ASA speaks with sociologists Manisha Desai and Zakia Salime at the 2016 ASA Annual Meeting on August, 2016, in Seattle, WA. Desai and Salime talk about what it means to “do sociology,” how they use sociology in their work, highlights of their work in the field, the relevance of sociological work to society, and their advice to students interested in entering the field.
Bureaucratic and patrimonial theories of organized crime tend to miss the history and mobility of crime groups integrating into and organizing with legitimate society. The network property of multiplexity—when more than one type of relationship exists between a pair of actors—offers a theoretical and empirical inroad to analyzing overlapping relationships of seemingly disparate social spheres.
What drives local decisions to prohibit industrial land uses? This study examines the passage of municipal ordinances prohibiting gas development using hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") in New York State. I argue that local action against fracking depended on multiple conceptions of the shale gas industry.
Identifying casual peer influence is a long-standing challenge to social scientists. Using data from a natural experiment of randomly-assigned college roommates (N = 2,059), which removes the threat of friend selection, we investigate peer effects on aggressive behavior, smoking, and concurrent sexual partnering. The findings suggest that the magnitude and direction of peer influence depend on predisposition, gender, and the nature of the behavior.
Community college faculty who teach sociology are drawn to their positions for reasons that are personal and meaningful to them, including serving a diverse and underserved population and advancing social justice principles. This is despite the oftentimes challenging work conditions faced at community colleges, according to a new study by members of the American Sociological Association (ASA) Task Force on Community College Faculty in Sociology.
The day before the Louisiana Republican primary in March 2016, I watched Donald Trump’s Boeing 757 descend from the sky at the Lakefront Airport in New Orleans, Louisiana. Inside the crowded hangar, Elton John’s “Rocket Man” was playing. Red, white, and blue strobe lights roved sideways and up. Cell phones snapped photos of the blond-haired candidate as he stood before thousands waving and shaking signs that read MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN. A small, wiry man bearing this sign with both hands, eyes afire, called out to all within earshot, “To be in the presence of such a man!
In this essay, we reflect on the history and legacies of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement and suggest avenues of future research of interest to scholars of ethnic and racial movements. First, we unpack how the Civil Rights Movement developed as a major movement utilizing both international and domestic influences. Second, we consider the central role of technology—including television and Internet communication technologies (ICTs)—in shaping contemporary ethnic and racial activism.
This paper explores current understandings and proposes new directions for research on the place of race in rightist social movements in the contemporary United States. We examine two broad categories of rightist movements. The first is white-majority conservative movements that deny their participation in racialized politics but in which race is implicit in their ideologies and agendas, such as the Tea Party. The second is far-right movements that explicitly espouse racist ideologies and agendas, such as neo-Nazi groups.
Money has meaning that shapes its uses and social significance, including the monies low-income families draw on for survival: wages, welfare, and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). This study, based on in-depth interviews with 115 low-wage EITC recipients, reveals the EITC is an unusual type of government transfer. Recipients of the EITC say they value the debt relief this government benefit brings. However, they also perceive it as a just reward for work, which legitimizes a temporary increase in consumption.
Political opportunity theory has proven extremely generative, highlighting the importance of macro-structural shifts in making established authorities vulnerable to insurgent challenge. But as critics point out, political opportunity theory flattens both culture and agency, and has fared poorly in explaining the timing of insurgency. Re-theorizing opportunity as leveraged by particular practices, rather than independently conferring to groups, redresses these limits, revealing the proximate causes of mobilization and influence.