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  1. Response to Weddington: More Lessons from Afro-pessimism

    In this response to George Weddington’s critique of their recent article, the authors argue that Weddington rightfully critiques them for not paying enough attention to the role of psychoanalysis (exemplified by Frantz Fanon) in Afro-pessimist theory and for not giving primacy to the political ontology of blackness in Afro-pessimist thought. However, his critique is hindered by his mischaracterizing the authors’ argument as saying that black political ontology is merely different, not singular, and his lack of engagement with the authors’ analysis of critical race theory.
  2. 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.
  3. The Role of Social Media in Collective Processes of Place Making: A Study of Two Neighborhood Blogs in Amsterdam

    The wide use of social media has facilitated new social practices that influence place meaning. This paper uses a double case study of two neighborhood blogs in gentrifying communities, to explore the role of social media in sharing place associations and community formation. Drawing on Collins’ theory of interaction ritual chains, this research project investigates how the intertwining of online and offline interaction around the blogs creates interaction chains whereby the place associations of participants in the blog become more aligned, creating an alternative place narrative.

  4. Identifying the Urban: Resident Perceptions of Community Character and Local Institutions in Eight Metropolitan Areas

    What does the term “urban” signify as a descriptor of contemporary communities in the United States? We investigate this question using data from the Soul of the Community survey, examining how people within eight metropolitan areas characterize their communities. A substantial disjunction exists between where within their regions respondents live and how they describe those areas.

  5. Neighborhoods as Arenas of Conflict in the Neoliberal City: Practices of Boundary Making Between “Us” and “Them”

    This paper is concerned with processes of place making among middle class residents in Santiago de Chile, and focuses on the ways in which neighborhood groups seek to receive heritage status for their areas of residence, as a way to contest the demolition of houses in order to build high‐rise buildings. I focus on the tensions inherent in reconciling a critical view of neoliberal residential politics with a securing of their individual or family class position.

  6. Regulating Landlords: Unintended Consequences for Poor Tenants

    This paper explores “hidden” ways by which cities may inadvertently undermine access to decent, stable, affordable housing—especially for vulnerable renter households—through regulations that sanction landlords for tenant activities on their property.

  7. Ethnography, Neighborhood Effects, and the Rising Heterogeneity of Poor Neighborhoods across Cities

    In the 1980s and 1990s, researchers came to understand poor urban neighborhoods as blighted, depopulated areas, based on important ethnographic observations in a handful of cities. This image helped inform influential theories of social isolation and de‐institutionalization. However, few scholars have examined whether those observations were representative of poor neighborhoods nationwide—and whether they are representative today. Based on a descriptive analysis of the largest 100 U.S.

  8. Do‐It‐Yourself Urban Design: The Social Practice of Informal “Improvement” Through Unauthorized Alteration

    There are numerous ways in which people make illegal or unauthorized alterations to urban space.

  9. Gentrification, Race, and Ethnicity: Towards a Global Research Agenda?

    “And it's not just Fort Greene, it's not just Harlem. When I was growing up, D.C. used to be called Chocolate City. Now it's Vanilla Swirl! I used to go to London, hang out in Brixton. No more black people in Brixton. So gentrification, this thing is not just this borough, this city, this country, it's happening all over the world.” (Lee 2014, http://flavorwire.com/newswire/spike-lee-we-predicted-gentrification)

  10. The Effects of Gentrification on Neighborhood Public Schools

    Gentrification is generally associated with improvements in neighborhood amenities, but we know little about whether the improvements extend to public schools. Using administrative data (from spring 1993 to spring 2004) from the third largest school district in the United States, we examine the relationships between gentrification and school‐level student math and reading achievement, and whether changes in the composition of the student body account for any changes in achievement.