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  1. Terror, Terrorism, Terrorists

    The terms terror, terrorism, and terrorist do not identify causally coherent and distinct social phenomena but strategies that recur across a wide variety of actors and political situations. Social scientists who reify the terms confuse themselves and render a disservice to public discussion. The U.S. government's own catalogs of terrorist events actually support both claims.

  2. Practicing Intersectionality in Sociological Research: A Critical Analysis of Inclusions, Interactions, and Institutions in the Study of Inequalities

    In this article we ask what it means for sociologists to practice intersectionality as a theoretical and methodological approach to inequality. What are the implications for choices of subject matter and style of work? We distinguish three styles of understanding intersectionality in practice: group-centered, process-centered, and system-centered. The first, emphasizes placing multiply-marginalized groups and their perspectives at the center of the research.

  3. Theory Construction in Qualitative Research: From Grounded Theory to Abductive Analysis

    A critical pathway for conceptual innovation in the social is the construction of theoretical ideas based on empirical data. Grounded theory has become a leading approach promising the construction of novel theories. Yet grounded theory–based theoretical innovation has been scarce in part because of its commitment to let theories emerge inductively rather than imposing analytic frameworks a priori. We note, along with a long philosophical tradition, that induction does not logically lead to novel theoretical insights.

  4. The Feminist Question in Realism

    Feminist standpoint theory and critical realism both offer resources to sociologists interested in making arguments that account for causal complexity and epistemic distortion. However, the impasse between these paradigms limits their utility. In this article, I argue that critical realism has much to gain from a confrontation with feminist theory. Feminist theory’s emphasis on boundary-crossing epistemologies and gendered bodies can help critical realism complicate its notion of the bifurcation between epistemology and ontology.
  5. Inequality in Reading and Math Skills Forms Mainly before Kindergarten: A Replication, and Partial Correction, of “Are Schools the Great Equalizer?”

    When do children become unequal in reading and math skills? Some research claims that inequality grows mainly before school begins. Some research claims that schools cause inequality to grow. And some research—including the 2004 study ‘‘Are Schools the Great Equalizer?’’—claims that inequality grows mainly during summer vacations. Unfortunately, the test scores used in the Great Equalizer study suffered from a measurement artifact that exaggerated estimates of inequality growth. In addition, the Great Equalizer study is dated and its participants are no longer school-aged.
  6. Modified Brave Spaces: Calling in Brave Instructors

    In recent years, instructors teaching about controversial issues such as race and ethnicity have drawn increasingly on the ideas of “safe” and “brave” spaces to encourage and facilitate dialogue during class discussion. Unfortunately, these concepts have limits when taken out of the dialogic social justice workshop and course contexts where they were initially developed—contexts with very different power dynamics than those in conventional college classrooms.
  7. Neighborhoods, Race, and the Twenty-first-century Housing Appraisal Industry

    The history of the U.S. housing market is bound up in systemic, explicit racism. However, little research has investigated whether racial inequality also persists in the contemporary appraisal industry and, if present, how it happens. The present article addresses this gap by centering the appraisal industry as a key housing market player in the reproduction of racial inequality.
  8. Status Threat, Material Interests, and the 2016 Presidential Vote

    The April 2018 article of Diana Mutz “Status Threat, Not Economic Hardship, Explains the 2016 Presidential Vote,” was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and contradicts prior sociological research on the 2016 election. Mutz’s article received widespread media coverage because of the strength of its primary conclusion, declaimed in its title. The present article is a critical reanalysis of the models offered by Mutz, using the data files released along with her article.
  9. Teaching Content Analysis through Harry Potter

    Content analysis is a valuable research tool for social scientists that unfortunately can prove challenging to teach to undergraduate students. Published classroom exercises designed to teach content analysis have thus far been predominantly envisioned as lengthy projects for upper-level courses. A brief and engaging exercise may be more beneficial for introductory social science courses in which less time can be allotted to any one topic, such as content analysis.

  10. Visualizing Bring-backs

    The figure plots the number of articles that have attempted to “bring” something “back in” in the social sciences by publication year and number of citations. Andrew Abbott, taking a (pessimistic) sociology of knowledge perspective, identified this tendency—beginning with Homans’s classic article “Bringing Men Back in”—as emblematic of the tendency to rediscover old ideas in sociology. The plot shows that “bring-backs” did not become a common yearly occurrence until the mid to late 1990s but are now relatively frequent.