American Sociological Association



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  1. Blood Donation across the Life Course: The Influence of Life Events on Donor Lapse

    This article examines how blood donation loyalty changes across the life course as a result of life events. Previous studies have shown that life events affect involvement in prosocial behavior, possibly as a result of loss of human and social capital. Using registry data from the blood collection agency in the Netherlands, linked to longitudinal survey data from the Donor InSight study (N = 20,560), we examined whether life events are related to blood donor lapse.

  2. Abandoning Medical Authority: When Medical Professionals Confront Stigmatized Adolescent Sex and the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccine

    Despite authority’s centrality to the medical profession, providers routinely forgo their medical authority during clinical encounters. Research focuses on patients challenging medical authority but indicates these confrontations are uncommon and providers seldom relinquish their authority in response. Using rare data of 75 audio recordings of adolescent vaccine discussions during clinical encounters and interviews with and observations of medical staff, I examine how staff leverage or abandon their medical authority to convince parents to vaccinate.

  3. Weathering, Drugs, and Whack-a-Mole: Fundamental and Proximate Causes of Widening Educational Inequity in U.S. Life Expectancy by Sex and Race, 1990–2015

    Discussion of growing inequity in U.S. life expectancy increasingly focuses on the popularized narrative that it is driven by a surge of “deaths of despair.” Does this narrative fit the empirical evidence? Using census and Vital Statistics data, we apply life-table methods to calculate cause-specific years of life lost between ages 25 and 84 by sex and educational rank for non-Hispanic blacks and whites in 1990 and 2015. Drug overdoses do contribute importantly to widening inequity for whites, especially men, but trivially for blacks.

  4. Political Institutions and the Comparative Medicalization of Abortion

    Comparative-historical research on medicalization is rare and, perhaps for that reason, largely ignores political institutions, which tend to vary more across countries than within them. This article proposes a political-institutional theory of medicalization in which health care policy legacies, political decentralization, and constitutionalism shape the preferences, discourses, strategies, and influence of actors that seek or resist medicalization. The theory helps explain why abortion has been more medicalized in Britain than the United States.

  5. Intersubjectivity, Normativity, and Grammar

    Interactants depend on background knowledge and commonsense inferences to establish and maintain intersubjectivity. This study investigates how the resources of language—or more specifically, of grammar—can be mobilized to address moments when such inferences might risk jeopardizing understanding in lieu of promoting it. While such moments may initially seem to undermine the normative commonsensicality of the particular inference(s) in question, the practice examined here is shown to legitimize those inferences through the very act of setting them aside.

  6. Typical Roles and Intergroup Relations Shape Stereotypes: How Understanding Social Structure Clarifies the Origins of Stereotype Content

    How do stereotypes gain their specific content? Social psychologists have argued that stereotypes of groups, defined by demographic indicators such as sex and race, gain their content from their locations in the social structure. In one version of this claim, observations of group members’ typical roles shape stereotype content. In another version, observations of intergroup relations shape this content. This research addressed the validity and compatibility of these two claims.

  7. The Formation of Group Ties in Open Interaction Groups

    We examine how task jointness and group incentive structures bear on the nature and strength of the affective and cognitive ties that people forge to a group. The argument is that affective group ties have stronger effects on social order than cognitive group ties. There are two general hypotheses. First, joint tasks generate stronger cognitive and affective ties to groups, whereas group incentives generate cognitive but not necessarily affective ties to the group.

  8. When (In)Consistency Matters: Racial Identification and Specification

    Sociologists who rely on survey research have begun exploring the implications of racial inconsistency for not only multiracial identification but also for other social outcomes. Using the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health, the author explores the consequences of different specifications of race for modeling three outcomes: educational attainment, self-rated health, and interracial relationship history.

  9. Not by Bread Alone: Mobility Experiences, Religion, and Optimism about Future Mobility

    Americans are quite optimistic about their chances of upward mobility, but sometimes even they have their doubts. The authors examine how mobility experiences boost or dampen American optimism about mobility and how the relationship is connected to religion. The authors find that Americans whose subjective financial situations have recently worsened are less optimistic, whereas those whose situations have improved are more optimistic. Objective measures of mobility were not connected to optimism.

  10. Visualizing Individual Outcomes of Social Mobility Using Heatmaps

    Research on the consequences of social mobility usually draws on information about categorical origin and destination variables as well as an outcome variable. The author shows an example of a heatmap created in Stata to visualize the relationship between social mobility and poor self-rated health in Germany and discusses the advantages of this heatmap approach to other visualization approaches.