American Sociological Association

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  1. Teaching about Animals: Incorporating Nonhuman Animals into Sociology Classrooms

    The topic of human–animal studies (HAS) remains largely ignored within the sociology classroom. While a few sociologists have encouraged teaching about animals, none has assessed whether incorporating nonhuman animals into the curriculum is effective. In this study, three instructors at two universities incorporated animal-related materials in their sociology courses in a variety of ways. Data analyzed from course exam responses and student papers as well as end-of-semester student surveys indicate that student learning and enjoyment were enhanced.
  2. Comparing Internet Experiences and Prosociality in Amazon Mechanical Turk and Population-Based Survey Samples

    Given the high cost of traditional survey administration (postal mail, phone) and the limits of convenience samples such as university students, online samples offer a much welcomed alternative. Amazon Mechanical Turk (AMT) has been especially popular among academics for conducting surveys and experiments. Prior research has shown that AMT samples are not representative of the general population along some dimensions, but evidence suggests that these differences may not undermine the validity of AMT research.
  3. In Search of Greater Understanding: The Impact of Mastery Learning on Social Science Education

    Mastery learning approaches were designed to improve student learning and elevate the level of understanding across a broader swath of students. These approaches operate under the belief that all students are capable of learning if given enough time. Little research has examined the utility or applicability of a mastery learning approach for social sciences outside of research methods courses.
  4. Sexual Abstinence in the United States: Cohort Trends in Abstaining from Sex While Never Married for U.S. Women Born 1938 to 1983

    In this data visualization, the authors document trends in abstaining from sex while never married for U.S. women born 1938–1939 to 1982–1983. Using data from the six most recent National Surveys of Family Growth, the authors’ estimates suggest that for women born in the late 1930s and early 1940s, 48 percent to 58 percent reported abstaining from sex while never married. Abstinence then declined rapidly among women born in the late 1940s through the early 1960s, leveling off at between 9 percent and 12 percent for more recent birth cohorts. Thus, for U.S.

  5. Do People in Conservative States Really Watch More Porn? A Hierarchical Analysis

    Recent studies have found that state-level religious and political conservatism is positively associated with various aggregate indicators of interest in pornography. Such studies have been limited, however, in that they either did not include data measuring actual consumption patterns and/or did not include data on individuals (risking the ecological fallacy). This study overcomes both limitations by incorporating state-level data with individual-level data and a measure of pornography consumption from a large nationally representative survey.

  6. Sociology in Congress

    Josh McCabe interviews Scott Winship, sociologist and the Executive Director of the Joint Economic Committee in the United States Congress.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.