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  1. Faith in Trump, Moral Foundations, and Social Distancing Defiance during the Coronavirus Pandemic

    Over the past several months, the coronavirus has infected more than six million Americans and killed nearly 200,000. Governors have issued stay-at-home orders, and prosecutors have filed criminal charges against individuals for defying those orders. And yet many Americans have still refused to keep their distance from their fellow citizens, even if they had symptoms of infection. The authors explore the underlying causes for those who intend to defy these norms.

  2. Who Doesn’t Trust Fauci? The Public’s Belief in the Expertise and Shared Values of Scientists in the COVID-19 Pandemic

    The primary tension in public discourse about the U.S. government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic has been President Trump’s disagreement with scientists. The authors analyze a national survey of 1,593 Americans to examine which social groups agree with scientists’ ability to understand the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and which agree that COVID-19 scientists share their values. Republicans and independents are less trusting than Democrats on both measures, as are African Americans.

  3. The Resistance, the Civil War, and the World That’s Coming

    In political science, realignments are bloodless things. In the conventional telling, every 40 years or so, one or more major constituencies of one of the major American political parties shifts, redefining the political battleground until the next realignment comes.
  4. An Architecture of Repulsion

    In recent years, especially during the Trump administration, the U.S. news media have been saturated with daily stories about (mostly) Central Americans fleeing conditions of extreme violence and finding the door shut as they seek protection at the southern U.S. border. Presumably to deter “meritless” asylum claims, these asylum seekers are now being required to first apply for asylum in “safe third countries,” even if the countries that the administration in Washington has designated as “safe” are precisely those that people are fleeing from.
  5. Divergent Political Analyses: Challenging the Idea of Statehood versus the Problem of Gaining Political Access

    These two volumes, one a monograph and the other an edited collection, couldn’t approach politics more differently even as they share a concern with those from historically marginalized populations. Davina Cooper, in Feeling Like a State: Desire, Denial, and the Recasting of Authority, examines situations in which religious views are pitted against civil rights ordinances in an effort to find out what one can learn about the nature of the state.
  6. 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.

  7. Pluralistic Collapse: The “Oil Spill” Model of Mass Opinion Polarization

    Despite widespread feeling that public opinion in the United States has become dramatically polarized along political lines, empirical support for such a pattern is surprisingly elusive. Reporting little evidence of mass polarization, previous studies assume polarization is evidenced via the amplification of existing political alignments. This article considers a different pathway: polarization occurring via social, cultural, and political alignments coming to encompass an increasingly diverse array of opinions and attitudes.

  8. Measuring Stability and Change in Personal Culture Using Panel Data

    Models of population-wide cultural change tend to invoke one of two broad models of individual change. One approach theorizes people actively updating their beliefs and behaviors in the face of new information. The other argues that, following early socialization experiences, dispositions are stable. We formalize these two models, elaborate empirical implications of each, and derive a simple combined model for comparing them using panel data. We test this model on 183 attitude and behavior items from the 2006 to 2014 rotating panels of the General Social Survey.
  9. Power, Hegemony, and World Society Theory: A Critical Evaluation

    World society theory has been one of the better published theoretical paradigms of the past 30 to 40 years. But despite its publishing successes, world society theory and research are beset by a number of theoretical and empirical problems that call into question the theory’s ability to accurately describe and explain the global diffusion of government practices, policies, and structures.

  10. Revisiting China’s Social Volcano: Attitudes toward Inequality and Political Trust in China

    Existing literature suggests that despite rising inequality in China, Chinese people tend to tolerate inequality, so it would be unlikely that rising inequality would cause sociopolitical instability. Few studies, however, have systematically explained Chinese people’s attitudes toward inequality, analyzed attitudinal changes over time, or examined the relationship between such attitudes and political trust. The author’s analysis of national surveys in 2004, 2009, and 2014 yields three findings.