American Sociological Association

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  1. Parents, Partners, Plans, and Promises: The Relational Work of Student Loan Borrowing

    When does student loan borrowing prompt relational work between borrowers and family members? Research on student loans has focused on quantitative estimation of the effects of borrowing on educational attainment, economic well-being, health, and life-course milestones. Drawing on 60 interviews with lawyers in the northeastern United States, the authors argue that student loans also have underappreciated relational effects, even for relatively privileged borrowers.

  2. In the Footsteps of Siblings: College Attendance Disparities and the Intragenerational Transmission of Educational Advantage

    Studies in social stratification have used siblings as a tool to learn about the intergenerational transmission of advantage but less often have asked how siblings impact one another’s life chances. The author draws on social capital theory and hypothesizes that when youths attend college, they increase the probability that their siblings attend college. The author further hypothesizes that this effect is strongest among youths whose parents do not have college degrees. Findings from a U.S. national probability sample support both hypotheses.

  3. Theorizing Moral Cognition: Culture in Action, Situations, and Relationships

    Dual-process theories of morality are approaches to moral cognition that stress the varying significance of emotion and deliberation in shaping judgments of action. Sociological research that builds on these ideas considers how cross-cultural variation alters judgments, with important consequences for what is and is not considered moral behavior. Yet lacking from these approaches is the notion that, depending on the situation and relationship, the same behavior by the same person can be considered more or less moral.

  4. Educational Status Hierarchies, After-School Activities, and Parenting Logics: Lessons from Canada

    This article draws from American research on ‘‘concerted cultivation’’ to compare the parenting logics of 41 upper-middle-class parents in Toronto, Canada. We consider not only how parents structure their children’s after-school time (what parents do) but also how the broader ecology of schooling informs their parenting logics (how they rationalize their actions). We find that parenting practices mirror American research. Upper-middle-class families enroll their children in multiple lessons and cultivate their children’s skills.
  5. 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.
  6. From Aristocratic to Ordinary: Shifting Modes of Elite Distinction

    How do elites signal their superior social position via the consumption of culture? We address this question by drawing on 120 years of “recreations” data (N = 71,393) contained within Who’s Who, a unique catalogue of the British elite.
  7. Beyond the Classroom: The Intergenerational Effect of Incarceration on Children’s Academic and Nonacademic School-Related Outcomes in High School

    The author uses strategic comparison regression and the Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (n = 11,767) to explore the effect of parental incarceration on academic and nonacademic outcomes in high school. This method compares youth whose parents were incarcerated before the outcomes are measured with those whose parents will be incarcerated after. The author examines most recent grades and a range of nonacademic outcomes, such as truancy, involvement in school activities, and suspension.
  8. Cracking the Black Box: Capturing the Role of Expectation States in Status Processes

    A fundamental task for sociology is to uncover the mechanisms that produce and reproduce social inequalities. While status characteristics theory is the favored account of how social status contributes independently to the maintenance of inequality, it hinges on an unobserved construct, expectation states, in the middle of the causal chain between status and behavior. Efforts to test the mediation mechanism have been complicated by the implicit, often unconscious, nature of status expectations.
  9. Producing Facts in a World of Alternatives: Why Journalism Matters and Why It Could Matter More

    In a time of shrinking newsrooms, newspaper closings, fake news, alternative facts and outrage, and incursion from outsiders, why does professional journalism matter anymore? How can journalists, looking to defend their profession and the news they produce, claim authority over truth and fact? Michael Schudson engages these questions in Why Journalism Still Matters, a collection of writings on the value of today’s journalism for today’s democracy.
  10. Medical Authority under Siege: How Clinicians Transform Patient Resistance into Acceptance

    Over the past decades, professional medical authority has been transformed due to internal and external pressures, including weakened institutional support and patient-centered care. Today’s patients are more likely to resist treatment recommendations. We examine how patient resistance to treatment recommendations indexes the strength of contemporary professional authority. Using conversation analytic methods, we analyze 39 video recordings of patient-clinician encounters involving pediatric epilepsy patients in which parents resist recommended treatments.