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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

  5. 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.
  6. “What Would I Look Like?”: How Exposure to Concentrated Disadvantage Shapes Hip-Hop Artists’ Connections to Community

    Hip-hop has deep historical ties to disadvantaged communities. Resounding success in mainstream and global music markets potentially disrupts those connections. The authors use in-depth interviews with 25 self-defined rap/hip-hop artists to explore the significance of place in modern hip-hop. Bringing together historical studies of hip-hop and sociological neighborhood studies, the authors examine hip-hop artists’ community connections.

  7. Listening for the Interior in Hip-Hop and R&B Music

    This article analyzes how four Black musical artists make “quiet,” or the inner life of African Americans, legible. Specifically, we consider ways that the quiet found within the lyrics of recent acclaimed albums from two hip-hop artists and two neo-soul artists—Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN (2017) and Rapsody’s Laila’s Wisdom (2017), Solange’s A Seat at the Table (2016) and Maxwell’s blackSUMMERS’night (2016), respectively—offer subtle, quotidian challenges to oppression, dehumanization, and objectification.
  8. Republication of “Science Fiction and Introductory Sociology: The Handmaid in the Classroom”

    Although there is a great deal of available material on using nontraditional resources for teaching sociology, the pedagogical uses of science fiction have not been examined for 20 years. This essay first asserts the need for an update based on changes in society and in science fiction over the past two decades.
  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. Leveraging Youth: Overcoming Intergenerational Tensions in Creative Production

    The sociological literature on creativity would suggest that collaboration between newcomers and more experienced members of an art world results in the fruitful combination of novelty and usefulness, though not without some conflict.