In the study of civil society, Tocqueville-inspired research has helped illuminate important connections between associations and democracy, while corporatism has provided a robust framework for understanding officially approved civil society organizations in authoritarian regimes. Yet neither approach accounts for the experiences of ostensibly illegal grassroots nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in an authoritarian state. Drawing on fieldwork in China, I argue that grassroots NGOs can survive in an authoritarian regime when the state is fragmented and when censorship keeps information local. Moreover, grassroots NGOs survive only insofar as they refrain from democratic claims-making and address social needs that might fuel grievances against the state. For its part, the state tolerates such groups as long as particular state agents can claim credit for any good works while avoiding blame for any problems. Grassroots NGOs and an authoritarian state can thus coexist in a “contingent symbiosis” that—far from pointing to an inevitable democratization—allows ostensibly illegal groups to operate openly while relieving the state of some of its social welfare obligations.
Building on Preston and Campbell’s two-sex model of intergenerational transmission, this article provides a theoretical analysis of the dynamics of the racial distribution in black-white-mulatto systems. The author shows that “bounded” patterns of racial classification and switching imply long-run racial homogeneity in the absence of differential reproduction. Beyond the theoretical analysis, the author attempts to account for the dramatic growth of the white population share in Puerto Rico in the early 20th century. Because the effects of racial classification and differential reproduction were roughly offsetting, the observed growth of the white share can be attributed almost entirely to racial switching.
The authors propose that a trade-off between network diversity and communications bandwidth regulates access to novel information because a more diverse network structure increases novelty at a cost of reducing information flow. Received novelty then depends on whether (a) the information overlap is small enough, (b) alters’ topical knowledge is shallow enough, and (c) alters’ knowledge stocks refresh slowly enough to justify bridging structural holes. Social network and e-mail content from an executive recruiting firm show that bridging ties can actually offer less novelty for these reasons, suggesting that the strength of weak ties and structural holes depend on brokers’ information environments.
This article combines relational perspectives on gender identity with social network structural perspectives on health to understand men's sexual functioning. The authors argue that network positions that afford independence and control over social resources are consistent with traditional masculine roles and may therefore affect men's sexual performance. For example, when a heterosexual man's female partner has more frequent contact with his confidants than he does—which the authors refer to as partner betweenness—his relational autonomy, privacy, and control are constrained. Analyses of data from the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project (NSHAP) show that about a quarter of men experience partner betweennessa and that these men are 92% more likely to report erectile dysfunction. Partner betweenness is strongest among the youngest men in the sample, which may reflect changing conceptions of masculinity in later life. The authors consider several explanations for these findings and urge additional research on the links between health, gender, and network structure.
A new approach to investigation of human influences on the environment identifies social organization as an influence independent of population size, affluence, and technology. The framework also identifies population events, such as births, that influence the environment. The authors use longitudinal, multilevel, mixed-method measures of local land use changes, population dynamics, and social organization to test this framework. These tests reveal that changes in social organization are strongly associated with changes in land use independent of measures of population size, affluence, and technology. Also, local birth events shape local land use changes and key proximate determinants of land use change.
After becoming consistently more egalitarian for more than two decades, gender role attitudes in the General Social Survey have changed little since the mid-1990s. This plateau mirrors other gender trends, suggesting a fundamental alteration in the momentum toward gender equality. While cohort replacement can explain about half of the increasing egalitarianism between 1974 and 1994, the changes since the mid-1990s are not well accounted for by cohort differences. Nor is the post-1994 stagnation explained by structural or broad ideological changes in American society. The recent lack of change in gender attitudes is more likely the consequence of the rise of a new cultural frame, an “egalitarian essentialism” that blends aspects of feminist equality and traditional motherhood roles.