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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. Becoming a Stickup Kid

    Randol Contreras’ drug-robber respondents were not born criminals or torturers, so how did they become "stick-up kids"?

  4. "No Fracking Way!" Documentary Film, Discursive Opportunity, and Local Opposition against Hydraulic Fracturing in the United States, 2010 to 2013

    Recent scholarship highlights the importance of public discourse for the mobilization and impact of social movements, but it neglects how cultural products may shift discourse and thereby influence mobilization and political outcomes. This study investigates how activism against hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") utilized cultural artifacts to influence public perceptions and effect change. A systematic analysis of Internet search data, social media postings, and newspaper articles allows us to identify how the documentary Gasland reshaped public discourse.

  5. Orange Is Still Pink: Mental Illness, Gender Roles, and Physical Victimization in Prisons

    Although research has established a very strong relationship between the presence of a psychiatric disorder and victimization in prisons, some gaps remain in our understanding. This study considers the importance of gender differences in this relationship. Estimates based on the 2004 Survey of Inmates in State and Federal Correctional Facilities show that psychiatric disorders have a stronger relationship with victimization among male inmates than among female inmates. Yet the size of the gender difference varies greatly depending on the specific disorder.

  6. Unburdening Stigma: Identity Repair through Rituals in Mental Health Court

    A growing trend in the criminal justice system is the move toward problem-solving courts, including mental health courts. Using case studies of two mental health courts in a West Coast city, this article seeks to explore how mental health courts may operate by reducing stigma among clients. From observations of the court process in mental health courts and qualitative interviews with mental health court professional staff and mental health court clients, ritual process emerged as a powerful theme that underscores the management of social stigma.

  7. Toward a Dynamic Theory of Action at the Micro Level of Genocide: Killing, Desistance, and Saving in 1994 Rwanda

    This article is about behavioral variation in genocide. Research frequently suggests that violent behaviors can be explained by or treated as synonymous with ethnic categories. This literature also tends to pre-group actors as perpetrators, victims, or bystanders for research purposes. However, evidence that individuals cross boundaries from killing to desistance and saving throughout genocide indicates that the relationship between behaviors and categories is often in flux.

  8. Group Position, Threat, and Immigration: The Role of Interest Groups and Elite Actors in Setting the "Lines of Discussion"

    The purpose of this paper is to move research on racial attitudes away from studying intraindividual attitudes toward studying broader structural factors that contribute to the attitudes and feelings of U.S. citizens. We focus on how interest groups and elite actors play a role in shaping the discourse on immigrants and the immigration debate in the twenty-first century. Herbert Blumer posed that over time, the dominant group develops certain feelings toward subordinate group members and that these feelings form the basis of racial prejudice.

  9. (Collective) Memory of Racial Violence and the Social Construction of the Hispanic Category among Houston Hispanics

    Prior U.S.-based research examining the collective remembrance of racially charged events has focused on the black-white binary, largely bypassing such remembrance among U.S. Hispanics. In this article, I ask how a group of Mexican-origin Hispanics in an historic Houston barrio remember two racially charged events as well as whether and how these events are publicly commemorated. Additionally, race and collective memory research has often highlighted the role of collective memory in shaping race relations.

  10. Memorializing Lynch Victims: Countering Colorblind Ideologies with Experiential Learning

    This article describes a class project designed to develop students’ abilities to use their sociological imagination to better understand the structural sources of racial inequality. The event consisted of a memorial reading of the names of more than 4,000 documented lynch victims in the United States. Authors conducted a pretest and posttest on racial attitudes in large Introduction to Sociology courses. Posttest responses evidenced less support for "colorblind" ideologies and greater support for structural sources of inequality.