Social Policy

Power and the objectification of social targets

Power and the objectification of social targets
Power and the objectification of social targets. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 2008, Vol. 95, No. 1, 111-127

Gruenfeld, D. H, Inesi, M. E., Magee, J.C. & Galinsky, A.D.
07/01/2008

Objectification has been defined historically as a process of subjugation whereby people, like objects, are treated as means to an end. The authors hypothesized that objectification is a response to social power that involves approaching useful social targets regardless of the value of their other human qualities. Six studies found that under conditions of power, approach toward a social target was driven more by the target's usefulness, defined in terms of the perceiver's goals, than in low-power and baseline conditions. This instrumental response to power, which was linked to the presence of an active goal, was observed using multiple instantiations of power, different measures of approach, a variety of goals, and several types of instrumental and noninstrumental target attributes. Implications for research on the psychology of power, automatic goal pursuit, and self-objectification theory are discussed.

Public Opinion toward Legislating for the Future: An Update

Public Opinion toward Legislating for the Future: An Update
Policy Report for New York University's Brademas Center for the Study of Congress,

Light, P.C.
04/01/2008

The past two years have been unsettled at best for Congress. Public approval toward Congress remains low, legislative debates have been contentious, polarization remains high, and Congress has a mixed record in dealing with major long-term issues such as Social Security and Medicare. The State Children's Health Insurance program has been delayed awaiting a compromise that might expand coverage, immigration reform has been waylaid by the intensity of opposition across the party lines, energy reform was diluted by ongoing disputes about how to reduce the nation's dependence on foreign oil, and the war in Iraq continues to dictate the pace of major legislative debates.

A Complex(ity) Strategy for Breaking the Environmental Logjam (with David R. Johnson), in Breaking the LogJam: An Environmental Law for the 21st Century

A Complex(ity) Strategy for Breaking the Environmental Logjam (with David R. Johnson), in Breaking the LogJam: An Environmental Law for the 21st Century
NYU Environ. L. Rev. (Fall 2008)

Noveck, Beth (selected chapters)
01/01/2008

In this essay, we explore how the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) might use technology to improve the agency's level of scientific expertise and to obtain useful information sooner to inform EPA policymaking. By creating a self-reinforcing collaboration between government and networked publics, new web-based tools could help produce change within government and without - namely governmental decisions informed by better data obtained through citizen participation and civic action coordinated with governmental priorities. The agency has the opportunity to help break the logjam of environmental policymaking by developing transparent and participatory mechanisms for expert citizen participation. The key insight is not to throw open the floodgates to undifferentiated public input, but to design group-based processes that enable online communities to collaborate on finding and vetting information for agencies.

How Personalized and Socialized Power Motivation Facilitate Antisocial and Prosocial Decision-Making

How Personalized and Socialized Power Motivation Facilitate Antisocial and Prosocial Decision-Making
Journal of Research in Personality, 42, 1547-1559

Magee, J.C. & Langner, C.A.
01/01/2008

In two studies, we investigate the effects of individuals’ power motivation on decision-making. We distinguish between two types of power motivation [McClelland, D. C. (1970). The two faces of power. Journal of International Affairs, 24, 29–47; Winter, D. G. (1973). The power motive. New York: The Free Press] and demonstrate that both types of power motivation facilitate influential decision-making but that each type plays a different role in different contexts. In a conflict context (Study 1), individuals’ personalized (self-serving) power motivation was associated with antisocial decisions, and in a healthcare context (Study 2), individuals socialized (other-serving) power motivation was associated with prosocial decisions. Furthermore, the type of power motivation elicited in each context was associated with less perceived need to deliberate over the relevant policy decision. In separating out the independent effects of each type of power motivation, we are able to explain more variance in decision-making behavior across various contexts than in models using aggregate power motivation (personalized plus socialized).

IESP Brief: Public Funding for After-School Programs 1998-2008

IESP Brief: Public Funding for After-School Programs 1998-2008

Weinstein, M., Calabrese, T.
01/01/2008

The authors of this policy brief document that in the decade since the Open Society Institute awarded a challenge grant to TASC to encourage the creation of sustainable public funding streams for after-school programs, every level of government has dramatically increased public funding for comprehensive after-school programs in New York City.
The authors note that the City of New York has contributed an increasingly larger share of public support since the city launched its Out-of-School Time Initiative to provide kids with academic, cultural and recreational activities after school and during summers. The authors estimate that eight times more kids in kindergarten through high school attend after-school programs today than in 1998. "Over the past ten years in New York City," they conclude, "public support for after-school programs has become one of the foundations of service for children and youth."

Neighborhood Selection and the Social Reproduction of Concentrated Racial Inequality

Neighborhood Selection and the Social Reproduction of Concentrated Racial Inequality
Demography, Feb 2008, Vol. 45 Issue 1, p1-29, 29p.

Sampson, R.J. & Sharkey, P.
01/01/2008

In this paper, we consider neighborhood selection as a social process central to the reproduction of racial inequality in neighborhood attainment. We formulate a multilevel model that decomposes multiple sources of stability and change in longitudinal trajectories of achieved neighborhood income among nearly 4,000 Chicago families followed for up to seven years wherever they moved in the United States. Even after we adjust for a comprehensive set of fixed and time-varying covariates, racial inequality in neighborhood attainment is replicated by movers and stayers alike. We also study the emergent consequences of mobility pathways for neighborhood-level structure. The temporal sorting by individuals of different racial and ethnic groups combines to yield a structural pattern of flows between neighborhoods that generates virtually nonoverlapping income distributions and little exchange between minority and white areas. Selection and racially shaped hierarchies are thus mutually constituted and account for an apparent equilibrium of neighborhood inequality.

Power Reduces the Press of the Situation: Implications for Creativity, Conformity, and Dissonance

Power Reduces the Press of the Situation: Implications for Creativity, Conformity, and Dissonance
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 95, 1450-1466/

Galinsky, A.D., Magee, J.C., Gruenfeld, D.H., Whitson, J. & Liljenquist, K.
01/01/2008

Although power is often conceptualized as the capacity to influence others, the current research explores whether power psychologically protects people from influence. In contrast to classic social psychological research demonstrating the strength of the situation in directing attitudes, expressions, and intentions, five experiments (using experiential primes, semantic primes, and role manipulations of power) demonstrate that the powerful (a) generate creative ideas that are less influenced by salient examples, (b) express attitudes that conform less to the expressed opinions of others, (c) are more influenced by their own social value orientation relative to the reputation of a negotiating partner, and (d) perceive greater choice in making counterattitudinal statements. This last experiment illustrates that power is not always psychologically liberating; it can create internal conflict, arousing dissonance, and thereby lead to attitude change. Across the experiments, high-power participants were immune to the typical press of situations, with intrapsychic processes having greater sway than situational or interpersonal ones on their creative and attitudinal expressions.

Teaching Reflective Practices in the Action Science/Action Inquiry Tradition: Key Stages, Concepts, and Practices

Teaching Reflective Practices in the Action Science/Action Inquiry Tradition: Key Stages, Concepts, and Practices
Handbook of Action Research, 2nd Ed. Sage Publications,

Taylor, Rudolph & Foldy, E.G.
01/01/2008

This chapter describes an approach for teaching reflective practice in the action science/action inquiry tradition. We offer a theoretical background for our approach and then break it down into three key stages: (1) understanding the social construction of reality; (2) recognizing one's own contribution to that construction; and (3) taking action to reshape that construction. We articulate key concepts (e.g. the ladder of inference and competing commitments) and tools (e.g. the change immunity map and the learning pathways grid) for each stage. We end with suggestions for assignments that integrate learning across stages and concepts. In short, we offer a conceptually grounded set of concrete practices for teaching reflective practice.

The Intergenerational Transmission of Context

The Intergenerational Transmission of Context
American Journal of Sociology, Jan 2008, Vol. 113 Issue 4, p931-969, 39p.

Sharkey, P.
01/01/2008

This article draws on the extensive literature on economic and social mobility in America to examine intergenerational contextual mobility, defined as the degree to which inequalities in neighborhood environments persist across generations. PSID data are analyzed to reveal remarkable continuity in neighborhood economic status from one generation to the next. The primary consequence of persistent neighborhood stratification is that the racial inequality in America's neighborhoods that existed a generation ago has been transmitted, for the most part unchanged, to the current generation. More than 70% of black children who grow up in the poorest quarter of American neighborhoods remain in the poorest quarter of neighborhoods as adults, compared to 40% of whites. The results suggest that racial inequality in neighborhood economic status is substantially underestimated with short-term measures of neighborhood income or poverty and, second, that the steps taken to end racial discrimination in the housing and lending markets have not enabled black Americans to advance out of America's poorest neighborhoods.

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