This article discusses changing social perspectives on knowledge, from the old sociology of knowledge to current post-colonial debates. The authors propose an approach that sees knowledge not as an abstract social construction but as the product of specific forms of social labour, showing the ontoformativity of social practice that creates reality through historical time. Research in three southern-tier countries examines knowledge workers and their labour process, knowledge institutions including workplaces and communication systems, economic strategies and the resourcing of knowledge work and workforces. This research shows in detail the contested hegemony of the global metropole in domains of knowledge. It reveals forms of negotiation that reshape knowledge production, and shows the importance for knowledge workers of the dynamics of global change.
Unlike the majority of existing studies that explain the gender earnings gap from a structural perspective, this study aims to understand the unexplained part of gender earnings inequality from a behavioural perspective. By adopting a dataset collected in the Chinese city of Xiamen when China’s market economy was still in formation, this study focuses on how earnings are affected by contact use in job placement. Results based on the quantile regression model show that contact use significantly narrows the average gender earnings gap by enhancing women’s earnings in the lower to middle levels of the earnings hierarchy, but this positive role that women’s contact use plays in their earnings outcome disappears in the upper level of the earnings hierarchy. This study thus calls for scholarly attention to the contextually sensitive consequences of individual behaviour in terms of understanding the part of gender earnings inequality that cannot be explained by the existing literature.
This article analyses perceived in-group discrimination of 29,189 first and second generation immigrant respondents from 201 different countries of origin currently living in one of 27 EU countries. In addition to testing effects of individual factors, the article estimates the effects of macro-characteristics of both origin and destination countries and community variables. The migration history of these groups is relevant for perceived discrimination: immigrants with citizenship, who speak the majority language at home and have at least one native parent perceive less in-group discrimination, whereas religious respondents, especially from religions that differ more in comparison to the majority, perceive more in-group discrimination. Furthermore, macro-characteristics of the country of origin are most important in explaining differences between European countries. Immigrants from socio-economically more developed countries with higher living standards – and for that reason more comparable to the native population – are less likely to perceive in-group discrimination.
In the domain of global corporate responsibility (GCR), international organizations have promoted disclosure as a means to address global concerns with corporations’ social and environmental practices. Business disclosure practices, however, remain uneven across organizations and countries. This article examines various field, national, and global factors that facilitate or mitigate GCR disclosure among corporations worldwide. Analyzing unique quantitative data on more than 1800 disclosure reports by corporations in more than 50 countries, this article presents two main findings. First, field-level factors are prominent but they influence disclosure levels in different ways. Third-party verification encourages greater disclosure, while peer organizations mitigate disclosure. Second, national and global factors influence disclosure differently in developed and developing countries. Business disclosure in developed countries is impacted by national factors while, in developing countries, disclosure is significantly influenced by global factors. The article concludes by discussing the implications of GCR disclosure for wider global corporate governance concerns.
This article suggests conceptualising trust as a generalised symbolic medium of communication. It is argued that in business relationships trust appears intertwined with other media, such as power or money. Furthermore, it is shown that typical combinations of trust, power and money are dominant in different business systems (liberal vs coordinated market economies). The overarching aim of this article is to demonstrate that trust is a fundamental concept of social theory and that the theory of generalised symbolic media of communication provides a useful conceptual perspective to integrate trust into social theory.
The world society/polity perspective developed by John Meyer, his collaborators, and his students has grown tremendously over the past three decades. It is, however, theoretically and conceptually imprecise in one crucial respect: the very terms by which the perspective is called – ‘world polity’ and ‘world society’ – are used interchangeably and indiscriminately. This article proposes the utility of developing an implicit conceptual distinction between these terms. The world polity and world society describe, respectively, the state-centric and civil society dimensions of the global institutional order. After explicating key differences between the world polity and world society, the author offers suggestions for operationalizing these concepts in empirical research and considers possible avenues of inquiry.
Periods of intense political conflict, violence and state terrorism leave a legacy that transitional regimes must address. This legacy involves divided societies, victims of abuses, perpetrators who may live with impunity (when amnesties have been implemented) or may face different forms of justice and punishment, and movements and organizations that demand state action to address the past through a variety of possible policies. Based on the cases of investigative commissions (so-called truth commissions) in Argentina and Brazil, the article discusses the historically specific and contextual nature of these victim-centered institutions.
An increasing body of evidence indicates that globalization can trigger a variety of reactions from societies. The possible outcomes include blending, hybridization, fault line formation or even an increased salience of local traditionalist value systems. An important task for the research field is developing systematic, comparative theories predicting which outcome is expected to emerge depending on the interplay between the global and the local. Drawing on the rich empirical literature on globalization variants, the article takes a further step in theory building by proposing a typology with the four possible outcomes mentioned above. To make the model premises more transparent, the authors transcribe their arguments into symbolic logic sentences and derive the typology outcomes as theorems. This allows testing if the proposed model does indeed imply the purported conclusions, and to see what consequences would, or would not, follow from a slightly modified premise set, that is, from a slightly modified globalization theory.
To explain why neoinstitutionalist theories have been so successful in explaining global isomorphism and to discuss how they can be extended to describe otherwise inexplicable similarities in the world, the article approaches policy-making from an epistemic governance perspective. Utilizing a constructionist view on language, the article argues that popular and political rhetoric are inextricably bound to social scientific conceptions of reality through the use of root metaphors that are, in turn, woven into convincing imageries of social reality. In addition to the well-known culturally constructed imagery of social change as driven by functional requirements of modernization, two other imageries are identified: society as a hierarchy and the social world as comprising competing blocs. These three imageries are then discussed as key discursive ingredients for both social scientific and political actors seeking to understand and change the world. Finally, the implications of the article for future research are discussed.
The opening of China’s economy has attracted an inflow of Taiwanese migrants, including student migration for higher education. Taiwanese migrants in China have created a ‘transnational social field,’ which is simultaneously an exceptional space of sovereignty and a liminal terrain of identity. Based on in-depth interviews with 61 Taiwanese students in China, this article looks into the paradoxes between nationalization and globalization at the intersection of state policy, migration trajectory, and identity politics. The Chinese government has offered Taiwanese citizens exceptional membership and privileged access to college admission, in order to uphold China’s claim of sovereignty over Taiwan and promote the agenda of reunification. Taiwanese students capitalize on such institutional privilege and cultural ties to facilitate their transnational mobility and flexible capital accumulation. They also develop different strategies to negotiate their ethnic or national identification: assimilating as Chinese, reasserting a Taiwanese identity, and claiming a cosmopolitan identity.
Some scholars have argued that the only way to resolve the Euro crisis would be to further deepen the integration process by institutionalising a European welfare state. This article examines whether a Europeanised welfare system would be supported by citizens of three member states of the EU. The authors argue that the legitimacy of a harmonisation of national welfare regimes would be established if a majority of citizens supported a Europeanised social policy. Using survey data from Germany, Poland and Spain, descriptive findings show that indeed a majority supports the idea of Europeanisation of social policy. Further, multivariate analyses show that those respondents who reject Europeanisation of social policy cannot be characterised to any significant extent in terms of socio-economic factors, and are only slightly more likely to be associated with cultural factors. The cleavages that structure people’s attitudes are thus relatively weak. The authors conclude that the potential for political mobilisation against Europeanisation of social policy in the three countries under investigation is rather low.
This article analyses the generation gap in the duration of long-term career interruptions due to childcare among mothers of two children, and how the differences are moderated by a country’s predominant family policy regime. The outcomes of the multilevel analysis reveal that mothers born after 1960 have significantly lower odds of interrupting their career for longer than 10 years compared with older women. A country’s predominant family policy model plays a significant role in explaining the propensity of long career breaks. Mothers from countries with post-socialist, Southern European and pro-egalitarian models exhibit lower odds of having long-term career interruptions than those in pro-traditionalist countries. Differences between generations are moderated by countries’ family policy models. Among younger generations, the propensity to take long career breaks is lower in post-socialist and non-interventionist regimes than in countries with a pro-traditionalist family policy legacy.
This study examines cross-national differences in gender earnings gaps in Japan, Korea, and Taiwan. It applies an extended model of the gender gap decomposition method, and tests four hypotheses, each of which focuses on a different possible source of the cross-national difference in gender gap. The decomposition results support the hypothesis emphasizing the cross-national difference in the distribution of males and females and the hypothesis emphasizing the difference in pay discrimination; the results do not support the hypothesis that the differences occur because of cross-national differences in females’ human capital. The main reasons for the larger gender earnings gaps in Japan and Korea than in Taiwan are higher segregation by gender and higher degrees of within-job pay discrimination in Japan and Korea. Despite similarities in welfare policies toward women, the difference in employment practices creates a substantial intra-regional variation in gender pay inequality in East Asia.