Americans love crime. The criminal justice system is fetishized in popular culture and news media. We watch the news and scour the Internet to assess our own moral compass, take cues from others' digressions, and bear witness to justice and punishment. Historically, we learned about crime through news media and fiction. The Internet has dramatically changed this landscape: for the first time, mug shots and jailhouse rosters are available with a click.
ASA speaks with sociologist Dustin Kidd at the 2016 ASA Annual Meeting on August, 2016, in Seattle, WA. Kidd talks about what it means to “do sociology,” how he uses sociology in his work, highlights of his work in the field, the relevance of sociological work to society, and his advice to students interested in entering the field.
Washington, DC — Increasingly, social scientists use multiple forms of communication to engage broader audiences with their research and contribute to solutions of the pressing problems of our time. Yet, in academia, it is unclear whether these efforts to communicate with the public should count when colleges and universities are evaluating scholars.
On November 15, 2016, ASA President Michèle Lamont, sent a letter along with ASA’s official statement on the use of Native American nicknames, logos, and mascots to Major League Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred. Commissioner Manfred is scheduled to meet with the owner of the Cleveland baseball club soon. The letter urges Major League Baseball to eliminate all Native American team nicknames, logos, and other symbols.
The night that Barack Obama was elected President in 2008, the White supremacist web forum Stormfront lit up with posts about racial extremists’ fantastical visions of violence to combat “White racial genocide.” On election night 2016, Stormfront lit up again as White supremacists expressed triumph with Donald Trump’s victory. They celebrated: “We finally have one of us in the White House again!”
The fight over campus speech has a long history, but recent events suggest it is at least as vitriolic as ever. Headlines are illustrative of how volatile campuses can be with mass protests leading to cancellations of speeches by invited speakers and threats made against academics such as Johnny Williams, a sociology professor at Trinity College. What constitutes acceptable speech on campus? When does it become hate speech? What rights should and do professors, students, and invited speakers have?