American Sociological Association

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  1. Gender Gaps in Undergraduate Fields of Study: Do College Characteristics Matter?

    Despite gender parity in earned bachelor’s degrees, large gender gaps persist across fields of study. The dominant explanatory framework in this area of research assesses how gender differences in individual-level attributes predict gaps in major choice. The authors argue that individualistic accounts cannot provide a complete explanation because they fail to consider the powerful effects of the gendered institutional environments that inform and shape young men’s and women’s choices.
  2. Teaching Critical Perspectives on Body Weight: The Obesity “Epidemic” and Pro-Ana Movement in Classroom Discussions

    While most sociology students are well prepared to think critically about inequalities involving race, gender, social class, and sexuality, the topics of body weight and health present some challenges for classroom discussion. Primarily, this is due to the body’s status in contemporary society as simultaneously malleable (able to be changed) and intractable (an indicator of moral worth). Such associations lead to cases of size discrimination—what is often called “sizeism”—with impacts similar to what is experienced around race and gender discrimination.

  3. Visualizing Bring-backs

    The figure plots the number of articles that have attempted to “bring” something “back in” in the social sciences by publication year and number of citations. Andrew Abbott, taking a (pessimistic) sociology of knowledge perspective, identified this tendency—beginning with Homans’s classic article “Bringing Men Back in”—as emblematic of the tendency to rediscover old ideas in sociology. The plot shows that “bring-backs” did not become a common yearly occurrence until the mid to late 1990s but are now relatively frequent.
  4. When Do Biological Attributions of Mental Illness Reduce Stigma? Using Qualitative Comparative Analysis to Contextualize Attributions

    Individuals increasingly have encountered messages that mental illness is explained by biological factors such as chemical imbalance or genetic abnormality. Many assumed this “biological turn” would lessen stigma toward mental illness, but stigma generally has remained stable or even increased.
  5. Leader Messaging and Attitudes toward Sexual Violence

    Research exploring sexual assault within universities and sexual harassment within companies has largely overlooked how leadership in organizations can shape constituents’ perceptions of sexual violence. This question has become particularly relevant as organizations are increasingly tasked with measuring and communicating about sexual violence. We use two national survey experiments to test how altering an organization’s communication of information about sexual assault or harassment affects participants’ agreement that it is a high-priority issue.

  6. Text Analysis with JSTOR Archives

    I provide a visual representation of keyword trends and authorship for two flagship sociology journals using data from JSTOR’s Data for Research repository. While text data have accompanied the digital spread of information, it remains inaccessible to researchers unfamiliar with the required preprocessing. The visualization and accompanying code encourage widespread use of this source of data in the social sciences.

  7. The Societalization of Social Problems: Church Pedophilia, Phone Hacking, and the Financial Crisis

    This article develops a theory of “societalization,” demonstrating its plausibility through empirical analyses of church pedophilia, media phone-hacking, and the financial crisis. Although these strains were endemic for decades, they had failed to generate broad crises. Reactions were confined inside institutional boundaries and handled by intra-institutional elites according to the cultural logics of their particular spheres. The theory proposes that boundaries between spheres can be breached only if there is code switching.
  8. Does Patient-centered Care Change Genital Surgery Decisions? The Strategic Use of Clinical Uncertainty in Disorders of Sex Development Clinics

    Genital surgery in children with ambiguous or atypical genitalia has been marred by controversies about the appropriateness and timing of surgery, generating clinical uncertainty about decision making. Since 2006, medical experts and patient advocates have argued for putting the child’s needs central as patient-centered care. Based on audio recordings of 31 parent–clinician interactions in three clinics of disorders of sex development, we analyze how parents and clinicians decide on genital surgery. We find that clinicians and parents aim for parent-centered rather than infant-centered care.
  9. Perceived Unfair Treatment by Police, Race, and Telomere Length: A Nashville Community-based Sample of Black and White Men

    Police maltreatment, whether experienced personally or indirectly through one’s family or friends, represents a structurally rooted public health problem that disproportionately affects minorities. Researchers, however, know little about the physiological mechanisms connecting unfair treatment by police (UTBP) to poor health. Shortened telomeres due to exposure to this stressor represent one plausible mechanism.
  10. Letter to the Editors

    Timothy M. Gill writes to add context to the Summer 2018 issue’s policy brief and urge an interrogation of assumptions that democracy assistance is a benign form of foreign policy.