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  1. States With Punitive Justice Systems Have Higher Rates of Foster Care, Study Finds

    The number of children in foster care across the country is driven not solely by child abuse and neglect, but by states' varying politics and approaches to social problems, a new University of Washington (UW) study finds.

    States with more punitive criminal justice systems tend to remove children from their homes far more frequently than those with generous welfare programs — meaning that two states with similar rates of child abuse and neglect could have very different rates of foster care entry.

  2. New in the ASA Rose Series in Sociology: A Pound of Flesh

    Over seven million Americans are either incarcerated, on probation, or on parole, with their criminal records often following them for life and affecting access to higher education, jobs, and housing. Court-ordered monetary sanctions that compel criminal defendants to pay fines, fees, surcharges, and restitution further inhibit their ability to reenter society. In A Pound of Flesh, sociologist Alexes Harris analyzes the rise of monetary sanctions in the criminal justice system and shows how they permanently penalize and marginalize the poor.

  3. ASA Files Amicus Brief with Supreme Court in Support of Marriage Equality

    The American Sociological Association (ASA) filed an amicus curiae brief in March, 2015 with the Supreme Court of the United States in the same-sex marriage cases pending before the court. The ASA’s brief highlights the social science consensus that children raised by same-sex parents fare just as well as children raised by different-sex parents.

  4. Study Examines Families’ Journeys to Accepting Transgender Children, Mothers Play Key Advocacy Role

    A tiny hair barrette and an anguished moment marked the turning point for one mother in coming to fully accept that her child, who was born a boy, was a transgender girl.

    Quinn had expressed a preference for girls’ clothing and accessories at a young age, but Jessica and her husband, Steve, would not allow her to wear them outside their home.

    One day, picking her up from school, Jessica watched Quinn quickly remove a barrette from her hair and slip it into her pocket, ashamed that her mother might have seen.

  5. Police Violence and Citizen Crime Reporting in the Black Community

    High-profile cases of police violence—disproportionately experienced by black men—may present a serious threat to public safety if they lower citizen crime reporting. Using an interrupted time series design, this study analyzes how one of Milwaukee’s most publicized cases of police violence against an unarmed black man, the beating of Frank Jude, affected police-related 911 calls.

  6. How Parents Fare: Mothers and Fathers Subjective Well-Being in Time with Children

    The shift to more time-intensive and child-centered parenting in the United States is widely assumed to be positively linked to healthy child development, but implications for adult well-being are less clear. We assess multiple dimensions of parents’ subjective well-being in activities with children and explore how the gendered nature of time potentially contributes to differences in mothers’ and fathers’ parenting experiences.

  7. Choice, Preferences, and Constraints: Evidence from Public School Applications in Denver

    Does ‘‘choosing a home’’ still matter for ‘‘choosing a school,’’ despite implementation of school choice policies designed to weaken this link? Prior research shows how the presence of such policies does little to solve the problems of stratification and segregation associated with residentially based enrollment systems, since families differ along racial/ethnic and socioeconomic lines in their access to, and how they participate in, the school choice process. We examine how families’ nearby school supply shapes and constrains their choices.

  8. Income Inequality Leads Millennials to Start Families before Marriage

    Rising income inequality, and the resulting scarcity of certain types of jobs, is a key reason a growing number of young Americans are having babies before getting married.

  9. Elements of Professional Expertise: Understanding Relational and Substantive Expertise through Lawyers’ Impact

    Lawyers keep the gates of public justice institutions, particularly through their roles in formal procedures like hearings and trials. Yet, it is not clear what lawyers do in such quintessentially legal settings: conclusions from past research are bedeviled by a lack of clear theory and inconsistencies in research design. Conceptualizing litigation work in terms of professional expertise, I conduct a theoretically grounded synthesis of the findings of extant studies of lawyers’ impact on civil case outcomes.

  10. Taking Time-Off Work to Raise Children is Damaging to the Careers of Highly Skilled, High Earning Women

    Mothers who leave work to raise children often sacrifice more than the pay for their time off; when they come back their wages reflect lost raises, according to a new study by Paula England, Professor of Sociology at New York University.