Sociation Today ® 
The Official 
Journal of 
The North 
Association: A 
Refereed Web-Based 
ISSN 1542-6300
Editorial Board:
George H. Conklin,
 North Carolina
 Central University

Robert Wortham,
 Associate Editor,
 North Carolina
 Central University

Rebecca Adams,

Bob Davis,
 North Carolina
 Agricultural and
 Technical State

Catherine Harris,
 Wake Forest

Ella Keller,
 State University

Ken Land,
 Duke University

Steve McNamee,

Miles Simpson,
 North Carolina
 Central University

William Smith,
 N.C. State University

Editorial Assistants

John W.M. Russell,

for Authors

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Volume 10, Number 1

Spring/Summer 2012

Outline of Articles

  1. The Changing North Carolina Workplace
    by Ian Taplin
      For the previous several decades NC has witnessed a decline in its traditional manufacturing sector as semi-skilled jobs were moved offshore. However, in recent years there has been a resurgence in this sector, but one that is concentrated upon high value- added products that employ skilled workers. Combined with changes in agriculture associated with the development of mass production techniques in hog and poultry farming, plus the growth of specialty goods such as grapes for wine, rural NC has undergone significant changes. This article discusses the changing employment situation in the state, highlighting the skills mismatch that is occurring and how some, mainly foreign owned companies are attempting to deal with this and in doing so challenging extant US labor market policies.
  2. Dead Men Do Tell Tales: The Apotheosis of Celebrities in 20th Century America 
    by Timothy J. Bertoni and Patrick D. Nolan
      Ecological-evolutionary theory (EET) argues, and anecdotal evidence suggests, that with the advancement of industrial technology, there is a decline in the scope and influence of theistic ideologies and a corresponding increase in that of secular ideologies, especially hedonism (Nolan and Lenski 2009: Chapter 11).  Using a measure we develop, we explore the quantitative dimensions of this cultural shift by examining a sample of more than a century of obituaries published in the New York Times. As suspected, we find a substantial decline in the proportion of obituaries of religious figures and an increase in those of individuals associated with entertainment and sports. We conclude with a discussion of the theoretical import and implications of this trend, and compare it with trends in employment in religious and entertainment and sports occupations over this period. 
  3. Gender and Jobloss in Rural North Carolina: The Cost of Carework
    by Leslie Hossfeld, E. Brooke Kelly, Tricia McTague and Angela Wadsworth
      United States manufacturing has undergone intensive economic restructuring over the last thirty years.  This has had a profound effect on rural areas, especially in the Southeast where textile, apparel, and furniture manufacturing have been based.  North Carolina, in particular, has been dependent on traditional manufacturing supplying most of rural counties’ employment.  Textile workers in rural North Carolina are predominantly female and older.  This paper relies on focus group data from female displaced textile workers who live in a rural high-poverty county, and examines how gender structures women’s attempts at reemployment by pulling them into unpaid carework for family members, making reemployment more difficult.  Though their family support networks provided women with needed assistance, women’s increased carework also came at a cost. 
  4. "What Race Do You Consider Yourself?": Factors Influencing Use of Color in Racial Self-Classification 
    by Shannon N. Davis, Ruth Jackson and Christine Aicardi 
      The purpose of this paper is to examine the factors that predict how individuals, when given the opportunity, choose to racially self-classify.  This paper examines responses from a nationally representative United States survey, where respondents could use any language they chose to respond to the question “What race do you consider yourself?”  We determine the demographic characteristics that are correlated with responding with a color versus a racial group (e.g., Black versus African American), noting that educational attainment seems to be the key correlate of language choice.  Respondents with children aged 6-12 are also more likely to self describe race using color while those with teenagers are less likely to self-describe using color.  Implications of the findings are discussed.
  5. Flagship Memorial: An Analysis of Themes at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial: 1982-2007 
    by Leslie D. Meyers
      This paper seeks to extend the analysis of Wagner-Pacifici and Schwartz’s (1991) landmark piece, “The Vietnam Veterans Memorial: Commemorating a Difficult Past”, by sixteen years in order to understand how memory has been both created and sustained at the memorial from 1982-2007. A content analysis of 791 articles from the New York Times and Washington Post revealed five themes for analysis: 1) healing, 2) politics, 3) conflict over additional elements, 4) religion, and 5) offerings. Of these themes, politics was significant. However, while the analysis indicates the Vietnam Veterans Memorial is a politically charged terrain; grassroots efforts dominate narratives of public opinion, changes to the site and discussions of memory.
  6. "As Long as You Work Hard, You Can Achieve Your Goals" : Hungarian Immigrants on the American Dream  
    by Orsolya Kolozsvari
      Immigrants to the United States frequently perceive America as the land of endless opportunities and prosperity, and this perception is very frequently a propelling force in the decision for immigration. Through 20 in-depth interviews with middle-class Hungarians who live in the United States I will discuss how immigration to the United States has influenced the perceptions of these Hungarians of opportunities in the United States. I will also highlight how reasons for immigration and perceptions of the American Dream vary by gender. 
  7. An Exploratory Study of Gender and Changes in Alcohol Consumption: A Qualitative Approach 
    by Susan Bullers
      Consistent research shows that men drink more, and more often than women, although recent findings suggest that this gender difference may be diminishing. This exploratory qualitative analysis offers a “micro” perspective on the possible attitudes, beliefs, and social interactions that underlie these aggregate findings. Using semi-structured qualitative interviews with 18 men and women from three age and ethnic groups, this study explores changes in behaviors and attitudes regarding gender and drinking in the US.  Findings suggest increasingly egalitarian gender role attitudes with respect to alcohol use accompanied by decreasing stigma for women’s drinking.  There were three distinct stigma patterns; stigma for alcohol use by anyone, which appeared to be influenced by religion and ethnicity; stigma for alcohol use among women in particular, which was influenced by age, gender-role attitudes, college, and employment and; stigma for alcohol use specifically for women with young children, which appeared to influenced by family roles and responsibilities. Changes in drinking norms are discussed in relation to increasingly gender-segregated work, family, and leisure roles, individual vs. gendered responsibilities for drinking behavior and current demographic trends. 

      ©2012 by Sociation Today