American Sociological Association

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  1. Jim Crow's Legacy: The Lasting Impact of Segregation

    For many, possibly most, Americans the term “Jim Crow” conjures a shameful and embarrassing historical era during which African Americans were treated unfairly. Ultimately, our nation recognized the contradiction between the unfair conditions of Jim Crow and our national creed of freedom, justice, and equality. Pushed along by civil rights marchers and enlightened legislators, Jim Crow was abandoned and, within less than a half century, America entered a new “post-racial,” colorblind era, led by a mixed-race president.

  2. Aggression, Conflict, and the Formation of Intimidating Group Reputation

    From inmates in prison gangs to soldiers in elite units, the intimidating reputation of groups often precedes its members. While individual reputation is known to affect people’s aggressiveness, whether one’s group reputation can similarly influence behavior in conflict situations is yet to be established. Using an economic game experiment, we isolate the effect of group reputation on aggression and conflict from that of individual reputation.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

  6. “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.
  7. On the Ambivalence of the Aphorism in Sociological Theory

    Sociologists have long been taken by certain pithy expressions from the founders of the discipline. We propose here both a new explanation for the endurance of these statements as well as an analysis of the power, limitations, and possibilities of aphorisms. By drawing from the critical scholarship concerned with aphorisms, we demonstrate that some of the allure of the classical sociological texts derives from their form, and particularly their reliance on the relative autonomy of the aphorism.
  8. 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.
  9. The Moral Limits of Predictive Practices: The Case of Credit-Based Insurance Scores

    Corporations gather massive amounts of personal data to predict how individuals will behave so that they can profitably price goods and allocate resources. This article investigates the moral foundations of such increasingly prevalent market practices. I leverage the case of credit scores in car insurance pricing—an early and controversial use of algorithmic prediction in the U.S. consumer economy—to unpack the premise that predictive data are fair to use and to understand the conditions under which people are likely to challenge that moral logic.
  10. Review Essay: What Should Historical Sociologists Do All Day? Starving the Beast, the Reagan Tax Cuts, and Modes of Historical Explanation

    Monica Prasad, along with collaborators like Isaac Martin and Ajay Mehrotra (e.g., Martin, Mehrotra, and Prasad 2009), has made fiscal sociology—the sociology of taxation—a thriving part of the discipline. Her first book showed how different national patterns of taxation help explain the variable strength of neoliberalism across nations (Prasad 2006). Her second identified progressive taxation as key to producing both democratized credit and a weak welfare state in the United States (Prasad 2012).