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  1. 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.”

  2. Journeys in Sociology: From First Encounters to Fulfilling Retirements

    The editors and twenty contributors to the essential anthology Journeys in Sociology use a life-course perspective to address the role of sociology in their lives. The power of their personal experiences—during the Great Depression, World War II, or the student protests and social movements in the 1960s and '70s—magnify how and why social change prompted these men and women to study sociology. Moreover, all of the contributors include a discussion of their activities in retirement. 

  3. The Hazards of Expert Control: Chief Risk Officers and Risky Derivatives

    American Sociological Review, Volume 82, Issue 3, Page 511-541, June 2017.
    Abstract
  4. Study: Banks Hired Risk Officers to Mitigate Risk in Years Before Collapse. It Didn’t Go So Well

    New research suggests a significant number of national and international American banks hired new Chief Risk Officers to mitigate risk but may have actually helped lead the industry into widespread insolvency.

    Starting in the 1990s, many major banks hired Chief Risk Officers (CROs) in a response to new laws and regulations put in place following financial meltdowns in the 1980s. In an effort to comply, banking officials elevated risk analysts to corner offices to show they were serious about tackling risk.

  5. Who Is This “We” You Speak of? Grounding Activist Identity in Social Psychology

    What is an activist identity? Prior answers have focused almost exclusively on collective identity, without (a) considering the possibility of role-based identities or (b) grounding collective identities in broader social-psychological theories. The present study investigates activist identity through the lens of role-based and category-based identities and reports two major findings. First, there is a distinct role-based activist identity, one that involves internalizing role responsibilities and the expectations of friends and family.
  6. Review Essays: Sociology’s Messy Eating: Food, Consumer Choice, and Social Change

    In 2002, the historian Warren Belasco remarked that while “food is important . . . food scholars may still evoke a sense of surprise” (Belasco 2002, pp. 2, 5). The sociological importance of food should be obvious: one need not be a Marxist to recognize that food production forms an essential infrastructure for other sorts of social activities, nor a Weberian to perceive the role of eating in status and social closure. And yet, at the time of Belasco’s writing, identifying one’s primary research area as “food” to colleagues at an ASA meeting could evoke a cocked eyebrow and an awkward pause.
  7. 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.

  8. Paul Starr on the Shaping of the American Health Care System

    Health care continues to be a "toxic issue" at the center of American politics but, according to sociologist Paul Starr, it didn't have to be. In an ASA-produced video, Dr. Starr takes a sociological look at the history of health care to see how the medical industry played a role in sending the U.S. in its current course eschewing other options that would have provided universal access. Starr is Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs at Princeton University and author of The Social Transformation of American Medicine.

  9. On Air: Sociologists Discuss Freedom of Speech on College Campuses

    The fight over campus speech has a long history, but recent events suggest it is at least as vitriolic as ever. Headlines are illustrative of how volatile campuses can be with mass protests leading to cancellations of speeches by invited speakers and threats made against academics such as Johnny Williams, a sociology professor at Trinity College. What constitutes acceptable speech on campus? When does it become hate speech? What rights should and do professors, students, and invited speakers have?

  10. Understanding Feminist Activism among Women: Resources, Consciousness, and Social Networks

    This study examines whether women’s feminist activism is connected to three key factors: sufficient educational and financial resources, the internalization of a feminist consciousness, and being involved in feminist mobilization structures. Analysis of the 2012 American National Election Survey (N = 1,876) suggests that participation and engagement in the women’s movement is least common among less educated women and stay-at-home mothers.