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  1. Collective Social Identity: Synthesizing Identity Theory and Social Identity Theory Using Digital Data

    Identity theory (IT) and social identity theory (SIT) are eminent research programs from sociology and psychology, respectively. We test collective identity as a point of convergence between the two programs. Collective identity is a subtheory of SIT that pertains to activist identification. Collective identity maps closely onto identity theory’s group/social identity, which refers to identification with socially situated identity categories. We propose conceptualizing collective identity as a type of group/social identity, integrating activist collectives into the identity theory model.
  2. Puzzling Politics: A Methodology for Turning World-Systems Analysis Inside-Out

    Can world-systems analysis illuminate politics? Can it help explain why illiberal regimes, outsider parties, and anti-immigrant rhetoric seem to be on the rise? Can it help explain any such nationalchanges that seem destined to shift how nations relate to world markets? Leading surveys of historical sociology seem to say no. We disagree. While there are problems with Wallerstein’s early mode of analyzing politicsin the capitalist world-system from the outside-in, historical sociologists have been too quick to dismiss world-systems analysis.
  3. Economic Populism and Bandwagon Bigotry: Obama-to-Trump Voters and the Cross Pressures of the 2016 Election

    Through an analysis of validated voters in the 2016 American National Election Study, this article considers the voters who supported Obama in 2012 and Trump in 2016. More than 5.7 million in total, Obama-to-Trump voters were crucial to Trump’s victory in the Electoral College. They were more likely to be white, working class, and resident in the Midwest. They had lower levels of political interest, were centrist in both party affiliation and ideology, and were late deciders for the 2016 election.
  4. Sociology's Greatest Hits of 2018

    From a study on the impact of racial resentment on political ideology to analysis of issues including minority college admissions, the success of lying demagogues, and public opposition to “religious freedom” laws, the most downloaded sociological research published in the American Sociological Association’s journals in 2018 spanned a wide range of topics and social concerns.

  5. Summer 2019 Contexts Online Free until August 30

    From the Editors

    Special Issue on Freedom

  6. The Political-Military Foundations of China’s Global Ascendency

    In recent years China has positioned itself as a global economic leader, working through its “Belt and Road” initiative (BRI) and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), to not only expand its global economic reach, but to organize and lead global economic relations. China’s rise is largely understood in economic terms, but the history of global power dynamics suggests that such leadership is built on both economic and political-military foundations.
  7. CASM: A Deep-Learning Approach for Identifying Collective Action Events with Text and Image Data from Social Media

    Protest event analysis is an important method for the study of collective action and social movements and typically draws on traditional media reports as the data source. We introduce collective action from social media (CASM)—a system that uses convolutional neural networks on image data and recurrent neural networks with long short-term memory on text data in a two-stage classifier to identify social media posts about offline collective action. We implement CASM on Chinese social media data and identify more than 100,000 collective action events from 2010 to 2017 (CASM-China).
  8. Sacred Alters: The Effects of Ego Network Structure on Religious and Political Beliefs

    Does who we know impact how strongly we believe? The claim seems reasonable, but research linking social network composition to political beliefs has produced conflicting results. We argue that methodological differences in measuring close ties can explain these inconsistencies and that work on the sacred umbrella provides a useful framework for moving forward. The sacred umbrella argues that when people close to you share your religious beliefs, you are shielded from doubt and uncertainty; perhaps the same mechanism also operates for political views.
  9. When Interest Doesn’t Turn into Action: Discrimination, Group Identification, and Muslim Political Engagement in the Post-9/11 Era

    This article examines the effect of exposure to post-9/11 stigmatization on various types of Muslim political engagement, using a mixed-methods approach that combines propensity score matching analysis of data from the Muslims in the American Public Square (MAPS) survey administered immediately after 9/11 with experimental data of the U.S. Muslim population. I find that increased discrimination results in increased political interest but has a neutral or dampening effect on political participation.
  10. The Rise of ‘Illiberal’ Democracy: The Orbánization of Hungarian Political Culture

    This article examines the rise of the political right and far-right in Hungarian political culture. It highlights the contribution that world-systems analysis can bring to an historical sociological understanding of the concept of political culture, with a particular focus on contemporary Hungary. Many commentators are asking: how it can be that 30 years of democratic transition has led to the dominance in Hungary of a politics of intolerance, illiberalism and ethno-Nationalism, as manifested in both the current government, Fidesz, and the neo-fascist party, Jobbik.