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  1. From Promoting Political Polyarchy to Defeating Participatory Democracy: U.S. Foreign Policy towards the Far Left in Latin America

    During the 1980s, the United States initiated an explicit policy of democracy promotion throughout the world. William Robinson (1996) more accurately described this initiative as “promoting polyarchy,” whereby the United States supported moderate elite actors that promoted neoliberal economic policies to displace both right-wing and communist despots, such as General Augusto Pinochet in Chile and Soviet rulers in Eastern Europe.
  2. Tobacco 21

    Paula M. Lantz on the evidence around a popular “PUP” law.
  3. Early-life Medicaid Coverage and Intergenerational Economic Mobility

    New data reveal significant variation in economic mobility outcomes across U.S. localities. This suggests that social structures, institutions, and public policies—particularly those that influence critical early-life environments—play an important role in shaping mobility processes. Using new county-level estimates of intergenerational economic mobility for children born between 1980 and 1986, we exploit the uneven expansions of Medicaid eligibility across states to isolate the causal effect of this specific policy change on mobility outcomes.
  4. When the Personal is Political—and Infectious

    Privilege, distrust, individual choice, and parental care all factor into vaccine resistance, but the consequences are anything but personal.

  5. The Struggle to Save Abortion Care

    by Carole Joffe, Summer 2018 Contexts

  6. Statement on the Importance of Free Movement of Scholars Across Borders

    ASA has recently been alerted to efforts by the Israeli government to tighten restrictions on international academics who teach at Palestinian institutions of higher education.
     

  7. Shifting Racial Subjectivities and Ideologies in Brazil

    Census ethnoracial categories often reflect national ideologies and attendant subjectivities. Nonetheless, Brazilians frequently prefer the non-census terms moreno (brown) and negro (black), and both are core to antithetical ideologies: racial ambiguity versus racial affirmation. Their use may be in flux as Brazil recently adopted unprecedented race-targeted public policy. We examine propensities to self-classify as moreno and negro before and after the policy shift.
  8. The Social Construction of Illness: Key Insights and Policy Implications

    The social construction of illness is a major research perspective in medical sociology. This article traces the roots of this perspective and presents three overarching constructionist findings. First, some illnesses are particularly embedded with cultural meaning—which is not directly derived from the nature of the condition—that shapes how society responds to those afflicted and influences the experience of that illness. Second, all illnesses are socially constructed at the experiential level, based on how individuals come to understand and live with their illness.

  9. Stress and Health: Major Findings and Policy Implications

    Forty decades of sociological stress research offer five major findings. First, when stressors (negative events, chronic strains, and traumas) are measured comprehensively, their damaging impacts on physical and mental health are substantial. Second, differential exposure to stressful experiences is a primary way that gender, racial-ethnic, marital status, and social class inequalities in physical and mental health are produced. Third, minority group members are additionally harmed by discrimination stress.

  10. Social Relationships and Health: A Flashpoint for Health Policy

    Social relationships—both quantity and quality—affect mental health, health behavior, physical health, and mortality risk. Sociologists have played a central role in establishing the link between social relationships and health outcomes, identifying explanations for this link, and discovering social variation (e.g., by gender and race) at the population level.