American Sociological Association

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  1. Educational Expansion, Skills Diffusion, and the Economic Value of Credentials and Skills

    Examining the economic value of education has been a central research agenda of social scientists for decades. However, prior research inadequately accounts for the discrepancy between educational credentials and skills at both the individual and societal levels. In this article, I investigate the link between credentials, skills, and labor market outcomes against a background of societal-level educational expansion and skills diffusion.
  2. Why Does the Importance of Education for Health Differ across the United States?

    The positive association between educational attainment and adult health (“the gradient”) is stronger in some areas of the United States than in others. Explanations for the geographic pattern have not been rigorously investigated. Grounded in a contextual and life-course perspective, the aim of this study is to assess childhood circumstances (e.g., childhood health, compulsory schooling laws) and adult circumstances (e.g., wealth, lifestyles, economic policies) as potential explanations.

  3. Listening for the Interior in Hip-Hop and R&B Music

    This article analyzes how four Black musical artists make “quiet,” or the inner life of African Americans, legible. Specifically, we consider ways that the quiet found within the lyrics of recent acclaimed albums from two hip-hop artists and two neo-soul artists—Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN (2017) and Rapsody’s Laila’s Wisdom (2017), Solange’s A Seat at the Table (2016) and Maxwell’s blackSUMMERS’night (2016), respectively—offer subtle, quotidian challenges to oppression, dehumanization, and objectification.
  4. Leveraging Youth: Overcoming Intergenerational Tensions in Creative Production

    The sociological literature on creativity would suggest that collaboration between newcomers and more experienced members of an art world results in the fruitful combination of novelty and usefulness, though not without some conflict.
  5. Ending the Stalemate: Toward a Theory of Anthro-Shift

    For years, sociologists who study society and the environment have focused on resolving the debate regarding the relationship between economic development and environmental degradation. Studies from a family of critical perspectives tend to find that economic development is antithetical to environmental protection, whereas a suite of more optimistic perspectives has uncovered more hopeful findings. We attempt to resolve these differences by situating this debate within the larger framework of the anthro-shift.
  6. 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.
  7. A Practitioner Concept of Contemporary Creativity

    This article reviews conceptualizations from three academic areas: the sociology of art, the psychology of creativity, and research on the cultural and creative industries. These are compared with findings from a critical discursive study with UK practitioners. The meanings and associations these maker artists attach to creativity are discussed as a practitioner concept. For the practitioners, the association of creativity with art carries a promise of transcendence and escape from ordinary life but also a potential challenge to their own entitlement and claims to a creative status.
  8. Review Essay: Combating Labor Precarity Is Hard Work

    “All that is solid melts into air,” wrote Marx and Engels in The Communist Manifesto, at a time when labor was becoming increasingly precarious. The experience of workplace precarity and the broader feeling of insecurity it engenders are certainly not new; they are as old as capitalism. Even so, precarious labor as a concept is enjoying quite a boom these days.
  9. Reconsidering Collective Efficacy: The Roles of Perceptions of Community and Strong Social Ties

    Collective efficacy is an often‐studied concept, yet theoretical differences and confusing terminology lead to an inability to translate the concept across disciplines. Utilizing a nationally representative sample, this study employs structural equation modeling combined with a series of hierarchical models to test the hypotheses that the focal independent variables of neighborhood perceptions, strong social ties, and civic engagement as a proxy for weak social ties are each positively associated with collective efficacy while controlling for sociodemographic characteristics.

  10. Reconsidering Collective Efficacy: The Roles of Perceptions of Community and Strong Social Ties

    Collective efficacy is an often‐studied concept, yet theoretical differences and confusing terminology lead to an inability to translate the concept across disciplines. Utilizing a nationally representative sample, this study employs structural equation modeling combined with a series of hierarchical models to test the hypotheses that the focal independent variables of neighborhood perceptions, strong social ties, and civic engagement as a proxy for weak social ties are each positively associated with collective efficacy while controlling for sociodemographic characteristics.