American Sociological Association

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  1. The Social Psychology Behind Teacher Walkouts

    Why are we seeing so many teacher walkouts when traditional collective bargaining for teachers has weakened considerably in recent decades? A key part of the answer involves the social psychology through which teachers develop their professional culture, and how the evolution of accountability has been toxic to that culture.
  2. Thriving as a Sociology Graduate

    Students major in sociology because they want to understand social life and social change, but does wanting a meaningful career equal a large salary? As it turns out, while sociology graduates do not earn top dollars in their first year out of undergraduate school, their salaries do increase and usually double by ten years out.
  3. If Only It Were That Complex

    Research on the dynamics of social change is often framed by what Damon Centola refers to in his new book How Behavior Spreads: The Science of Complex Contagions as “the convenience of classical epidemiological tropes” (p. 173) in which “contagions” spread from infected to susceptible individuals through interaction. Social networks became alluring to use in conjunction with this epidemiological frame because the two together evoke the determinism of electrical wiring, with charges traveling paths (ties) structured by the location of switches (nodes) in the line.
  4. Visualizing Age, Period, and Cohort Patterns of Substance Use in the U.S. Opioid Crisis

    Descriptions of the contemporary U.S. opioid crisis emphasize several “waves” of overdose deaths. However, a focus on trends in overdose deaths may obscure important sociological dynamics. The authors provide heatmap visualizations of estimated annual rates of past-year substance use, rather than overdose deaths, for prescription pain relievers and heroin. These visualizations are based on weighted analyses of self-reports, cross-classified by age and period, collected as part of the National Survey on Drug Use and Health from 2002 to 2017. Whereas descriptions of the U.S.

  5. Heatmaps for Patterns of Association in log-Linear Models

    Log-linear models offer a detailed characterization of the association between categorical variables, but the breadth of their outputs is difficult to grasp because of the large number of parameters these models entail. Revisiting seminal findings and data from sociological work on social mobility, the author illustrates the use of heatmaps as a visualization technique to convey the complex patterns of association captured by log-linear models.
  6. Educational Expansion, Skills Diffusion, and the Economic Value of Credentials and Skills

    Examining the economic value of education has been a central research agenda of social scientists for decades. However, prior research inadequately accounts for the discrepancy between educational credentials and skills at both the individual and societal levels. In this article, I investigate the link between credentials, skills, and labor market outcomes against a background of societal-level educational expansion and skills diffusion.
  7. Predicting Postsecondary Pathways: The Effect of Social Background and Academic Factors on Routes through School

    Access to institutions of higher education has increased in recent decades; however, increased access has not led to parallel increases in degree completion among all types of students. In this article, I examine the associations between individual-level factors and the particular paths through educational institutions that students follow as they navigate their educational careers. Research on educational pathways has typically examined individual educational “transitions” but failed to examine the full “trajectories” that students experience.
  8. Why Does the Importance of Education for Health Differ across the United States?

    The positive association between educational attainment and adult health (“the gradient”) is stronger in some areas of the United States than in others. Explanations for the geographic pattern have not been rigorously investigated. Grounded in a contextual and life-course perspective, the aim of this study is to assess childhood circumstances (e.g., childhood health, compulsory schooling laws) and adult circumstances (e.g., wealth, lifestyles, economic policies) as potential explanations.

  9. Sustainable Cycling For All? Race and Gender‐Based Bicycling Inequalities in Portland, Oregon

    Amidst findings of increased bicycling in the United States, research continues to demonstrate that women and racial minorities are underrepresented as cyclists in the United States (Buehler and Pucher 2012). While quantitative data may reveal estimates of these disparities, we know little about the motivations or deterrents related to cycling as they are experienced by individuals.

  10. Stories of Dependency and Power: The Value of Live-In Elder Care in Israel

    This article offers a qualitative empirical examination of the ways in which Israeli family members of elderly persons evaluate live-in elder care and translate their evaluations into monetary value. The author explores the relationship between family members’ views of appropriate wages for live-in elder care providers and their perceptions of their own power relations with their parents’ caregivers.