American Sociological Association

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  1. 2012 Presidential Address: Transforming Capitalism through Real Utopias

    This address explores a broad framework for thinking sociologically about emancipatory alternatives to dominant institutions and social structures, especially capitalism. The framework is grounded in two foundational propositions: (1) Many forms of human suffering and many deficits in human flourishing are the result of existing institutions and social structures. (2) Transforming existing institutions and social structures in the right way has the potential to substantially reduce human suffering and expand the possibilities for human flourishing.

  2. Social Causes of Violence: Crafting a Science Agenda

    This Report shows the magnitude and complexity of violence in U.S. society, explicates the important ways that social science has already contributed knowledge, and sets forth a challenging set of research directions. The Report makes clear the need for a sustained violence initiative to produce fundamental research.  Federal support for a major initiative  requires an examination of priorities for allocating scarce resources. Across the landscape of serious issues where serious science must be done, research on violence should be enlarged.

  3. The Bourgeoisie Dream Factory

    Effectively teaching sociological theories to undergraduate students is challenging. Students often enroll in theory courses due to major requirements, not personal interest. Consequently, many students approach the study of theory with anxiety. This study examined the effectiveness of an experiential learning activity designed to teach Karl Marx’s theory of alienation. Based on pretest/posttest surveys, responses to open-ended questions, and observational data, students reported that the activity helped them gain a clearer understanding of Marx.

  4. What Is the Relation between Theory and Practice, and Did Marx Discuss Engineering Society?

    My impression of Marx’s understanding of theory and praxis is that the transition from capitalism to socialism is contingent on the historical circumstances at any given point in time. The logic of capital creates certain preconditions that set the stage for the transition, but the transition is by no means guaranteed to unfold, or unfold in a clearly predictable manner. One of the preconditions is the concentration of capital into the hands of few and the general tendency toward increasing relative poverty of workers.

  5. Socius Special Issue Call for Papers

    Socius: Sociological Research for a Dynamic World invites papers for a special issue on gender in the 2016 elections. We invite contributions on all topics relevant to gender and politics. Potential topics could include (but are not limited to): gender and the executive; women, social policy, and state legislative elections; intersectionality and the media; gender and public opinion; and women in changing political institutions. Informative papers on trends or cross-national comparisons are welcome as long as they are framed in relation to the 2016 U.S. election.

  6. Sociologists to Explore the Topics of Culture, Inequalities, and Social Inclusion at Annual Meeting in Montreal, Aug. 12–15

    More than 5,500 sociologists will convene in Montreal this August to explore scientific research relating to social inequality and many other topics, as part of the American Sociological Association’s 112th Annual Meeting. This year’s theme, “Culture, Inequalities, and Social Inclusion across the Globe,” draws attention to the nexus of culture, inequalities, and group boundaries in order to promote greater social inclusion and resilience, collective well-being, and solidarity in Canada, the United States, and globally.

  7. Call for Applications: Editor, City & Community

    Application deadline extended until October 2, 2017 . . .

  8. Using a Social Science–Fictional Play to Teach about Global Capitalism and Macro-structural Systems in Introduction to Sociology

    This article explores the use of a social science–fictional play to teach macro-structural concepts related to global capitalism and surplus labor in a small and large Introduction to Sociology course. Relying on a cross-disciplinary and critical pedagogical approach that combines theory and practice to empower students to develop a critical consciousness of the world around them, the authors develop an active learning exercise centered on an in-class reading of the dystopian play I Like Firing People written by sociologists Charles Derber and Yale Magrass.
  9. Paradoxes of Social Policy: Welfare Transfers, Relative Poverty, and Redistribution Preferences

    Korpi and Palme’s (1998) classic “The Paradox of Redistribution and Strategies of Equality” claims that universal social policy better reduces poverty than social policies targeted at the poor. This article revisits Korpi and Palme’s classic, and in the process, explores and informs a set of enduring questions about social policy, politics, and social equality.

  10. Policy Entrepreneurs and the Origins of the Regulatory Welfare State: Child Labor Reform in Nineteenth-Century Europe

    Industrial child labor laws were the earliest manifestation of the modern regulatory welfare state. Why, despite the absence of political pressure from below, did some states (but not others) succeed in legislating working hours, minimum ages, and schooling requirements for working children in the first half of the nineteenth century? I use case studies of the politics behind the first child labor laws in Germany and France, alongside a case study of a failed child labor reform effort in Belgium, to answer this question.