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  1. Who Doesn’t Trust Fauci? The Public’s Belief in the Expertise and Shared Values of Scientists in the COVID-19 Pandemic

    The primary tension in public discourse about the U.S. government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic has been President Trump’s disagreement with scientists. The authors analyze a national survey of 1,593 Americans to examine which social groups agree with scientists’ ability to understand the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and which agree that COVID-19 scientists share their values. Republicans and independents are less trusting than Democrats on both measures, as are African Americans.

  2. Pluralistic Collapse: The “Oil Spill” Model of Mass Opinion Polarization

    Despite widespread feeling that public opinion in the United States has become dramatically polarized along political lines, empirical support for such a pattern is surprisingly elusive. Reporting little evidence of mass polarization, previous studies assume polarization is evidenced via the amplification of existing political alignments. This article considers a different pathway: polarization occurring via social, cultural, and political alignments coming to encompass an increasingly diverse array of opinions and attitudes.

  3. Measuring Stability and Change in Personal Culture Using Panel Data

    Models of population-wide cultural change tend to invoke one of two broad models of individual change. One approach theorizes people actively updating their beliefs and behaviors in the face of new information. The other argues that, following early socialization experiences, dispositions are stable. We formalize these two models, elaborate empirical implications of each, and derive a simple combined model for comparing them using panel data. We test this model on 183 attitude and behavior items from the 2006 to 2014 rotating panels of the General Social Survey.
  4. Revisiting China’s Social Volcano: Attitudes toward Inequality and Political Trust in China

    Existing literature suggests that despite rising inequality in China, Chinese people tend to tolerate inequality, so it would be unlikely that rising inequality would cause sociopolitical instability. Few studies, however, have systematically explained Chinese people’s attitudes toward inequality, analyzed attitudinal changes over time, or examined the relationship between such attitudes and political trust. The author’s analysis of national surveys in 2004, 2009, and 2014 yields three findings.
  5. Producing Facts in a World of Alternatives: Why Journalism Matters and Why It Could Matter More

    In a time of shrinking newsrooms, newspaper closings, fake news, alternative facts and outrage, and incursion from outsiders, why does professional journalism matter anymore? How can journalists, looking to defend their profession and the news they produce, claim authority over truth and fact? Michael Schudson engages these questions in Why Journalism Still Matters, a collection of writings on the value of today’s journalism for today’s democracy.
  6. 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.
  7. Genes, Gender Inequality, and Educational Attainment

    Women’s opportunities have been profoundly altered over the past century by reductions in the social and structural constraints that limit women’s educational attainment. Do social constraints manifest as a suppressing influence on genetic indicators of potential, and if so, did equalizing opportunity mean equalizing the role of genetics? We address this with three cohort studies: the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study (WLS; birth years 1939 to 1940), the Health and Retirement Study, and the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health; birth years 1975 to 1982).
  8. The Relation between Inequality and Intergenerational Class Mobility in 39 Countries

    We study the relationship between inter-class inequality and intergenerational class mobility across 39 countries. Previous research on the relationship between economic inequality and class mobility remains inconclusive, as studies have confounded intra- with between-class economic inequalities. We propose that between-class inequality across multiple dimensions accounts for the inverse relationship between inequality and mobility: the larger the resource distance between classes, the less likely it is that mobility from one to the other will occur.
  9. Review Essay: What Should Historical Sociologists Do All Day? Starving the Beast, the Reagan Tax Cuts, and Modes of Historical Explanation

    Monica Prasad, along with collaborators like Isaac Martin and Ajay Mehrotra (e.g., Martin, Mehrotra, and Prasad 2009), has made fiscal sociology—the sociology of taxation—a thriving part of the discipline. Her first book showed how different national patterns of taxation help explain the variable strength of neoliberalism across nations (Prasad 2006). Her second identified progressive taxation as key to producing both democratized credit and a weak welfare state in the United States (Prasad 2012).
  10. More than Sound: Record Stores in Majority Black Neighborhoods in Chicago, Milwaukee, and Detroit, 1970–2010

    Music consumption imbues a city's neighborhoods with a character all their own, contributing to a vibrant and dynamic map of urban cultures. Brick‐and‐mortar music retailers remain an important site for this consumption, persisting despite challenges posed by digitization. But the landscape of contemporary cultural consumption has been shaped by urban inequality over time.