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  1. Postcolonial Possibilities for the Sociology of Race

    The author considers what postcolonial theory has to contribute to the sociology of race. Although there are overlaps, postcolonial theory and the sociology of race are not reducible to each other. Postcolonial theory emphasizes the global, historical, and therefore colonial dimensions of race relations, including how imperialism has generated racial thought and racial stratification.
  2. Review Essays: The Sorry State of Civil Rights

    It has been more than half a century since Washington outlawed workplace discrimination. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 spawned a complex, unwieldy compliance system. An army of experts—diversity consultants, human resources professionals, government regulators, plaintiff attorneys, insurance underwriters, management attorneys, judges—has helped to develop, and justify, a host of “symbolic” workplace civil rights measures.
  3. Review Essays: Ivory Tower Fantasies about Affirmative Actions

    In a provocative 2002 essay, political scientist Jennifer Hochschild asks: why has affirmative action been so central to the American culture wars, more so than wage discrimination, underfunded public schools, and a litany of other social issues that have far greater impact on more black Americans?1 And why have social scientists paid affirmative action so little empirical attention, in contrast to the deep philosophical and legal thinking on the topic?
  4. What Majority-minority Society? A Critical Analysis of the Census Bureau’s Projections of America’s Demographic Future

    On the basis of demographic projections by the U.S. Census Bureau, many Americans believe that their society will transition soon to a majority-minority one. The author analyzes the latest version of the projections and finds that the pivotal group is made up of individuals who come from mixed minority-white family backgrounds. It is projected to grow very rapidly in coming decades, and Census Bureau classification practices mean that most of its members are counted as minority. Without this classification, however, the emergence of a majority-minority society by 2060 is far from certain.
  5. Classical World-Systems Analysis, the Historical Geography of British North America, and the Regional Politics of Colonial/Revolutionary New York

    A less-appreciated aspect of earlier or “classical” works of world-systems analysis (WSA), in particular that of Braudel, Frank, and Wallerstein in the 1970s-80s is the examination of why the thirteen North American colonies that became the United States split from Great Britain. Specifically, why did some of Britain’s North American colonies revolt in the mid-1770s, but not others? Why were some colonists pro-independence while others preferred remaining within the empire?
  6. Transnational Social Movement Organizations and Counter-Hegemonic Struggles Today

    World-systems analysts have drawn our attention to the importance of the long-standing worldwide struggles of subaltern groups to defend their livelihoods and address fundamental conflicts of our times. Climate change, financial volatility, and rising inequality are exposing the existential threats the global capitalist system poses to growing numbers—many of whom once enjoyed some of its benefits. These urgent challenges create possibilities for social movements to attract more widespread support for alternatives to global capitalism.
  7. Activism and the Academy

    Cornel West wears many hats: He is a professor (currently Professor of the Practice of Public Philosophy at Harvard University), author (of 20 books), film actor (including The Matrix Reloaded), artist (three spoken word albums), and activist (more on this below). And this summer, we celebrate the 25th anniversary of West’s influential book Race Matters. Sociologist Janice McCabe sat down with West in Cambridge to talk about activism and the academy. Here are some highlights from their discussion, edited for length and clarity.

  8. “Diversity Is Important to Me”: White Parents and Exposure-to-Diversity Parenting Practices

    Drawing upon interviews with 40 parents in Cincinnati, Ohio, the author explores how “exposure to diversity,” an implicit racial socialization practice, has become a defining feature of how some middle-class white parents teach their children about race and reflect on what it means to be a good white parent. Exposure to diversity involves white parents’ active efforts to expose their children to people of color via trips to multiracial parks, enrollment in multiracial schools, or residence in multiracial neighborhoods.
  9. The Spatial Proximity and Connectivity Method for Measuring and Analyzing Residential Segregation

    In recent years, there has been increasing attention focused on the spatial dimensions of residential segregation—from the spatial arrangement of segregated neighborhoods to the geographic scale or relative size of segregated areas. However, the methods used to measure segregation do not incorporate features of the built environment, such as the road connectivity between locations or the physical barriers that divide groups. This paper introduces the spatial proximity and connectivity (SPC) method for measuring and analyzing segregation.
  10. Race and Disability: From Analogy to Intersectionality

    Sociologists are using intersectional lenses to examine an increasingly wider range of processes and identities, yet the intersection of race and disability remains a particularly neglected area in sociology. Marking an important step toward filling this gap, the authors interrogate how race and disability have been deployed as analogy in both disability rights activism and in critical race discourse.