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  1. Policy Entrepreneurs and the Origins of the Regulatory Welfare State: Child Labor Reform in Nineteenth-Century Europe

    Industrial child labor laws were the earliest manifestation of the modern regulatory welfare state. Why, despite the absence of political pressure from below, did some states (but not others) succeed in legislating working hours, minimum ages, and schooling requirements for working children in the first half of the nineteenth century? I use case studies of the politics behind the first child labor laws in Germany and France, alongside a case study of a failed child labor reform effort in Belgium, to answer this question.
  2. How Did Our Politics Get Us Here? Research Provides a Good Answer

    One year after Donald Trump’s inauguration, many pundits and citizens alike continue to try to understand the results of the 2016 election. At the heart of the matter is a legitimate question that deserves to be considered not only for its importance to Trump’s victory, but also as it relates to many other governments worldwide and throughout history.  The pressing question is: How can voters find a candidate “authentically appealing” even though to many that candidate appears to be a “lying demagogue”?

  3. The Heterosexual Matrix as Imperial Effect

    While Judith Butler’s concept of the heterosexual matrix is dominant in gender and sexuality studies, it is a curiously aspatial and atemporal concept. This paper seeks to re-embed it within space and time by situating its emergence within colonial and imperial histories. Based on this discussion, it ends with three lessons for contemporary work on gender and sexuality and a broader theorization of sex-gender-sexuality regimes beyond the heterosexual matrix.
  4. ISA’s Global Map of Sociologists for Social Inclusion

    The International Sociological Association has developed the "Global Map of Sociologists for Social Inclusion" (GMSSI) to create a global database of sociologists. GMSSI aims to identify, connect, and enable global collaborations in sociology, and support sociologists who encounter multiple barriers, economic and political, which impede participation in global exchanges.

  5. A Systematic Assessment of “Axial Age” Proposals Using Global Comparative Historical Evidence

    Proponents of the Axial Age contend that parallel cultural developments between 800 and 200 BCE in what is today China, Greece, India, Iran, and Israel-Palestine constitute the global historical turning point toward modernity. The Axial Age concept is well-known and influential, but deficiencies in the historical evidence and sociological analysis available have thwarted efforts to evaluate the concept’s major global contentions. As a result, the Axial Age concept remains controversial.
  6. Education’s Limitations and Its Radical Possibilities

    by Prudence L. Carter, Spring 2018 Contexts

  7. The Structure of Comparison in the Study of Revolution

    The social scientific study of revolution has been deviled by a lack of progress in recent years, divided between competing views on the universality of patterns in revolution. This study examines the origins of these epistemologies. Drawing on an insight that different modes of comparison yield different types of knowledge, I argue that the network structure of how cases are compared constrains or enables the development of a field’s theoretical sensibilities.
  8. Educational Inequalities in Depression: Do Labor Markets Matter?

    There is little theoretical understanding of why educational inequalities in depression are larger in some countries than in others. The current research tries to fill this gap by focusing on the way in which important labor market processes, specifically upgrading and polarization, affect the relationship between education and depression. Analyses are based on a subsample, aged between 20 and 65, in 26 countries participating in the European Social Survey (N = 56,881) in 2006, 2012, and 2014.
  9. Income Inequality Is Changing How Parents Invest in Their Kids, Widening Class Divides in the U.S.

    A new study shows that rising income inequality in the U.S. has led affluent parents to increase spending on their children, widening the gap in child investment along class lines. The results suggest that income inequality erodes the equality of opportunity by increasing gaps between children from a young age.  

  10. Featured Essay: The Contributions of Charles Tilly to the Social Sciences

    Evaluating Charles Tilly’s contributions to the social sciences is not an easy task: “Chuck Tilly was a master of sociological thinking and methodology,” wrote two of his former students when he passed away ten years ago; “But he was sufficiently concerned about getting to the heart and dynamics of questions and topics that he never permitted the blinkers of disciplinary orthodoxy to stand in his way” (Michelson and Wellman 2008).