Americans love crime. The criminal justice system is fetishized in popular culture and news media. We watch the news and scour the Internet to assess our own moral compass, take cues from others' digressions, and bear witness to justice and punishment. Historically, we learned about crime through news media and fiction. The Internet has dramatically changed this landscape: for the first time, mug shots and jailhouse rosters are available with a click.
Despite significant public, political, and media attention to the issue of criminal violence in the United States, we know surprisingly little about the trends in violent crime for different racial/ethnic groups in recent decades. For example, what are the disparities in homicide between whites, African Americans, and Hispanics? Have these disparities changed over the past 20 years? If so, why? This lack of knowledge is largely due to data limitations, as ethnic identifiers are rarely collected in many official crime statistics.
One finding animates studies of life in poor urban communities: young men yearn for respect, or the admiration and deference of their peers. Given the threat of violence in their communities, young men learn to defend their bodies. They can gain status through fighting. They can also earn their “stripes” through verbal insults and with the clothes they wear. When mainstream institutions block access to these young men, they invest deeply in these alternative status systems. It’s here where young men can “be known.”
A new study finds that behavioral problems in early childhood have a larger negative effect on high school and college completion rates for boys than girls, which partially explains the substantial gender gap in educational attainment that currently exists in the United States.
ASA speaks with ethnographer and sociologist Jessica Calarco at the 2016 ASA Annual Meeting on August, 2016, in Seattle, WA. Calarco talks about what it means to “do sociology,” how she uses sociology in her work, highlights of her work in the field, the relevance of sociological work to society, and her advice to students interested in entering the field.
ASA speaks with sociologist Christopher Dum at the 2016 ASA Annual Meeting on August, 2016, in Seattle, WA. Dum talks about what it means to “do sociology,” how he uses sociology in his work, highlights of his work in the field, the relevance of sociological work to society, and his advice to students interested in entering the field.
Understanding Different Viewpoints Makes You More Valuable to Any Team
BA in Sociology
High School Teacher
I currently teach sociology, psychology, US Government, and US History at the high school level. My tasks include lesson planning, instructing, grading, and classroom management. I also sponsor the Student Council. Though challenging, I find something satisfying about my job nearly every day.
The idea for this special issue was suggested by Katherine Rowell (Sinclair Community College) and Margaret Weigers Vitullo (American Sociological Association) as a means to help draw attention to the ongoing work of the American Sociological Association’s Task Force on Community College Faculty in Sociology. I am very pleased that Teaching Sociology has received the opportunity to publish important research performed by members of this task force as well as by others with expertise in instruction in the community college context.