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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. Study Dispels Myth About Propensity of U.S. Millionaires to Move From High to Low Tax States

    The view that the rich are highly mobile has gained much political traction in recent years and has become a central argument in debates about whether there should be "millionaire taxes" on top-income earners. But a new study dispels the common myth about the propensity of millionaires in the United States to move from high to low tax states.

  3. Troubled Teens in Therapeutic Boarding School Adopt Atypical Gender Behaviors to Reassert Dominance

    While studying the rapid growth of the therapeutic boarding school industry, Jessica A. Pfaffendorf observed that troubled young men in at least one program most often displayed a type of “hybrid masculinity.”

    This observation — young men incorporating more feminine behaviors in their social interactions while at boarding school — presented a notable incongruence.

  4. Relationships With Family Members, But Not Friends, Decrease Likelihood of Death

    For older adults, having more or closer family members in one’s social network decreases his or her likelihood of death, but having a larger or closer group of friends does not, finds a new study that was presented at the 111th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association (ASA).

  5. Americans Think Sex Should Determine Chores for Straight Couples, Masculinity and Femininity For Same-Sex Couples

    For heterosexual couples, most Americans still believe in the traditional division of household labor between husbands and wives, while for same-sex couples, they think the “more masculine” partner and the “more feminine” partner should generally be responsible for stereotypically male and female chores, respectively, suggests a new study that was presented at the 111th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association (ASA).   

  6. Trust Is Key Motivator for Individuals Who Protest on Behalf of People Different From Them

    It appears that people who actively participate in demonstrations during social movements on behalf of those dissimilar to them do so for two important reasons.

    First, they trust their outgroup peers. Secondly, the political climate in their home countries actually fosters both trust and political engagement, and this is particularly true in countries with well-functioning political institutions.

  7. ‘I Miss You So Much’: How Twitter Is Broadening the Conversation on Death and Mourning

    Death and mourning were largely considered private matters in the 20th century, with the public remembrances common in previous eras replaced by intimate gatherings behind closed doors in funeral parlors and family homes.

    But social media is redefining how people grieve, and Twitter in particular — with its ephemeral mix of rapid-fire broadcast and personal expression — is widening the conversation around death and mourning, two University of Washington (UW) sociologists say.

  8. Ramen Noodles Supplanting Cigarettes as Currency Among Prisoners

    Ramen noodles are supplanting the once popular cigarettes as a form of currency among state prisoners, but not in response to bans on tobacco products within prison systems, finds a new study. 

    Instead, study author Michael Gibson-Light, a doctoral candidate in the University of Arizona School of Sociology, found that inmates are trying to figure out ways to better feed themselves as certain prison services are being defunded. 

  9. Study Finds Changes to Retirement Savings System May Exacerbate Economic Inequality

    A shift to defined-contribution retirement plans, such as 401(k) plans, has led to an income and education gap in pension savings that could exacerbate future economic inequality, according to a study that was presented at the 111th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association (ASA).

  10. 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.”