- The Oxford Handbook of Analytical Sociology
- List of Figures
- List of Tables
- About the Contributors
- What is Analytical Sociology All About? An Introductory Essay
- Analytical Sociology and Theories of the Middle Range
- Social Dynamics from the Bottom Up: Agent-Based Models of Social Interaction
- Segregation Dynamics
- Self-Fulfilling Prophecies
- Social Influence: The Puzzling Nature of Success in Cultural Markets
- The Contagiousness of Divorce
- Collective Action
- Conditional Choice
- Network Dynamics
- Threshold Models of Social Influence
- Time and Scheduling
- Homophily and the Focused Organization of Ties
- Dominance Hierarchies
- Game Theory
- Analytic Ethnography
- Historical Sociology
- Name Index
- Subject Index
Abstract and Keywords
This article examines how the concept of opportunity is used in analyses of choices people make and in analyses of social inequality and civil rights. It first considers the distinction between choices made without attention to what other agents do versus choices made strategically taking into account the possible actions of others. It then explains how agents may act to shape the constraints and opportunities they face, as well as how available opportunities may shape preferences. These abstract ideas are applied to the substantive field of inequality, first in the context of civil-rights legislation and debates in theories of justice, and second in an analysis of differential labor market outcomes. More specifically, the article looks at career opportunities and opportunity hoarding in the professions. Finally, it evaluates opportunities for discrimination in employment on the basis of race and sex in the current legal environment.
Trond Petersen holds a joint appointment in the Department of Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley, and the Organizational Behavior and Industrial Relations Group at the Walter A. Haas School of Business at Berkeley. He is an adjunct Professor at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim and an adjunct researcher at the University of Oslo. Prior to Berkeley, he taught at Harvard University. He earned his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He is interested in organizations, social stratification, inequality, economic sociology, comparative studies, and quantitative methods.
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