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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. Vaccine Refusal and Pharmaceutical Acquiescence: Parental Control and Ambivalence in Managing Children’s Health

    Parents who confidently reject vaccines and other forms of medical intervention often seek out pediatric care, medical treatments, and prescription medications for their children in ways that seem to contradict these views. Drawing on in-depth interviews with 34 parents who rejected some or all vaccines for their children, this article examines the strategies they use to pharmaceutically manage their children’s health, even when espousing a larger rejection of pharmaceutical interventions like childhood vaccines.
  4. 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.
  5. Stories of Dependency and Power: The Value of Live-In Elder Care in Israel

    This article offers a qualitative empirical examination of the ways in which Israeli family members of elderly persons evaluate live-in elder care and translate their evaluations into monetary value. The author explores the relationship between family members’ views of appropriate wages for live-in elder care providers and their perceptions of their own power relations with their parents’ caregivers.

  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. When Does Punishment End and Justice Begin?

    In Homeward: Life in the Year after Prison, Bruce Western critically and thoughtfully engages the empirical alongside the ethical in this qualitative study of reentry in the United States. This book is a major methodological departure from Western’s previous work focused on statistical analysis of large-scale data sets, something he acknowledges early...
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.