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  1. Featured Essay: Lost and Saved . . . Again: The Moral Panic about the Loss of Community Takes Hold of Social Media

    Why does every generation believe that relationships were stronger and community better in the recent past? Lamenting about the loss of community, based on a selective perception of the present and an idealization of ‘‘traditional community,’’ dims awareness of powerful inequalities and cleavages that have always pervaded human society and favors deterministic models over a nuanced understanding of how network affordances contribute to different outcomes. Taylor Dotson’s (2017) recent book proposes a broader timeline for the demise of community.
  2. Correction

    In the trends piece, “Taking a Knee” (Summer 2018), two figures had labeling errors. Please see with corrected figures here or visit contexts.org/articles/nfl for the full article with corrections.
  3. Response to Morgan: On the Role of Status Threat and Material Interests in the 2016 Election

    I am delighted to have the opportunity to respond to Morgan’s article, which is a critique of my recent publication (Mutz 2018). I will restrict my response to matters concerning the data and analysis, excluding issues such as whether the journal PNAS is appropriately named (Morgan this issue:3) as well as Morgan’s views about how this work was covered in various media outlets (Morgan this issue:3–6). These issues are less important than whether material self-interest or status threat motivated Trump supporters.

  4. Visualizing Stochastic Actor-based Model Microsteps

    This visualization provides a dynamic representation of the microsteps involved in modeling network and behavior change with a stochastic actor-based model. This video illustrates how (1) observed time is broken up into a series of simulated microsteps and (2) these microsteps serve as the opportunity for actors to change their network ties or behavior. The example model comes from a widely used tutorial, and we provide code to allow for adapting the visualization to one’s own model.

  5. A Novel Measure of Moral Boundaries: Testing Perceived In-group/Out-group Value Differences in a Midwestern Sample

    The literature on group differences and social identities has long assumed that value judgments about groups constitute a basic form of social categorization. However, little research has empirically investigated how values unite or divide social groups. The authors seek to address this gap by developing a novel measure of group values: third-order beliefs about in- and out-group members, building on Schwartz value theory. The authors demonstrate that their new measure is a promising empirical tool for quantifying previously abstract social boundaries.
  6. Share, Show, and Tell: Group Discussion or Simulations Versus Lecture Teaching Strategies in a Research Methods Course

    Impacts of incorporating active learning pedagogies into a lecture-based course were examined among 266 students across nine research methods course sections taught by one instructor at a large public university. Pedagogies evaluated include lecture only, lecture with small group discussions, and lecture with simulations. Although lecture-simulations sections outperformed lecture-only sections on one outcome measure, few performance differences appeared between lecture-only and alternative groups.
  7. Textual Spanning: Finding Discursive Holes in Text Networks

    We propose a measure of discursive holes well suited for the unique properties of text networks built from document similarity matrices considered as dense weighted graphs. In this measure, which we call textual spanning, documents similar to documents dissimilar from one another receive a high score, and documents similar to documents similar to one another receive a low score. After offering a simulation-based validation, we test the measure on an empirical document similarity matrix based on a preestimated topic-model probability distribution.
  8. Who Counts as a Notable Sociologist on Wikipedia? Gender, Race, and the “Professor Test”

    This paper documents and estimates the extent of underrepresentation of women and people of color on the pages of Wikipedia devoted to contemporary American sociologists. In contrast to the demographic diversity of the discipline, sociologists represented on Wikipedia are largely white men. The gender and racial/ethnic gaps in likelihood of representation have exhibited little change over time. Using novel data, we estimate the “risk” of having a Wikipedia page for a sample of contemporary sociologists.
  9. Intergenerational Association of Maternal Obesity and Child Peer Victimization in the United States

    Drawing on the intergenerational stress proliferation theory, the courtesy stigma thesis, and the buffering ethnic culture thesis, this study examines the association between maternal obesity and child’s peer victimization and whether this association varies for white and black children. Based on longitudinal data from a nationally representative sample of mother–child pairs in the U.S.
  10. Theory Here and Now

    Social Theory Now is a stimulating volume that advances the domains of, and approaches to, contemporary social theory and represents an important new point of reference for those interested in the current state of theorizing. Readers will find familiar topics and subfields characterized in interesting and often novels ways and are likely to be introduced to new authors or concepts. The volume as a whole is attentive to the major new innovations and controversies in conceptualizing social life, and the chapters bear repeated consultation for the fresh formulations they give of these theories.