American Sociological Association

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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. 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.
  4. Why Does the Importance of Education for Health Differ across the United States?

    The positive association between educational attainment and adult health (“the gradient”) is stronger in some areas of the United States than in others. Explanations for the geographic pattern have not been rigorously investigated. Grounded in a contextual and life-course perspective, the aim of this study is to assess childhood circumstances (e.g., childhood health, compulsory schooling laws) and adult circumstances (e.g., wealth, lifestyles, economic policies) as potential explanations.

  5. Visualizing Change in Ordinal Measures: Religious Attendance in the United States (1972–2018)

    The figure plots self-reports of religious attendance using data from the General Social Survey (1972–2018), contributing to current debates about how religiosity is changing in the United States by clearly showing the relative increase or decrease of each level of religious attendance over time.

  6. Location, Location, Location: Liberatory Pedagogy in a University Classroom

    In this article, we explore the practice, promise, and contradictions of introducing liberatory practice into a higher education classroom. Freire introduced liberatory education in response to the hierarchical transfer of knowledge, “banking” concept of education that has dominated educational institutions. The banking approach to education demands that students memorize and repeat top-down “official” knowledge in order to achieve success.
  7. Implementing a Careers and Professional Development Course for Sociology Students

    Sociology students are interested in having meaningful careers that use their sociological knowledge and skills, and higher education institutions are under pressure to show that their graduates achieve career success. A one-credit-hour course focused on careers, professional development, and resources for sociology majors can increase students’ confidence that multiple options exist for them in their postbaccalaureate lives.
  8. Exploring the Benefits and Drawbacks of Age Disclosure among Women Faculty of Color

    This article is guided by two questions: How is age an important aspect of social location that, when forthcoming about it with students, can be beneficial for pedagogical purposes? and How can women faculty of color—particularly those who appear youthful and/or are younger than most of their colleagues—address the marginality of their actual and/or perceived age while simultaneously operating in a space that is contested for women of color?
  9. Community-Initiated Student-Engaged Research: Expanding Undergraduate Teaching and Learning through Public Sociology

    Drawing on a multiyear local research project on the affordable housing crisis, this article outlines a pedagogical approach we call Community-Initiated Student-Engaged Research, or CISER. The CISER model brings together three key groups of actors—undergraduate students, university researchers, and community organizations—drawing on and extending the powers of cooperative “dyads” between them.
  10. Strategic Design toward Foundational Learning Goals in Introduction to Sociology

    Scholars of teaching and learning in sociology have argued that introductory courses should teach toward foundational learning goals instead of providing an exhaustive review of the discipline. Nevertheless, prior research has provided far more guidance on what instructors ought to teach than how they can cohesively support learning across the goals advocated. Additionally, few studies have considered whether introductory course designs adequately address students’ diverse reasons for enrolling.