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  1. From “Ridiculous” to “Glad to Have Helped”: Debriefing News Delivery and Improved Reactions to Science in Milgram’s “Obedience” Experiments

    Commentators on Milgram’s classic and controversial experiments agree that better integration of theories of “obedience to authority” with current archival research on participants’ viewpoints is essential in explaining compliance. Using conversation analysis, we examine an archived data source that is largely overlooked by the Milgram literature, yet crucial for understanding the interactional organization of participants’ displayed perspectives. In hundreds of interviews conducted immediately after each experiment, participants received one of two types of debriefing: deceptive or full.
  2. Definitions and the Development of Theory in Social Psychology

    Formal definitions specify what is necessary and sufficient for the identification of a particular term. These formal definitions use precise language and do not admit contradictions; they are exact class. There are multiple advantages of exact class definitions. They enable us to confidently use deductive arguments so we can ensure that the terms in the premises match the terms in the conclusion. They prevent sloppiness and circularity of logic. They also help us look beyond common sense or what we think we already know.
  3. The Love of Neuroscience: A Sociological Account

    I make a contribution to the sociology of epistemologies by examining the neuroscience literature on love from 2000 to 2016. I find that researchers make consequential assumptions concerning the production or generation of love, its temporality, its individual character, and appropriate control conditions. Next, I consider how to account for these assumptions’ being common in the literature.
  4. Gender, Punishment, and Cooperation: Men Hurt Others to Advance Their Interests

    A laboratory experiment reports on gender, cooperation, and punishment in two public goods games using high-powered punishment. In a public goods games with punishment, no statistically significant differences between men and women are reported. In a modified game that includes an explicit payoff for relative performance, men punish more than women, men obtain higher rank, and punishment by males decreases payoffs for both men and women. These results contribute to the debate about the origins and maintenance of cooperation.
  5. Virtual Rituals: Community, Emotion, and Ritual in Massive Multiplayer Online Role-playing Games—A Quantitative Test and Extension of Structural Ritualization Theory

    Millions of people worldwide immerse themselves in massive multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs). These games generate large, diverse communities that engage in rituals within the game, completing missions or quests. What role do these MMORPG rituals play in commitment to these gaming communities? To address this question, we extend structural ritualization theory to explain the impact of ritual events and emotion on commitment to community in the game World of Warcraft.
  6. The High of Cultural Experience: Toward a Microsociology of Cultural Consumption

    Does the experience of cultural consumption have its own sui generis attraction and value in itself, or is it an index of external social ranking? Four criteria are proposed that are observable in microsociological detail: (1) bodily self-absorption in the cultural experience, creating an intense internal interaction ritual; (2) collective effervescence among the audience; (3) Goffmanian front-stage self-presentation in settings of cultural consumption; and (4) verbal discourse during and around the cultural experience.

  7. A Rosier Reality: Incongruency in Stated and Revealed Ingroup Preferences among Young Asian American Speed Daters

    Several studies have identified inconsistencies between “stated” interpersonal attitudes and those “revealed” after an interaction. The authors used the speed-dating paradigm to examine stated and revealed attitudes in ingroup preferences among Asian American subgroups (Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, and Filipino Americans). Young single Asian Americans (n = 198) reported preferences for dating different ethnicities and went on speed dates, after which they could offer second dates to their partners. As expected, all four ethnic subgroups showed clear ingroup biases in stated preferences.
  8. Suspended Attitudes: Exclusion and Emotional Disengagement from School

    We know far less about the unintended social-psychological consequences of out-of-school suspensions on students than we do of the academic, behavioral, and civic consequences. Drawing on theories of socialization and deviance, I explore how suspension events influence students’ emotional engagement in school through changes in their attitudes. Using longitudinal middle school survey data connected to individual student administrative records, I find that students who receive out-of-school suspensions are psychologically vulnerable prior to their removal from school.
  9. 2018 Presidential Address: Feeling Race: Theorizing the Racial Economy of Emotions

    In this presidential address, I advance a theoretical sketch on racialized emotions—the emotions specific to racialized societies. These emotions are central to the racial edifice of societies, thus, analysts and policymakers should understand their collective nature, be aware of how they function, and appreciate the existence of variability among emoting racial subjects. Clarity on these matters is key for developing an effective affective politics to challenge any racial order. After the sketch, I offer potential strategies to retool our racial emotive order as well as our racial selves.
  10. Psychological Distress Transmission in Same-sex and Different-sex Marriages

    Ample work stresses the interdependence of spouses’ psychological distress and that women are more influenced by their spouse’s distress than men. Yet previous studies have focused primarily on heterosexual couples, raising questions about whether and how this gendered pattern might unfold for men and women in same-sex marriages.