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  1. Where “Old Heads” Prevail: Inmate Hierarchy in a Men’s Prison Unit

    Research on inmate social order, a once-vibrant area, receded just as U.S. incarceration rates climbed and the country’s carceral contexts dramatically changed. This study returns to inmate society with an abductive mixed-methods investigation of informal status within a contemporary men’s prison unit. We collected narrative and social network data from 133 male inmates housed in a unit of a Pennsylvania medium-security prison.
  2. The Costs of Simplicity: Why Multilevel Models May Benefit from Accounting for Cross-Cluster Differences in the Effects of Controls

    Context effects, where a characteristic of an upper-level unit or cluster (e.g., a country) affects outcomes and relationships at a lower level (e.g., that of the individual), are a primary object of sociological inquiry. In recent years, sociologists have increasingly analyzed such effects using quantitative multilevel modeling. Our review of multilevel studies in leading sociology journals shows that most assume the effects of lower-level control variables to be invariant across clusters, an assumption that is often implausible.
  3. Advantaged/Disadvantaged School Neighborhoods, Parental Networks, and Parental Involvement at Elementary School

    This article examines the relationship between parental networks and parental school involvement during the elementary school years. Using a large, nationally representative data set of elementary school students—the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study–Kindergarten Cohort—and contextual data from the 2000 U.S. Census, our multilevel analysis shows that higher levels of parental networks in first grade are associated with higher levels of parental school involvement in third grade after controlling for individual- and school-level characteristics.
  4. Welfare Benefits and Unemployment in Affluent Democracies: The Moderating Role of the Institutional Insider/Outsider Divide

    Welfare Benefits and Unemployment in Affluent Democracies: The Moderating Role of the Institutional Insider/Outsider Divide
  5. Gender Differences in Context: The Impact of Track Position on Study Involvement in Flemish Secondary Education

    This study examines whether the influence of track position on study involvement is gendered and whether gender differences in study involvement according to track position are associated with school misconduct and rather poor future perspectives. Three-level analyses (HLM 6) of data gathered in 2004-2005 from 11,872 third- and fifth-grade students in 146 tracks in a representative sample of 85 secondary schools in Flanders (Belgium) confirmed the impact of tracking on boys’ as well as girls’ study involvement.
  6. Inequality Frames: How Teachers Inhabit Color-blind Ideology

    This paper examines how public school teachers take up, modify, or resist the dominant ideology of color-blind racism. This examination is based on in-depth interviews with 60 teachers at three segregated schools: one was race/class privileged and two were disadvantaged. Inductive coding revealed that teachers at each school articulated a shared frame to talk about race and class: “legitimated advantage” at Heritage High School, “trickle-down dysfunction” at Bunker High School, and “antiracist dignity” at Solidarity High School.
  7. Addressing Measurement Error Bias in GDP with Nighttime Lights and an Application to Infant Mortality with Chinese County Data

    As an emerging research area, application of satellite-based nighttime lights data in the social sciences has increased rapidly in recent years. This study, building on the recent surge in the use of satellite-based lights data, explores whether information provided by such data can be used to address attenuation bias in the estimated coefficient when the regressor variable, Gross Domestic Product (GDP), is measured with large error.

  8. Analytical Sociology and Agent-Based Modeling: Is Generative Sufficiency Sufficient?

    Building mechanisms-based, black box–free explanations is the main goal of analytical sociology. In this article, I offer some reasons to question whether some of the conceptual and methodological developments of the analytical community really serve this goal. Specifically, I argue that grounding our computer modeling practices in the current definition of mechanisms posits a serious risk of defining an ideal-typical research path that neglects the role that the understanding of the generative process must have for a black box–free explanation to be met.
  9. Thinking Globally, Interviewing Locally: Using an Intensive Interview Project to Teach Globalization and Social Change

    In this article, I connect globalization and qualitative methodological practice, describing a semester-long intensive interview project about the anti-apartheid movement. I provide a detailed overview of the project as well as considerations for those who might want to adapt it for their own courses. Using students’ reflections on the projects and their final papers, I demonstrate that this project successfully introduces students to a transnational social movement and provides valuable methodological practice.
  10. How to Do Ethnography Right

    Selected essays from the Contexts forum on ethnographic best practices explore the practice of ethnographic "masking," IRBs and legal counsel, and gaining access to vulnerable populations.