American Sociological Association

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  1. 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.

  2. Theorizing Teacher Agency and Reform: How Institutionalized Instructional Practices Change and Persist

    One reason reform does not dramatically change public schools is because instructional practices are highly institutionalized. This article advances a theory for how teacher agency can both change and maintain institutionalized instructional practices in schools. Based on findings from one U.S. urban public school undergoing state-mandated reform, I assert that three mechanisms drive a particular form of teacher agency.

  3. Review Essays: Relationalism Emergent

    Emily Erikson reviews Conceptualizing Relational Sociology: Ontological and Theoretical Issues, edited by Francxois Depe´lteau and Christopher Powell.

  4. Beyond World Images: Belief as Embodied Action in the World

    In this article, we outline the analytic limitations of action theories and interpretive schemes that conceive of beliefs as explicit mental representations linked to a desire-opportunity folk psychology. Drawing on pragmatism and practice theory, we recast the notion of belief as a species of habit, with pre-reflexive anticipation the primary mechanism accounting for both the formation of beliefs and their causal influence on action.

  5. Why Worry about Evolution? Boundaries, Practices, and Moral Salience in Sunni and Evangelical High Schools

    Previous work on conservative Protestant creationism fails to account for other creationists who are much less morally invested in opposition to evolution, raising the sociological question: What causes issues’ moral salience? Through ethnographic fieldwork in four creationist high schools in the New York City area (two Sunni Muslim and two conservative Protestant), I argue that evolution is more important to the Christian schools because it is dissonant with their key practices and boundaries.

  6. Color Perception in Sociology: Materiality and Authenticity at the Gods in Color Show

    Color is a central feature of social life, yet its value in sociological theory is ambiguous. This paper establishes an approach to a social theory of color by focusing on color perception. Using theories from materiality studies and cultural sociology, I argue that color perception is an unstable and contestable phenomenon shaped by social and material factors. My argument is empirically grounded in a case study of a blockbuster museum show called Gods in Color. The show toured 21 cities in Europe and North America from 2003 to 2015.

  7. Within and Beyond the "Fourth Generation" of Revolutionary Theory

    Recent years have seen renewed interest in the study of revolutions. Yet the burgeoning interest in revolutionary events has not been matched by a comparable interest in the development of revolutionary theory. For the most part, empirical studies of revolutions remain contained within the parameters established by the "fourth generation" of revolutionary theory. This body of work sees revolutions as conjunctural amalgams of systemic crisis, structural opening, and collective action, which arise from the intersection of international, economic, political, and symbolic factors.

  8. Bartending and Family Life Might Not Mix, Study Says

    If you want to mix drinks for a living, don’t expect to have a typical family life.

    That was the conclusion of a study by Tulane University sociologists Emily Starr and Alicia McCraw, who interviewed 40 New Orleans area bartenders for their study, “Barkeeps and Barmaids on the White Picket Fence: Bartenders, Gender, and Performative Adulthood,” which they presented at the 111th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association (ASA).

  9. Great Recession’s Other Legacy: Inconsistent Work Hours

    It can be hard to plan for basic needs, like paying rent or taking care of your kids, if you don’t know when you’ll be working next week or just how many hours you will be needed. 

    A new study by researchers at the University of California-Davis, finds that an unpredictable work week is the norm for growing numbers of low-wage workers — nearly 40 percent of whom worked variable hours for at least one four-month period after the start of the 2007-09 Great Recession. 

  10. Lousy Jobs Hurt Your Health by the Time You’re in Your 40s

    Job satisfaction in your late 20s and 30s has a link to overall health in your early 40s, according to a new nationwide study. 

    While job satisfaction had some impact on physical health, its effect was particularly strong for mental health, researchers found. 

    Those less than happy with their work early in their careers said they were more depressed and worried and had more trouble sleeping. 

    And the direction of your job satisfaction — whether it is getting better or worse in your early career — has an influence on your later health, the study showed.