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Open Access Publications from the University of California


Here you will find a comprehensive list of the Working Papers for the Institute for Social Science Research (ISSR). The Institute for Social Science Research is a center for intellectual activity and basic research in the social sciences. We bring together faculty and students from a wide variety of disciplines, from the basic social science disciplines and the more applied programs in the professional schools alike. Our substantive focus is wide-ranging,including projects on the politics of race and ethnicity, poverty, immigration, public policy, social change, mass media, bureaucracy, ethnic identity in university life, and the political party system. Our particular strength lies in large-scale, interdisciplinary, quantitative research, but we welcome many smaller projects as well. A central component of this activity is the training of students to carry out such research, especially in the use of survey research and the secondary analysis of archived datasets.

Institute for Social Science Research

There are 147 publications in this collection, published between 1985 and 2011.
Volume I. 1985-86 - Fertility Studies (2)

Contraceptive Knowledge and Intentions Among Latina Teenagers Experiencing Their First Birth

This article describes the social context of pregnancy, contraceptive knowlege, past birth control use and plans for future contraception for 233 adolescent women of Mexican origin and/or descent delivering their first child in one of two Los Angeles hospitals. The teenagers described here were part of a larger sample of 518 women interviewed in 1981 and 1982. Although this paper focuses on adolescents, the adult group is briefly discussed for purposes of comparison.

The Sexually Active Mexican Adolescent: A Preliminary Report

Adolescent fertility has become identified as a major social problem in the United States; however, little empirical data are available regarding the critical social variables which influence adolescent sexual behavior. While adolescents learn about sexuality from many sources, two major sources that influence adolescent attitudes toward sexual behavior are from persons who form their internal support network--family and peers. The adolescent's family and peers are instrumental in forming the adolescent's knowledge base about reproduc- tion, contraceptive use, and other sexual behavioral variables. The importance and role of these influences can differ when viewed in another cultural context. To date, little is known about differences in sexual behavior among culturally diverse adolescent groups nor what impact acculturation to American values may have in influencing the development of attitudes toward sexual behavior. A community based comparative survey of about 1,000 adolescent females from Los Angeles County was undertaken to examine the similari- ties and differences of sexual behavior and its consequences. The following brief discussion outlines preliminary descriptive find- ings on differences between these sexually active and nonsexually active Mexican-American and Anglo-American adolescents, ages 13 to 19.

Volume II. 1986-87 - Minorities in the Post-Industrial City (11)

Post-Industrialization and the Social Organization of Afro-Trinidadian Immigrants in Los Angeles

In this paper, the author examines the relationship between "post-industrialism" and patterns of social organization that may be observed among international migrants at the micro-level; more specifically, the connection between certain aspects of post-industrial technology such as innovations in telecommunications and transportation and the social organization of Caribbean immigrants, a subset of the New Immigrants to the United States. The intent is to draw attention to the idea of non-territorial social systems as an emerging social form in the post-industrial era. This paper focuses on the New Immigrants largely because the New Immigration has coincided with the development of the computerization and automation of information, communication and transportation infrastructures, which is to say, at a post-industrial moment in history.

Sources of Stress in Latino Women Experiencing Unemployment After a Plant Closure

A common assumption about women as laborers made in past unemployment research has been that their participation in the labor force is optional (Schlozman 1979). This assumption suggests that when unemployed, such women should be less susceptible than are males to personal, familial or social sources of stress (Rundquist and Sletto 1938). Additionally, this view suggests that women, especially Latino women, who are accustomed to the role of homemaker, should not object to job loss nor to a return to this role, particularly since they are supported by their husbands (Rundquist and Sletto 1936). However, current demographic data indicate that the number of Latino families headed and maintained by women have continued to increase since 1970. In 1983, women maintained 23 percent of Latino families (U.S. Department of Commerce 1984). Thus, the assumption must be questioned that participation in the labor force is entirely optional for Latino women, and that these women are not adversely affected by job loss. There is indeed a need to examine the nature and extent of the stress subsequent to job loss that affects unemployed Latino women.

Beyond the Neighborhood: The Spatial Distribution of Social Ties in Three Urban Black Communities

This paper explores the distribution of social ties within three black communities. We take seriously the notion that in order to study the personal communities of urbanites we must explore ties both inside and outside neighborhood boundaries. Using data on the interpersonal ties of 352 blacks residing in three contrasting study areas, we explore several questions. First, to what degree are ties neighborhood based or what we term, beyond the neighborhood? Second, are there sub-group differences in spatial location in these study areas; are differences for age, sex, education, and occupational status present? Third, we ask whether differences in the degree of neighborhood embeddedness occur for various attributes of ties; are they equally close, as frequently contacted, or contacted in different ways (i.e., personally or by phone)? Fourth, to what extent are kin, co-workers and co-members spatially dispersed? And finally, in what ways do ties beyond the neighborhood differ from those within the neighborhood in the type(s) of social support that they contain? These questions connect directly to issues surrounding the community question.

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Volume III. 1986-87 - Women at Work: The Conference Papers, May 1987 (14)

Women, Work, and Welfare: The Need for a Community Model

In September 1985, the California State Assembly initiated a job training/workfare for welfare recipients called GAIN, Greater Avenues for Independence. This program, though barely underway, is already seen as a model for future workfare programs in other states as well as at the federal level. GAIN and other workfare proposals raise the issue of how women in low-wage work are to sustain themselves. This paper explores the need for policy makers to focus on neighborhood development when creating programs intended to move women (who are disproportionately women of color) off the welfare rolls and into wage labor.

Gender and the Choice of Physicians' Employment Status

During the last 15 years, women have substantially increased their share of traditionally male professional jobs. As recently as 1975, only 15 percent of the law degrees and 3 percent of the dentistry degrees were earned by women. In 1985, however, women earned 38 percent of the law degrees and 21 percent of the degrees in dentistry. Just as dramatic has been the increase in the number of women physicians. In 1975, women received 13 percent of the medical degrees and by 1985 this figure had increased to 30 percent. It is currently estimated that one-third of all medical students today are female. Generally, these types of figures are used to illustrate that gender differences in professional occupations are narrowing. However, in spite of the increase in the number of female physicians, there still exist several differences between male and female physicians. A number of studies have noted that differences exist across gender in physicians' choice of specialty, board certification, and work hours (Becker et al. 1984; Culler and Oshfeldt 1987; Mitchell 1984; Silberger et al. 1987). The factors that cause these gender differences in incentives are also going to affect the physician's choice of employment status. In fact, female physicians are nearly twice as likely to be employees than their male colleagues. Only 23.5 percent of male physicians were employees in 1985 compared with 45.5 percent of female physicians (Cotter 1986). The purpose of this study is to examine the role of gender with regards to physicians' employment status.

Sex Object and Worker: Incompatible Images of Women

The authors contend that the research on sex at work reveals an interesting paradox. At work, women are perceived as using sex to their advantage, yet in practice, they are hurt by sex at work. On the other hand, men who are perceived as concerned with business display more sexual behavior than women at work and may benefit from it. This paradox contains three components: actual behavior, the impacts of sex at work, and beliefs and stereotypes concerning women and men.

This paper examines the research relevant to this paradox. It begins by tracing the development of research on sexual behavior in the workplace, from its early emphasis on defining and documenting sexual harassment through other findings concerning sexual nonharassment. In order to understand sex at work, several frameworks or theories are discussed, with special emphasis on the concept of sex-role spillover. The sex-roll spillover perspective is then used to tie together the three components of the paradox: behavior, impacts, and beliefs.

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Volume IV. 1988-89 - Conference on Comparative Ethnicity: The Conference Papers, June 1988 (26)

Race, Ethnicity and Employment, 1970-1985

Published government statistics and social science research have documented employment trends for the 1960-1980 period. During the 1960s, the percentage of Black, White, and other men who worked full-year (48 or more weeks per year) increased, and the gap between Blacks and Whites, and Whites and others narrowed (Smith and Welch 1986; Sandefur and Pahari 1987). This improvement did not continue in the 1970s, however, and the percentage of Black, White and other men who worked full-year declined while the percentage who worked none at all increased. Further, the gap in the employment of Whites and Blacks increased.

Most observers attribute the gains of the 1960s to economic growth and to improvements in the average level of education of minority group members (Smith and Welch 1986). The 1970s, on the other hand, was a period of inflation, recessions, and little growth in jobs. In addition, the ranks of those seeking employment increased with the coming of age of the baby boom generation and the increase in job-seeking among women. This made finding employment much more difficult than it had been during the 1960s. The evidence also suggests that Blacks, because of their over-representation in marginal jobs, were hurt more by the problems of the 1970s than were Whites (Wilson 1987).

Most of the research on these trends in employment has concentrated on Blacks and Whites, because these are the two largest racial groups in American society and because data on these groups is more readily available. The limited amount of research on other groups such as Asians, Hispanics, and Native Americans indicates that their experiences diverge from those of both Blacks and Whites (see, for example, Hirschman 1988; Sandefur and Pahari 1987). The purpose of this paper is to examine racial differences in trends in employment more carefully. We address two major questions: (1) Have the racial/ethnic differences in employment increased or declined since 1970? and, (2) Have differences in employment across educational groups increased or declined since 1970?

Alternative Thesis of Minority Mobility: Comparing Los Angeles County West Indians and Chinese

For several decades an argument has raged over the determinants of minority mobility. This paper reviews competing theses in this argument. It then relates hypotheses deriving from the competing theses to empirical findings on West Indians and the Chinese population of Los Angeles County.

Recent Racial Incidents in Higher Education: A Contemporary Perspective

In recent years,there has been a resurgence of racial/ethnic conflict at predominantly White institutions of higher education. Incidents of harassment and violence at the University of Michigan, the University of Massachusetts and other campuses have highlighted the continuing racial/ethnic divisions among majority and minority students (Wilkerson 1988; Farrell 1988a and 1988b; Simpson 1987; Williams 1987). These incidents have emerged during a period when the society, in general, has expressed concern about the declining enrollment of racial minorities -- particularly Blacks, Hispanics and Native Americans -- and, to a lesser extent, Asians, in higher education. Therefore, it is ironic that those minority students already enrolled in predominantly White institutions of higher education are experiencing increasing levels of racial/ethnic discrimination and feelings of isolation.

To that end, this paper is a preliminary attempt to develop a perspective on this apparently worsening situation. In order to establish a contemporary understanding of this problem, a general content analytical technique was employed to delineate the most significant contemporary issues/factors surrounding racial/ethnic incidents on the campuses of predominantly White institutions of higher education (Borg and Gall 1979; Babbie 1983). Content analysis has been determined to be an effective tool for monitoring social change. During the past year, there has been an emergence of reportorial interest in racial/ethnic conflict on White university campuses, thus the employment of this technique. The basic approach was to examine the patterns of focus in selected newspapers and related publications and to summarize emergent themes and trends.

For the purpose of this qualitative analysis, a national newspaper, The New York Times, a local newspaper and selected black-oriented newspapers were reviewed for the calendar years 1987 through June, 1988. In addition, related books, articles and periodicals on higher education issues also were assessed. The specific objectives of this investigation were to:

- to provide an overview of minority students on White college campuses,

- to examine the general perceptions of racism in contemporary society,

- to determine the scope of racial/ethnic incidents on campus of predominantly White institutions of higher education, and

- to assess prospects for change.

The main results of this analysis indicate that Blacks were the primary minority group impacted by these "reported" racial incidents, but Hispanics and Asians also have been found to be experiencing increased levels of 'actual" and "perceived"racial discrimination. Native Americans have not emerged in this content analysis as being victims of "reported" racial incidents in contemporary higher education.

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Volume V. 1989-90 - California Immigrants in World Perspective: The Conference Papers, April 1990 (14)

Koreans in Japan and the United States: Attitudes Toward Achievement and Authority

The present generation of Korean youth in Japan reflect considerable personal alienation in response to the disparagement and degradation endured since the arrival of their parents or grandparents. in Japan Examined psychoculturally the Korean minority in Japan are presented with a numbers of dilemmas in resolving who they are, and to whom they owe their loyalty. They find it difficult to use their group identity as a means of countering moments of individual doubt about ability. Korean children seem to do relatively poorly in school for similar reasons found to operate in some American minorities, such as among blacks or Mexican-Americans Korean-Japanese youth in many instances are stronger in their disregard of family or adult authority simply because there is less gratification to be gained from interdependent family relationships.

Immigrant Entrepreneurs in Israel, Canada and California

Entrepreneurial activity has served as a route of economic advancement and social mobility for many of the more successful immigrant groups in their new host countries. In addition to varying ethnic resources, the formation of small-businesses by new immigrants depends greatly on characteristics of the host country and the specific urban area. Moreover, interaction of location and ethnicity factors may influence entrepreneurial behavior of immigrant groups; i.e. the role of location may differ for each immigrant group. This role of location has been given only cursory treatment in most previous studies of immigrant entrepreneurs.

This paper outlines the relation between theories of entrepreneurship among immigrant groups and studies on entrepreneurship in space. Then, it focuses on case studies of self-employment among recent immigrants in Israel, Canada end California, basing the analysis on national censuses of population from the early 1980s. Special attention has been put on the influence of location on the propensity of immigrants from various origins to engage in self-employment, and on the types of entrepreneurial activities performed by different immigrant groups. The influence of human capital attributes, ethnic networks and local opportunity structures on spatial variations in entrepreneurial behavior of immigrants is discussed.

Immigrant entrepreneurship is assessed in the context of changing realities of the 1970s and 1980s. These years witnessed a certain revival in the role of small businesses in job creation in many Western countries. A new role has been assigned to local entrepreneurs in public economic development efforts, replacing post-war strategies, based on capital-intensive industrialization (Storey 1988). International migration flows have also reemerged as a political and economic phenomenon of major importance, due to the passage of liberal immigration legislature in countries of destination during the period of economic growth and prosperity in the 1960's, and due to pressures in the countries of origin, aggravated by the economic crises of the 1970's and 1980's. Thus, the phenomenon of entrepreneurship among immigrant groups has a growing sugnificance in assessing local econimic development processes and social change.

Korean Immigrants in Los Angeles

A large number of Koreans have been admitted to the United States as legal immigrants since the change in the immigration law in 1965. A significant proportion of the new Korean immigrants have settled in Los Angeles. As a result, the Los Angeles Korean community, the home of some 200,000 Koreans, has become not only the largest Korean center in the United States but also the largest overseas Korean center. This paper provides an overview of Korean immigrants and the Korean community in Los Angeles. It focuses on Koreatown, Korean immigrant entrepreneurship, and Koreans’ ethnic attachment and solidarity in Los Angeles. Interviews with some 500 Korean immigrants in Los Angeles were used as the major data source for this paper. It also depends upon public documents, ethnic directories, ethnic newspaper articles, and previously published materials by other scholars for information on Koreans in Los Angeles.

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Volume VI. 1994-95 - Biotechnology Studies (7)

Collaboration Structure and Information Dilemmas in Biotechnology: Organizational Boundaries as Trust Production

Scientists who make breakthrough discoveries can receive above-normal returns to their intellectual capital, with returns depending on the degree of natural excludability, that is whether necessary techniques can be learned through written repons or instead require hands-on experience with the discovering scientists or those trained by them in their laboratory. Privatizing discoveries, then, only requires selecting trusted others as collaborators,most often scientists working in the same organization. Within organizational boundaries, incentives become aligned based on repeat and future exchange, coupled with third-party monitoring and enforcement.We find that high value intellectual capital paradoxically predicts both a larger number of collaborators and more of that network contained within the same organization. Specifically, same-organization collaboration pairs are more likely when the value of the intellectual capital is high: both are highly productive ‘star” scientists, both are located in top quality bioscience university departments, or both are located in a firm (higher ability to capture returns). Collaboration across organization boundaries, in contrast, is negatively related to the value of intellectual capital and positively related to the number of times the star scientist has moved, Organizational boundaries act as information envelopes: The more valuable the information produced, the more its dissemination is limited. In geographic areas where a higher proportion of coauthor pairs come from the same organization, diffusion to new collaborators is retarded.

Institutional Analyses of Organizations: Legitimate but not Institutionalized

We review institutional theory to assess the direction of theory and research on institutional structures and processes. Our primary goal is to suggest an overall frame within which a coherent and interrelated body of theory and research might develop that would address institutional processes underlying stability and change of organizational structure. We select two theoretical threads, phenomenological and neo-functional approaches to organizations, and weave these in with rational choice to develop a coherent explanation of the conditions under which similar structures diffuse across organizations facing very different environments (or have very different structures when facing the same environment). We argue that resource dependence theory already provides a parsimonious explanation of why organizational structure becomes so similar across organizations facing similar environments; institutional theory has little to add to this scenario, except perhaps for a theory of organization-level ingratiation. Social does not imply non-rational, and socially-embedded does not mean unanalyzable. It is costly for each organization to de novo create its own structure, yet it also generally costly for an organization to adopt structure that is ill-suited to its main tasks and which may thus lower its performance. An efficient strategy for an organization, then, is to evaluate structures carefully by observing the effects of these structures in other organizations it deems similar, making an independent decision about whether or not to adopt those structures depending on assessment of the risk that adoption entails. There is a built-in bias toward stability of structure, since assessment is costly itself, leading to the often observed inertia of organizations. But at the same time, given renewal in the competition set, such a strategy may lead to organizational failure.

In Between Markets and Hierarchies - Networking Through the Life Cycle of New Biotechnology Firms

Resource dependence and transaction cost theories focus on organizations as mitigating their dependence on the task environment through various strategies. However, these theories have contradicting predictions as to the conditions under which network alliances are formed. New Biotechnology Firms (NBFs) provide an example of knowledge-organizations, operating under uncertainty and competitive environmental constraints, yet highly dependent on external resources. The event history analysis (EVA) of NBFs (N=554) shows that although avoidance of formation of alliances is associated with death, the formation of at least one inter-organizational alliance for each age year of the firm has an inverse U shape. The life cycle dependence argument is further supported when an analysis conducted on only self-standing NBFs shows a higher and longer dependency on external alliances. These findings suggest an integration of the two theories into a firm life cycle network theory within the domain of population ecology survival theories.

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ISSR Working Paper Series (1)

Organized Workers and the Making of Los Angeles, 1890-1915

Three social forces set out to grow Los Angeles as the 19th century ended: free- market capitalists clustered around L.A. Times publisher Harrison Gray Otis, a coterie of entrepreneurs and professionals who called themselves "progressives," and organized workers. Each group strove to direct the rewards of growth to classes it favored, and each pursued a competing vision of the city. The story of Otis and his free-market allies has often been told. So has the story of L.A.'s progressives. Both celebratory accounts have been shaped by the hardy American mega-narrative that privileges elites as the makers of history. Skewed by the same mega-narrative, the story of L.A.'s unions has also been told and retold as a tale of defeat, inconsequence, and woe. The conventional wisdom about progressive-era Los Angeles thus overcredits elites for the city's achievements, submerging the equally powerful role of organized workers.

This dissertation resurrects the political legacy of wage-earning men and women in 1890-1915 Los Angeles and offers a more realistic view of the progressives with whom they contended. Through thick archival research, it identifies and presents the voices of individual workers and progressives, reconstructs their conflicts, and assesses their impact on key growth elections and the capacities of the modernizing city.

Three revelations flow from this revisionist history of Los Angeles during its reign as "the citadel of the open shop": First, for better or worse, California owes its predilection for direct democracy (initiatives, referenda, and recalls) to the L.A. workers who fought longer and harder for this reform than any other group—precisely because it was an outsider's weapon.

Second, organized workers were the most consistent and effective campaigners for the municipally-run systems of water and power that benefit Angelenos today.

Third, the political struggles of L.A.'s unions a century ago fundamentally reshaped their city, forcing it into the market as a manager of great enterprises and making it much more democratic than it otherwise would have been. In so doing these unions demonstrated that the capitalist state, which constrains workers as a matter of course, has at times been sharply constrained by them.