ASA speaks with sociologists Manisha Desai and Zakia Salime at the 2016 ASA Annual Meeting on August, 2016, in Seattle, WA. Desai and Salime talk about what it means to “do sociology,” how they use sociology in their work, highlights of their work in the field, the relevance of sociological work to society, and their advice to students interested in entering the field.
What drives local decisions to prohibit industrial land uses? This study examines the passage of municipal ordinances prohibiting gas development using hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") in New York State. I argue that local action against fracking depended on multiple conceptions of the shale gas industry.
In this essay, we reflect on the history and legacies of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement and suggest avenues of future research of interest to scholars of ethnic and racial movements. First, we unpack how the Civil Rights Movement developed as a major movement utilizing both international and domestic influences. Second, we consider the central role of technology—including television and Internet communication technologies (ICTs)—in shaping contemporary ethnic and racial activism.
This paper explores current understandings and proposes new directions for research on the place of race in rightist social movements in the contemporary United States. We examine two broad categories of rightist movements. The first is white-majority conservative movements that deny their participation in racialized politics but in which race is implicit in their ideologies and agendas, such as the Tea Party. The second is far-right movements that explicitly espouse racist ideologies and agendas, such as neo-Nazi groups.
Political opportunity theory has proven extremely generative, highlighting the importance of macro-structural shifts in making established authorities vulnerable to insurgent challenge. But as critics point out, political opportunity theory flattens both culture and agency, and has fared poorly in explaining the timing of insurgency. Re-theorizing opportunity as leveraged by particular practices, rather than independently conferring to groups, redresses these limits, revealing the proximate causes of mobilization and influence.
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.
There is widespread agreement from many areas of status research that evaluators’ judgments of performances can be distorted by the status of the performer. The question arises as to whether status distorts perceptions differently at different levels of performance quality. Using data from the Columbia Musiclab study, we conduct a large-scale test of whether the effect of popularity on private perceptions of likeability is contingent on songs’ intrinsic appeal.
This project explores whether and how corporations become more receptive to social activist challenges over time. Drawing from social movement theory, we suggest a dynamic process through which contentious interactions lead to increased receptivity. We argue that when firms are chronically targeted by social activists, they respond defensively by adopting strategic management devices that help them better manage social issues and demonstrate their normative appropriateness.
Building on Karl Mannheim’s theory of generations, this address argues that U.S. Millennials comprise a new political generation with lived experiences and worldviews that set them apart from their elders. Not only are they the first generation of “digital natives,” but, although they are more educated than any previous U.S. generation, they face a labor market in which precarity is increasingly the norm.
We present a methodological innovation for analyzing archival data that involves the framing strategies from the failed 1980 Iowa Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). First, we conducted an archival analysis that suggested that pro-ERA groups used “frame resonance,” a strategy prominent in the social movement literature where activists align issues with ideologies. Meanwhile, anti-ERA groups used what we coin here as “frame dissonance” by depicting how passing the ERA clashed with ideologies.