American Sociological Association

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  1. If Only It Were That Complex

    Research on the dynamics of social change is often framed by what Damon Centola refers to in his new book How Behavior Spreads: The Science of Complex Contagions as “the convenience of classical epidemiological tropes” (p. 173) in which “contagions” spread from infected to susceptible individuals through interaction. Social networks became alluring to use in conjunction with this epidemiological frame because the two together evoke the determinism of electrical wiring, with charges traveling paths (ties) structured by the location of switches (nodes) in the line.
  2. Visualizing Age, Period, and Cohort Patterns of Substance Use in the U.S. Opioid Crisis

    Descriptions of the contemporary U.S. opioid crisis emphasize several “waves” of overdose deaths. However, a focus on trends in overdose deaths may obscure important sociological dynamics. The authors provide heatmap visualizations of estimated annual rates of past-year substance use, rather than overdose deaths, for prescription pain relievers and heroin. These visualizations are based on weighted analyses of self-reports, cross-classified by age and period, collected as part of the National Survey on Drug Use and Health from 2002 to 2017. Whereas descriptions of the U.S.

  3. Heatmaps for Patterns of Association in log-Linear Models

    Log-linear models offer a detailed characterization of the association between categorical variables, but the breadth of their outputs is difficult to grasp because of the large number of parameters these models entail. Revisiting seminal findings and data from sociological work on social mobility, the author illustrates the use of heatmaps as a visualization technique to convey the complex patterns of association captured by log-linear models.
  4. Predicting Postsecondary Pathways: The Effect of Social Background and Academic Factors on Routes through School

    Access to institutions of higher education has increased in recent decades; however, increased access has not led to parallel increases in degree completion among all types of students. In this article, I examine the associations between individual-level factors and the particular paths through educational institutions that students follow as they navigate their educational careers. Research on educational pathways has typically examined individual educational “transitions” but failed to examine the full “trajectories” that students experience.
  5. Commercial Gentrification Indexes: Using Business Directories to Map Urban Change at the Street Level

    This article presents the case for utilizing business directories in building commercial gentrification indexes as tools for research on neighborhood change. It reviews several existing methods of capturing retail change within the growing literature, codifies them as the boutique index, the food index, and the ethnic index, and discusses methodological issues that emerge in building them.

  6. Shopping Streets and Neighborhood Identity: Retail Theming as Symbolic Ownership in New York

    As the economies of production and trade have dwindled in Western cities, urban locales have had to capitalize on other opportunities for growth. Middle and upper class consumers are now sought after resources for cities and neighborhoods once supported by manufacturing. This article considers the role of local retail actors in shifting neighborhood identity towards luxury consumption.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Remembering the City: Changing Conceptions of Community in Urban China

    Adopting complimentary integrative research methodologies, this article examines changing conceptions of community among urban residents within the city of Suzhou, Jiangsu province, China. Through local residents’ past memories, “everyday” experiences of (former) urban communities, and reflections on a particular way of life, we focus upon the subjective/affective meanings and memories attached to processes of urban change.

  10. Relationship to Place for Older Adults in a New York City Neighborhood Undergoing Gentrification: A Discourse Analysis

    While many older adults live in neighborhoods undergoing gentrification, research rarely explores their narratives about the gentrification process and their relationships with gentrifiers. This study uses discourse analysis of ethnographic data in Queens, NY, to identify repertoires in older adults’ narratives about the meaning of place and gentrification.