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  1. Study Uses Internet and Social Media to Show How Fracking Documentary Influenced Public Perception and Political Change

    Social scientists have long argued documentary films are powerful tools for social change.

    But a University of Iowa (UI) sociologist and his co-researchers are the first to use the Internet and social media to systematically show how a documentary film reshaped public perception and ultimately led to municipal bans on hydraulic fracking.

  2. 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 new research that will be presented at the 110th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association (ASA).

  3. Protests with Many Participants and Unified Message Most Likely to Influence Politicians, Study Suggests

    Protests that bring many people to the streets who agree among themselves and have a single message are most likely to influence elected officials, suggests a new study.

    “We found that features of a protest can alter the calculations of politicians and how they view an issue,” said Ruud Wouters, an assistant professor of political communication and journalism at the University of Amsterdam and the lead author of the study. “More specifically, the number of participants and unity are the characteristics of a protest that have the greatest ability to change politicians’ opinions.”

  4. Contexts: With a Bullet

    Winter 2015 Vol. 14 No. 1

    New editors Syed Ali and Philip Cohen start their tenure with a bang, including articles on carrying (and concealing) weapons, on the lessons of Ferguson, and what uprisings in France can teach us about protests in the U.S. Also: lesbian geographies, Piketty in perspective, recollections of genocide, and “velvet rope racism” at urban nightclubs.

  5. Sociologists Receive ASA Funding to Study Impact of Laws Permitting Concealed Weapons on College Campuses

    If you are a student at a public college or university in Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Oregon, Texas, Utah, or Wisconsin, the person sitting next to you in class may legally have a handgun under that collegiate sweatshirt he or she is wearing. In these 10 states, legislation allows students and faculty members who have concealed weapon licenses to bring their weapons, such as handguns, to campus. In 2014, bills proposing similar legislation were introduced in 14 states.