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  1. Puerto Rico’s Politics of Exclusion

    Bianca Gonzales-Sobrino on post-Maria restructuring, from electricity to conceptions of citizenship.
  2. Activism and the Academy

    Cornel West wears many hats: He is a professor (currently Professor of the Practice of Public Philosophy at Harvard University), author (of 20 books), film actor (including The Matrix Reloaded), artist (three spoken word albums), and activist (more on this below). And this summer, we celebrate the 25th anniversary of West’s influential book Race Matters. Sociologist Janice McCabe sat down with West in Cambridge to talk about activism and the academy. Here are some highlights from their discussion, edited for length and clarity.

  3. ASA Statement on Fair Labor Practices

    The American Sociological Association is a professional society of sociologists who meets annually for a conference of more than 5,000 participants.  Our scholarship shows that many workers in the hospitality industry do not earn a living wage. As sociologists, we know the consequences of such inequality are detrimental to the workers themselves as well as our broader communities. We, therefore, express our strong support for fair labor practices and the right of hotel workers to organize.

     

  4. Featured Essay: The Contributions of Charles Tilly to the Social Sciences

    Evaluating Charles Tilly’s contributions to the social sciences is not an easy task: “Chuck Tilly was a master of sociological thinking and methodology,” wrote two of his former students when he passed away ten years ago; “But he was sufficiently concerned about getting to the heart and dynamics of questions and topics that he never permitted the blinkers of disciplinary orthodoxy to stand in his way” (Michelson and Wellman 2008).
  5. What is Critical Realism? And Why Should You Care?

    Critical realism (CR) is a philosophical system developed by the Indo-British philosopher, Roy Bhaskar, in collaboration with a number of British social theorists, including Margaret Archer, Mervyn Hartwig, Tony Lawson, Alan Norrie, and Andrew Sayer. It has a journal, a book series, an association, an annual meeting and, in short, all the usual trappings of an intellectual movement. The movement is centered in the UK but has followers throughout Europe, Asia, the Americas, and the Antipodes.

  6. Why Liberals and Atheists Are More Intelligent

    The origin of values and preferences is an unresolved theoretical question in behavioral and social sciences.

  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. Reservation Lands as a Protective Social Factor: An Analysis of Psychological Distress among Two American Indian Tribes

    The unique physical, cultural, and ecological location of U.S. American Indian reservations simultaneously presents risks for mental health and offers sources of resilience to Native peoples. Using survey data from two American Indian tribes, we explore whether the length of one’s life spent on a reservation is associated with lower odds of psychological distress. In both tribes, we find that individuals who live a vast majority of their lives on the reservation have lower odds of psychological distress than individuals who spent portions of their life off or near the reservation.
  9. The Social Sources of Geopolitical Power: French and British Diplomacy and the Politics of Interstate Recognition, 1689 to 1789

    Why did France influence the geopolitical system of eighteenth-century Europe more effectively than did Britain? Explanations pointing to states’ military and economic power are unable to explain this outcome. I argue that durable geopolitical influence depends on states’ symbolic capacities to secure recognition from competitor states, in addition to their coercive and economic capacities. And I show that states are liable to secure recognition to the extent that their agents embody social dispositions congruent with those of competitor agents.
  10. Does Labor Union Utility Increase Workers’ Organizational Commitment and Job Satisfaction? The Moderating Role of Labor Union Membership

    The purpose of this study is to address whether labor union members’ organizational commitment and job satisfaction are more influenced by labor union utility than those of nonunion employees. This study uses data from the Korean Labor and Income Panel Study published by the Korea Labor Institute. The study’s methodology employs panel data regression analysis. The findings are that labor union utility increases workers’ organizational commitment and job satisfaction and that these effects are positively greater for labor union members than nonunion employees.