American Sociological Association

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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Emotions and Medical Decision-Making

    Sociologists have written surprisingly little about the role emotions play in medical decision-making, largely ceding this terrain to psychologists who conceptualize emotional influences on decision-making in primarily cognitive and individualistic terms. In this article, I use ethnographic data gathered from parents and physicians caring for children with life-threatening conditions to illustrate how emotions enter the medical decision-making process in fundamentally interactional ways.
  4. Social Class, Diagnoses of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, and Child Well-Being

    Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is the most commonly diagnosed mental health disorder among U.S. children. Diagnosis can bring positives, like proper treatment, extra testing time, and social support, but may also trigger negatives, like stigmatization. Although rates of diagnosis are high across socioeconomic status (SES) groups, the balance of positive and negative consequences of diagnosis may differ by SES.

  5. 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.
  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. 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.
  8. 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?

  9. Small‐City Gay Bars, Big‐City Urbanism

    Despite the widely hailed importance of gay bars, what we know of them comes largely from the gayborhoods of four “great cities.” This paper explores the similarities of 55 lone small‐city gay bars to each other and the challenges they pose to the sexualities and urban literatures.

  10. Producing Facts in a World of Alternatives: Why Journalism Matters and Why It Could Matter More

    In a time of shrinking newsrooms, newspaper closings, fake news, alternative facts and outrage, and incursion from outsiders, why does professional journalism matter anymore? How can journalists, looking to defend their profession and the news they produce, claim authority over truth and fact? Michael Schudson engages these questions in Why Journalism Still Matters, a collection of writings on the value of today’s journalism for today’s democracy.