American Sociological Association


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  1. The Black-White Paradox Revisited: Understanding the Role of Counterbalancing Mechanisms during Adolescence

    The tendency for blacks to report similar or better mental health than whites has served as an enduring paradox in the mental health literature for the past three decades. However, a debate persists about the mechanisms that underlie this paradox. Drawing on the stress process framework, we consider the counterbalancing roles of self-esteem and traumatic stress exposure in understanding the “black-white paradox” among U.S. adolescents.

  2. Political Institutions and the Comparative Medicalization of Abortion

    Comparative-historical research on medicalization is rare and, perhaps for that reason, largely ignores political institutions, which tend to vary more across countries than within them. This article proposes a political-institutional theory of medicalization in which health care policy legacies, political decentralization, and constitutionalism shape the preferences, discourses, strategies, and influence of actors that seek or resist medicalization. The theory helps explain why abortion has been more medicalized in Britain than the United States.

  3. 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.

  4. Typical Roles and Intergroup Relations Shape Stereotypes: How Understanding Social Structure Clarifies the Origins of Stereotype Content

    How do stereotypes gain their specific content? Social psychologists have argued that stereotypes of groups, defined by demographic indicators such as sex and race, gain their content from their locations in the social structure. In one version of this claim, observations of group members’ typical roles shape stereotype content. In another version, observations of intergroup relations shape this content. This research addressed the validity and compatibility of these two claims.

  5. The Formation of Group Ties in Open Interaction Groups

    We examine how task jointness and group incentive structures bear on the nature and strength of the affective and cognitive ties that people forge to a group. The argument is that affective group ties have stronger effects on social order than cognitive group ties. There are two general hypotheses. First, joint tasks generate stronger cognitive and affective ties to groups, whereas group incentives generate cognitive but not necessarily affective ties to the group.

  6. Wayward Elites: From Social Reproduction to Social Restoration in a Therapeutic Boarding School

    In the past few decades, a multi-billion-dollar “therapeutic boarding school” industry has emerged largely for America’s troubled upper-class youth. This article examines the experiences of privileged youth in a therapeutic boarding school to advance social restoration as a new form of social reproduction. Drawing on interviews and fieldwork inside a Western therapeutic boarding school for young men struggling with substance abuse, I explore how students leverage a stigmatized, addict identity in ways that can restore privilege.

  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. Not by Bread Alone: Mobility Experiences, Religion, and Optimism about Future Mobility

    Americans are quite optimistic about their chances of upward mobility, but sometimes even they have their doubts. The authors examine how mobility experiences boost or dampen American optimism about mobility and how the relationship is connected to religion. The authors find that Americans whose subjective financial situations have recently worsened are less optimistic, whereas those whose situations have improved are more optimistic. Objective measures of mobility were not connected to optimism.

  9. Overflowing Channels: How Democracy Didn’t Work as Planned (and Perhaps a Good Thing It Didn’t)

    When eighteenth-century revolutionary elites set about designing new political orders, they drew on commonplace theoretical understandings of “democracy” as highly undesirable. They therefore designed government institutions in which popular participation was to be extremely limited. The new political constructions, in both France and the United States, never worked as planned. The mobilizations of the revolutionary era did not vanish as the constitutional designers hoped.

  10. Examining Americans’ Stereotypes about Immigrant Illegality

    People rely on powerful stereotypes to classify others as “illegal,” demonstrating that, like race and gender, documentation status may be as much a social construction as a legal one.