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  1. When DNA Evidence Challenges Ideas of A Person’s Racial Purity, White Supremacists Use a Decision Tree to Affirm or Discount the Results

    Now that science can determine a person’s racial and ethnic origins from a cheek swab, those devoted to ideas of racial “purity,” are employing methods of mind games and logic twists to support their beliefs despite facing evidence of their own multiracial heritage.

  2. 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?

  3. After Charlottesville: A Contexts Symposium

    In a joint editorial effort, the editors of Contexts have assembled a group of writers who specialize in research on race, racism, whiteness, nationalism, and immigration to provide sociological insights about how the public, politicians, and academics should process and understand the broader sociohistorical implications of the events in Charlottesville.

  4. Understanding Race After Charlottesville

    Race and white supremacy - topics many sociologists devote a great deal of research to and know well - have, again, become front page topics after violence broke out in Charlottesville last month. On Monday, September 18, the American Sociological Association, American Historical Association, American Anthropological Association, and Society for Applied Anthropology

  5. Interdependent Career Types and Divergent Standpoints on the Use of Advanced Technology in Medicine

    This paper uses the case of the uneven use of a robotic technology to explain how physicians with similar training come to engage in different medical practices. I develop a conceptual framework in which their decisions to use advanced technologies are informed by “interdependent career types,” a concept that incorporates features of the professional social context of physicians’ work and the expertise they use, and reflects how medicine distributes expertise via formal and informal referral structures.
  6. Cultural Guides, Cultural Critics: Distrust of Doctors and Social Support during Mental Health Treatment

    Research on relationships and health often interprets culture as the passively transmitted “content” of social ties, an approach that overlooks the influence of cultural resources on relationships themselves. I propose that mental health patients seek social support partly based on cultural resources held by their network members, including members’ medical knowledge and beliefs. I test hypotheses using data from the Indianapolis Network Mental Health Study, an egocentric network survey of new mental health patients (N = 152) and their personal relationships (N = 1,868).
  7. Review Essays: Little Shop of Horrors? A Digital Age Startup’s Experiment with Radical Transparency

    TechCo, the conversational firm at the center of Catherine Turco’s ethnography, is a fast-growing social media marketing company. Turco opens The Conversational Firm: Rethinking Bureaucracy in the Age of Social Media by introducing the founders of the firm, Eric and Anil, whose mission is “radical openness” in the service of succeeding in the digital economy (p. 15). Eric and Anil believe their organization must be nimble, responding directly and personally to their business customers through social media of all types.
  8. Traditional, Modern, and Post-Secular Perspectives on Science and Religion in the United States

    Using General Social Survey data, we examine perspectives on science and religion in the United States. Latent class analysis reveals three groups based on knowledge and attitudes about science, religiosity, and preferences for certain religious interpretations of the world. The traditional perspective (43 percent) is marked by a preference for religion compared to science; the modern perspective (36 percent) holds the opposite view. A third perspective, which we call post-secular (21 percent), views both science and religion favorably.

  9. Protest Campaigns and Movement Success: Desegregating the U.S. South in the Early 1960s

    Can protest bring about social change? Although scholarship on the consequences of social movements has grown dramatically, our understanding of protest influence is limited; several recent studies have failed to detect any positive effect. We investigate sit-in protest by black college students in the U.S. South in 1960, which targeted segregated lunch counters.

  10. Can New Media Save the Book?

    The New Books Network is using new media to stoke interest in books across a range of disciplines.