American Sociological Association

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  1. Doing Abstraction: Autism, Diagnosis, and Social Theory

    Recent decades have witnessed a dramatic upsurge in the prevalence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). As researchers have investigated the responsible sociohistorical conditions, they have neglected how clinicians determine the diagnosis in local encounters in the first place. Articulating a position “between Foucault and Goffman,” we ask how the interaction order of the clinic articulates with larger-scale historical forces affecting the definition and distribution of ASD. First, we show how the diagnostic process has a narrative structure.
  2. The World-Systemic Dynamics of Knowledge Production: The Distribution of Transnational Academic Capital in the Social Sciences

    This paper expands the framework of the Bourdieusian field theory using a world-system theoretical perspective to analyze the global system of social sciences, or what might be called the world-system of knowledge production. The analysis deals with the main agents of the world-system of social sciences, and it also investigates the core-like and periphery-like processes of the system. Our findings affirm that a very characteristic center-periphery structure exists in global social sciences, with a few hegemonic countries and distinctly peripheral world regions.
  3. The Many (Subtle) Ways Parents Game the System: Mixed-method Evidence on the Transition into Secondary-school Tracks in Germany

    We analyze the subtle mechanisms at work in the interaction between families and schools that underlie social inequalities at the transition point from elementary school into secondary-school tracks in Berlin, Germany. We do so by combining quantitative data from a large-scale survey and assessment study (N = 3,935 students and their parents) with qualitative data from in-depth interviews with parents (N = 25) collected during the 2010–11, 2011–12, and 2012–13 school years.
  4. Educational Disparities in Adult Health: U.S. States as Institutional Actors on the Association

    Despite numerous studies on educational disparities in U.S. adult health, explanations for the disparities and their growth over time remain incomplete. The authors argue that this knowledge gap partly reflects an individualist paradigm in U.S. studies of educational disparities in health. These studies have focused largely on proximal explanations (e.g., individual behaviors) to the neglect of contextual explanations (e.g., economic policies). The authors draw on contextual theories of health disparities to illustrate how U.S.

  5. School-to-Work Linkages, Educational Mismatches, and Labor Market Outcomes

    A recurring question in public and scientific debates is whether occupation-specific skills enhance labor market outcomes. Is it beneficial to have an educational degree that is linked to only one or a small set of occupations? To answer this question, we generalize existing models of the effects of (mis)match between education and occupation on labor market outcomes. Specifically, we incorporate the structural effects of linkage strength between school and work, which vary considerably across industrialized countries.
  6. Men’s Overpersistence and the Gender Gap in Science and Mathematics

    Large and long-standing gaps exist in the gender composition of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. Abundant research has sought to explain these gaps, typically focusing on women, though these gaps result from the decisions of men as well as women. Here we study gender differences in STEM persistence with a focus on men’s choices, finding that men persist in these domains even where opting out could lead to greater material payoffs.
  7. Scaling Down Inequality: Rating Scales, Gender Bias, and the Architecture of Evaluation

    Quantitative performance ratings are ubiquitous in modern organizations—from businesses to universities—yet there is substantial evidence of bias against women in such ratings. This study examines how gender inequalities in evaluations depend on the design of the tools used to judge merit.
  8. “Keeping Us in Our Place”: Low-Income Moms Barred From College Success

    Mothers, trying to graduate their way out of poverty, describe controlling state policies and university cultures of exclusion that seem aligned in barring them from social mobility.
  9. Getting Ahead in Singapore: How Neighborhoods, Gender, and Ethnicity Affect Enrollment into Elite Schools

    Is education the social leveler it promises to be? Nowhere is this question better addressed than in Singapore, the emblematic modern-day meritocracy where education has long been hailed as the most important ticket to elite status. In particular, what accounts for gender and ethnic gaps in enrollment into Singapore’s elite junior colleges—the key sorters in the country’s education system? We consider how the wealth of neighborhoods has combined with the elite status of schools to affect the social mobility of gender and ethnic groups.
  10. Performative State-Formation in the Early American Republic

    How do proto-state organizations achieve an initial accumulation of power, such that they are in a position to grow (or shrink) as an organization, maintain their prestige (or lose it), and be viewed, by elite and populace, as something real and consequential that can be argued about, supported, or attacked?