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  1. Where the Rubber Meets the Road: Probability and Nonprobability Moments in Experiment, Interview, Archival, Administrative, and Ethnographic Data Collection

    Sociologists use data from experiments, ethnographies, survey interviews, in-depth interviews, archives, and administrative records. Analysts disagree, however, on whether probability sampling is necessary for each method. To address the issue, the author introduces eight dimensions of data collection, places each method within those dimensions, and uses that resource to assess the necessity and feasibility of probability sampling for each method. The author finds that some methods often seen as unique are not, whereas others’ unique natures are confirmed.
  2. The Persistence of Division: Geography, Institutions, and Online Friendship Ties

    As noted by theorists such as Blau, Durkheim, Mayhew, and others, interaction opportunity is a fundamental determinant of social structure. One of the most empirically well established factors influencing interaction opportunity is that of physical distance. The strength of this effect in modern societies, however, has been called into question because of technological advances (the so-called death-of-distance hypothesis).
  3. 2012 Presidential Address: Transforming Capitalism through Real Utopias

    This address explores a broad framework for thinking sociologically about emancipatory alternatives to dominant institutions and social structures, especially capitalism. The framework is grounded in two foundational propositions: (1) Many forms of human suffering and many deficits in human flourishing are the result of existing institutions and social structures. (2) Transforming existing institutions and social structures in the right way has the potential to substantially reduce human suffering and expand the possibilities for human flourishing.

  4. Theorizing Teacher Agency and Reform: How Institutionalized Instructional Practices Change and Persist

    One reason reform does not dramatically change public schools is because instructional practices are highly institutionalized. This article advances a theory for how teacher agency can both change and maintain institutionalized instructional practices in schools. Based on findings from one U.S. urban public school undergoing state-mandated reform, I assert that three mechanisms drive a particular form of teacher agency.

  5. “Once You Go to a White School, You Kind of Adapt”: Black Adolescents and the Racial Classification of Schools

    Studies of when youth classify academic achievement in racial terms have focused on the racial classification of behaviors and individuals. However, institutions—including schools—may also be racially classified. Drawing on a comparative interview study, we examine the school contexts that prompt urban black students to classify schools in racial terms. Through Diversify, a busing program, one group of black students attended affluent suburban schools with white-dominated achievement hierarchies (n = 38).

  6. Review Essays: The Path Not Taken? Culture, Materials, and Pleasure in Action

    Claudio E. Benzecry reviews Profane Culture by Paul E. Willis.

  7. Review Essays: Relationalism Emergent

    Emily Erikson reviews Conceptualizing Relational Sociology: Ontological and Theoretical Issues, edited by Francxois Depe´lteau and Christopher Powell.

  8. Review Essays: Disciplines, Area Studies, and Publics: Rethinking Sociology in a Global World

    Hiro Saito reviews Japan Copes with Calamity: Ethnographies of the Earthquake, Tsunami and Nuclear Disasters of March 2011, edited by Tom Gill, Brigitte Steger, and David H. Slater.

  9. Beyond World Images: Belief as Embodied Action in the World

    In this article, we outline the analytic limitations of action theories and interpretive schemes that conceive of beliefs as explicit mental representations linked to a desire-opportunity folk psychology. Drawing on pragmatism and practice theory, we recast the notion of belief as a species of habit, with pre-reflexive anticipation the primary mechanism accounting for both the formation of beliefs and their causal influence on action.

  10. Why Worry about Evolution? Boundaries, Practices, and Moral Salience in Sunni and Evangelical High Schools

    Previous work on conservative Protestant creationism fails to account for other creationists who are much less morally invested in opposition to evolution, raising the sociological question: What causes issues’ moral salience? Through ethnographic fieldwork in four creationist high schools in the New York City area (two Sunni Muslim and two conservative Protestant), I argue that evolution is more important to the Christian schools because it is dissonant with their key practices and boundaries.