American Sociological Association

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  1. Making It Count: Using Real-World Projects for Course Assignments

    Previous scholarship has demonstrated the value of high-impact practices of community engagement, inquiry-based pedagogy, and collaborative learning for engagement and learning in sociology courses, especially undergraduate research methods and statistics. This article explores the changes made to an upper-division undergraduate course focused on applied research practices and community-level interventions.
  2. 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.

  3. Living One’s Theories: Moral Consistency in the Life of Émile Durkheim

    This article investigates the relation between a theorist’s theories and his daily life practices, using Émile Durkheim as an example. That theory and practice should be consistent seems not only scientifically proper but also morally right. Yet the concept of consistency conceals several different standards: consistency with one’s own theoretical arguments, consistency with outsiders’ judgments of oneself, and consistency within one’s arguments (and actions) across time and social space.
  4. Measuring Automatic Cognition: Advancing Dual-Process Research in Sociology

    Dual-process models are increasingly popular in sociology as a framework for theorizing the role of automatic cognition in shaping social behavior. However, empirical studies using dual-process models often rely on ad hoc measures such as forced-choice surveys, observation, and interviews whose relationships to underlying cognitive processes are not fully established.
  5. Empiricism and Its Fallacies

    The scholar most associated with "public sociology" responds to Steven Lubet’s prosecutorial approach and argues that, if looking for falsehoods is the point of empiricist ethnography, looking for falsifications is the point of theory-driven ethnography.
  6. Theory Here and Now

    Social Theory Now is a stimulating volume that advances the domains of, and approaches to, contemporary social theory and represents an important new point of reference for those interested in the current state of theorizing. Readers will find familiar topics and subfields characterized in interesting and often novels ways and are likely to be introduced to new authors or concepts. The volume as a whole is attentive to the major new innovations and controversies in conceptualizing social life, and the chapters bear repeated consultation for the fresh formulations they give of these theories.
  7. Review Essay: Public Engagement and the Influence Imperative

    These three books—Going Public: A Guide for Social Scientists, by Arlene Stein and Jessie Daniels; The Social Scientist’s Soapbox: Adventures in Writing Public Sociology, by Karen Sternheimer; and The Public Professor: How to Use Your Research to Change the World, by M. V. Lee Badgett—by three sociologists (Stein, Daniels, and Sternheimer) and an economist (Badgett) address the demand for guidance and support as academic sociologists respond to the disciplinary imperative to make our work more influential.
  8. Textual Spanning: Finding Discursive Holes in Text Networks

    We propose a measure of discursive holes well suited for the unique properties of text networks built from document similarity matrices considered as dense weighted graphs. In this measure, which we call textual spanning, documents similar to documents dissimilar from one another receive a high score, and documents similar to documents similar to one another receive a low score. After offering a simulation-based validation, we test the measure on an empirical document similarity matrix based on a preestimated topic-model probability distribution.
  9. Biblical Literalism Influences Perceptions of History as a Scientific Discipline

    Recent work on religious conservatives frequently finds biblical literalism to have a negative influence on individuals’ attitudes toward science. We present a science-related issue for which biblical literalism seems, at least on the surface, to have a more positive influence. Specifically, individuals expressing a literalist view of the Bible are more likely than those who view the Bible as a book of fables to say that the field of history is scientific.
  10. 2018 Presidential Address: Feeling Race: Theorizing the Racial Economy of Emotions

    In this presidential address, I advance a theoretical sketch on racialized emotions—the emotions specific to racialized societies. These emotions are central to the racial edifice of societies, thus, analysts and policymakers should understand their collective nature, be aware of how they function, and appreciate the existence of variability among emoting racial subjects. Clarity on these matters is key for developing an effective affective politics to challenge any racial order. After the sketch, I offer potential strategies to retool our racial emotive order as well as our racial selves.