American Sociological Association

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  1. Arrested by Skin Color: Evidence from Siblings and a Nationally Representative Sample

    Racial disparities in the criminal justice system are striking, but social scientists know little about skin color inequalities within this system. Research demonstrates that racial minorities with darker skin are more disadvantaged than their lighter skinned counterparts. However, scholars often analyze individuals across families without considering that skin color differences also exist within families. I improve on prior studies with an underused, within-family approach using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health.
  2. On the Weak Mortality Returns of the Prison Boom: Comparing Infant Mortality and Homicide in the Incarceration Ledger

    The justifications for the dramatic expansion of the prison population in recent decades have focused on public safety. Prior research on the efficacy of incarceration offers support for such claims, suggesting that increased incarceration saves lives by reducing the prevalence of homicide. We challenge this view by arguing that the effects of mass incarceration include collateral infant mortality consequences that call into question the number of lives saved through increased imprisonment.
  3. Big Data May Amplify Existing Police Surveillance Practices

    With access to more personal data than ever before, police have the power to solve crimes more quickly, but in practice, the influx of information tends to amplify existing practices, according to sociological research at the University of Texas at Austin.

  4. U.S. has 5 percent of world's population, but had 31 percent of its public mass shooters from 1966-2012

    Despite having only about 5 percent of the world's population, the United States was the attack site for a disproportionate 31 percent of public mass shooters globally from 1966-2012, according to research presented at the 2015 Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association (ASA).

  5. Public Assistance, Relationship Context, and Jail for Child Support Debt

    Previous studies of poverty governance have focused on the welfare system, the criminal justice system, and the connections between them. Yet less attention has been paid to a third institution that bridges the gap between these two systems: child support enforcement. Jailing for child support nonpayment is one of many mechanisms of child support enforcement, but little is known about this tactic.
  6. Philadelphia Pioneered Worldwide Criminal Justice Systems

    by Julie Wiest, West Chester University of Pennsylvania

    Contemporary Philadelphia is known for many things: cheesesteaks, cream cheese, the Rocky movie franchise, that Always Sunny television show, and its many universities. In scholarly circles, it’s renowned as the cradle of American history. But the city—the site of the upcoming ASA 2018 annual meeting—is perhaps less known for its longstanding influence on criminal justice systems worldwide. 

  7. ASA Signs on to Letter Asking Congress to Support and Fund Gun Violence Research

    On Friday, March 2, ASA signed on to a letter from the March for Science asking Congress to approve the funding and support the nation needs to make evidence-based policies to prevent gun violence a reality. The letter frames gun violence as a public health issue. The letter states:

  8. Sticks, Stones, and Molotov Cocktails: Unarmed Collective Violence and Democratization

    Sticks, Stones, and Molotov Cocktails: Unarmed Collective Violence and Democratization

  9. Official Frames and the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921: The Struggle for Reparations

    Movements that seek reparations against racial injustices must confront historic narratives of events and patterns of repression. These injustices are often legitimated through official narratives that discredit and vilify racial groups. This paper analyzes elite official frames in the case of the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921, in which an economically thriving African American neighborhood was destroyed. Our research examines the official frames that were promulgated by white elites in defending the violent repression and analyzes the ongoing efforts by reparations proponents to seek redress.