American Sociological Association



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  1. The Meaning of 'Theory'

    ‘Theory’ is one of the most important words in the lexicon of contemporary sociology. Yet, their ubiquity notwithstanding, it is quite unclear what sociologists mean by the words ‘theory,’ ‘theoretical,’ and ‘theorize.’ I argue that confusions about the meaning of ‘theory’ have brought about undesirable consequences, including conceptual muddles and even downright miscommunication. In this paper I tackle two questions: (a) what does ‘theory’ mean in the sociological language?; and (b) what ought ‘theory’ to mean in the sociological language? I proceed in five stages.

  2. The Purposes of Refugee Education: Policy and Practice of Including Refugees in National Education Systems

    This article explores the understood purposes of refugee education at global, national, and school levels. To do so, we focus on a radical shift in global policy to integrate refugees into national education systems and the processes of vernacularization accompanying its widespread implementation. We use a comparative case study approach; our dataset comprises global policy documents and original interviews (n = 147) and observations in 14 refugee-hosting nation-states.
  3. Mental Illness as a Stigmatized Identity

    In this study, we examine the relationships among reflected appraisals, self-views, and well-being for individuals diagnosed with severe and persistent mental illness. We also test a perceptual control model of identity to determine whether discrepancies between stigmatized reflected appraisals and stigmatized self-views are associated with self-evaluation (self-esteem and self-efficacy) and psychological distress (depressive symptoms). We find that stigmatized self-views are significantly associated with lower self-esteem and self-efficacy and higher levels of depressive symptoms.

  4. Influence and Social Distance Consequences across Categories of Race and Mental Illness

    This paper describes an experimental study (N = 184) that investigated influence and social distance consequences of a number of attributes in interpersonal interactions. The attributes included race, education, panic disorder, depression, and schizophrenia. Participants interacted with fictitious partners whom they believed were real and who represented the attributes studied. Participants had opportunities to be influenced by and seek distance from their interaction partners. Results showed that low educational attainment and schizophrenia significantly reduced the influence of partners.

  5. Analyzing Meaning in Big Data: Performing a Map Analysis Using Grammatical Parsing and Topic Modeling

    Social scientists have recently started discussing the utilization of text-mining tools as being fruitful for scaling inductively grounded close reading. We aim to progress in this direction and provide a contemporary contribution to the literature. By focusing on map analysis, we demonstrate the potential of text-mining tools for text analysis that approaches inductive but still formal in-depth analysis.
  6. Intersubjectivity, Normativity, and Grammar

    Interactants depend on background knowledge and commonsense inferences to establish and maintain intersubjectivity. This study investigates how the resources of language—or more specifically, of grammar—can be mobilized to address moments when such inferences might risk jeopardizing understanding in lieu of promoting it. While such moments may initially seem to undermine the normative commonsensicality of the particular inference(s) in question, the practice examined here is shown to legitimize those inferences through the very act of setting them aside.

  7. How Do We “Do Gender”? Permeation as Over-Talking and Talking Over

    Gendered expectations are imported from the larger culture to permeate small-group discussions, creating conversational inequalities. Conversational roles also emerge from the negotiated order of group interactions to reflect, reinforce, and occasionally challenge these cultural patterns. The authors provide a new examination of conversational overlaps and interruptions. They show how negotiated conversational roles lead a status distinction (gender) to shape conversational inequality.

  8. Structured Variation in Parental Beliefs about Autism

    We used data from the 2011 Survey of Pathways to Diagnosis and Services (N = 1,420) to evaluate a conceptual model linking social background (race-ethnicity, socioeconomic status [SES]) to parental distress through children’s clinical profiles and parental beliefs about the nature and causes of their child’s autism. Children’s clinical profiles varied by social background; white children and children of more highly educated and affluent parents were less likely to experience comorbid conditions and were more likely to be diagnosed with Asperger’s.
  9. Response to Morgan: On the Role of Status Threat and Material Interests in the 2016 Election

    I am delighted to have the opportunity to respond to Morgan’s article, which is a critique of my recent publication (Mutz 2018). I will restrict my response to matters concerning the data and analysis, excluding issues such as whether the journal PNAS is appropriately named (Morgan this issue:3) as well as Morgan’s views about how this work was covered in various media outlets (Morgan this issue:3–6). These issues are less important than whether material self-interest or status threat motivated Trump supporters.

  10. Stigma of a Label Educational Expectations for High School Students Labeled with Learning Disabilities

    Poorer outcomes for youth labeled with learning disabilities (LDs) are often attributed to the student’s own deficiencies or cumulative disadvantage; but the more troubling possibility is that special education placement limits rather than expands these students’ opportunities. Labeling theory partially attributes the poorer outcomes of labeled persons to stigma related to labels.