ASA speaks with sociologist Christopher Dum at the 2016 ASA Annual Meeting on August, 2016, in Seattle, WA. Dum talks about what it means to “do sociology,” how he uses sociology in his work, highlights of his work in the field, the relevance of sociological work to society, and his advice to students interested in entering the field.
An Undergraduate Degree in Sociology is a Good Stepping Stone to the Future
BA and MA in Sociology
As a research associate, I support a wide range of projects by doing project management, survey development, data collection (using telephone and web-based systems), database management, and report preparation.
Community characteristics play an important role in perpetuating teen suicide clusters and thwarting prevention efforts, according to a new study by sociologists at the University of Chicago (UChicago) and University of Memphis who examined clusters in a single town.
Recent studies have used statistical methods to show that minorities were more likely than equally qualified whites to receive high-cost, high-risk loans during the U.S. housing boom, evidence taken to suggest widespread discrimination in the mortgage lending industry. The evidence, however, was indirect, being inferred from racial differentials that persisted after controlling for other factors known to affect the terms of lending. Here we assemble a qualitative database to generate direct evidence of discrimination.
What factors affect a scientist’s choice of research problem? Qualitative research in the history and sociology of science suggests that this choice is patterned by an “essential tension” between productive tradition and risky innovation. We examine this tension through Bourdieu’s field theory of science, and we explore it empirically by analyzing millions of biomedical abstracts from MEDLINE. We represent the evolving state of chemical knowledge with networks extracted from these abstracts. We then develop a typology of research strategies on these networks.
Explanations of error in survey self-reports have focused on social desirability: that respondents answer questions about normative behavior to appear prosocial to interviewers. However, this paradigm fails to explain why bias occurs even in self-administered modes like mail and web surveys. We offer an alternative explanation rooted in identity theory that focuses on measurement directiveness as a cause of bias.
This special issue highlights new methodological approaches to advance developments in social psychology and expand the methodological toolbox for quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods researchers. We showcase articles that offer a range of innovations, including new methodological approaches, applications, and procedures. The authors link their methodological innovations to the new theoretical insights produced and provide empirical examples that show how their methods advance social psychological theory.
Up until now, it has not been easy to study empirically the process of scientific knowledge production because we rarely have access to a body of data that includes what is rejected as well as what is accepted for publication, and the reasons for these decisions.