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Social Institutions and Social Change Series


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Legal Construct, Social Concept: A Macrosociological Perspective on Law

Legal Construct, Social Concept: A Macrosociological Perspective on Law

Larry Barnett
July 15, 2010

Based on sophisticated demographic analysis, Legal Construct, Social Concept argues that legal doctrine on social issues is shaped by the needs and values of society rather than by individuals and interest groups and that it evolves in response to social change but has little impact on that change....

Death, Deeds, and Descendents: Inheritance in Modern America

Death, Deeds, and Descendents: Inheritance in Modern America

Remi Clignet, Jens Beckert, Brooke Harrington
August 15, 2009

Clignet's analysis of inheritance patterns in modern America is the first sustained treatment of the subject by a sociologist. Clignet shows that even today inheritance serves to perpetuate both familial wealth and familial relations. He examines what leads decedents to chose particular legal...

Address Unknown: The Homeless in America

Address Unknown: The Homeless in America

James Wright
April 15, 2009

Homelessness in America has grown from a minor problem in isolated areas of a few big cities into a near epidemic. Today, scarcely any American city of any appreciable size lacks homeless people. Homeless shelters and programs have become as essential and as commonplace as police protection or...

Moving into Adolescence: The Impact of Pubertal Change and School Context

Moving into Adolescence: The Impact of Pubertal Change and School Context

Roberta G. Simmons
January 15, 2009

From the sociological point of view, adolescence traditionally has been described as a period of physical maturity and social immaturity. Adolescents reach physical adulthood before they are capable of functioning well in adult social roles. The disjunction between physical capabilities and...

Tie a Knot and Hang on: Providing Mental Health Care in a Turbulent Environment

Tie a Knot and Hang on: Providing Mental Health Care in a Turbulent Environment

Teresa Scheid
April 30, 2004

Tie a Knot and Hang On is an analysis of mental health care work that crosses the borders of diverse sociological traditions. The work seeks to understand the theoretical and empirical linkages between environmental pressures and activities and how these intersect with organizations and individuals...

Strangers at the Bedside: A History of How Law and Bioethics Transformed Medical Decision Making

Strangers at the Bedside: A History of How Law and Bioethics Transformed Medical Decision Making

David J. Rothman
September 30, 2003

David Rothman gives us a brilliant, finely etched study of medical practice today. Beginning in the mid-1960s, the practice of medicine in the United States underwent a most remarkable--and thoroughly controversial--transformation. The discretion that the profession once enjoyed has been...

Education, Social Status, and Health

Education, Social Status, and Health

John Mirowsky
June 30, 2003

Education forms a unique dimension of social status, with qualities that make it especially important to health. It influences health in ways that are varied, present at all stages of adult life, cumulative, self-amplifying, and uniformly positive. Educational attainment marks social status at the...

Social Causes of Psychological Distress

Social Causes of Psychological Distress

Catherine E. Ross
March 31, 2003

A core interest of social science is the study of stratification--inequalities in income, power, and prestige. Few persons would care about such inequalities if the poor, powerless, and despised were as happy and fulfilled as the wealthy, powerful, and admired. Social research often springs from...

Entitlement Politics: Medicare and Medicaid, 1995-2001

Entitlement Politics: Medicare and Medicaid, 1995-2001

David G. Smith
November 30, 2002

Entitlement Politics describes partisan attempts to shrink the size of government by targeting two major federal health care entitlements. Efforts to restructure or eliminate entitlements as such, and to privatize and decentralize programs, along with more traditional attempts to amend and reform...

Medical Careers and Feminist Agendas: American, Scandinavian and Russian Women Physicians

Medical Careers and Feminist Agendas: American, Scandinavian and Russian Women Physicians

Elianne Riska
October 31, 2001

The increasing proportion of women in the medical profession has been followed keenly both by conservative and feminist observers during the past three decades. Statistics both in Europe and in the United States tend to confirm that women work mainly in niches of the health care system or medical...

The Ties That Bind: The Perspectives on Marriage and Cohabitation

The Ties That Bind: The Perspectives on Marriage and Cohabitation

Arland Thornton
August 31, 2000

The Ties That Bindwas organized to review and assess the scientific evidence about the causes of trends in marriage and other forms of intimate unions. The contributors address these two questions: What do we know about the factors that influence the formation of marriages and other intimate unions...

The Politics of Medicare

The Politics of Medicare

Marshall DeRosa
March 31, 2000

On July 30, 1965, President Johnson flew to Independence, Missouri to sign the Medicare bill. The new statute included two related insurance programs to finance substantial portions of the hospital and physician expenses incurred by Americans over the age of sixty-five. Public attempts to improve...

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