American Sociological Association

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  1. Union, Premium Cost, and the Provision of Employment-based Health Insurance

    The decline of employment-based health plans is commonly attributed to rising premium costs. Using restricted data and a matched sample from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey–Insurance Component, the authors extend previous studies by testing the relationships among premium costs, employment relationships, and the provision of health benefits between 1999 and 2012. The authors report that both establishment- and state-level union densities are associated with a higher likelihood of employers’ providing health plans, whereas right-to-work legislation is associated with lower provision.
  2. Biases of Online Political Polls: Who Participates?

    With a large portion of the population online and the high cost of phone-based surveys, querying people about their voter preference online can offer an affordable and timely alternative. However, given that there are biases in who adopts various sites and services that are often used as sampling frames (e.g., various social media), online political polls may not represent the views of the overall population. How are such polls biased? Who is most likely to participate in them?
  3. Teaching Content Analysis through Harry Potter

    Content analysis is a valuable research tool for social scientists that unfortunately can prove challenging to teach to undergraduate students. Published classroom exercises designed to teach content analysis have thus far been predominantly envisioned as lengthy projects for upper-level courses. A brief and engaging exercise may be more beneficial for introductory social science courses in which less time can be allotted to any one topic, such as content analysis.

  4. Discovering Race in a “Post-Racial” World: Teaching Race through Primetime Television

    Teaching students about race remains a challenging task for instructors, made even more difficult in the context of a growing “post-racial” discourse. Given this challenge, it is important for instructors to find engaging ways to help students understand the continuing significance of race and racial/ethnic inequality. In this article, we detail an exercise that asks students to analyze representations of race/ethnicity on network television for one week as a way of illustrating white dominance, white privilege, and racial inequality.

  5. Reservation Lands as a Protective Social Factor: An Analysis of Psychological Distress among Two American Indian Tribes

    The unique physical, cultural, and ecological location of U.S. American Indian reservations simultaneously presents risks for mental health and offers sources of resilience to Native peoples. Using survey data from two American Indian tribes, we explore whether the length of one’s life spent on a reservation is associated with lower odds of psychological distress. In both tribes, we find that individuals who live a vast majority of their lives on the reservation have lower odds of psychological distress than individuals who spent portions of their life off or near the reservation.
  6. The Institutional Determinants of Health Insurance: Moving Away from Labor Market, Marriage, and Family Attachments under the ACA

    For more than a century, the American welfare state required working-age adults to obtain social welfare benefits through their linkages to employers, spouses, or children. Recent changes to U.S. healthcare policy prompted by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), however, provide adults with new pathways for accessing a key form of social welfare—health insurance—decoupled from employers, spouses, and children.
  7. Does Patient-centered Care Change Genital Surgery Decisions? The Strategic Use of Clinical Uncertainty in Disorders of Sex Development Clinics

    Genital surgery in children with ambiguous or atypical genitalia has been marred by controversies about the appropriateness and timing of surgery, generating clinical uncertainty about decision making. Since 2006, medical experts and patient advocates have argued for putting the child’s needs central as patient-centered care. Based on audio recordings of 31 parent–clinician interactions in three clinics of disorders of sex development, we analyze how parents and clinicians decide on genital surgery. We find that clinicians and parents aim for parent-centered rather than infant-centered care.
  8. Income Inequality and Population Health: A Global Gradient?

    Cross-national empirical research about the link between income inequality and population health produces conflicting conclusions. We address these mixed findings by examining the degree to which the income inequality and health relationship varies with economic development. We estimate fixed-effects models with different measures of income inequality and population health. Results suggest that development moderates the association between inequality and two measures of population health. Our findings produce two generalizations.
  9. Healthcare Work in Marriage: How Gay, Lesbian, and Heterosexual Spouses Encourage and Coerce Medical Care

    Marriage benefits health in part because spouses promote one another’s well-being, yet how spouses facilitate formal healthcare (e.g., doctor’s visits, emergency care) via what we call healthcare work is unknown. Moreover, like other aspects of the marital-health link, healthcare work dynamics likely vary by gender and couple type. To explore this possibility, we use in-depth interviews with 90 midlife gay, lesbian, and heterosexual spouses to examine how spouses perform healthcare work.
  10. Like a Fish out of Water: Managing Chronic Pain in the Urban Safety Net

    The subjective nature of pain has always rendered it a point of entry for power and corresponding stratifying processes within biomedicine. The opioid crisis has further exacerbated these challenges by increasing the stakes of prescribing decisions for providers, which in turn has resulted in greater treatment disparities.