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  1. Ordinalization: Lewis A. Coser Memorial Award for Theoretical Agenda Setting 2014

    We can think of three basic principles of classificatory judgment for comparing things and people. I call these judgments nominal (oriented to essence), cardinal (oriented to quantities), and ordinal (oriented to relative positions). Most social orders throughout history are organized around the intersection of these different types. In line with the ideals of political liberalism, however, democratic societies have developed an arsenal of institutions to untangle nominal and ordinal judgments in various domains of social life.

  2. Reaffirming Our Core Values Post-Election

    Dear Colleagues,

    In light of the rash of racist and xenophobic activities on campuses across the nation, it seems important to us as leaders of the ASA to reaffirm to our members our core organizational and disciplinary values. As an association devoted to advancing the discipline of sociology and the professional lives of sociologists, ASA has a long and ongoing history of activity supporting diversity, inclusion, free inquiry, and academic freedom.

    Post-election activity

  3. The Privatization of Political Representation: Community-Based Organizations as Nonelected Neighborhood Representatives

    In an era of public-private partnerships, what role do nonprofit community-based organizations (CBOs) play in urban governance? Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork in Boston, this article presents a new way to understand CBOs’ political role in poor neighborhoods: CBOs as nonelected neighborhood representatives. Over the course of four years, I followed nine CBOs in six Boston neighborhoods as they planned community development projects. The CBOs in my study superseded elected politicians as the legitimate representatives of poor urban neighborhoods.

  4. One Marriage Under God: The Campaign to Promote Marriage in America

    In One Marriage Under God: The Campaign to Promote Marriage in America, Melanie Heath contributes to the growing literature on the politics of marriage and family. Her book is a welcome addition to this body of work. Not only does it document the growth of the marriage movement in the United States, which until now has been woefully underexamined, but also offers a sharp and penetrating analysis of marriage promotion programs under welfare reform in the United States.

  5. Proposing Prosperity: Marriage Education Policy in America

    In 1996, Congress overhauled welfare policy to promote work, marriage, and responsible fatherhood for American families living in poverty. This led to the creation of the federal Healthy Marriage Initiative—often referred to as marriage promotion policy—which has spent almost $1 billion since 2002 to fund hundreds of relationship and marriage education programs.

  6. Statement of the American Sociological Association Concerning the New Administration’s Recent and Future Activities

    Against the background of events that have unfolded over the last week, we are writing today to let you know that ASA is monitoring events carefully, has responded to some developments already, and will continue to respond in the future. And we welcome and need your help with this effort.

  7. 2016 Presidential Address: A New Political Generation: Millennials and the Post-2008 Wave of Protest

    Building on Karl Mannheim’s theory of generations, this address argues that U.S. Millennials comprise a new political generation with lived experiences and worldviews that set them apart from their elders. Not only are they the first generation of “digital natives,” but, although they are more educated than any previous U.S. generation, they face a labor market in which precarity is increasingly the norm.

  8. Toward an Affirmative Biopolitics

    This essay responds to German theorist Thomas Lemke’s call for a conversation between two distinct lines of reception of Foucault’s concept of biopolitics. The first line is comprised of sweeping historical perspectives on biopolitics, such as those of Giorgio Agamben and Antonio Negri, and the second is comprised of the more temporally focused perspectives of theorists such as Paul Rabinow, Nikolas Rose, and Catherine Waldby, whose biopolitical analyses concentrate on recent biotechnologies such as genetic techniques and the biobanking of human tissues.

  9. The Social Determinants of Conspiratorial Ideation

    Scholars have recently become increasingly interested in understanding the prevalence and persistence of conspiratorial beliefs among the public as recent research has shown such beliefs to be both widespread and to have deleterious effects on the political process. This article seeks to develop a sociological understanding of the structural conditions that are associated with conspiratorial belief.

  10. Socius Special Issue Call for Papers

    Socius: Sociological Research for a Dynamic World invites papers for a special issue on gender in the 2016 elections. We invite contributions on all topics relevant to gender and politics. Potential topics could include (but are not limited to): gender and the executive; women, social policy, and state legislative elections; intersectionality and the media; gender and public opinion; and women in changing political institutions. Informative papers on trends or cross-national comparisons are welcome as long as they are framed in relation to the 2016 U.S. election.