American Sociological Association

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  1. Becoming a Stickup Kid

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

  2. Stopping the Drama: Gendered Influence in a Network Field Experiment

    Drawing on theories of social norms, we study the relative influence of female and male students using a year-long, network-based field experiment of an anti-harassment intervention program in a high school. A randomly selected subset of highly connected students participated in the intervention. We test whether these highly connected females and males influenced other students equally when students and teachers considered the problem of "drama"—peer conflict and harassment—to be associated with girls more than with boys.

  3. Reproducing and Reworking Colorblind Racial Ideology: Acknowledging Childrens Agency in the White Habitus

    What is the relationship between white children’s interpretations of racial phenomena and dominant racial ideology? Do children passively adopt dominant racial ideological positions, the result of a "deep cultural conditioning" that happens to children? Do kids assertively challenge ideologies, rejecting adults’ authoritative worldviews through enacting child agency? Or is something more dialectically complex occurring that includes both reproduction and reinvention?

  4. 2012 Presidential Address: Transforming Capitalism through Real Utopias

    This address explores a broad framework for thinking sociologically about emancipatory alternatives to dominant institutions and social structures, especially capitalism. The framework is grounded in two foundational propositions: (1) Many forms of human suffering and many deficits in human flourishing are the result of existing institutions and social structures. (2) Transforming existing institutions and social structures in the right way has the potential to substantially reduce human suffering and expand the possibilities for human flourishing.

  5. Should I Stay or Should I Go? Reciprocity, Negotiation, and the Choice of Structurally Disadvantaged Actors to Remain in Networks

    Drawing on existing theories of social exchange as well as self-categorization theory, we consider how two forms of direct exchange influence whether structurally disadvantaged actors choose to stay in the micro-structures that disadvantage them.

  6. Ethnic Diversity and Social Trust: Evidence from the Micro-Context

    We argue that residential exposure to ethnic diversity reduces social trust. Previous within-country analyses of the relationship between contextual ethnic diversity and trust have been conducted at higher levels of aggregation, thus ignoring substantial variation in actual exposure to ethnic diversity. In contrast, we analyze how ethnic diversity of the immediate micro-context—where interethnic exposure is inevitable—affects trust.

  7. The Bourgeoisie Dream Factory

    Effectively teaching sociological theories to undergraduate students is challenging. Students often enroll in theory courses due to major requirements, not personal interest. Consequently, many students approach the study of theory with anxiety. This study examined the effectiveness of an experiential learning activity designed to teach Karl Marx’s theory of alienation. Based on pretest/posttest surveys, responses to open-ended questions, and observational data, students reported that the activity helped them gain a clearer understanding of Marx.

  8. What Is the Relation between Theory and Practice, and Did Marx Discuss Engineering Society?

    My impression of Marx’s understanding of theory and praxis is that the transition from capitalism to socialism is contingent on the historical circumstances at any given point in time. The logic of capital creates certain preconditions that set the stage for the transition, but the transition is by no means guaranteed to unfold, or unfold in a clearly predictable manner. One of the preconditions is the concentration of capital into the hands of few and the general tendency toward increasing relative poverty of workers.

  9. Review Essays: New Sociology of Housing

    In 2013, Mary Pattillo proposed a new agenda for the sociology of housing, focused on the way that rights to housing are created, distributed, and enforced (Pattillo 2013). The books here take up her call. They focus, respectively, on private rental housing, subsidized affordable housing in mixed-income developments, and debt-financed home ownership. What they have in common is a focus on housing not only as a built environment, a location in space, or a habitation where we learn and enact cultural practices, but also as a set of positions in social relations.
  10. I-Challenges: Influencing Others’ Perspectives by Mentioning Personal Experiences in Therapeutic Community Group Meetings

    In this article, I examine the communicative practice of mentioning a personal experience as a vehicle for challenging a peer’s perspective. I study this in the context of therapeutic community (TC) group meetings for clients recovering from drug misuse. Using conversation analysis, I demonstrate that TC clients use this practice, which I call an I-challenge, to influence how their peers make sense of their own experiences and to do so without commenting on those peers’ experiences and perspectives.