American Sociological Association

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  1. Welcome to the ASA Annual Meeting from President Michèle Lamont

    C’est avec grand plaisir que je vous acceuille dans mon bout de pays, “La Belle Province.” That we meet in Montréal to debate “Culture, Inequality, and Social Inclusion across the Globe” is particularly fitting as these very topics have been at the center of the construction of the Canadian community since 1608, in the context of multiple ethno-national and colonial conflicts. Today, many perceive Canadian society as exemplary when it comes to collective wellbeing, immigration policy, and multiculturalism.

  2. Sociologists to Explore the Topics of Culture, Inequalities, and Social Inclusion at Annual Meeting in Montreal, Aug. 12–15

    More than 5,500 sociologists will convene in Montreal this August to explore scientific research relating to social inequality and many other topics, as part of the American Sociological Association’s 112th Annual Meeting. This year’s theme, “Culture, Inequalities, and Social Inclusion across the Globe,” draws attention to the nexus of culture, inequalities, and group boundaries in order to promote greater social inclusion and resilience, collective well-being, and solidarity in Canada, the United States, and globally.

  3. 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).
  4. Complicating Colorism: Race, Skin Color, and the Likelihood of Arrest

    Both conventional public beliefs and existing academic research on colorism presuppose that variation in skin color predicts social outcomes among minorities but is inconsequential among whites. The authors draw on social psychological research on stereotyping to suggest that in quick, low-information decisions such as an arrest, the opposite may be true.
  5. Paternal Incarceration and Teachers’ Expectations of Students

    In the past 40 years, paternal imprisonment has been transformed from an event affecting only the most unfortunate children to one that one in four African American children experience. Although research speculates that the stigma, strain, and separation resulting from paternal incarceration cause the poor outcomes of children of incarcerated fathers, evidence regarding these mechanisms is lacking.
  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. The Cultural-Cognitive Mapping of Scientific Professions

    Even with widespread interest, public perceptions of science remain understudied and poorly theorized by social scientists. A central issue has been the persistent assumption that publics require a base of scientific knowledge for science to have broad cultural meaning. Yet, recent advances in cultural and cognitive sociology point to alternative research programs seeking to identify how publics come to understand complex and uncertain issues, when information is incomplete and asymmetric.
  8. Between Situations: Anticipation, Rhythms, and the Theory of Interaction

    This article pushes interactionist sociology forward. It does so by drawing out the implications of a simple idea, that to understand the situation—the mise en scene of interactionist theory—we must understand it in relation not only to past-induced habits of thought and action but to future situations anticipated in interaction. Focusing especially on the rhythmic nature of situations, the paper then argues that such a recalibration both unsettles core tenets of interactionism and helps solve some problems in the sociology of culture.
  9. Social Networks and Health in a Prison Unit

    Although a growing body of research documents lasting health consequences of incarceration, little is known about how confinement affects inmates’ health while incarcerated. In this study, we examine the role of peer social integration and prisoners’ self-reported health behaviors (smoking, exercise, perception of health, and depression) in a prison unit. We also consider whether inmates with similar health characteristics cluster within the unit.
  10. Beyond Social Contagion: Associative Diffusion and the Emergence of Cultural Variation

    Network models of diffusion predominantly think about cultural variation as a product of social contagion. But culture does not spread like a virus. We propose an alternative explanation we call associative diffusion. Drawing on two insights from research in cognition—that meaning inheres in cognitive associations between concepts, and that perceived associations constrain people’s actions—we introduce a model in which, rather than beliefs or behaviors, the things being transmitted between individuals are perceptions about what beliefs or behaviors are compatible with one another.