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  1. Racial Disparities in Emotional Well-Being during Pregnancy

    In light of persistent racial disparities in maternal and child health, it is important to understand the dynamics shaping outcomes for black mothers. We examine racial patterns in women’s emotional well-being regarding pregnancy (i.e., women’s reported happiness to be pregnant), which has been shown to have health consequences. Using the 2002–2017 National Survey of Family Growth (N = 6,163 pregnancies ending in birth), we find that black women are less happy about their pregnancies than white women both for intended and mistimed pregnancies.

  2. Transcending the Profession: Psychiatric Patients’ Experiences of Trust in Clinicians

    Classical medical sociological theory argues patients trust doctors in part because they are professionals. Yet in the past half-century, medicine has seen a crisis of trust as well as fundamental changes to the nature of professionalism. To probe the relationship between professionalism and trust today, we analyzed interviews with 50 psychiatric patients receiving care in diverse clinical settings. We found patients experience trust when they perceive clinicians transcending the formal bounds of professionalism.

  3. Cultural Archipelagos: New Directions in the Study of Sexuality and Space

    Research on sexuality and space makes assumptions about spatial singularity: Across the landscape of different neighborhoods in the city, there is one, and apparently only one, called the gayborhood. This assumption, rooted in an enclave epistemology and theoretical models that are based on immigrant migration patterns, creates blind spots in our knowledge about urban sexualities. I propose an alternative conceptual framework that emphasizes spatial plurality.

  4. Adopting a Cloak of Incompetence: Impression Management Techniques for Feigning Lesser Selves

    The “cloak of competence” concept captures attempts to disguise limitations and exaggerate abilities. The author examines the conceptual converse: the “cloak of incompetence,” or the various ways people deliberately disregard, disguise, downplay, or diminish their personal abilities. Drawing on a comparative analysis of manifold empirical cases, the author identifies three generic competence-concealing techniques—avoidance, performance, and neutralization—and considers some of the interactional contingencies that can enhance or reduce their effectiveness.
  5. The New Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere

    Set against the background of mid-twentieth-century institutional changes analyzed by Jürgen Habermas, we provide an account of new social conditions that compose “the public sphere” in the contemporary United States. First, we review recent developments in theorizing the public sphere, arguing they benefit from renewed attention to institutional changes in how that sphere operates.
  6. Scientific Hegemony and the Field of Autism

    Autism is one of the twenty-first century’s most contested illnesses. Early controversies around vaccine harm have irrevocably structured the field of autism science. Despite incredible investment in genetic research on autism over the past 30 years, scientists have failed to identify a set of “genes for” autism, and genomic causality has become more complex.
  7. Racial Ideology or Racial Ignorance? An Alternative Theory of Racial Cognition

    Directing attention to racial ignorance as a core dimension of racialized social systems, this article advances a process-focused Theory of Racial Ignorance (TRI), grounded in Critical Race Theory and the philosophical construct white ignorance. TRI embodies five tenets—epistemology of ignorance, ignorance as ends-based technology, corporate white agency, centrality of praxis, and interest convergence.
  8. Sociology’s Next Steps? Fiftieth Anniversary of Gouldner’s Vision and Sixtieth Anniversary of Mills’s Vision

    My essay in the July 2019 issue of Contemporary Sociology leaned heavily on Habermas’s focus on “personal emancipation” and Giddens’s concept of “structuration.”
  9. Teaching about Animals: Incorporating Nonhuman Animals into Sociology Classrooms

    The topic of human–animal studies (HAS) remains largely ignored within the sociology classroom. While a few sociologists have encouraged teaching about animals, none has assessed whether incorporating nonhuman animals into the curriculum is effective. In this study, three instructors at two universities incorporated animal-related materials in their sociology courses in a variety of ways. Data analyzed from course exam responses and student papers as well as end-of-semester student surveys indicate that student learning and enjoyment were enhanced.
  10. Theory Making from the Middle: Researching LGBTQ Communities in Small Cities

    Urban lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community research in sociology has largely ignored LGBTQ communities in the most common urban form: small cities. In this article, I argue that LGBTQ communities in small cities are an underexplored source of theory making about LGBTQ communities more broadly, and I highlight the ways such research enhances LGBTQ community research. I first discuss a definitional framework of LGBTQ communities in small cities. In other words, what do we mean by small cities, and what do we mean by LGBTQ communities within them?