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  1. 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.

  2. Intergenerational Mobility at the Top of the Educational Distribution

    Research has shown that intergenerational mobility is higher among individuals with a college degree than those with lower levels of schooling. However, mobility declines among graduate degree holders. This finding questions the meritocratic power of higher education. Prior research has been hampered, however, by the small samples of advanced degree holders in representative surveys.
  3. Out with the Old, In with the New? Habitus and Social Mobility at Selective Colleges

    Sociologists have long recognized that cultural differences help explain the perpetuation of inequality by invisibly limiting access to elite cultural norms. However, there has been little investigation of the ways students reconcile shifts in habitus gained in educational settings with existing, nonelite habitus.

  4. Latino Destinations and Environmental Inequality: Estimated Cancer Risk from Air Toxics in Latino Traditional and New Destinations

    Since the 1990s, Latino migration patterns have shifted from traditional destinations to new destinations away from the Mexico border. Scholars note disparities between destinations in housing, crime, and health care, yet no study has examined environmental inequalities. In this article we employ theories of spatial assimilation and environmental inequality to evaluate health risks across Latino destinations by asking the question, is there a difference in estimated cancer risk from air toxics among established, new, and nondestination locations?
  5. Neighborhood Structure, Community Social Organization, and Residential Mobility

    This article expands on classic models of residential mobility by investigating how neighborhood features influence mobility thoughts and actual mobility, with a particular focus on the role of neighborhood disorder and several indicators of community social organization. Using longitudinal data from the Los Angeles Family and Neighborhood Survey, the authors find that actual mobility is more susceptible to neighborhood structural conditions than are mobility thoughts.
  6. 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.
  7. Place-based Inequality in “Energetic” Pain: The Price of Residence in Rural America

    Despite the tendency for some to view rural life or living close to nature with nostalgia, the unpalatable truth is that rural America is beset with many problems, including lower incomes, higher poverty rates, limited access to well-paying jobs, higher morbidity and mortality rates, inadequate access to health care, and lower educational attainment. In this study, we question whether this palpable rural disadvantage extends to residential energy costs, a subject with serious implications for the well-being of households.
  8. Visualizing Income Inequality and Mobility Together

    Research and public conversations about income inequality and intergenerational mobility will benefit from a new approach that jointly visualizes these two measures. The new mobility table proposed addresses this concern by scaling each quintile by the spread of income it represents. Implications of this approach for future analyses of inequality and mobility are discussed.
  9. When Do Biological Attributions of Mental Illness Reduce Stigma? Using Qualitative Comparative Analysis to Contextualize Attributions

    Individuals increasingly have encountered messages that mental illness is explained by biological factors such as chemical imbalance or genetic abnormality. Many assumed this “biological turn” would lessen stigma toward mental illness, but stigma generally has remained stable or even increased.
  10. Text Analysis with JSTOR Archives

    I provide a visual representation of keyword trends and authorship for two flagship sociology journals using data from JSTOR’s Data for Research repository. While text data have accompanied the digital spread of information, it remains inaccessible to researchers unfamiliar with the required preprocessing. The visualization and accompanying code encourage widespread use of this source of data in the social sciences.