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  1. Is There a “Ferguson Effect?” Google Searches, Concern about Police Violence, and Crime in U.S. Cities, 2014–2016

    Between 2014 and 2016, the rate of homicide and other violent crime in the United States rose. One hypothesis discussed in the press and by some social scientists is that this increase was tied to political mobilization against police violence: As the Black Lives Matter movement gained support following protests in Ferguson, Missouri, perhaps police officers, worried about the new public mood, scaled back their law enforcement efforts, with crime as a consequence.
  2. Review Essays: Bully Nation and Our Current Predicament

    The publication of Bully Nation in 2016 could not have been more timely. Its release came as the United States witnessed acts of domestic terrorism and mass shootings, a rash of video-recorded police killings of unarmed African American men, and the successful presidential bid of a candidate whose campaign engaged in unprecedented acts of intimidation and personal abuse of political rivals, including threats of incarceration and political assassination of his opponent in the general election.
  3. Saving Children, Controlling Families: Punishment, Redistribution, and Child Protection

    This study shows that state efforts at child protection are structured by the policy regimes in which they are enmeshed. Using administrative data on child protection, criminal justice, and social welfare interventions, I show that children are separated from their families and placed into foster care far more frequently in states with extensive and punitive criminal justice systems than in states with broad and generous welfare programs.
  4. Contexts: With a Bullet

    Winter 2015 Vol. 14 No. 1

    New editors Syed Ali and Philip Cohen start their tenure with a bang, including articles on carrying (and concealing) weapons, on the lessons of Ferguson, and what uprisings in France can teach us about protests in the U.S. Also: lesbian geographies, Piketty in perspective, recollections of genocide, and “velvet rope racism” at urban nightclubs.

  5. Contexts: Suspect Evidence

    Winter 2016 Vol. 15 No. 1

    Evidence is important. Even the most skeptical rely on tested and re-tested scientific certainty every day. And good sociologists hold scientific evidence suspect even as we use the best we have to make the decisions we must.

  6. Costly Punishment Increases Prosocial Punishment by Designated Punishers: Power and Legitimacy in Public Goods Games

    A classic problem in the literature on authority is that those with the power to enforce cooperation and proper norms of conduct can also abuse or misuse their power. The present research tested the argument that concerns about legitimacy can help regulate the use of power to punish by invoking a sense of what is morally right or socially proper for power-holders.
  7. Desperation and Service in the Bail Industry

    by Joshua Page, Spring 2017 Contexts

  8. The Relationship between Trauma, Arrest, and Incarceration History among Black Americans

    Using findings from the National Survey of American Life, Jäggi, Mezuk, and Watkins examines the relationship between trauma exposure, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and history of arrest and incarceration among a representative sample of black Americans.

  9. Call for Proposals: Research on Concealed Carry on College Campuses

    Special Call for Proposals

    Sociological Research on the Effects of Concealed Carry on College Campuses

    Application Deadline Extended: July 17

    Since 2004, 10 states have passed laws allowing concealed handguns on college campuses in some form or another, and in 2014 alone 14 states submitted similar legislation. Such legislation can potentially have great impact on sociologists and their work. As such, ASA is accepting proposals for research to study the possible effects of guns in classrooms.

  10. Sexual Assault and Identity Disruption: A Sociological Approach to Posttraumatic Stress

    Violence against women and mental illness are two of the most pressing issues in higher education. Despite decades of research, it is not entirely clear how subjective perceptions of victimization events shape distress. The current study integrates trauma perspectives and a symbolic interactionist approach to demonstrate how identity disruption and the violation of cultural meanings for identities leads to posttraumatic stress.