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  1. 2014 Hans O. Mauksch Address: Neoliberalism and Higher Education: How a Misguided Philosophy Undermines Teaching Sociology

    This article argues that neoliberalism is a critical public issue influencing the apparently private troubles of college students and teachers. For example, earning a college degree has become ever more important for success; yet, because of declining state support for public education, students are taking on extraordinary levels of debt. As a result, learning is being pushed aside by vocational and other considerations that result from neoliberal policy imperatives.

  2. Everybody Eats: Using Hunger Banquets to Teach about Issues of Global Hunger and Inequality

    Experiential and active learning exercises can benefit students in sociology courses, particularly, courses in which issues of inequality are central. In this paper, we describe using hunger banquets—an active learning exercise where participants are randomly stratified into three global classes and receive food based upon their class position—to enhance students’ knowledge of global hunger and inequality. The nonprofit Oxfam America has made hunger banquets popular, but they are usually large public events.

  3. Graduate Student Teacher Training: Still Relevant (and Missing?) 20 Years Later

    Twenty years ago, Pescosolido and Milkie (1995) reported that 50 percent of U.S. and Canadian sociology graduate programs offered formal teacher training. Despite pronouncements that offerings have increased substantially, no similarly thorough and direct investigation has been published since. In this time of dramatic change and increasing scrutiny of higher education, graduate teacher training is arguably more important than ever before. Thus, we seek to provide a new baseline of teacher training in the discipline. Using a 2013 survey of U.S.

  4. Early Behavior Problems Impact Long-Term Educational Attainment More for Boys than Girls

    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.

  5. ASA Applauds Supreme Court’s Ruling to Uphold Affirmative Action Program at University of Texas

    The American Sociological Association (ASA) applauds the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling today in the affirmative action case Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin. The judgement allows the university to continue using race as a factor in admissions decisions.

  6. Physical Disability and Increased Loneliness among Married Older Adults: The Role of Changing Social Relations

    Examining the social context of disablement, we investigated how changes in social relations affect loneliness among married older men and women. With longitudinal data on 914 married persons from the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project (NSHAP), we found that changes in the quality of marital and nonmarital relations moderate the effect of disability on loneliness in unexpected ways. Increases in negative marital quality buffer the effect of physical disability, while increases in nonmarital support exacerbate it.

  7. The Social Connectedness of Older Adults: A National Profile

    For decades, scholars have wrestled with the assumption that old age is characterized by social isolation. However, there has been no systematic, nationally representative evaluation of this possibility in terms of social network connectedness. In this article, we develop a profile of older adults' social integration with respect to nine dimensions of interpersonal networks and voluntary associations. We use new data from the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project (NSHAP), a population-based study of noninstitutionalized older Americans ages 57 to 85, conducted in 2005 to 2006.

  8. Older People Benefit from Giving Advice

    A new study reveals that individuals in their 60s who give advice to a broad range of people tend to see their lives as especially meaningful. At the same time, this happens to be the age when opportunities for dispensing advice become increasingly scarce.

  9. The Contingent Effects of Mental Well-being and Education on Volunteering

    Mental health or well-being provides individuals with an enhanced agentic capacity for formal volunteering. However, this capacity may be realized more effectively through the structural resources for volunteering provided by education. Analyzing white respondents from the 1995-2005 National Survey of Midlife Development Panel Study (N = 1,431), we examine the contingent effects of mental well-being and education on the probability of formal volunteering.

  10. Does the Center Hold? Reflections on a Sociological Core

    Is there a distinct disciplinary core (or foundation of agreed on knowledge) in sociology? Should we define a core in our broad field to build consensus? If so, what should it look like? We address these questions by presenting three viewpoints that lean for and against identifying a core for department curricula, students, and the public face of sociology. First, "There really is not much, if any, core." Second, sociology is "a habit of the mind" (a sociological imagination). Third, key content of a sociological core can be identified using a long or short list.