the degree of discretion exercised by teachers within a conditional transfer program designed to improve nutrition and encourage student attendance in Mumbai, India. The program allocates grain to students every month their attendance exceeds 80%, creating an incentive for teachers to inflate attendance to benefit certain students. We find that teachers manipulate students' records, altering the incentives to attend school. The teachers' response also varies across students. Teachers inflate more for girls, better students, and students from lower castes, but less for Muslim students.
All Shook Up: Sexuality of Mid to Later Life Married Couples
Amy Lodge and Debra Umberson.
Journal of Marriage and Family 74:428-443, 2012
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Abstract: The authors integrate theoretical work on the performance of gender with a life course perspective to frame an analysis of in-depth interviews with 17 long-term married couples. The findings indicated that couples' sexual experiences are characterized by change over time, yet that change is shaped by the intersection of gender and age. Midlife couples (ages 50–69) were distressed by changes in their sex lives likely because they impede couples from performing gendered sexuality. The source of this distress stems from age-related physical changes; however, it manifests in different ways for husbands and wives. In contrast, later life couples (ages 70–86) were more likely to emphasize the importance of emotional intimacy over sex as they age. Marital sex is a source of conflict for many midlife couples because of husbands' and wives' incongruent experiences, but later life husbands and wives tend to have more congruent experiences of marital sex.
Socioeconomic Disparities in Tobacco-Related Health Outcomes Across Race/Ethnic Groups in the United States: National Health Interview Survey 2010
Claire Margerison-Zilko and Catherine Cubbin
Nicotine and Tobacco Research doi:10.1093/ntr/nts256, 2012
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Abstract: INTRODUCTION: Existing research documents strong inverse socioeconomic gradients in current smoking and lung cancer morbidity and mortality; these gradients appear stronger among non-Hispanic Whites and Blacks compared with Hispanics. We sought to examine a broader range of outcomes across the tobacco use continuum, examining socioeconomic gradients separately among the 3 largest racial/ethnic groups in the United States. METHODS: We used data from the 2010 National Health Interview Survey (n = 17,284) Cancer Control Supplement to calculate prevalences and means for outcomes across the tobacco use continuum by educational attainment and income separately among non-Hispanic Black, Hispanic/Latino, and non-Hispanic White adults. RESULTS: Findings demonstrate that current smoking, age at initiation, cigarettes per day, years quit, and secondhand smoke all exhibit strong inverse educational gradients and moderately strong inverse income gradients, especially among Whites and Blacks. Hispanics/Latinos generally have more favorable outcomes along the tobacco use continuum and less evident socioeconomic gradients. CONCLUSIONS: Educational attainment is strongly associated with indicators across the tobacco use continuum among non-Hispanic Whites and Blacks. More research is needed to determine whether policies and programs to increase educational attainment may also reduce tobacco-related health disparities.
The Genetic Impact of Aztec Imperialism: Ancient Mitochondrial DNA Evidence From Xaltocan, Mexico
Jaime Mata-Míguez, Lisa Overholtzer, Enrique Rodríguez-Alegría, Brian M. Kemp, and Deborah A. Bolnick
American Journal of Physical Anthropology 149:504-516, 2012
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Abstract: In AD 1428, the city-states of Tenochtitlan, Texcoco, and Tlacopan formed the Triple Alliance, laying the foundations of the Aztec empire. Although it is well documented that the Aztecs annexed numerous polities in the Basin of Mexico over the following years, the demographic consequences of this expansion remain unclear. At the city-state capital of Xaltocan, 16th century documents suggest that the site's conquest and subsequent incorporation into the Aztec empire led to a replacement of the original Otomi´ population, whereas archaeological evidence suggests that some of the original population may have remained at the town under Aztec rule. To help address questions about Xaltocan's demographic history during this period, we analyzed ancient DNA from 25 individuals recovered from three houses rebuilt over time and occupied between AD 1240 and 1521. These individuals were divided into two temporal groups that predate and postdate the site's conquest. We determined the mitochondrial DNA haplogroup of each individual and identified haplotypes based on 372 base pair sequences of first hypervariable region. Our results indicate that the residents of these houses before and after the Aztec conquest have distinct haplotypes that are not closely related, and the mitochondrial compositions of the temporal groups are statistically different. Altogether, these results suggest that the matrilines present in the households were replaced following the Aztec conquest. This study therefore indicates that the Aztec expansion may have been associated with significant demographic and genetic changes within Xaltocan.
Hospital Variation in Postpartum Tubal Sterilization Rates in California and Texas
Joseph Potter, Amanda J. Stevenson, Kari White, Kristine Hopkins, and Daniel Grossman
Obstetrics & Gynecology 121(1):152-158, 2013
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Abstract: OBJECTIVE: To estimate variation across hospitals in the rate of postpartum sterilization. METHODS: All hospitals with deliveries in California and Texas in 2009 were included. Proportion of live singleton deliveries with postpartum sterilization was calculated by hospital, insurance status (Medicaid compared with private insurance), type of delivery, and state. RESULTS: Within each insurance status in California and Texas, we found wide variations across hospitals in postpartum tubal sterilization rates. This variability was not explained by disparities in hospital cesarean delivery rates. Some, but not all, of this variation was attributable to the absence of sterilizations in Catholic hospitals. Overall, postpartum tubal sterilization rates were higher in Texas than in California (10.2% compared with 6.7%), and this difference was found among both public insurance and private insurance patients. Interval sterilizations were more frequent in California, but the difference was not large enough to offset the difference in postpartum sterilization. CONCLUSIONS: The variation in postpartum tubal sterilization rates across hospitals is substantial and exists even among hospitals without religious affiliations. Large-scale studies are needed to assess the demand for, and the barriers to, obtaining postpartum sterilization.
Non-poor Components of Population Growth and Immigration in the U.S., 1990-2010
Isaac Sasson and Arthur Sakamoto
Social Indicators Research DOI 10.1007/s11205-012-0214-6, 2012
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Abstract: Traditional measures of poverty are informative in indicating the degree of economic deprivation in a population at a cross-sectional point in time, but they do not consider growth in the size of the non-poverty population. We develop a measure of non-poverty population growth in order to explore whether it constitutes a useful indicator of an important demographic dynamic. We illustrate our approach with an analysis of the U.S. states using Census and American Community Survey data from 1990, 2000, and 2010. The results indicate that the extent to which the non-poor population increased across states is uncorrelated with the initial poverty rate as conventionally measured. Broken down by nativity, the findings further show that some states with official poverty rates above the national average (e.g., Arizona, Georgia, and Texas) nonetheless had some of the highest rates of non-poor population growth among less skilled immigrants. By contrast, other states with official poverty rates below the national average (e.g., Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Vermont) often had low rates of non-poor population growth among less skilled immigrants. These findings suggest that low initial poverty rates do not necessarily contribute substantially to the alleviation of global poverty through the immigration of less skilled persons from less developed nations. However, the rate of non-poor population growth among less skilled immigrants also appears to be uncorrelated with state variation in minimum wages even after taking into account population density and median home value.
High School Transfer Students and the Transition to College: Timing and the Structure of the School Year
April Sutton, Chandra Muller, and Amy G. Langenkamp.
Sociology of Education 86(1):63-82, 2013
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Abstract: The timing of a high school transfer may shape students' transitions to college through its (mis)alignment with the structure of the school year. A transfer that occurs during the summer interrupts the four-year high school career, whereas a transfer that occurs midyear disrupts both the four-year high school career and the structure of the school year. Using the Education Longitudinal Study of 2002 (ELS), the investigators find that the penalty suffered after the transfer depends on the degree to which students' high school pathways synchronize with the curricular and extracurricular structure of the school year. Midyear transfer students appear to suffer the greatest postsecondary matriculation penalty. Students who transfer midyear are less likely to attend a four-year college compared with nontransfer and summer transfer students, whereas summer transfer students are less likely to attend a highly selective four-year college compared with their nontransfer counterparts. Curricular and extracurricular disruptions that transfer students experience after their school move explain some, but not all, of the negative associations observed between transferring and the transition to college. Directions for future research and the theoretical and policy implications of the results are discussed.
Gender, Health Behavior, and Intimate Relationships: Lesbian, Gay, and Straight Contexts
Connie Reczek and Debra Umberson
Social Science and Medicine 74:1783-1790. PMCID: PMC333796, 2012
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Abstract: Many studies focus on health behavior within the context of intimate ties. However, this literature is limited by reliance on gender socialization theory and a focus on straight (i.e., heterosexual) marriage. We extend this work with an analysis of relationship dynamics around health behavior in 20 long-term straight marriages as well as 15 gay and 15 lesbian long-term cohabiting partnerships in the United States (N = 100 individual in-depth interviews). We develop the concept of “health behavior work” to align activities done to promote health behavior with theories on unpaid work in the home. Respondents in all couple types describe specialized health behavior work, wherein one partner works to shape the other partner’s health behavior. In straight couples, women perform the bulk of specialized health behavior work. Most gay and lesbian respondents—but few straight respondents—also describe cooperative health behavior work, wherein partners mutually influence one another’s health behaviors. Findings suggest that the gendered relational context of an intimate partnership shapes the dynamics of and explanations for health behavior work.An Implicit Theories of Personality Intervention Reduces Adolescent Aggression in Response to Victimization and Exclusion
David Scott Yeager, Kali H. Trzesniewski and Carol S. Dweck
Child Development DOI: 10.1111/cdev.12003, 2012
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Abstract: Adolescents are often resistant to interventions that reduce aggression in children. At the same time, they are developing stronger beliefs in the fixed nature of personal characteristics, particularly aggression. The present intervention addressed these beliefs. A randomized field experiment with a diverse sample of Grades 9 and 10 students (ages 14-16, n = 230) tested the impact of a 6-session intervention that taught an incremental theory (a belief in the potential for personal change). Compared to no-treatment and coping skills control groups, the incremental theory group behaved significantly less aggressively and more prosocially 1 month postintervention and exhibited fewer conduct problems 3 months postintervention. The incremental theory and the coping skills interventions also eliminated the association between peer victimization and depressive symptoms.