American Sociological Association

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  1. Institutions, Incorporation, and Inequality: The Case of Minority Health Inequalities in Europe

    Scholars interested in the relationship between social context and health have recently turned attention further “upstream” to understand how political, social, and economic institutions shape the distribution of life chances across contexts. We compare minority health inequalities across 22 European countries (N = 199,981) to investigate how two such arrangements—welfare state effort and immigrant incorporation policies—influence the distribution of health and health inequalities. We examine two measures of health from seven waves of the European Social Survey.
  2. 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.
  3. Contexts: Understanding People in their Social Worlds

    Features include "Why Sociology needs Science Fiction", "The Struggle to Save Abortion Care", "Invisible Inequality "Wounded Warriors", "When the Personal is Political - and Infectious", and "Global Capitalism in the Age of Trump."

  4. The Struggle to Save Abortion Care

    Resisting both physical attacks and widespread policy proscriptions, mission-driven abortion care providers continue working to help their patients.

  5. The Struggle to Save Abortion Care

    by Carole Joffe, Summer 2018 Contexts

  6. Social Networks and Health in a Prison Unit

    Although a growing body of research documents lasting health consequences of incarceration, little is known about how confinement affects inmates’ health while incarcerated. In this study, we examine the role of peer social integration and prisoners’ self-reported health behaviors (smoking, exercise, perception of health, and depression) in a prison unit. We also consider whether inmates with similar health characteristics cluster within the unit.
  7. Union, Premium Cost, and the Provision of Employment-based Health Insurance

    The decline of employment-based health plans is commonly attributed to rising premium costs. Using restricted data and a matched sample from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey–Insurance Component, the authors extend previous studies by testing the relationships among premium costs, employment relationships, and the provision of health benefits between 1999 and 2012. The authors report that both establishment- and state-level union densities are associated with a higher likelihood of employers’ providing health plans, whereas right-to-work legislation is associated with lower provision.
  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. The Institutional Determinants of Health Insurance: Moving Away from Labor Market, Marriage, and Family Attachments under the ACA

    For more than a century, the American welfare state required working-age adults to obtain social welfare benefits through their linkages to employers, spouses, or children. Recent changes to U.S. healthcare policy prompted by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), however, provide adults with new pathways for accessing a key form of social welfare—health insurance—decoupled from employers, spouses, and children.
  10. Like a Fish out of Water: Managing Chronic Pain in the Urban Safety Net

    The subjective nature of pain has always rendered it a point of entry for power and corresponding stratifying processes within biomedicine. The opioid crisis has further exacerbated these challenges by increasing the stakes of prescribing decisions for providers, which in turn has resulted in greater treatment disparities.