Studies suggest that the rise of neoliberalism accompanies a foregrounding of individual responsibility and a weakening of community. The authors provide a theoretical agenda for studying the interactions between the global diffusion of neoliberal policies and ideologies, on the one side, and cultural repertoires and boundary configurations, on the other, in the context of local, national, and regional variation. Exploiting variation in the rate of adoption of neoliberal policies across European societies, the authors show how levels of neoliberal penetration covary with the way citizens draw symbolic boundaries along the lines of ethnoreligious otherness and moral deservingness.
Given the growing centrality of interdisciplinarity to scientific research, gaining a better understanding of successful interdisciplinary collaborations has become imperative. Drawing on extensive case studies of nine research networks in the social, natural, and computational sciences, we propose a construct that captures the multidimensional character of such collaborations, that of shared cognitive-emotional-interactional (SCEI) platform. We demonstrate its value as an integrative lens to examine markers of and conditions for successful interdisciplinary collaborations as defined by researchers involved in these groups. We show that 1) markers and conditions embody three different dimensions: cognitive, emotional and interactional; 2) these dimensions are present in all networks, albeit to different degrees; 3) the dimensions are intertwined and mutually constitutive; and 4) they operate in conjunction with institutional conditions created by funders. We compare SCEI platforms to available frameworks for successful interdisciplinary work.
Understanding social life requires attending to the cultural dimension of reality. Yet, when it comes to the study of low-income populations, factoring in culture has often been a contentious project. This is because explaining poverty through culture has been equated with blaming the poor for their predicaments. Scholars have moved the debate forward by making a case for integrating culture in explanations of poverty. This requires drawing on analytical devices such as frames, narratives, institutions, repertoires, and boundaries that capture intersubjective definitions of reality. These concepts have been useful for identifying a diversity of frameworks through which low-income populations understand their reality and develop paths for mobility. This entry builds on these contributions by exploring the place of culture in studies of American low-income populations in three important areas of social life: family, neighborhood, and work.
This paper considers changes in the symbolic boundaries of French society under the influence of neo-liberalism. As compared to the early nineties, stronger boundaries toward the poor and Blacks are now being drawn while North-African immigrants and their offsprings continue to be largely perceived as outside the community of those who deserve recognition and protection. Moreover, while the social reproduction of upper-middle class privileges has largely remained unchanged, there is a blurring of the symbolic boundaries separating the middle and working class as the latter has undergone strong individualization. Also, the youth is now bearing the brunt of France’s non-adaptation to changes in the economy and is increasingly marginalized. The result is a dramatic change in the overall contours of the French symbolic community, with a narrowed definition of cultural membership, and this, against a background of growing inequality, unemployment, and intolerance in a more open and deregulated labor market.
Against the background of recent methodological debates pitting ethnography against interviewing, this paper offers a defense of the latter and argues for methodological pluralism and pragmatism and against methodological tribalism. Drawing on our own work and on other sources, we discuss some of the strengths and weaknesses of interviewing, especially for work in the sociology of culture. We argue that concern over whether attitudes correspond to behavior is a misguided focus of the recent literature, and offer that we should instead consider what interviewing and other data gathering techniques are best suited for. In our own work, we suggest, we have used somewhat unusual interviewing techniques not to explore individuals’ characteristics, but to reveal how institutional systems and the construction of social categories, boundaries, and status hierarchies organize social experience. We also point to new methodological challenges ahead, particularly concerning the incorporation of historical and institutional dimensions into interview-based studies. We finally describe fruitful directions for future research, which may result in methodological advances while bringing together the strengths of various data collection techniques.