American Sociological Association

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  1. The Status Dynamics of Role Blurring in the Time of COVID-19

    Has the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic altered the status dynamics of role blurring? Although researchers typically investigate its conflictual aspects, the authors assess if the work-home interface might also be a source of status—and the relevance of schedule control in these processes. Analyzing data from nationally representative samples of workers in September 2019 and March 2020, the authors find that role blurring is associated with elevated status, but the onset of coronavirus disease 2019 weakens that effect.

  2. Soldiers to Scientists: Military Service, Gender, and STEM Degree Earning

    The authors use 2014–2018 data from the American Community Survey to answer two questions: To what extent is military service associated with higher rates of earning a bachelor’s degree in a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) field (vs. a non-STEM field)? To what extent is this relationship gendered? The findings suggest that military service is associated with higher odds of completing a STEM degree and that this association is particularly strong for female veterans.

  3. Early Signs Indicate That COVID-19 Is Exacerbating Gender Inequality in the Labor Force

    In this data visualization, the authors examine how the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis in the United States has affected labor force participation, unemployment, and work hours across gender and parental status. Using data from the Current Population Survey, the authors compare estimates between February and April 2020 to examine the period of time before the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States to the height of the first wave, when stay-at-home orders were issued across the country.

  4. His and Her Earnings Following Parenthood in the United States, Germany, and the United Kingdom

    This article advances a couple-level framework to examine how parenthood shapes within-family gender inequality by education in three countries that vary in their normative and policy context: the United States, Germany, and the United Kingdom. We trace mothers’ share of couple earnings and variation by her education in the 10-year window around first birth, using long-running harmonized panel surveys from the 1990s and 2000s (N = 4,117 couples and 28,488 couple-years) and an event study methodology that leverages within-couple variation in earnings pre- and post-birth.

  5. A Numbers Game: Quantification of Work, Auto-Gamification, and Worker Productivity

    Technological advances and the big-data revolution have facilitated fine-grained, high-frequency, low-cost measurement of individuals’ work. Yet we understand little about the influences of such quantification of work on workers’ behavior and performance. This article investigates how and when quantification of work affects worker productivity. We argue that quantification affects worker productivity via auto-gamification, or workers’ inadvertent transformation of work into an independent, individual-level game.

  6. Division of Housework, Communication, and Couples’ Relationship Satisfaction

    The gendered division of housework is an important predictor of relationship satisfaction, but the mechanisms linking these variables remain poorly understood. Using data on N = 487 couples from the 2006 Marital and Relationship Survey, the authors examine the association of heterosexual partners’ communication quality with the division of housework and the role of partners’ communication quality in the association between the division of housework and relationship satisfaction.

  7. Adopting a Cloak of Incompetence: Impression Management Techniques for Feigning Lesser Selves

    The “cloak of competence” concept captures attempts to disguise limitations and exaggerate abilities. The author examines the conceptual converse: the “cloak of incompetence,” or the various ways people deliberately disregard, disguise, downplay, or diminish their personal abilities. Drawing on a comparative analysis of manifold empirical cases, the author identifies three generic competence-concealing techniques—avoidance, performance, and neutralization—and considers some of the interactional contingencies that can enhance or reduce their effectiveness.
  8. The New Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere

    Set against the background of mid-twentieth-century institutional changes analyzed by Jürgen Habermas, we provide an account of new social conditions that compose “the public sphere” in the contemporary United States. First, we review recent developments in theorizing the public sphere, arguing they benefit from renewed attention to institutional changes in how that sphere operates.
  9. Racial Ideology or Racial Ignorance? An Alternative Theory of Racial Cognition

    Directing attention to racial ignorance as a core dimension of racialized social systems, this article advances a process-focused Theory of Racial Ignorance (TRI), grounded in Critical Race Theory and the philosophical construct white ignorance. TRI embodies five tenets—epistemology of ignorance, ignorance as ends-based technology, corporate white agency, centrality of praxis, and interest convergence.
  10. Sociology’s Next Steps? Fiftieth Anniversary of Gouldner’s Vision and Sixtieth Anniversary of Mills’s Vision

    My essay in the July 2019 issue of Contemporary Sociology leaned heavily on Habermas’s focus on “personal emancipation” and Giddens’s concept of “structuration.”