American Sociological Association

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  1. Review Essays: Mass Incarceration and Its Discontents

    The contours of mass incarceration are, by now, broadly familiar. The U.S. incarceration rate began an unprecedented ascent in the 1970s. This trend continued through 2007, when 760 of every 100,000 U.S. residents—nearly 1 in 100 adults—lived behind bars, five million others were on probation or parole, more than ten million were booked into jail, and nearly one in three U.S. residents had a criminal record (Kaeble and Glaze 2016, Table 4; PEW Center on the States 2008; Sabol 2014; Subramanian et al. 2016).
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

  5. 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).

  6. 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.
  7. 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. 

  8. The Role of Social Media in Collective Processes of Place Making: A Study of Two Neighborhood Blogs in Amsterdam

    The wide use of social media has facilitated new social practices that influence place meaning. This paper uses a double case study of two neighborhood blogs in gentrifying communities, to explore the role of social media in sharing place associations and community formation. Drawing on Collins’ theory of interaction ritual chains, this research project investigates how the intertwining of online and offline interaction around the blogs creates interaction chains whereby the place associations of participants in the blog become more aligned, creating an alternative place narrative.