American Sociological Association

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  1. Jim Crow's Legacy: The Lasting Impact of Segregation

    For many, possibly most, Americans the term “Jim Crow” conjures a shameful and embarrassing historical era during which African Americans were treated unfairly. Ultimately, our nation recognized the contradiction between the unfair conditions of Jim Crow and our national creed of freedom, justice, and equality. Pushed along by civil rights marchers and enlightened legislators, Jim Crow was abandoned and, within less than a half century, America entered a new “post-racial,” colorblind era, led by a mixed-race president.

  2. Race, Empire, and Epistemic Exclusion: Or the Structures of Sociological Thought

    This essay analyzes racialized exclusions in sociology through a focus on sociology’s deep epistemic structures. These structures dictate what counts as social scientific knowledge and who can produce it. A historical analysis of their emergence and persistence reveals their connections to empire. Due to sociology’s initial emergence within the culture of American imperialism, early sociological thought embedded the culture of empire’s exclusionary logics.
  3. Theorizing Moral Cognition: Culture in Action, Situations, and Relationships

    Dual-process theories of morality are approaches to moral cognition that stress the varying significance of emotion and deliberation in shaping judgments of action. Sociological research that builds on these ideas considers how cross-cultural variation alters judgments, with important consequences for what is and is not considered moral behavior. Yet lacking from these approaches is the notion that, depending on the situation and relationship, the same behavior by the same person can be considered more or less moral.

  4. From Aristocratic to Ordinary: Shifting Modes of Elite Distinction

    How do elites signal their superior social position via the consumption of culture? We address this question by drawing on 120 years of “recreations” data (N = 71,393) contained within Who’s Who, a unique catalogue of the British elite.
  5. 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.
  6. “A Little More Ghetto, a Little Less Cultured”: Are There Racial Stereotypes about Interracial Daters in the United States?

    Negative stereotypes about racial minorities, particularly African Americans, persist in the United States. Given the imperviousness of racial stereotypes about minorities, can individuals who date interracially also be stereotyped? The author investigates this by conducting the first systematic study of men’s attitudes toward white and black women who date outside their race. First, the author inductively uncovers these stereotypes through focus groups.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.

  9. 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.
  10. Marking Time in Memorials and Museums of Terror: Temporality and Cultural Trauma

    The theory of cultural trauma focuses on the relationship between shared suffering and collective identity: Events become traumatic when they threaten a group’s foundational self-understanding. As it stands, the theory has illuminated profound parallels in societal suffering across space and time. Yet focusing on identity alone cannot explain the considerable differences that scholars document in the outcomes of the trauma process.