American Sociological Association

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  1. Public Ideas: Their Varieties and Careers

    In light of ongoing concerns about the relevance of scholarly activities, we ask, what are public ideas and how do they come to be? More specifically, how do journalists and other mediators between the academy and the public use social science ideas? How do the various uses of these ideas develop over time and shape the public careers of these ideas? How do these processes help us understand public ideas and identify their various types? In addressing these questions, we make the case for a sociology of public social science.

  2. Royall Must Fall: Old and New Battles on the Memory of Slavery in New England

    There is much scholarly and public debate over how slavery should be remembered, especially in the southern United States. We have seen this recently with the case of Charlottesville, Virginia, where protest ensued over a statue of Robert E. Lee. However, attention should also be paid to the history of slavery in the northern United States, particularly in places such as New England, where attempts were made to silence this history.

  3. Americans’ Perceptions of Transgender People’s Sex: Evidence from a National Survey Experiment

    Drawing on the first national survey experiment of its kind (n = 3,922), the authors examine Americans’ perceptions of transgender people’s sex and the factors that underlie these perceptions. The authors randomly assigned respondents to a vignette condition describing a transgender person whose self-identified gender (i.e., identifies as a man or a woman), age (i.e., adult or teenager), and gender conformity in physical appearance (i.e., conforming, nonconforming, ambiguous, or unspecified) had been experimentally manipulated.

  4. Stability and Change in Americans’ Perception of Freedom

    Any American will tell you, this nation’s highest ideal is freedom. Survey data teases out how race, income, and political affiliation inflect individuals’ sense of lilberty.
  5. Who Is Called by the Dog Whistle? Experimental Evidence That Racial Resentment and Political Ideology Condition Responses to Racially Encoded Messages

    Do appeals that subtly invoke negative racial stereotypes shift whites’ political attitudes by harnessing their racial prejudice? Though widely cited in academic and popular discourse, prior work finds conflicting evidence for this “dogwhistle hypothesis.” Here we test the hypothesis in two experiments (total N = 1,797) in which white Americans’ racial attitudes were measured two weeks before they read political messages in which references to racial stereotypes were implicit, explicit, or not present at all.

  6. Nuclear War in the Rivalry Phase of the Modern World-System

    Large-scale war is a world-system phenomenon of the rivalry phase. Such conflicts have once again become a concern, and nuclear weapons make these prospects especially dangerous. This is particularly problematic since several world-systems perspectives suggest the chances for war will be greatest in the period from 2030 to 2050. I review the logic of rivalry, the reasons for the endurance of nuclear weapons, old and new nuclear strategies, and the processes that may pose the greatest existential dangers.
  7. The Rise of ‘Illiberal’ Democracy: The Orbánization of Hungarian Political Culture

    This article examines the rise of the political right and far-right in Hungarian political culture. It highlights the contribution that world-systems analysis can bring to an historical sociological understanding of the concept of political culture, with a particular focus on contemporary Hungary. Many commentators are asking: how it can be that 30 years of democratic transition has led to the dominance in Hungary of a politics of intolerance, illiberalism and ethno-Nationalism, as manifested in both the current government, Fidesz, and the neo-fascist party, Jobbik.
  8. Intrastate Dynamics in the Context of Hegemonic Decline: A Case Study of China’s Arms Transfer Regime

    The decline of a hegemon can create openings for lesser powers to expand their influence in the world-system. Is this what China is currently attempting to do? This paper contributes to this on-going debate by examining China’s arms transfer activities from a historical perspective. Using data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute arms transfer database and the World Military Expenditures and Arms Transfers database, I argue that the Chinese arms transfer regime has evolved through three phases.
  9. Research Note: Measuring the Impacts of Colonialism: A New Data Set for the Countries of Africa and Asia

    We present a new dataset with 15 indicators for the political, economic and social impact of colonialism. This dataset and our four indices for the impact of colonialism create for the first time the opportunity to compare directly the levels of colonial transformation for a sample of 83 African and Asian countries. Some of our exploratory findings on the interrelation of the dimensions show that in British colonies political domination was in general less direct and less violent. Plantation colonies experienced more investment in infrastructure and more violence during decolonization.
  10. Austerity and Anti-Systemic Protest: Bringing Hardships Back In

    This article explores the relationship between hardships and protest in the world-system. Despite the history of discussion of anti-systemic protest, there has been little work that differentiates world-systems contributions to social movement research from others who examine social movements. We contribute to a theory of anti-systemic protest by re-introducing hardships as a crucial element that defines inequalities in the world-system; one consistent source of those hardships are austerity policies imposed in response to debt negotiations.