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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. Who’s to Blame? Partisanship, Responsibility, and Support for Mental Health Treatment

    This article investigates partisan beliefs regarding attributions of responsibility for mental illness and support for mental health treatment. In study 1, we utilize a nationally representative data set to investigate these relationships with respect to generalized anxiety disorder. In study 2, we utilize an online convenience sample to assess these relationships in the context of schizophrenia. In both studies, Republicans were more likely than Democrats to attribute mental health disorders to factors that lie within patients’ control and were less supportive of healthcare coverage.
  3. Proportion of Foreigners Negatively Predicts the Prevalence of Xenophobic Hate Crimes within German Districts

    Statistics show that the increase in the number of refugees to Germany since 2015 was accompanied by an increase in xenophobic hate crimes. We deduced rivaling predictions from intergroup contact and intergroup threat theories that could explain the occurrence of xenophobic hate crimes. By combining structural data of the 402 German districts with the 2015 police crime statistics, we found evidence to support our predictions that aligns with intergroup contact theory: the higher the proportion of foreigners in a district, the lower the prevalence of xenophobic hate crimes.
  4. 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.
  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. Evidence of the Effect of Police Violence on Citizen Crime Reporting

    By carefully examining our original data and models, Zoorob identified a potential outlier that should be scrutinized when evaluating our findings. We thank him for raising this important point and for engaging in collaborative, problem-solving research.
  8. Do Police Brutality Stories Reduce 911 Calls? Reassessing an Important Criminological Finding

    This comment reassesses the prominent claim from Desmond, Papachristos, and Kirk (2016) (DPK) that 911 calls plummeted—and homicides surged—because of a police brutality story in Milwaukee (the Jude story). The results in DPK depend on a substantial outlier 47 weeks after the Jude story, the final week of data. Identical analyses without the outlier final week show that the Jude story had no statistically significant effect on either total 911 calls or violent crime 911 calls.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.