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  1. The Resistance, the Civil War, and the World That’s Coming

    In political science, realignments are bloodless things. In the conventional telling, every 40 years or so, one or more major constituencies of one of the major American political parties shifts, redefining the political battleground until the next realignment comes.
  2. An Architecture of Repulsion

    In recent years, especially during the Trump administration, the U.S. news media have been saturated with daily stories about (mostly) Central Americans fleeing conditions of extreme violence and finding the door shut as they seek protection at the southern U.S. border. Presumably to deter “meritless” asylum claims, these asylum seekers are now being required to first apply for asylum in “safe third countries,” even if the countries that the administration in Washington has designated as “safe” are precisely those that people are fleeing from.
  3. Divergent Political Analyses: Challenging the Idea of Statehood versus the Problem of Gaining Political Access

    These two volumes, one a monograph and the other an edited collection, couldn’t approach politics more differently even as they share a concern with those from historically marginalized populations. Davina Cooper, in Feeling Like a State: Desire, Denial, and the Recasting of Authority, examines situations in which religious views are pitted against civil rights ordinances in an effort to find out what one can learn about the nature of the state.
  4. Pluralistic Collapse: The “Oil Spill” Model of Mass Opinion Polarization

    Despite widespread feeling that public opinion in the United States has become dramatically polarized along political lines, empirical support for such a pattern is surprisingly elusive. Reporting little evidence of mass polarization, previous studies assume polarization is evidenced via the amplification of existing political alignments. This article considers a different pathway: polarization occurring via social, cultural, and political alignments coming to encompass an increasingly diverse array of opinions and attitudes.

  5. Power, Hegemony, and World Society Theory: A Critical Evaluation

    World society theory has been one of the better published theoretical paradigms of the past 30 to 40 years. But despite its publishing successes, world society theory and research are beset by a number of theoretical and empirical problems that call into question the theory’s ability to accurately describe and explain the global diffusion of government practices, policies, and structures.

  6. Revisiting China’s Social Volcano: Attitudes toward Inequality and Political Trust in China

    Existing literature suggests that despite rising inequality in China, Chinese people tend to tolerate inequality, so it would be unlikely that rising inequality would cause sociopolitical instability. Few studies, however, have systematically explained Chinese people’s attitudes toward inequality, analyzed attitudinal changes over time, or examined the relationship between such attitudes and political trust. The author’s analysis of national surveys in 2004, 2009, and 2014 yields three findings.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Increasing American Political Tolerance: A Framework Excluding Hate Speech

    According to prior research, political tolerance has either stagnated since the 1970s (if to be tolerant one must be tolerant of every group in all circumstances) or steadily increased (if tolerance is measured using an index, averaging across groups). Using General Social Survey cross-sectional and panel data on civil liberties, this article proposes a new framework: separating out the groups that use hate speech from those that may be only controversial. The United States is unique among Western liberal democracies in not having a prohibition against hate speech.