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  1. Culture of Fear and the Presidential Scare

    In the current edition of the book, The Culture of Fear, many of the new chapters to the Fearmonger-in-Chief, Donald Trump.
  2. The Object Economy: “Alternative” Banking in Chicago

    In 2017, more than 22 percent of all U.S. households used an alternative financial service at least once. While fringe-banking enterprises mainly serve people with low or moderate incomes who lack access to more conventional banking services, pawnshops in particular also provide an important and distinct last resort for many customers.
  3. 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.
  4. American Inequality in the Long Run

    Can this theory explain why inequality is growing in the United States? Piketty asserted that his theory was best tested with data from France, whose history was, he argued, “more typical and more pertinent for understanding the future” than the historical experience of the United States (p. 29). Nevertheless, and no doubt because Capital in the Twenty-First Century sold so many copies, some university publishers in recent years have been willing to gamble on big, dry books of historical inequality statistics that purport to test his arguments against American data.
  5. Trump Supporters and the Boundaries of the “I”

    After Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 election, Democrats’ handwringing centered first on the woes of the white working class. Displaced from jobs that had offered decent pay and a modicum of self-respect and unheard by mainstream politicians, the argument ran, working-class voters turned to Trump in the vain hope that he would restore their economic fortunes. The diagnosis was compelling, but it soon ran aground on new analyses of Trump’s electoral base. The people who voted for Trump were white, yes, but many were middle-class.
  6. Racial Inequities in the Federal Buyout of Flood-Prone Homes: A Nationwide Assessment of Environmental Adaptation

    One way the U.S. government is responding to the challenges of climate change is by funding the purchase of tens of thousands of flood-prone homes in more than 500 cities and towns across the country. This study provides a nationwide analysis of that program, extending beyond cost-benefit calculations to investigate racial inequities at different scales of local implementation, from county-level adoption, through neighborhood-level participation, to homeowner approval.

  7. Exploiting Ambiguity: A Moral Polysemy Approach to Variation in Economic Practices

    Sociologists have shown that the relationships people establish between moral orientations and market practices vary considerably across historical, geographic, and institutional contexts. Less attention has been paid to situational variation in how the same actors moralize different economic goals, especially in their workplace. This article offers an account of situational variation by theorizing the implications of the ambiguity of moral values for economic activity.
  8. Do Carbon Prices Limit Economic Growth?

    The most common counterargument to taxing carbon emissions is that the policy has a negative impact on economic growth. The author tests the validity of this argument by visualizing the enactment of carbon prices on gross domestic product per capita from 1979 to 2018 and presenting a formal fixed-effects regression analysis of panel data. No connection is found between carbon price implementation and diminished economic growth. This outcome is primarily due to policy design and the general nature of economic growth.

  9. “He Explained It to Me and I Also Did It Myself”: How Older Adults Get Support with Their Technology Uses

    Given that older adults constitute a highly heterogeneous group that engages with digital media in varying ways, there is likely to be large variation in technology support needs, something heretofore unaddressed in the literature. Drawing on in-depth qualitative interviews with a multinational sample of older adults, the authors explore the support needs of older adults for using digital media, including their perceptions of whether the support they receive meets their needs.
  10. Lay Pharmacovigilance and the Dramatization of Risk: Fluoroquinolone Harm on YouTube

    Sociologists have documented how the pharmaceutical industry has corrupted pharmacovigilance (PV), defined as the practices devoted to detecting and preventing adverse drug reactions (ADRs). In this article, I juxtapose the official postmarketing system of PV with firsthand accounts of ADRs as found in 60 YouTube vlogs created by 29 individuals who recount debilitating reactions to fluoroquinolones, a common class of antibiotics. Whereas official PV is said to contribute the banalization of risk, these vlogs exemplify the dramatization of risk. I consider the vlogs as instances of lay PV.