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  1. Puzzling Politics: A Methodology for Turning World-Systems Analysis Inside-Out

    Can world-systems analysis illuminate politics? Can it help explain why illiberal regimes, outsider parties, and anti-immigrant rhetoric seem to be on the rise? Can it help explain any such nationalchanges that seem destined to shift how nations relate to world markets? Leading surveys of historical sociology seem to say no. We disagree. While there are problems with Wallerstein’s early mode of analyzing politicsin the capitalist world-system from the outside-in, historical sociologists have been too quick to dismiss world-systems analysis.
  2. Meaning and Modularity: The Multivalence of “Mechanism” in Sociological Explanation

    Mechanisms are ubiquitous in sociological explanation. Recent theoretical work has sought to extend mechanistic explanation further still: into cultural and interpretative analysis. Yet it is not clear that the concept of mechanism can coherently unify interpretation and causal explanation within a single explanatory framework. We note that sociological mechanistic explanation is marked by a crucial disjuncture.
  3. Residuality and Inconsistency in the Interpretation of Socio-Theoretical Systems

    This article addresses the interpretation and criticism of theoretical systems. Its particular focus is on how to assess the success of theories in dealing with some specific phenomenon. We are interested in how to differentiate between cases where a theory offers an unsatisfactory acknowledgment of a specified phenomenon and those where a theory offers a deeper, more systematic understanding.
  4. What’s Alter Got to Do with It? A Consideration of Network Content and the Social Ties That Provide It

    The strength of weak ties is among the most important theories in the social sciences. One paradoxical element of the theory has been widely understood and valued—that weak ties connect disparate regions of social structure. Less appreciated, however, is the arguably more paradoxical implication that someone only weakly connected to another would provide value beyond that which is provided by the recipient’s (ego’s) strong ties. Once this paradoxical feature of the theory and associated empirical literatures is acknowledged, the interests of the resource provider (alter) demand consideration.
  5. Winchester and Green on "Talking Your Self into It: How and When Accounts Shape Motivation for Action"

    In a new podcast, Daniel Winchester (Purdue University) and Kyle D. Green (SUNY-Brockport) discuss their research on "Talking Your Self into It: How and When Accounts Shape Motivation for Action," appearing in the September 2019 issue of Sociological Theory. 

    Listen to the podcast

    Read the article

  6. Nuclear War in the Rivalry Phase of the Modern World-System

    Large-scale war is a world-system phenomenon of the rivalry phase. Such conflicts have once again become a concern, and nuclear weapons make these prospects especially dangerous. This is particularly problematic since several world-systems perspectives suggest the chances for war will be greatest in the period from 2030 to 2050. I review the logic of rivalry, the reasons for the endurance of nuclear weapons, old and new nuclear strategies, and the processes that may pose the greatest existential dangers.
  7. A General Framework for Comparing Predictions and Marginal Effects across Models

    Many research questions involve comparing predictions or effects across multiple models. For example, it may be of interest whether an independent variable’s effect changes after adding variables to a model. Or, it could be important to compare a variable’s effect on different outcomes or across different types of models. When doing this, marginal effects are a useful method for quantifying effects because they are in the natural metric of the dependent variable and they avoid identification problems when comparing regression coefficients across logit and probit models.
  8. Assessing Differences between Nested and Cross-Classified Hierarchical Models

    Sociological Methodology, Volume 49, Issue 1, Page 220-257, August 2019.
  9. From Promoting Political Polyarchy to Defeating Participatory Democracy: U.S. Foreign Policy towards the Far Left in Latin America

    During the 1980s, the United States initiated an explicit policy of democracy promotion throughout the world. William Robinson (1996) more accurately described this initiative as “promoting polyarchy,” whereby the United States supported moderate elite actors that promoted neoliberal economic policies to displace both right-wing and communist despots, such as General Augusto Pinochet in Chile and Soviet rulers in Eastern Europe.
  10. Mapping Cultural Schemas: From Theory to Method

    A growing body of research in sociology uses the concept of cultural schemas to explain how culture influences beliefs and actions. However, this work often relies on belief or attitude measures gleaned from survey data as indicators of schemas, failing to measure the cognitive associations that constitute schemas. In this article, we propose a concept-association-based approach for collecting data about individuals’ schematic associations, and a corresponding method for modeling concept network representations of shared cultural schemas.