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  1. The Hidden Privilege in “Potty Politics”

    The purpose, emergence, and accessibility of public restrooms in the U.S. have always involved battles over privacy, cleanliness, segregation, and legislation.
  2. Is the Public Getting Smarter on Crime?

    The crime rate surely ranks among the most used and abused social indicators. In politics, media, and popular culture, crime and punishment are invoked to stir up strong public sentiments. But while crime is clearly a social construction, it is also a real concern for individuals, families, and communities. So we can learn a lot by asking a representative sample of Americans what they think about crime and punishment, especially when we track their attitudes and opinions over time.

  3. Social Effects of Health Care Reform

    Do public health policy interventions result in prosocial behaviors? The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansions were responsible for the largest gains in public insurance coverage since its inception in 1965. These gains were concentrated in states that opted to expand Medicaid eligibility, and they provide a unique opportunity to study not just medical but also social consequences of increased public health coverage. The authors examine the association between Medicaid and volunteer work.
  4. Tobacco 21

    Paula M. Lantz on the evidence around a popular “PUP” law.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Featured Essay: The Arrival of Social Science Genomics

    “The genetics revolution may be well underway,” write Dalton Conley and Jason Fletcher in The Genome Factor, “but the social genomics revolution is just getting started” (p. 11). They are not alone in their excitement for recent developments bringing together social science and genetic research. Decades from now, folks may well look back at this time as the start of a golden age for the field.
  9. Gendering Residential Space: From Squatter and Slum Housing to the Apartment Estates in Turkish Renewal Projects

    This article argues for the need to understand gendered dimensions of space in a contextualized way. It investigates residential space in three different types of housing settings of the poor, namely, a peripheral squatter neighborhood coded by rurality, a central slum neighborhood coded by criminality, and the housing estates in squatter/slum renewal projects coded by middle‐class urbanity.

  10. Neighborhoods as Arenas of Conflict in the Neoliberal City: Practices of Boundary Making Between “Us” and “Them”

    This paper is concerned with processes of place making among middle class residents in Santiago de Chile, and focuses on the ways in which neighborhood groups seek to receive heritage status for their areas of residence, as a way to contest the demolition of houses in order to build high‐rise buildings. I focus on the tensions inherent in reconciling a critical view of neoliberal residential politics with a securing of their individual or family class position.