American Sociological Association

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  1. McJobs and Pieces of Flair: Linking McDonaldization to Alienating Work

    This article offers strategies for teaching about rationality, bureaucracy, and social change using George Ritzer’s The McDonaldization of Society and its ideas about efficiency, predictability, calculability, and control. Student learning is facilitated using a series of strategies: making the familiar strange, explaining McDonaldization, self-investigation and discovery, and exploring and implementing alternatives.

  2. Moving Past Imprisonment: The Challenges of Community Reintegration as Further Evidence of the Injustice of the Carceral State

    They are statistics familiar to many but that nevertheless warrant repeating: the United States incarcerates more people and at a higher rate than any other country in the world. And it’s not just a little bit more: U.S. rates of incarceration are five to ten times those of other advanced industrialized nations.
  3. Teaching about Animals: Incorporating Nonhuman Animals into Sociology Classrooms

    The topic of human–animal studies (HAS) remains largely ignored within the sociology classroom. While a few sociologists have encouraged teaching about animals, none has assessed whether incorporating nonhuman animals into the curriculum is effective. In this study, three instructors at two universities incorporated animal-related materials in their sociology courses in a variety of ways. Data analyzed from course exam responses and student papers as well as end-of-semester student surveys indicate that student learning and enjoyment were enhanced.
  4. Becoming Wards of the State: Race, Crime, and Childhood in the Struggle for Foster Care Integration, 1920s to 1960s

    Using archival materials from the Domestic Relations Court of New York City, this article traces the conflict between private institutions and the state over responsibility for neglected African American children in the early twentieth century. After a long history of exclusion by private child welfare, the court assumed public responsibility for the protection of children of all races. Yet, in an arrangement of delegated governance, judges found themselves unable to place non-white children because of the enduring exclusionary policies of private agencies.
  5. In Search of Greater Understanding: The Impact of Mastery Learning on Social Science Education

    Mastery learning approaches were designed to improve student learning and elevate the level of understanding across a broader swath of students. These approaches operate under the belief that all students are capable of learning if given enough time. Little research has examined the utility or applicability of a mastery learning approach for social sciences outside of research methods courses.
  6. 2019 Hans O. Mauksch Address Teaching: The Body in Question

    I presented the 2019 Hans O. Mauksch address at the American Sociological Association annual meeting in New York City on August 13, 2019. In this address, I explore how sociology faculty perceive their physical bodies in relationship to teaching. After reviewing the literature, I surveyed a national sample of sociology faculty from diverse institutional contexts to find out how aware they were of their bodies in the classroom. I also asked questions related to how aging, chronic illness, and other health issues might affect the utilization of their bodies in teaching.
  7. Increasing American Political Tolerance: A Framework Excluding Hate Speech

    According to prior research, political tolerance has either stagnated since the 1970s (if to be tolerant one must be tolerant of every group in all circumstances) or steadily increased (if tolerance is measured using an index, averaging across groups). Using General Social Survey cross-sectional and panel data on civil liberties, this article proposes a new framework: separating out the groups that use hate speech from those that may be only controversial. The United States is unique among Western liberal democracies in not having a prohibition against hate speech.

  8. 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.
  9. Location, Location, Location: Liberatory Pedagogy in a University Classroom

    In this article, we explore the practice, promise, and contradictions of introducing liberatory practice into a higher education classroom. Freire introduced liberatory education in response to the hierarchical transfer of knowledge, “banking” concept of education that has dominated educational institutions. The banking approach to education demands that students memorize and repeat top-down “official” knowledge in order to achieve success.
  10. Community-Initiated Student-Engaged Research: Expanding Undergraduate Teaching and Learning through Public Sociology

    Drawing on a multiyear local research project on the affordable housing crisis, this article outlines a pedagogical approach we call Community-Initiated Student-Engaged Research, or CISER. The CISER model brings together three key groups of actors—undergraduate students, university researchers, and community organizations—drawing on and extending the powers of cooperative “dyads” between them.