American Sociological Association

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  1. The Public Library as Resistive Space in the Neoliberal City

    With reduced hours, decaying infrastructure, and precariously positioned staff, local public libraries provide much needed services in cities devastated by inequality and slashed safety nets. In this article, I draw on ethnographic research of a small public library in a diverse, mostly working class neighborhood in Queens, New York. I show that in addition to providing an alternative to the capitalist market by distributing resources according to people's needs, the library serves as a moral underground space, where middle‐class people bend rules to help struggling city residents.

  2. The Contemporary Defended Neighborhood: Maintaining Stability and Diversity through Processes of Community Defense

    This article extends Suttles’ (1972) theory of the defended neighborhood by applying the framework to a contemporary context and exploring the social processes that residents of a diverse community used to defend their neighborhood from change.

  3. A Recipe for Disaster: Framing Risk and Vulnerability in Slum Relocation Policies in Chennai, India

    This article investigates how governments use dramatic natural events such as disasters to justify potentially unpopular policy interventions. I use the case of the southern Indian city of Chennai to explore how different arms of the government have historically engaged with the question of slum tenure from the 1960s until the present moment. Using archival methods, I analyze policy documents to excavate how slums have been framed within the context of political and policy imperatives.

  4. Is Urbanization Good for the Climate? A Cross-County Analysis of Impervious Surface, Affluence, and the Carbon Intensity of Well-Being

    We contribute to literature exploring the socioecological impact of urban development as a multidimensional project, one in which changes to landscape features complement changes in demographic and administrative measures to co-constitute the socioecological impact of urbanity. We use a random coefficients modeling approach to examine U.S. relationships between the intensity of impervious surface within a county, population density in impervious areas, and carbon intensity of well-being (CIWB)—here constructed using industrial emissions.

  5. Measuring High School Curricular Intensity over Three Decades

    This article presents a new measure of curricular intensity that is objective, parsimonious, clearly defined, replicable, and comparable over time for use by researchers interested in examining trends, causes, and outcomes of high school course taking.
  6. Confronting Race in American Criminal Justice Reform

    The contemporary American criminal justice system is neither rational nor just. Nor is it color-blind. Despite decades of declines in crime and much talk of policy reform, the criminal justice system remains an established feature of racial inequality in the United States.
  7. The Elusiveness of Inclusion in Elite Higher Education

    Since the late 1980s, lower-income, first-generation college students have been a focal point of scholars of higher education. With three decades of research now accumulated, we have good insight into the experiences and outcomes of students who, on average, enter college with academic, financial, and social challenges.
  8. Who Speaks for (and Feeds) the Community? Competing Definitions of “Community” in the Austin, TX, Urban Farm Debate

    Alternative food supporters claim that food produced outside the corporate system can improve the wellbeing of communities. A closer look at these claims raises the question: How are members of the alternative food movement defining “community” and who is being included in and excluded from these definitions? We draw from in‐depth interviews with (1) urban famers and their supporters and (2) neighborhood members of gentrifying East Austin to examine irreconcilable disputes on the process of rewriting Austin's urban farm code.

  9. Computation and the Sociological Imagination

    Computational sociology leverages new tools and data sources to expand the scope and scale of sociological inquiry. It’s opening up an exciting frontier for sociologists of every stripe—from theorists and ethnographers to experimentalists and survey researchers. It expands the sociological imagination.

  10. Genes, Gender Inequality, and Educational Attainment

    Women’s opportunities have been profoundly altered over the past century by reductions in the social and structural constraints that limit women’s educational attainment. Do social constraints manifest as a suppressing influence on genetic indicators of potential, and if so, did equalizing opportunity mean equalizing the role of genetics? We address this with three cohort studies: the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study (WLS; birth years 1939 to 1940), the Health and Retirement Study, and the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health; birth years 1975 to 1982).