American Sociological Association

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  1. The Content of Our #Characters: Black Twitter as Counterpublic

    Much media attention has been placed on "Black Twitter," a collective composed primarily of African Americans who have managed to effect change through the microblogging platform Twitter. Organized around the hashtag #BlackTwitter, this collection of users has been credited with injecting uniquely black concerns and perspectives into the national discourse. However, Black Twitter as an entity has not been theoretically contextualized and grounded in empirical research.

  2. Marketing Black Babies versus Recruiting Black Families: The Racialized Strategies Private Adoption Agencies Use to Find Homes for Black Babies

    By analyzing adoption websites, the author explores the racialized nature of the private adoption industry, beginning with a problem seemingly faced by many adoption professionals: finding homes for Black babies. By examining various approaches to this problem, the author identifies the racial projects engaged in by adoption professionals. Although most adoption websites reproduce racial hierarchies, websites that contest the racial system are also found.

  3. Study Reveals Incarceration’s Hidden Wounds for African American Men

    There’s a stark and troubling way that incarceration diminishes the ability of a former inmate to empathize with a loved one behind bars, but existing sociological theories fail to capture it, Vanderbilt University sociologists have found.

  4. Income Inequality Leads Millennials to Start Families before Marriage

    Rising income inequality, and the resulting scarcity of certain types of jobs, is a key reason a growing number of young Americans are having babies before getting married.

  5. Dignity and Dreams: What the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Means to Low-Income Families

    Money has meaning that shapes its uses and social significance, including the monies low-income families draw on for survival: wages, welfare, and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). This study, based on in-depth interviews with 115 low-wage EITC recipients, reveals the EITC is an unusual type of government transfer. Recipients of the EITC say they value the debt relief this government benefit brings. However, they also perceive it as a just reward for work, which legitimizes a temporary increase in consumption.

  6. Lifetime Socioeconomic Status, Historical Context, and Genetic Inheritance in Shaping Body Mass in Middle and Late Adulthood

    This study demonstrates that body mass in middle and late adulthood is a consequence of the complex interplay among individuals’ genes, lifetime socioeconomic experiences, and the historical context in which they live. Drawing on approximately 9,000 genetic samples from the Health and Retirement Study, we first investigate how socioeconomic status (SES) over the life course moderates the impact of 32 established obesity-related genetic variants on body mass index (BMI) in middle and late adulthood.

  7. Health Insurance Status and Symptoms of Psychological Distress among Low-income Urban Women

    Although numerous studies have considered the effects of having health insurance on access to health care, physical health, and mortality risk, the association between insurance coverage and mental health has been surprisingly understudied. Building on previous work, we use data collected from a two-year follow-up of low-income women living in Boston, Chicago, and San Antonio to estimate a series of latent fixed-effects regression models assessing the association between insurance status and symptoms of psychological distress.

  8. Class Advantage, Commitment Penalty: The Gendered Effect of Social Class Signals in an Elite Labor Market

    Research on the mechanisms that reproduce social class advantages in the United States focuses primarily on formal schooling and pays less attention to social class discrimination in labor markets. We conducted a résumé audit study to examine the effect of social class signals on entry into large U.S. law firms. We sent applications from fictitious students at selective but non-elite law schools to 316 law firm offices in 14 cities, randomly assigning signals of social class background and gender to otherwise identical résumés.

  9. Police Violence Against Unarmed Black Men Results in Loss of Thousands of Crime-Related 911 Calls

    A new study shows that publicized cases of police violence against unarmed black men have a clear and significant negative impact on citizen crime reporting, specifically 911 calls.   

  10. New Study Contradicts Perceived Immigrant Education Paradox

    For years, social science research has revealed a seemingly paradoxical pattern in which educational attainment of immigrant children, even with language and cultural disadvantages, surpasses that of their native-born same socio-economic status peers. This is known as the immigrant paradox in education. Based on these findings scholars have suggested that Americanization is a developmental risk and have raised concerns that United States culture is inferior in some ways to other national cultures.