American Sociological Association

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  1. Where Ivy Matters: The Educational Backgrounds of U.S. Cultural Elites

    Status transmission theory argues that leading educational institutions prepare individuals from privileged backgrounds for positions of prestige and power in their societies. We examine the educational backgrounds of more than 2,900 members of the U.S. cultural elite and compare these backgrounds to a sample of nearly 4,000 business and political leaders. We find that the leading U.S. educational institutions are substantially more important for preparing future members of the cultural elite than they are for preparing future members of the business or political elite.
  2. 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.
  3. Workplace Compensation Practices and the Rise in Benefit Inequality

    This article aims to explain why inequality in fringe benefits has grown faster than wage inequality over the past four decades. We depart from previous income inequality research by studying benefits in addition to wages, but also by focusing on workplaces as the main drivers of benefit determination. We advance the argument that benefits determination is more organizationally embedded than wages mainly because workplaces have greater ability and incentive to alter benefits.
  4. Understanding Recent Growth Dynamics in Small Urban Places: The Case of New England

    This article utilizes recently published US Census data covering the pre‐and post‐Great Recession period (1990–2015) to identify key determinants of growth among small urban places in the New England Region. We find little evidence of random growth and robust evidence of convergence in growth, indicating that smaller urban areas tend to experience faster rates of growth than larger ones, over both the short and long term. Factors such as distance to large city areas and amenities are found to be particularly relevant to population growth rates.

  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. Race-Ethnicity, Social Roles, and Mental Health: A Research Update

    Social role involvement engenders sense of purpose and meaning to life, which sustains positive mental health. Racism within American society, however, results in experiences that disadvantage ethnoracial minorities, thus making it likely that social roles do not have universal remunerations. Using the Collaborative Psychiatric Epidemiology Surveys (N = 12,526), this study explores the association between role participation and psychological distress across nine ethnoracial groups. Results indicate that engaging in many roles is associated with better mental health for all ethnoracial groups.
  7. 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.
  8. Striving While Black: Race and the Psychophysiology of Goal Pursuit

    Population health scientists have largely overlooked anticipatory stressors and how different groups of people experience and cope with anticipatory stress. I address these gaps by examining black-white differences in the associations between an important anticipatory stressor—goal-striving stress (GSS)—and several measures of psychophysiology.
  9. Spillover and Crossover Effects of Work-Family Conflict among Married and Cohabiting Couples

    The present study uses Wave 8 of the German Family Panel to test the spillover and crossover effects of work-family conflict on job satisfaction, relationship satisfaction, and mental health for individuals (actor effects) as well as their spouses/partners (partner effects) in dual-earning couples. We further contribute by assessing whether the results vary by gender and union type. Results suggest that among married couples, for job satisfaction, there are no gender differences in actor effects (but gender differences in partner effects), and actor and partner effects remain distinct.
  10. Pharmaceutical Side Effects and Mental Health Paradoxes among Racial-Ethnic Minorities

    Sociologists have long struggled to explain the minority mental health paradox: that racial-ethnic minorities often report better mental health than non-Hispanic whites despite social environments that seem less conducive to well-being. Using data from the 2008–2013 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS), this study provides a partial explanation for the paradox rooted in a very different disparity. Evidence from MEPS indicates that non-Hispanic whites consume more pharmaceuticals than racial-ethnic minorities for a wide variety of medical conditions.