American Sociological Association

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  1. Improving Student Learning Outcomes through Community-based Research: The Poverty Workshop

    Engaged learning extends education outside of the formal classroom through internships, experiential learning, and community- or service-based learning. To better understand the potential of engaged learning in improving student learning outcomes and encouraging students to pursue STEM-based careers, we describe the development of a community-based research experience related to poverty and report on improvements in students’ self-reported competencies in generalized self-efficacy, research skills, and science motivation.
  2. Letter to the Editors

    Timothy M. Gill writes to add context to the Summer 2018 issue’s policy brief and urge an interrogation of assumptions that democracy assistance is a benign form of foreign policy.
  3. Risk and Race in Measuring Special Education Need

    George Farkas and Paul L. Morgan on improving special education provision through metric precision.
  4. The Structure of Causal Chains

    Sociologists are increasingly attentive to the mechanisms responsible for cause-and-effect relationships in the social world. But an aspect of mechanistic causality has not been sufficiently considered. It is well recognized that most phenomena of interest to social science result from multiple mechanisms operating in sequence. However, causal chains—sequentially linked mechanisms and their enabling background conditions—vary not just substantively, by the kind of causal work they do, but also structurally, by their formal properties.
  5. ‘‘I Can Turn It on When I Need To’’: Pre-college Integration, Culture, and Peer Academic Engagement among Black and Latino/a Engineering Students

    Drawing on interviews with 38 black and Latino/a engineering students at a predominantly white, elite university, I use a cultural analytic framework to explicate the role of pre–college integration in the heterogeneous psychosocial and academic experiences of students of color on predominantly white campuses. I identify three cultural strategies students of color adopt to navigate the university’s ethnoracially segregated peer network landscape and more specifically, engage majority–white academic peer networks: integration, marginalized segregation, and social adaptation.
  6. Suspended Attitudes: Exclusion and Emotional Disengagement from School

    We know far less about the unintended social-psychological consequences of out-of-school suspensions on students than we do of the academic, behavioral, and civic consequences. Drawing on theories of socialization and deviance, I explore how suspension events influence students’ emotional engagement in school through changes in their attitudes. Using longitudinal middle school survey data connected to individual student administrative records, I find that students who receive out-of-school suspensions are psychologically vulnerable prior to their removal from school.
  7. Teaching Note: Social Networks and Labor Market Inequality: A Role-playing Activity to Teach Difficult Concepts

    Role-playing activities, as a form of active learning, enable instructors to teach difficult concepts in ways that better facilitate student learning. This note tests the effectiveness of a role-playing activity that simulates the job market: Most students play job seekers seeking employment, and a few play the employers who make employment decisions. However, students are constrained in that they can only talk to students they already know or meet during the game.
  8. The Paradox of Persistence: Explaining the Black-White Gap in Bachelor’s Degree Completion

    Bachelor’s degree (BA) completion is lower among black students than among white students. In this study, we use data from the Education Longitudinal Study of 2002 and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, together with regression-based analytical techniques, to identify the primary sources of the BA completion gap. We find that black students’ lower academic and socioeconomic resources are the biggest drivers of the gap. However, we also find that black students are more likely to enroll in four-year colleges than are white students, given pre-college resources.
  9. Do They Have to Like It to Learn from It? Students’ Experiences, Group Dynamics, and Learning Outcomes in Group Research Projects

    Small-group pedagogies, such as group research projects, are a common instructional method in undergraduate education. The literature suggests that small-group learning has positive effects on learning outcomes, but some students have negative attitudes toward group work, and student complaints about negative group dynamics, such as free-riding, are common.
  10. Text Analysis with JSTOR Archives

    I provide a visual representation of keyword trends and authorship for two flagship sociology journals using data from JSTOR’s Data for Research repository. While text data have accompanied the digital spread of information, it remains inaccessible to researchers unfamiliar with the required preprocessing. The visualization and accompanying code encourage widespread use of this source of data in the social sciences.