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  1. What Is Driving the Drug Overdose Epidemic in the United States?

    The demand-side perspective argues that the drug overdose epidemic is a consequence of changes in the economy that leave behind working-class people who lack a college education. In contrast, the supply-side perspective maintains that the epidemic is primarily due to changes in the licit and illicit drug environment, whereas a third, distinct perspective argues that income inequality is likely a key driver of the epidemic. To evaluate these competing perspectives, we use a two-level random intercept model and U.S. state-level data from 2006 to 2017.

  2. 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.

  3. Exclusionary School Discipline and Neighborhood Crime

    The author investigates the impact of law-and-order schools, defined as those that rely heavily on exclusionary discipline (i.e., suspension and expulsion) as a form of punishment, on neighborhood crime. Additional analyses are performed to assess whether the effects of punitive school discipline on local crime are moderated by neighborhood disadvantage. Findings suggest that suspensions are associated with increases in local crime—evidence of a macro-level school-to-prison pipeline—while expulsions are generally associated with fewer crime incidents.
  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. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Strategic Design toward Foundational Learning Goals in Introduction to Sociology

    Scholars of teaching and learning in sociology have argued that introductory courses should teach toward foundational learning goals instead of providing an exhaustive review of the discipline. Nevertheless, prior research has provided far more guidance on what instructors ought to teach than how they can cohesively support learning across the goals advocated. Additionally, few studies have considered whether introductory course designs adequately address students’ diverse reasons for enrolling.