August 15th, 2002

ASA Awards Ceremony and Presidential Address (2002)


ELIJAH ANDERSON: Welcome to the American Sociological Association's Awards Ceremony and Presidential Address. I am Elijah Anderson, vice-president of the ASA. One of ASA's traditions is to take a
moment at the beginning of this plenary session to acknowledge colleagues who are no longer with us. I'd like to call your attention to an error in the program materials that indicate Dr. Louis Kozer
was added to this list. We're happy to inform you that he is in fact, alive and well. Since our last annual meeting we've lost a number of individuals who have made significant contributions to the
discipline of sociology. I'd like to direct your attention to the screen as we pay homage during a moment of silence for the sociologists that we have lost in the past year. Sociology has been
enriched by these colleagues and we are thankful for them. Please welcome our presider of the ceremony, Nancy Denton from the University of Albany. [ Applause ] NANCY DENTON: Good evening. We turn now
to a great part of the program where we honor and remember people who are here tonight and have done some the best sociologic work in the last year. And, my job as described to me in the notes that I
got was that I was to keep us moving [Background music] and I was to somehow bring sociology to Chicago and to these awards. And somehow linking sociology to Chicago is something that is hard not to
do as opposed to do. And I could talk for the rest of the evening about the links between sociology and Chicago, but we want to get to the awards. The first department of sociology was founded in
Chicago in 1893 by Alvian Small and Charles Henderson. And it included then or shortly thereafter, such luminaries as W. I. Thomas, Robert Park, Ernest Burgess, William Ogburn. This morning I took one
of the ASA tours led by Ray Hutchinson and we went to see the sites of the gold coast and the slum, the hobo, the ghetto, lights of Chicago, Black Metropolis whole house. Chicago's School of Sociology
is probably referenced in every single introductory text book, in every single introductory class and it is not always accepted. There was controversy about it then, the treatment of Jane Adams. There
is controversy about it now as well, but it is certainly a part of sociology and a very important part and it called our attention not only to the interplay between theory and observation and
research, but also to the interactions of race, gender and class topics that come up as very important in our work today. I also think it's interesting that this is the same city where in 1895
[Background music] the American Journal of Sociology was founded. And 107 years later this ASA, we are celebrating the founding of two new journals, Context, our journal edited by Claude Fisher that
is trying to bring the results and research of our discipline to a wider audience. And by the way, the current issue of IT has an article about sociology in Chicago and photo essay by Anita Young, and
Chicago scholar, Maria Kefalas on Chicago's last garden spot. And we are also this year celebrating the anniversary of starting a first section journal, A City and Community, a topic right after the
Chicago school's heart and it is edited here in Chicago by Tony Orum at the University of Illinois in Chicago. And that journal quit coincidentally started out with a lead article entitled, Los
Angeles and the Chicago School an Invitation to Debate, by Michael Dear, with responses from Andrew Abbott, Harvey Motloch and Rob Sampson and in keeping with the tradition of Chicago the next issue
came out with an article by Daphne Spain, saying Women: What happened to Women on the Way from Chicago to Los Angles. So it's sort of like the debate continues a hundred plus years later. We are
celebrating that sociological tradition by honoring the work of our colleagues tonight. Now everyone who is going to be making these presentations would like to be able to say more about the winner of
the award. Everyone would like to thank more people who wins an award. However, we have set very strict time limits. So each award presenter and winner thanks you and is more wonderful than you're
going to be able to hear. The first award goes-- is the dissertation award and this honors the best PhD dissertation for-- that was defended during calendar year 2001. Nominations for this award are
submitted by advisors and mentors. It is an award where we can honor the next generation of sociologists. Please welcome David Britt, who will present this award. [Applause ] DAVID BRITT: On behalf of
the committee that examined these dissertations it's a pleasure to announce the winner of the award for this year. It goes to Dr. Kieran Healy, currently at the University of Arizona. Dr. Healy took his degree at Princeton University
where his committee was chaired by Paul DiMaggio. The title of his dissertation is Exchange in Blood and Organs. The dissertation focuses on the arrangements by which body parts like kidneys are
allocated to patients in need, when is usually the case that demand exceeds the supply. Such choices are core exercises in moral reasoning and as we are moving towards markets for sperm, eggs and even
DNA, the issues are of paramount importance. Dr. Healy takes this far beyond individual actors making altruistic decisions by showing that the donation rates very systematically ways that individual
level theories cannot explain. This variation then becomes the empirical puzzle of the dissertation, a puzzle to which he brings a comparative institutional approach and a strategic mix of methods and
levels of analysis. He integrates the analysis of three problems related to donation rates, variation in organ donation rates within the U.S. among geographically based organ procurement
organizations, comparative analysis of twelve European countries regarding blood donation efforts and a case study of the reaction of U.S. blood suppliers to the emergence of HIV. Dr. Healy's
dissertation makes a compelling case for arguing that organizations produce altruism by providing opportunities to give and accounts of what giving means. That the organization of donation systems not
only affects how much you collect and from whom you get it, but it also shapes the character of the donation. And that once that system has become institutionalized, exchange relations shape how
collection organizations perceive their environment and make their decisions in times of uncertainty. The dissertation is provocative with respect to the literatures of altruism and economic sociology
and thoughtful with respect to its advice for policy makers while opening at the same time many new issues to be researched in the future. Please join with me to welcome this year's winner, Dr. Kieran
Healy. [ Applause ] DR. KIERAN HEALY: Thank you very much. I only found out a few minutes ago that I was expected to say a few words but fortunately I had my theory chapter with me [Laughter] and a
bibliography as well, I think. I would just like to thank two committees, the selection-- the dissertation awards selection committee for honoring me with this award and my dissertation committee at
Princeton, its chair, Paul DiMaggio, Viviana Zelizer, Bruce Western and Bob Wuthnow for doing such a terrific job in guiding me through this whole process and also the Princeton Sociology Department
in general. It's a terrific place to be a graduate student and to write a dissertation. Thank you very much. [ Applause ] NANCY DENTON: Our second award this evening is the Jessie Bernard award. This
award is given annually in recognition of scholarly work that has enlarged the horizons of sociology to encompass fully the role of woman in society. Please welcome Demi Currrs who is going to present
this year's award. [ Applause ] DEMI CURRS: Good afternoon. It's a very great pleasure for me to be here and to be able to present this award to Barrie Thorne. As a scholar, researcher, teacher and
activist, Barrie Thorne exemplifies the outstanding qualities and achievements of Jessie Bernard, the sociologist who pioneered in the study of woman and gender. Thorne's contributions to sociological
and feminist thought have been far-reaching. Her mentoring, activism and teaching have inspired many people and will extend her legacy far into the future. As a scholar Barrie Thorne has continually
identified important topics ahead of her time. Her research on gender has been particularly influential along with her work on childhood, language and social change. Thorne's scholarship has
challenged conventional sociological thickening, broadening and deepening the discipline. Her articles are reprinted widely and reach scholars in public and diverse fields. Thorne has the served the
discipline in countless roles, formal and informal including as vice-president of the American Sociological Association. In these positions she constantly reaches out to younger scholars and scholars
from groups that have been traditionally excluded. Thorne is also a terrific teacher whose mentoring shows compassion, understanding and sisterhood. In short, she is most deserving of the Jessie
Bernard award and I would argue of any top sociology award. She has made tremendously important contributions to the field. Please join me in congratulating Barrie Thorne. [ Applause ] BARRIE THORNE:
Thank you. This is like the Oscars and I have my little slip of paper to quickly go through. It was my good fortune to enter the field of sociology and the women's liberation movement in the same
period of time and to have been working with others in this transformative crossroads over the last thirty years. That's been one of the greatest pleasures of my life. It's been a collective effort
and adventure and this award belongs to all the people who have been involved in it and it's an adventure that has unfolded and continues to unfold in both historical and generational time. Jessie
Bernard, whom I loved, was in her 70s when 2nd wave feminism emerged. She wrote about it as her fourth revolution. She was an inspiration as a critical scholar, mentor and activist and now that I just
turned 60 I am especially inspired that she had a 4th revolution in her 70s and I look forward to the same. There's still much transformation to be done. I take great heart for the fact that a next
generation of critical scholars and teachers is firmly in place. Thank you. [ Applause ] NANCY DENTON: The third award is the Dubois-Johnson Frazier Award. It honors the intellectual traditions of
these three giant black scholars. The award is given for either a lifetime of research teaching and service to the community or to an academic institution. This year we are giving the award to someone
with a lifetime of research teaching and service. So please welcome Tukufu Zuberi who will present the award. [ Applause ] TUKUFU ZUBERI: It is with extreme pride and joy that I deliver this award on
behalf of the committee. Professor Walter R. Allen's research, teaching and service to the wider discipline and broader community has been outstanding. He has made several important research
contributions in the fields of the African American family, higher education and the demography of race. He has served the American Sociological Association in a number of important capacities
including the executive committee. He has served as the President of the Association of Black Sociologists. In the tradition of W.E.B. DuBois, Charles S. Johnson and E. Franklin Frazier, Professor
Allen has also recruited a large number of students that he has introduced to the life of critical scholarship. Over the years Professor Allen has co-authored many publications with his students and
several of them are current members of the American Sociological Association and probably in attendance here today. Professor Allen's research has continued to make numerous contributions to the
discipline of sociology while at the same time serving as the basis of this effort to create a more just society. Notable among his numerous contributions on the national scene has been his service of
an expert witness in several important court cases. For example, he has served as an expert witness in Castaneda versus Board of Regents, Grutter versus Bollinger at University of Michigan, the U.S.
and Knight versus Alabama just to name a few of the higher education cases that Professor Allen has served as a witness. His service has also been in the form of serving on boards and working in
numerous communities organizations and as an informed voice on important issues of the day. This year's recipient is honored for his research, teaching and service to the community in the tradition of
the distinguished sociologist W.E.B. Dubois, Charles S. Johnson and E. Franklin Frazier. Professor Allen's career continues to be consistent with the tradition of these outstanding scholars and
educators. This year's DuBois-Johnson Frazier award recipient is honored for his sterling scholarship, exemplary mentoring and efforts to create a more just society. Will you please join me, and it is
my great pleasure to announce the recipient of this year's DuBois-Johnson Frazier award, Professor Walter R. Allen. [ Applause ] WALTER R. ALLEN: Thank you very much. I probably should sit down
because everything is [Inaudible] I appreciate warm reception. Sociology teaches us that all human accomplishment is the result of supportive, collaborative relationships with others and accepting
this honor I acknowledge that simple, profound fact. Time does not allow me to publicly acknowledge the many gifts of kindness, support and encouragement. You know who you are and please recognize how
much I appreciate. I owe all my career and life accomplishments to the remarkable circle of family, friends, teachers, colleagues and students who have surrounded, nurtured, guided and energized me
with their caring embrace. I have been truly blessed. It's interesting that my formal apprenticeship as a professional sociologist began 33 years ago in this city when I entered the University of
Chicago. I was fortunate to join an extraordinary group of students and formed professional relationships that have continued with me through today. I was mentored, and exceptionally well by Edgar G.
Epps, Donald Bogue and others. [Inaudible] was my first position and again there I found a wonderful set of colleagues and just incredible students who helped me grow as a person and as a scholar.
Michigan was next on the list. My mother accused me of not being able to keep a job [Laughter] but Michigan was my third position and again the move enhanced me as a scholar and as a person. That
position at the Center for African and African-American studies joined with the Department of Sociology was a phenomenal moment in the history of that center. I mean, there were scholars there like
Alan D. Morris, Ali Mazrui, Harold Cruse, Anisha Hani, Phil Bowman, Michael Dawson and three eventual McArthur Genius Grant winners, Thomas Holt, Barbara Fields, and Vonnie McCoy, now you talk about a
dream team. I was privileged to work there as well with a great and very bright set of graduate students. I then moved on to UCLA where I have again been fortunate to experience opportunities for
growth and development. I feel my time ticking away, so I'd better try and wrap it up here. Suffice it to say that I've had wonderful support from colleagues over this career. I've been served as much
by the student's as I've served them. And all of that has just melded to create just such a wonderful life's adventure and to engage me in work that I loved working with people that I feel very
strongly about and closely attached to. Finally I will just simply say that this award renews my commitment to the principles of standards reflected in the works of early block scholar activists like
DuBois, like Johnson, like Frazier, like Anna Julia Cooper. Each communicated the importance of a lived sociology that engaged the world with the goal of improving the human condition. These pioneers
along with other African Americans and other people of color, progressive thinkers and activists paid exorbitant costs in the perseverance, in the name of serving this cause of creating a sociology
that truly matters in the lives of people. I feel obligated by their sacrifices to engage in sociological practice and a practice that puts in the role of a teacher of undergraduate students, a
researcher, an expert witness, social policy advisor who in all efforts tries to contribute to the eradication of racial, ethnic, gender class, citizenship and other barriers to full anticipation of
society. I accept this award with extreme humility and gratitude. I hear in the honor that you are bestowing upon me today the admonition that I strive to do more and that I strive to do better in the
years ahead. You have my fervent promise that I will do so. Thank you so much for the honor. [ Applause ] NANCY DENTON: Our fourth award this evening is the award for the distinguished career-- excuse
me for the practice of sociology. This award honors outstanding contributions to sociological practice, things that have elevated a professional status or public image in the field as a whole. Please
welcome Greg Squires who will make the presentation of this award. [ Applause ] GREG SQUIRES: I have to admit that our committee spent some time trying to define what the price of sociology is and
although I don't know if we ever came to a unanimous consensus, we did all agree that clearly by any definition Lloyd Rogler was a most worthy candidate for this award. Dr. Rogler's research and
service activities have been dragged into addressing and advancing the mental health concerns of our citizenry, particularly immigrants and most particularly Hispanics residing in distressed urban
communities. His interdisciplinary work has drawn from and contributed to pioneering research in sociology, psychiatry and psychology; for more than 40 years he has served and contributed to the
practice of sociology as a teacher, researcher, and valued public servant. Dr. Rogler began his professional work in impoverished neighborhoods in San Juan, Puerto Rico and was then selected to fill
the Albert Schweitzer chair at Fordham University. Some of you have program material indicating that he is at Rutgers, and he has asked me to convey both his great respect for Rutgers as an
institution, but to also let you know that he is, indeed, still working at Fordham. At Fordham he founded the Hispanic research center, which became a vehicle for understanding the mental health
problems of the Hispanics and affecting public policy on their behalf. In light of the under-representation of Hispanics in sociology and relative social sciences, he worked with Fordham University's
department of sociology/anthropology to establish a pre-doctoral research training program for Hispanic students interested in developing a research career in mental health. Dr. Rogler has published
eight books, over seventy journal articles and book chapters, many of which have been reprinted in a variety of collections. He has served on the Common Wealth of Puerto Rico Commission of Mental
Health, New York City Mayor's Commission for Science and Technology, the NIMH National Advisory Mental Health Council, the Behavioral Science Research Review Committee, the American Sociological
Association's Minority Fellowship Program, the Social Science Research Council's Committee on Grants to Minority Scholars, and many other committees and public and university associations. He has been
honored by many organizations including the National Coalition of Hispanic Mental Health and Human Service Organizations, The New York Society of Clinical Psychologists and John Jay College of
Criminal Justice and again many others. As a teacher, researcher and public servant Lloyd Rogler personifies the distinguished practice of sociology by any definition. His decades of outstanding
service make him the most worthy recipient of the American Sociological Association's distinguished career award of the practice of sociology. I'm happy to introduce you to Lloyd Rogler. [ Applause ]
LLOYD ROGLER: Thank you very much. If I were to thank all of the persons who are responsible for my being here, it would take much more than the two minutes I have been allotted. I've been warned
about that and perhaps that's because as you grow older you lose your certain facility for termination and I would to like to keep within the bounds of those two minutes. But thanks of all of you who
have helped me out, and there's one person that I would like to thank. But to put that person in context, let me tell you that many, many years ago, here in Chicago at a meeting of the American
Sociological Association I presented a paper and it was one of the typical kinds of papers of young professors who want to make some contribution to a scientific sociology. And at that time, we were
very concerned with all of the methodological restrictions and impositions that ought to be mentioned from sampling designs to psychometrics and measurement programs and so on, an I thought what I had
delivered what was from my viewpoint a scientific paper. After I presented that paper this elderly gentleman in the audience, a tall, white-haired gentleman stood up and he said, well so much for an
exercise in methodology, now what has our speaker said. And with that he began to elaborate some of the ideas that I had been trying to present but really did not get around too because of these
serious methodological preoccupations. He elaborated the idea, developed them, took them into further context and then he sat down. My sins were sins of mostly, I think of a mission rather than
commission. And afterwards one of my graduate students said, "Gee that elderly gentleman is really very, very sharp Lloyd, did you hear him well?" And I said, "Yes I certainly did, that was my
father." [Laughter] That was my father, Charles Rogler, Charles Rogler was a sociologist and Charles Rogler would have found this occasion indeed a very enjoyable one because he in many respects for
his whole lifetime he practiced sociology. He gave many lectures, and he didn't need a classroom in order to give a lecture. He would lecture in the morning at breakfast, at noon, he would lecture
incessantly on car trips [Laughter] and sociology I must say that by the time I started college, I was very familiar with the writings of Emile Durkheim and of course the Chicago School of Sociology.
I would like to thank him very much although he has been deceased for a number of years. And thank you very much. [ Applause ] NANCY DENTON: Our fifth award is for the distinguished contributions to
teaching award. This award is one of the more important awards because it is how we perpetrate ourselves and how we propagate ourselves and get the discipline to keep going. Please welcome Jean
Ballentine who is going to present the award. [ Applause ] JEAN BALLENTINE: One of the criteria for the distinguished contributions to teaching award is that that person or group selected make
contributions outside their home institution and their local students. John Macionis is a recipient who has helped define the basic core knowledge for students and faculty from around the world. He
has created innovative technologies for use in and out of the classroom and he has stimulated global thinking and approaches to sociology. For more than twenty years John Macionis has been a leader in
introducing students to sociology and developing and sharing technology related to teaching and in reflecting in writing on the discipline. John is best known for his textbooks that introduce students
to sociology, to the world and to the meaning of college life at Kenyon College Anbieten. His introductory text, Introduction to Sociology was first published in 1987. Within two years it became the
best selling introductory text in the world. The book has found its 8th edition and remains the most widely used introductory text. Sociology the Basics was first published in 1992 and is now in its
5th edition. These texts have impacted the world. There are Canadian versions, in fact the top seller in Canada, and working with the British sociologist, Sociology a Global Introduction was written
and is widely used in English-speaking countries in Europe, the Caribbean and Australia. His texts have also been published in other languages, Hebrew, Spanish and he has also written text in urban
sociology and last year in social problems. And he is constantly updating his text along with the help of his wife, Amy and along with his competitive sailing skills, which he also tends to update
periodically, just before he came here as a matter of fact. John has been a leader in developing and integrating teaching technologies. His books have often led the field in technological development.
They offer the first laser disc for faculty, the first CD-Rom for students, highly developed internet web sites for both faculty and students, add to this his high-tech within the classroom and with
text books, his jam sessions above his garage with friends and his guitar. He has been a leader in developing Power Point presentations for instructors and text book coordinated overheads and recently
he has added blackboard and web CT capabilities that instructors can use for on-line in their courses. Please do not try to remove John's electronic toys. John's personal and professional interests in
the global world have been incorporated into his teaching career and in his writings. He has participated in semester at sea programs and traveled in more than 50 countries. His text include both
photographs of these experiences and excerpts from his personal travels bring a global perspective to all he does. He has effectively used sociological global maps. His text was one of the first to
include chapters from global stratification and the global environment. John still teaches introductory sociology and has taught at all types of institutions from two-year colleges to universities.
The effort of all of us to involve our students in sociology have been enhanced by John's text books, his articles in teaching sociology, his presentations that he makes on various college campuses,
his enthusiasm for teaching of sociology and the committee felt that this award was richly deserved. I have to say that John was told that he did not have time to present and for a real teacher, this
is a very difficult problem. So, I don't know if he's going to have anything to say, but he was told not to. And you ever want to greet John in the hallway, just look for the guy with bow tie. John. [
Applause ] JOHN MACIONIS: I think if the study of sociology teaches us anything, it's that life doesn't go quite as you've predicted. And I was thinking as I was watching such an impressive array of
people about my own getting into the field of sociology, which to be honest with you, began shortly after I was kicked out of the Engineering school at Cornell University for probably the lowest grade
point average that they had a decade or so. But I stumbled into an introductory sociology course the following semester and I was, I guess I would have to say I was transformed by it. It just found
something in our discipline that engaged me in a way nothing else I had ever studied, well that's for sure [Laughter] that I had-- and it has become my life's work. I am very grateful to have this
opportunity to accept something that I feel like-- I'm not worthy of something like this, but I appreciate it very much. I want to thank my wife, Amy Macionis, who has been very much a part of all
these many dozens of additions of books that we've done together over many years. I'd to thank Christopher John and Nancy Roberts from Prentice Hall. Much of what Jean describes is of course a team
effort and they are people who have been tireless in their pursuit of excellence and I am very grateful to them. I am also very grateful to all the students I have had over 25 years of teaching now at
Kenyon College. We learn the same way that parents learn so much from their children. I think all of us learn much more than we realize from our students and I'm grateful to have had some of the very
best students in my classes, I think 4 or 5 of whom are here in this room today. And finally I'd like to accept this award on behalf of all the people who write text books for our field, many of them
who get far less attention, most of whom I suppose then I do and far less attention than these women and men deserve considering that what they are producing really is the backbone of our efforts as
teachers. Thank you all very much. [ Applause ] NANCY DENTON: Our sixth award is the distinguished scholarly publication award given annually for a single book or autograph published in the three
preceding calendar years. The winner of this award gives us a Rogin lecture at a meeting of a regional or state sociological association. Please welcome Katarine Donato who is going to present this
award. [ Applause ] KATARINE DONATO: Thank you. Let me see if I can adjust this here. This year's winner is the book Legacies: the Story of the Immigrants Second Generation published by the University
of California Press and the Russell Sage Foundation. And please not that Russell Sage was inadvertently omitted from the award brochure. Using various data sources this book illustrates the lives of
contemporary immigrants and how they link the larger social processes that together comprise the immigrant experience in the United States. It is an engaging piece of scholarship that makes clear the
long lasting impact of the diverse experiences of today's second generation immigrants for social scientists and for policy makers alike. Its authors are two men who have been collaborating on this
topic for years. As a result, of the many hours, days, weeks, months and years they have produced a truly comprehensive model of immigrant incorporation in this book. On behalf of last year's
committee Felix Barado, David Gruskey, Craig Jenkins, Ava Moraska, George Ritzer, Tom Shapiro, John Stevens, John Walton and myself I would like to present this year's award-- this year's ASA
Distinguished Publication Award to Alejandro Portes and Ruben G. Rumbaut. [ Applause ] ALEJANDRO PORTES: We each have one minute. Three years ago, perhaps some of you may remember, in this same city ,
I use the location of the ASA presidential address to try to develop the topic of sociology as the analysis of the unexpected and the significant impact of unexpected consequences of social policy.
There is no phenomenon or there are few that show or display more this pattern of unexpected effects, surprising consequences of well-intention policies than this area of immigration. The recent book
by our colleague Doug Massey, a fine book makes this point quite compellingly. For 12 years Ruben and I have been working hard trying to unravel and discover the very complexities and the many
unexpected effects that come out in the effort of young men and women of foreign heritage to grow up American. We thank the selection committee very much for recognizing this effort, but I believe
there is still-- we have a taken a stab at this, but there is still a lot to be done. This is a growing population and where it concentrates is going to mark the decisively the future of this society.
I'd like to conclude my minute by first thanking my spouse, Patricia Fernandez Kelly not only for conjugal support, which is generally the case, but also for actually conducting many of the interviews
that formed the core of the opinions in this book. So this is real conjugal support. I also would like to thank my three children, not because they contributed anything to the project, but because
their trials of tribulations of watching them grow up as second generation children in this country were quite an inspiration and motivation to undertake this project. Thank you very much. [ Applause
] RUBEN G. RUMBAUT: And let me add my minute, that we are greatly honored and deeply grateful to the not only the committee but the ASA for this recognition. Legacies is a collective effort. The fruit
of a research project still ongoing to which many people have contributed for more than a decade. From our research staff on both coasts of the United States to as Alejandro mentioned, our families,
to our publishers at the University of California Press and the Russell Sage Foundation and certainly to the thousands of immigrant families who stories we have been following over the years. It also
the fruit of a collaboration which stretches back even further to the mid 1980s when Alejandro and I began work on the American. You're recognition is not only a validation of that collective and
collaborative effort but also one which elevates the sociological study of the incorporation and coming of age of children of immigrants who are, after all, the most consequential legacies of this new
year of mass immigration. Finally, I must add that our book as Alejandro may have implied is dedicated to our own legacies, three of whom are today who after all are the ones who allow us to claim
that we not only study children of immigrants, we make them. And that is the ultimate in participant observation [Laughter]. To earn the appreciation of ones peers and honest critics when you're doing
what you love to do is truly both humbling and the epitome of success. Thank you very much. [ Applause ] NANCY DENTON: The seventh award we are presenting this evening is for the career of
distinguished scholarship. This award honors a scholar who has shown outstanding commitment to the profession of Sociology and whose cumulative work has contributed in important ways to the
advancement of the discipline. Please welcome Annemette Sorensen who will present the award this year. [ Applause ] ANNEMETTE SORENSEN: It's a great pleasure and honor to present this award to Gary
Lensky who in more than 50 years of ground-breaking interdisciplinary scholarship, Gary Lensky has developed social theories that concrete research. He has made lasting contributions to the sociology
of religion, social stratification, the development of evolutional social series and competitive sociology. Seminar work such as religious factor and power and privilege remain influential today. The
most influential may be human societies, which introduces his evolutionary social series emphasizing the impact of technology and the environment on social organization and social change. Now in its
eighth edition this book has taught generations of college students to see their own society from a new and intellectually challenging perspective by also inspiring these sociologists in their own
research. Gary Lensky is truly deserving of this great honor. [ Applause ] GERHARD E. LENSKI: Thank you. What an absolutely kind introduction. On occasions like this you look around for good lines
that you can borrow from someone else. Victor Borga has always been one of my favorite scholars. And I remember he used to often conclude his performances by saying like this, "I want to thank my
parents for making this evening possible and I want to thank my children for making this evening necessary." And I feel somewhat the same way. You also on an occasion like this find yourself looking
back over a lot of years. On of things that occurred to me is I thought back over the years since I got into sociology was a student evaluation that I got one of the very first semesters that I
taught. It was a pretty critical evaluation. The student tore me up one side and down the other. And then he wound up though with the hopeful conclusion. He said, "One can only hope that professors
like wine, improve with age." [Laughter] I've at least aged [Laughter] and I've also recently found myself thinking about a poem by Robert Browning that some of you may have had in your English
literature courses many, many, many years ago. Rabbi Ben Ezra did any of you ever hear that poem? It starts with the lines grow old along with me, the best is yet to be, the last of which the first
was made. For years I thought that was the sheerest nonsense that I had ever heard. But now on an occasion like this I begin to see the wisdom of Robert Browning. So I thank you for the honor and it's
been very nice all of the years to have been paid for doing what I've enjoyed. So thank you. [ Applause ] NANCY DENTON: Normally we would now move directly to the presidential address, which are all
here to hear. However, this has been a very special year for the association and we are going to take just a couple of minutes now to say thank you to Felice Levine who has moved to another job and we
want her to come up so we can say goodbye to her and say thank you to her in person. Felice. [ Applause ] You've got a standing ovation. [ Applause ] On behalf of all the Presidents of the
association, I am privileged to present to her a lifetime membership in the American Sociological Association. [ Applause ] FELICE LEVINE: Well I will continue to pay my dues and one of the things
I've learned when you're an executive officer is never stand between yourself and one of your best Presidents and her presidential address. Thank you all, this is just has been a labor of love and
something I will remain committed to for my lifetime. [ Applause ] ELIJAH ANDERSON: Congratulations to all the winners. Barbara is a Professor of Sociology at the University of Washington to which she
just returned after several years at Harvard and before that half of the big ten universities. Among her honors and awards are the Cheryl Miller's S.W.S. lectureship and later the S.W.S mentorship
award. She has received the Section on Sex and Genders award for outstanding scholarship. She's been a fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in Behavioral Sciences and is a fellow of the American
Academy of Arts and Sciences. Her research focuses on how workers sex, race and ethnicity affect their work opportunities. She has worked on an expert witness- worked as an expert witness in
discrimination cases. She has served on several ASA committees and she's the written the ASA's best seller, The Realities of Discrimination and was ASA vice-president in 1990-1991. The title of her
talk today is: How Did the Poison Get in Mr. Bartlett's Stomach - Motives and Mechanisms Explaining Equality. [ Applause ] BARBARA F. RESKIN: Thank you very much. It's a thrill to be here. These
meetings are so wonderful. I'm so excited. I feel like we've had wonderful awards. I've had a wonderful program committee. I've got to these spectacular sessions and I've had time to do it. I hope
everyone is having a great time. And I'm now going to talk at you for 35 minutes but I'm going to start with an interesting story. In one of Britain's most celebrated 19th century murder trials
Adelaide Bartlett was tried for killing her husband, a wealthy business man. The autopsy found Chloroform his stomach. Her lover testified he bought the Chloroform at her request. Thus the evidence
showed both motive a lover and a fact, death by Chloroform. But the prosecution couldn't show how the Chloroform not into Bartlett's stomach. It's almost impossible to swallow it voluntarily. It
tastes so bad that it causes vomiting. And if it had been poured down Bartlett's throat while he was unconscious some of it would have gotten into his lungs, and there wasn't any in his lungs. Since
there was no evidence on how the defendant murdered her husband, the jury acquitted her. And in a post-trial public statement through James Paget who had been the medical expert for Bartlett's defense
proclaimed, "In the interest of science, now that it' over, she should tell us how she did it." [Laughter] The jury's verdict and Paget's public comment are relevant for sociological research on
stratification. Oops, I've gotta do this Power Point. This is the first time I've done it, and I was going to show you-- hah, it works. [Laughter] This is the title, but now it's too late. We'll
just-- I've now established I can do so I feel less anxious. Okay, the jury's verdict and Paget's public comment are relevant for sociological research on stratification. Although some of the best
minds of sociology have been studying ascriptive inequality for the last-- in employment for the last 30 years, we've made little progress in explaining it. Bartlett's jurors and Sir Paget's plea can
teach us an important lesson. Motive doesn't prove anything. It's the mechanisms we need to figure out. Until more sociologists turn to the mechanisms that cause the social and economic fates of
ascriptively defined groups, to vary so widely we will have neither genuine explanation nor will be able to communicate, contribute productively to social policy. To make this case, I want to first
contrast motive based and mechanism based approaches to inequality in the work place, which will be my focus today. Then I'll discuss organizational-- oh did I do that? See I don't trust these things.
Then I will, woops, then I'll discuss organizational and societal level mechanisms that are second levels that describe inequality. I am going to criticize mainstream research and labor market
stratification. So, please bear in mind during this talk, that I drew these conclusions from reflecting critically on my own work over the past year. At the same time I'm going to refer to the actors
who make allocation decisions as allocators. Okay, now you get to see this, hah. Motives are the goals that people bring-- that people hope an action will achieve. Motives are mental states, and as
such they cannot be known. Indeed some cognitive psychologists suggest that we do not accurately know our own motives even though we can provide them when asked. Nonetheless, most sociological
theories of stratification assign a causal role to motives. Functional theory currently out of favor assumed that equality was necessary to motivate workers to fill positions that were important to
motivate society. Human capital theory assumes that inequalities stems from the investment decisions, motivated decisions workers make. And so, for example, attribute sex inequality to woman's
hypothetically greater orientation to their families are motives and men to their careers. Conflict theory, which underlies many explanations of ascriptive inequality emphasizes the motives of
dominant group members. For example in a classic essay Bloomer argued, I'm quoting, "One element that always seems to be present in race prejudice is that dominant groups fear that the subordinate
racial group harbors designs on its prerogatives." Similarly a conflict perspective underlies the hypothesis that whites are threatened by disproportionate black labor markets. And this hypothesis has
given rise to dozens of studies examining the effect of race composition on black-white inequality, usually earnings inequality. None of these has examined the mechanisms involved, so we have
hypothesis about motives, but we are not, we don't talk about the mechanisms. Much research on inequality at work explicitly assumes motive-based causal models. And that's what I've got in the--
whatever you all it-- slide. Plus the logic, which is especially common in quantitative research but not unique to it, runs like this. Allocators motives-- in case this isn't visible to everyone in
the room lead to something, some kind of action, something allocators do, which then leads to ascriptively linked inequality. Note first that we do not observe the theoretical causal variable, the
motives of allocators, we infer it. Second, we articulate and even more rarely observe the mechanisms that produce any observed inequality. Third, implicitly if not explicitly we seek evidence
regarding the impact of motive, inferred motive, in some unexplained difference in outcomes across ascriptively described groups. Quantitative analysts often try to statistically explain a regression
coefficient for described by characteristic by other variables. I guess I should take this away, you're supposed to save me, you're supposed to look at me-- and I actually, it seems unfair to break
the rule, although that's my temptation to leave that figure up there the whole time. Okay, quantitative analysts try to statistically "explain", and I've got explain in quotes, a regression
coefficient for some described characteristics like race, ethnicity, immigrant status. If the coefficient remains significant, despite controls for other variables we attribute it to some measured
mental state on the part of the allocator, such as bias or threat. Norris said what we're doing is treating residual inequality as both evidence of an unobserved motive and a proxy for some unspecific
causal mechanism. If researchers can get the partial correlation, partial coefficient for described characteristic to drop below significant, they often conclude that the despairing outcomes did not
stay out from dominant group-holding so they are exonerated, but rather from some subordinate group's failure to measure up to the dominant group. For example, when age and education completely
explain the sex difference in starting pay at a high-tech firm, Peterson in his colleagues concluded that there was no pay discrimination. I think the article says it five times. I doubt that if you
plugged people's sex, age and education into a regression equation of set salaries, men and women appear to have been concentrated in different jobs. So what more-- what mechanisms did this firm
employ to prevent sex inequality and why didn't they work for race inequality as well. Our models of employment and inequality must include mechanisms the employers use if we want to explain why firms
vary in degrees of inequality. Without including mechanisms, stratification researchers will continue to be mired in a debate that we've been mired in for 20 years about processes that we cannot
observe. Much stratification research shows impressive technical sophistication and some of it clearly rigged, but it brings us no closer to understanding the mechanisms that we care about, the
mechanisms that generate varying levels of inequality. Focusing on motives reinforces another obstacle to explanation, the balkanization of inequality research. By balkanization I'm referring to
separate specialties for different ascribed characteristics. It's interesting by the way that ASA has no section on stratification, but six sections on different ascribed bases of inequality. These
bases of specific approaches often assume that different motives underlie different types of stratification. For example sex inequality at work is theoretically-- and I've been a big offender in all
this, so I've-- in chastising the discipline in my colleagues, I've chastised first and foremost myself. So sex inequality in work is theoretically motivated in some, including myself, by men's desire
to maintain a privileged status at home or at work or by employers stereotypes or whatever or by women's orientation to their families. Inequality based on sexual orientation theoretically stems from
a different motive, employers homophobia. It's self-hypothetically a product of heterosexual's insecurity regarding their own sexuality. Of my motive-based theory to explain race and inequality are
antipathy or fear by employers to believe that people of color will somehow scare away the customers or theories that minorities lack high or soft skill. These assumptions of different motives
depending on the basis of inequality mean that scholars working in different specialties put variable in their analyses. But if blacks hypothesize lack of soft skills, and I guess I have to say I
don't really like that explanation, explains white advantage in jobs. If soft skills matter why are we including them in analyses of male-female job inequality? If AFQT scores, which is a military
intelligence test matters so much for the black-white pay gap, why not for pay differences across other ascriptive groups? Because we've constructed different stories to account for these different
manifestations of ascribed inequality and the stories speculate that there are different motives. We need to recognize what are models necessarily assume when we use individual level data. Most of
them assume that what's going on, and I'm saying this in a technical sense, when we use individual level data and we've got models with a bunch of human capital characteristics and then a described
characteristic and then maybe firm size or region, we are assuming that that's what employers are using in making their own employment decisions as well. We're assuming that that's somehow causes in
some metaphysical way unequal opportunities and outcomes in the work place. I really don't believe that that's how employers make decisions. And I don't think anyone in this room believes that's the
case. I think we're out of touch with what we study because we've locked ourselves in. Many of us, but not all of us use this way of thinking until we start studying the mechanisms that convert
ascribed characteristics into advantages for some groups and disadvantages for other groups we're not going to be able to talk and understand and tell students and tell the policy committee what's
going on. Now in talking about the problems of balkanization, I'm not saying that the same mechanisms contribute in the same way to the same levels of inequality across all of ascriptively defined
social minorities. There are clear differences in the face of people depending on their ascriptive characteristics. But what I am saying is that as long as researchers specialize in a single form of
inequality we can't know whether or how mechanisms might differ across forms of inequality. In sum, the first part of my argument is that a lot of quantitative research on inequality and research has
been about motives. And I say this is not a fruitful strategy to explain inequality especially if we hope to address social policy. If allocator's motives call this inequality, we either have to throw
up our hands and despair the sad inevitability of it all or we've got proposed policies to change what's in allocator's heads. So we get mandatory diversity training, which doesn't make any difference
and the outcomes remain unequal. Rather than throwing in the towel, let's redirect our efforts to mechanisms. Mechanisms are the means through which effects come about. In stratification language
mechanisms are allocative processes. Segregation exemplifies an allocation mechanism because separating people, putting them in different schools, in different neighborhoods, in different places is
the precursor for treating them differently. But by and large I wan to suggest that mechanisms are specific practices, this means the general phenomenon such as social closure or devaluation or
oppression or exclusion are not mechanisms. They may be accurate generalizations of what's going on, descriptions of inequality but they don't explain. They're not mechanisms. They don't tell us how
the chloroform got into Mr. Bartlett's stomach. Note to that as causal agents, mechanisms may be present or absent, weak or strong, so later when I talk about accountability as one of the mechanisms,
I mean for example that variation and accountability is associated with more or less ascriptive inequality. Mechanisms can operate at the inter-psychic, inter-personal, organizational or societal. At
the intra-psychic level they include automatic cognitive errors, things we're not even aware of, propensities, conscious and unconscious propensities of stereotyping as well as expectations about how
this will behave given their status group membership. At the interpersonal level mechanisms include micro-interactional processes. For instance we found that white interviewers make less contact with
non-white candidates then they make with white job candidates and it also turns out to be the case of the amount of eye contact you make with the person being interviewed offends, how well that
person-- the interviewee does during the interview process. How many times they make grammar mistakes, they perform in general. That's a micro-interpersonal mechanism that produces ascriptive
inequality. Mary Waters' research, her interviews with managers and workers at a New York food service facility illustrates both motive and mechanism based explanations for African Americans under
representation among a largely Afro-Caribbean work force. The mangers offered, when she asked, offered motive-based explanations that African Americans were lazy, didn't want jobs and didn't apply for
them. From this we might infer some motives about these employers and we probably would have some motives we inferred, but they wouldn't tell us what was going on. In fact, in this food service
facility no one could get past the security guard to apply for any job. So the idea that people didn't apply for jobs was a fabrication. It turned out the way the company hired workers was exclusively
through the personal networks of their current workers. And given Afro-Caribbeans predominance during that practice perpetuated their continued predominance in the work place. In other words there was
this clear mechanism and that mechanism produced the outcome that Waters observed in this work place. Let's contrast, a mechanism sited explanation was a motive sited explanation and I've got there on
the far left several things that might influence the organizational mechanisms that I have argued produce work place inequality. At the top on the left are things that get in people's heads,
allocators heads. In the middle are organizational demography, organizational culture and then at the bottom are societal kinds of factors. I've just got one example there. Here the model specifies
and observes the causal variable, what's in the middle, organization practices or organization mechanisms whatever that allocation mechanism might be. This could be a rule. It could be a personnel
practice. It could be the way is designed. For example, whether or not the employer fills jobs through networks, personal networks is an important mechanism, one that we've discovered. I think we were
the last to know this, so that networks were discovered and in fact we know a lot now about how that works. It's not hard to identify possible mechanisms that produce work place inequality.
Organizational research, workplace ethnographies, cognitive psychology, law suits all point to possibilities. Indeed, Nelson and Bridges case studies of four law suits charging sex discrimination is
chuck full of examples of mechanisms that produced in these four organizations on equal pay. As I mentioned, this model doesn't ignore the fact that other things influence mechanisms. So I'm not
saying that mehanisms are the initial cause. It does talk about these factors like out-group antipathy and group favoritism, motives, allocators of desire, perhaps to minimize effort, there's some
argument for that as well as organizational features like culture, so, allocators prejudices, allocators antipathies, allocators in group favoritism, and their motives do matter, but only when they
have the discretion to act on them. For this reason the degree of discretion allocators have in distributing work place opportunities is an important mechanism influencing an ascriptive equality of
work. There is lot of experimental evidence on this, on the importance of discretion. Consider an experiment in where subjects had to distribute an award between two people on one or two bases, either
based equally in other words they distribute the reward equally or they distribute the reward based on the two peoples respective task performance. One of the people, the people they were observing
was in the same in-group as the subject. And these were in-groups that were arbitrarily assigned by the experimenter at the beginning of the study. And the other person, who was being observed as a
pair, was in this arbitrarily created out-group. Well guess what happened, when the out-group person did better, what happened was the subjects tended to distribute the rewards between the performers
equally. When the in-group member did better the subjects tended to base the rewards on performance. Given substantial evidence of this type it seems to me that one mechanism is worth paying attention
to is mechanisms within the work place that either permit or check allocators' discretion. Employers can suppress the effects of discretion in a variety of ways. One of my favorite examples is a blind
assessment. In a dramatic example, a persuasive study by two economists looked at what happened across major symphony orchestras in the United States whether or not they used blind auditions. And the
extent to which they used blind auditions the higher proportion of women were hired by symphony orchestras and it was a very strong sophisticated time series study that established decisively that
using blind auditions reduced ascriptive inequality in this particular outcome. Unfortunately blind evaluations aren't an option in most work place outcomes because basically most positions involve
people we already know. They involve each other, people that we work with and whose ascriptive characters are known to evaluators, which we stress to concrete decisions, decisions regarding say
promotions or layoffs or raises. The formalization of warlord structures can hold discretions in check. Allocators tend to use discretion when official criteria are vague and hard to operationalize. I
was involved in a case once, which one of the evaluation criteria was works well as a team member, but that was it. There was no other articulation of what that meant. That's a hard to operationalize
criteria. It's also the case that discretion tends to occur when there are apparently a lot of equally qualified candidates. For decisions to be-- to check discretion there's got to be a clear
statement of the criteria and requirements, some kind of organizational requirements may be used consistently. And it's because that does work, because consistent clear requirements do make a
difference because we see that settlements in big class action cases, for example a recent case against U. S. Air often require employers to implement mechanisms that insure inconsistent evaluation.
Insuring that allocators' supervisors can detect bias decision making should also help control ascriptive effects and discretion. As Dave Crosby's experimental research showed pair-wise comparisons
can blind us to systematic unequal treatment. Crosby constructed a set of resumes in which men's and women's qualifications on average were identical. So the averages were the same. But on each resume
men's pay was higher than women's pay. When subjects compared any single female-male pair, they discerned no discrimination because they could always fund something that justified men's higher pay,
something in his resume. If they didn't expect to find it, they didn't find it. Only when saw the data for the entire pool was it clear to them that half the time the women were underpaid. Without
some kind of oversight mechanism like this it lets us see the big picture and it's easy for us not to spot the fact that ascriptive inequality emerges. A race-- a real race discrimination case against
a bank illustrated exactly this point. It was case charging race discrimination and promotions. A set of people who had been passed over who were African American and the bank explained on a
one-to-one basis. One black man wasn't promoted because the white candidate had more experience even though the black had more education. In justifying another decision the bank claimed that the black
had more experience but it picked the white because he had more education, just the reverse rationale. In another instance when the black candidate was both more educated and more experienced, the
bank claimed that they picked the white in this case because he simply "more qualified." Pre-specified criteria, mechanisms to insure the application and showing the decision makers the aggregate
patterns so they can see what's going on would have presented these discriminatory outcomes. The transparency of the decision making process is another mechanism that affects discretion and
allocation. The greater the secrecy, you know this no surprise to us, the greater the secrecy the more likely ascription will enter the allocation process. So in a study where the subjects thought
they were making recommendations about which TAs to hire, when they had been reassured that the information on the decision making process would be secret, they were much more likely to recommend
candidates of their same sex and race. Finally, accountability-- accountability is an important mechanism in controlling the effects of ascriptive biases. And let me tell you a little bit about the
psychology part of it. What accountability means is that allocators anticipate having to communicate and justify their opinions. In situations in which the most acceptable response to whatever is
above you in the hierarchy is unknown, accountability particularly provides accurate information processing. And when allocators know in advance that they're going to be held accountable for their
judgments before they get any information about the person on whom they're making a decision, it not only reduces bias it actually alters the way that the brain initially encodes the information about
the candidate. Litigators and judges understand the importance of accountability and we can see this again in legal settlements that require better organizational oversight for manager's personnel
decisions. I've been talking for the last couple of minutes about mechanisms that influence of the use of discretion in concrete personnel decision like promotion. Identifying what mechanisms
influence micro-level acts of discretion is a far greater challenge. Micro acts of discretion encompass things like whether or not someone is invited to a meeting, whether your suggestion is ignored
when you make it. How a rule violation is treated, the basis of loss of litigation, to whom health is extended, to whom other co-workers give a hard time, who is simply ignored? The actors may be the
allocators. In this case they may be supervisors, they may be co-workers, they maybe subordinates. Let me give you one example, again from a lawsuit, which are great sources of mechanism because
people have to specify what happened, unlike they don't have to make regression equations. But this is a suit against Kansas City Power and it was a race discrimination case and essentially what went
on were micro acts. The managers made special efforts on behalf of white applications but not black applicants like making further inquiry when the white's applicants didn't meet the minimum
requirements. So you put in your application, it doesn't get sent forward, you're black, well the system was worked it was fair. You're white and then somebody says, "Wait a minute. What happened
here? What was wrong?" and they fix it. Nancy DiTomaso's research on how white's careers play out is a wonderful documentation of the myriad ways of these micro acts of advantage. A micro acts
advantage, white's career. Micro-mechanisms for us pose a particular challenge to equity partly because they have non-random cumulative effects that create difference that can create over time,
differences in performance among groups that were initially similar. So here what I want to focus on is the fact that what's in the middle is kind of the creation. You've got these organizational
mechanisms, especially micro-mechanisms on the far left side and over time micro-allocation that's unfair, that's based on the ascribed characteristics generates difference, difference in performance,
difference in organizational commitment and these differences can culminate in inequality and big outcomes such as layoffs or promotions, which in turn appear to be justified in organizations and in
court. Thus to explain ascritptive inequality we need research on micro-mechanisms as well as organizational level mechanisms. Ethnographies of work, of the workplace such as Jennifer Pearce's and
Elija Anderson's journalistic accounts of experiences of micro-processes in the work place like Ellis Cose's terrific book The Rage of the Privileged Class illustrate both these micro-level ascriptive
acts and their cumulative effects on how people feel about themselves and their jobs. These and other ethnographic studies can provide a foundation for understanding organizational mechanisms that
mediate the impact-- and mediate their impact. Mechanism-based models offer a challenge for those of us who primarily do quantitative research because they include variables that are in the standard
data sets for individuals on which many of us have relied. But individual level data can't address the causal mechanisms that influence any quality at work. Assembling appropriate data isn't easy, but
I could name a dozen or more sociologists who've done it, either on a single firm or buy surveying organizations about their personnel practices. It's just that I'm saying only when we start looking
for mechanisms and collecting data about mechanisms are we going to be able to understand the link between ascriptive characteristics and inequality at work. I'm not done, I'm just going to take a
drink, but I'm sore of on time. Finally I want to turn to mechanisms outside the workplace that affect levels of ascriptive inequality through their effect on workplace practices or workplace
mechanisms. Here the basic model hasn't changed but I want to focus on what's on the far left, extra workplace mechanisms, which somehow influence within the workplace mechanisms which in turn
influence ascriptively linked inequality. So I'm saying if we can't study what's going on the workplace we can study what influences what's going in the workplace, although various forces outside the
firm reflect with infra-mechanisms. I want to emphasize government regulations. Dobbin and Aikman and others have demonstrated that influence on what firms' do-- they're subject to public policy and
their interesting to me and I had to write this talk, so. Discrimination laws and regulations shape the mechanisms that exist in the workplace so that we can think of them as macro-level mechanisms
that influence ascriptive inequality at work. Until the 1960s American employers had a free hand in basing opportunities on personal characteristics and the result was an overwhelming [background
music] segregated work force. Then in 1964 congress passed a civil rights act whose title 7 restricted basing employment decisions on race, national origin, religion and sex. Amendments later barred
discriminating on the basis of pregnancy, age and disability. Congress however designed title 7 and its older sibling the 1963 equal pay act to minimize government intrusion into commerce. So, one
were not expected to have exerted much influence on employer's practices. As Gallanter argued, rule changes by themselves are unlikely to have effect because the system can accommodate considerable
change in the rules without altering everyday practices or redistributing tangible advantages. So the places that look for the effect of legal changes are in the agencies in charge-- charged with
enforcing the law, the EEOC in this case or the federal court charged with interpreting it. Both enforcement practices by regulatory agencies and legal decisions are potentially important macro-level
mechanisms that effect ascriptive inequality. Title 7 authorized the EEOC to investigate complaints and if it found a claim was valid to try to conciliate, but it could not sue recalcitrant employers
or otherwise force them to change their ways. Workers could sue their employers but private lawyers had little incentive to take discrimination cases since the possible financial gains were very
small, all you could get is back pay, basically. And the cases are really hard to win. They have a really low success rate compared to other forms of litigation. The EEOC did make some headway at
reducing blatant race discrimination and importantly it helped the NAACP craft effective legal strategies that the NAACP could then take to court. But these were basically a drop in the bucket given
the amount of ascriptive inequality at work. So in 1972 congressional progressives pushed through a second law allowing the EEOC to directly sue employers so you didn't have to do it by either trying
to conciliate or let the victim essentially do it [Background music] creating another potential mechanism to influence defendant's personnel practices. And lawsuits of course are important because
they can potentially change the behavior of lots of people besides the defendant in a lawsuit especially if they are visible and others are aware of them. But as 10s of thousands literally 10s of
thousands of claims piled up at the EEOC over the next 10 years after this new amendment the EEOC filed just one major suit. More recently each year it receives about 80 thousand complaints of
discrimination and it takes a couple of hundred firms to court. And they tend to be easy cases involving small firms like Bertha's Kitty Boutique not getting anyone you ever head of. Once in a while a
private lawyer sues a big firm and then the EEOC signs on after the fact. So if the EEOC does win the financial judgments are small and they are too small to draw the attention of the media. The only
way you can find out about them is by looking at the EEOC web page and I don't even find them there anymore. And so they don't inspire any change you know a tiny employer who got in trouble and maybe
did something differently has to be accountable and that's about the size of it. The EEOC has also been a weak mechanism in changing the behavior of claimant's employers. Nine times of out of ten the
EEOC decides in the favor of the employer and not the claimant. So the primary signal it sends to the business community is they aren't going to get in trouble for whatever practice was challenged.
Although the law permitting the EEOC to sue didn't improve the agency's effectiveness as a mechanism influencing the workplace mechanisms a 1992 law that gave plaintiffs in private law suits the right
to compensatory and punitive damages has been a very effective mechanism. [Background music] The potentially larger awards especially in class action suits when you can get damages have made
discrimination law suits more lucrative to attorneys. And the annual number of private law suits after 1992 tripled from about 7 thousand a year somewhere to like 22 thousand a year. Employers still
win these suits far more often then they lose them, but there has been a handful of huge settlements in class action cases, like against Coca Cola, Ford, Microsoft, CBS and these get the attention of
other large firms. Indeed when Texaco lost or settled a 3 million dollar sex bias suit a couple of years ago, a corporate interest group warned its members that they should all carefully review their
pay policy. It's a perfect example of a mechanism at the enforcement level sending a signal that translates to the employer level, and presumably employers did take actions, although I think Bilby is
going to give up paper in which he says, "Often they just get liability insurance." Although firms almost always settle these class-actions rather than going to trial, the settlements themselves often
require changes in firm level mechanisms. For example as a result of a consent decree to settle a sex discrimination suit against Home Depot, Home Depot revamped its human resource system. It didn't
applications could indicate their qualifications and job preferences. So when mangers posted an opening they immediately got a computerized list of all qualified applicants. It's a way again to
do it because it wanted to. It did it because it was part of the legal consent degree. It developed minimum qualifications for each job. It installed in-store computer stations to which job
minimize discretion. In implementing mechanisms that curtail managers' discretion in job assignments Home Depot not only opened up jobs to women but it turns out the following years they also,
surprisingly but not surprisingly, because they changed their mechanisms employed many more African Americans. The mechanism that they implemented that we do sex inequality also reduced race
inequality. Thus the legal change that encouraged private attorneys to take discrimination suits appears to have been an important mechanism prompting employers to change their personnel practices.
The other macro-level mechanisms I want to talk about are judicial interpretations of laws [Background music] which affect the allocation of laws which affect the allocation mechanisms within the
firms. In 1971 the supreme court ruled that new total employment practices for example requiring a credential that had a disparate adverse effect on members of protected group like having to have a
college degree or pass a test at a certain level were discriminatory unless the employer could show they were job related and consistent with business necessity. This is called the disparate impact
theory of discrimination and it was a powerful mechanism for reducing inequality in the 1970s, especially large firms. It's particularly relevant here because the kinds of neutral practices that
people focused on are the exact kinds of workplace mechanisms that we can be studying. But what the courts giveth the courts can taketh away. And during the 1980s the federal courts chipped away at
the disparate impact doctrine making it increasing hard for plaintiffs to win disparate impact cases. For example two-thirds of employers, this comes from a different survey indicate they don't want
to hire someone with a criminal record. These kinds of policies the policy of not hiring someone with a criminal record have a disparate impact in our society on men, particularly on the minority men.
But the courts have refused to treat such policies as discriminatory even though they have a disparate impact and often can't be justified by business necessity. For example, a court exonerated a
shipping company of discrimination who fired a Mexican-American employee who had worked for them several years satisfactorily when they discovered he had a juvenile arrest. He sued for discrimination
and reflecting a level of arrogance that is only associated with lifetime guaranteed employment, the judge announced that his decision in favor of the firm against the plaintiff is Hispanics don't
wish to be discriminated against because they've been convicted of theft that they should stop stealing [Laughter] A similar case in New York with a disparate impact on minority males has fired anyone
in a methadone treatment program from all jobs in the New York Transit System. That's a supreme court decision. Finally the supreme court all but overruled the disparate impact doctrine in a case
against an Alaskan fishing company, Wards Cove that employed Samoans, Japanese, Chinese, Philippine and Alaskan natives in lower paying seasonal cannery jobs and employed Whites in permanent
well-paying white-collar administrative jobs. It filled these two kinds of jobs from different labor markets recruiting the cannery workers from Alaskan-Indian villages, a predominantly Philippine
union local in Seattle, etc. and recruiting the non-cannery white workers, non-cannery workers most of whom were white through Ol Boy networks, family connections. What's more they wouldn't promote
people from cannery to non-cannery jobs. Ruling in favor of the company Wards Cove the supreme court said that the plaintiffs had to show what specific employment practice had produced this enormous
ethnic-racial disparity and in addition they said that the employer no longer had to show proof that that practice was a business necessity, that all the needed to offer was a possible business
justification which is a very easy thing to do. Congress later reversed the supreme court decision by passing the 1992 civil rights act but the courts have continued to essentially rule in favor of
employers in disparate impact cases. That mechanism is no longer a viable one for people who want a challenge, neutral mechanisms in the work place that fall adversely in certain groups. In
conclusion, the words you've all been waiting for and I've been waiting for longer [Laughter] I have discussed three related issues-- issues related to sociologists to explain ascriptively based
workplace stratification. Most of important is our misplaced reliance-- I'm sorry our misplaced focus on motives instead of specific causal mechanisms. This emphasis is linked however to our reliance
on individual level data that don't let us observe mechanisms because they are collective for individuals. So we end arguing whether ascriptive group differences result from the motives the evil
motives of dominant groups or their supposedly superior attributes. The motives we can only infer and whether they are-- whether those superior attributes actually exist. We can also only speculate.
The motive-based orientation of our discipline has been reinforced by the balkanization that characterizes research on ascriptively based inequality. This parochialism of our research occurs too in
the macro-mechanisms I've discussed. Many laws and regulations target specific groups and exclude others. Blacks cannot sue under the equal pay act of 1963 law for example, but they can sue it turns
out under an 1866 statue permits victims of wage discrimination if they can make their case to recover compensatory damages, which I pointed out is a good way to get an attorney to advocate your case.
Victims of most other types of discrimination age, disability, sex, could not sue for compensatory damages until 1992. All groups can sue public agencies under the equal protection of the
constitution. But the supreme court has viewed classifications based on race as suspect and therefore almost never permissible whereas it's been more tolerant based on classification of other ascribed
characteristics. Ironically this has meant that affirmative action programs should be phrased as a plus factor in order to remedy past discrimination and rarely survive court challenges. What has
happened that it's been turned around, white fireman use the constitutional prohibition of the strict scrutiny of any classification based on race to undermine or eliminate affirmative action
programs. Whereas affirmative action programs that take into account sex to address past discrimination can pass muster. What I'm saying is we all lose from balkanization. Balkanization of legal
remedies has limited the presidential value of decisions and it's reduced the impact of public interest firms that are the ones that have been an important vehicle in challenging this ascriptive
inequality. This balkanization is consistent with [Inaudible] of discrimination in this country. That [Inaudible] narrative is that people discriminate against particular groups, but that [Inaudible]
narrative too rests in motive-based theories that have sent in a lot of different and not very useful directions. This parochialism obscures how our differently based stratification systems differ and
obscures their fundamental similarities. All forms of ascriptively linked inequality is all long-standing relations of inequality within stably ordered hierarchies that exist across spheres. Consider
the workers in the service jobs of this hotel. They differ in their ethnicity, their color, their nativity, their sex and their age. What they have in common is that not-- is a white non-Hispanic,
native-born adult man too often on the omitted category in our regression analogy. They have in common too that they work very hard, read Barbara Erin Wright's Nickel and Dime to find out what it's
like to clean rooms in a hotel. They work for very low pay, less than 9 dollars an hour for workers with years of experience. They have a contract that expires in two weeks and they have the courage
to strike in two weeks if they to for decent pay and benefits. So that's what they have in common, not their race, their color, their ethnicity, their sex, their age, or their nativity. Many of us
study stratification because we want to help make our world , our society a more just one, one in which workers earn a living wage. Regardless of whether we do qualitative or quantitative research, I
believe that we are painstaking in our research and in our teaching. Without criticizing anyone's past decisions about research questions, except my own, I've become convinced that statistical
analyses of the LSY data, the PSID data, the CPS or census data are not going to explain variability in the work lives and the pay of real people. To explain why levels of ascriptive-based
stratification vary over time, across contents and across descriptive bases we must asses the effects of causal mechanism. Mechanisms are the proximate causes of ascriptively based inequality. Until
we focus on organization with societal level mechanisms we cannot know why the workers in this hotel are paid so much more poorly then their counter-parts in other cities or not paid equitably given
the work they do and the work that non-service workers do in this industry. Sociologists I believe have a great deal to offer in understanding inequality. Again and again we documented the disparities
across ascriptively defined groups. It's time to turn the mechanisms that produce and ameliorate those disparities. By studying disparities we'll do better theory and better research and we'll be able
to make a genuine contribution to social policy. In these ways we'll also contribute to a more just society. [ Applause ] ELIJAH ANDERSON: Well that concludes our session and you're invited to remain
for the reception right next door to meet and mingle with Barbara and the other award recipients. Thank you.