American Sociological Association

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  1. Against Orthodoxy: Social Theory and Its Discontents

    Contemporary Sociology, Volume 46, Issue 1, Page 29-30, January 2017.
  2. ASA Signs on to Letter Urging the Appointment of a BLS Commissioner

    On May 9, 2017, the American Sociological Association along with 20 other organizations sent a letter to President Trump urging the appointment of a well-credentialed Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Commissioner and urging appropriate BLS funding levels, The BLS is the country’s second largest federal statistical agency and a major producer of the nation’s primary economic indicators.

  3. Science Community Response to Proposed Visa Changes

    ASA signed on to a letter from the American Association for the Advancement of Science expressing our concerns regarding the Notice of Information Collection under OMB Emergency Review: Supplemental Questions for Visa Applicants published in the Federal Register on May 4, 2017.

  4. The Hazards of Expert Control: Chief Risk Officers and Risky Derivatives

    American Sociological Review, Volume 82, Issue 3, Page 511-541, June 2017.
    Abstract
  5. Less Theory. More Description.

    Sociology must worry less about theoretical innovation and more about empirical description.
  6. Shadow Plays: Theory’s Perennial Challenges

    This article argues that theory holds its ground when it confronts itself with the empirics of its claims and this confrontation is geared to the project of increasing analytical specificity. This means (1) shedding as much light as possible on the very process whereby a type of outcome gets generated or takes shape and (2) identifying the factors that condition the likelihood of this process. From this perspective, sound theorizing is predicated on both empirical grounding and analytical specificity.
  7. Puzzling in Sociology: On Doing and Undoing Theoretical Puzzles

    One typical way to motivate a sociological argument is to present the research question as a puzzle. Unlike in physical sciences, sociologists work backward to construct theoretical puzzles from their data. Sociologists risk puzzling for puzzles’ sake, and in so doing, they reify categories and concepts that are not necessary or useful to their empirical material at hand. This essay examines mostly qualitative sociologists’ conventions for puzzling and suggests alternatives rooted in thick description of empirics.
  8. Paul Starr on the Shaping of the American Health Care System

    Health care continues to be a "toxic issue" at the center of American politics but, according to sociologist Paul Starr, it didn't have to be. In an ASA-produced video, Dr. Starr takes a sociological look at the history of health care to see how the medical industry played a role in sending the U.S. in its current course eschewing other options that would have provided universal access. Starr is Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs at Princeton University and author of The Social Transformation of American Medicine.

  9. Review Essays: A Brilliant Work in General Theory

    Richard Swedberg reviews Processual Sociology by Andrew Abbot.
  10. Unemployment, Trust in Government, and Satisfaction with Democracy: An Empirical Investigation

    Evidence suggests that unemployment negatively affects various aspects of individuals’ lives. The author investigates whether unemployment changes individuals’ political evaluations in the form of trust in government and satisfaction with democracy. While most research in this area operates on the macro level, the author provides individual-level evidence. In doing so, the author investigates the assumed causal link with panel data from Switzerland and the Netherlands.