American Sociological Association

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  1. Individualism as a Discursive Strategy of Action: Autonomy, Agency, and Reflexivity among Religious Americans

    This paper reconceptualizes "individualism" as a discursive strategy of action through which everyday Americans attempt to manage the cultural dilemma of engaging in externally imposed social obligations within a broader individualistic culture.

  2. Caring for Them Like Family: How Structure and Culture Simultaneously Influence Contemporary African American Middle- and Upper-Middle-Class Mothers Kin and Community Child Care Choices

    Scholars examining kin and community care have often sought to identify the relative importance of structural and cultural factors on the use and availability of these networks, but research has yielded unclear results in the case of child care. Cultural theories focus on how values, beliefs, and practices lead to differences in kin and community care; structural theories focus on how educational attainment, income, inherited power or inequality, and family structure lead to such differences.

  3. Studying Race and Religion: A Critical Assessment

    The authors provide an analytical review of the past 115 years of scholarship on race, ethnicity, and religion. Too often work in the study of race and ethnicity has not taken the influence of religion seriously enough, with the consequence being an incomplete understanding of racialization, racial and ethnic identity, and racial inequality. The authors examine key works in the field; conduct an assessment of articles published on race, ethnicity, and religion in six journals over a five-year period; and outline where scholarship should head in future years.

  4. The Negative Relationship between Size and the Probability of Weekly Attendance in Churches in the United States

    Are people less likely to attend large churches? Using nationally representative data, I find a negative relationship between size and the probability of attendance for Conservative, Mainline, and black Protestants and for Catholics in parishes larger than 500 attenders. The addition of control variables does not change these patterns. These results support the theory that group cohesion lies at the heart of the size-participation relationship in churches.
  5. States With Punitive Justice Systems Have Higher Rates of Foster Care, Study Finds

    The number of children in foster care across the country is driven not solely by child abuse and neglect, but by states' varying politics and approaches to social problems, a new University of Washington (UW) study finds.

    States with more punitive criminal justice systems tend to remove children from their homes far more frequently than those with generous welfare programs — meaning that two states with similar rates of child abuse and neglect could have very different rates of foster care entry.

  6. Religion as Bridging or Bonding Social Capital: Race, Religion, and Cross-racial Interaction for College Students

    Religion is the most segregated arena of American life, but its effect on collegiate diversity outcomes has been overlooked, despite the significance of both race and religion in many students’ lives. This study examines whether religious observance, religious worldview identification, and participation in a religious student organization are significantly related to cross-racial interaction (CRI), a form of bridging social capital, during college. The current study yielded largely positive relationships between general religiosity and CRI.

  7. Review Essays: Finding Meaning in a Rough Country

    Michael P. Young reviews Rough Country: How Texas Became America’s Most Powerful Bible-Belt State, by Robert Wuthnow.

  8. A Nation Divided: Science, Religion, and Public Opinion in the United States

    Elites often mobilize science and religion to support opposing positions on issues ranging from abortion to families to criminal justice. However, there is little research on the extent to which public preferences for scientific and religious understandings relate to public opinion about these and other controversies. The authors analyze how perspectives on science and religion map onto public attitudes about a wide range of social, political, and economic issues.

  9. Why Worry about Evolution? Boundaries, Practices, and Moral Salience in Sunni and Evangelical High Schools

    Previous work on conservative Protestant creationism fails to account for other creationists who are much less morally invested in opposition to evolution, raising the sociological question: What causes issues’ moral salience? Through ethnographic fieldwork in four creationist high schools in the New York City area (two Sunni Muslim and two conservative Protestant), I argue that evolution is more important to the Christian schools because it is dissonant with their key practices and boundaries.

  10. Study Examines Families’ Journeys to Accepting Transgender Children, Mothers Play Key Advocacy Role

    A tiny hair barrette and an anguished moment marked the turning point for one mother in coming to fully accept that her child, who was born a boy, was a transgender girl.

    Quinn had expressed a preference for girls’ clothing and accessories at a young age, but Jessica and her husband, Steve, would not allow her to wear them outside their home.

    One day, picking her up from school, Jessica watched Quinn quickly remove a barrette from her hair and slip it into her pocket, ashamed that her mother might have seen.