American Sociological Association

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  1. McJobs and Pieces of Flair: Linking McDonaldization to Alienating Work

    This article offers strategies for teaching about rationality, bureaucracy, and social change using George Ritzer’s The McDonaldization of Society and its ideas about efficiency, predictability, calculability, and control. Student learning is facilitated using a series of strategies: making the familiar strange, explaining McDonaldization, self-investigation and discovery, and exploring and implementing alternatives.

  2. Exclusionary School Discipline and Neighborhood Crime

    The author investigates the impact of law-and-order schools, defined as those that rely heavily on exclusionary discipline (i.e., suspension and expulsion) as a form of punishment, on neighborhood crime. Additional analyses are performed to assess whether the effects of punitive school discipline on local crime are moderated by neighborhood disadvantage. Findings suggest that suspensions are associated with increases in local crime—evidence of a macro-level school-to-prison pipeline—while expulsions are generally associated with fewer crime incidents.
  3. 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.
  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. 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.
  6. 2019 Hans O. Mauksch Address Teaching: The Body in Question

    I presented the 2019 Hans O. Mauksch address at the American Sociological Association annual meeting in New York City on August 13, 2019. In this address, I explore how sociology faculty perceive their physical bodies in relationship to teaching. After reviewing the literature, I surveyed a national sample of sociology faculty from diverse institutional contexts to find out how aware they were of their bodies in the classroom. I also asked questions related to how aging, chronic illness, and other health issues might affect the utilization of their bodies in teaching.
  7. Is Urbanization Good for the Climate? A Cross-County Analysis of Impervious Surface, Affluence, and the Carbon Intensity of Well-Being

    We contribute to literature exploring the socioecological impact of urban development as a multidimensional project, one in which changes to landscape features complement changes in demographic and administrative measures to co-constitute the socioecological impact of urbanity. We use a random coefficients modeling approach to examine U.S. relationships between the intensity of impervious surface within a county, population density in impervious areas, and carbon intensity of well-being (CIWB)—here constructed using industrial emissions.

  8. Location, Location, Location: Liberatory Pedagogy in a University Classroom

    In this article, we explore the practice, promise, and contradictions of introducing liberatory practice into a higher education classroom. Freire introduced liberatory education in response to the hierarchical transfer of knowledge, “banking” concept of education that has dominated educational institutions. The banking approach to education demands that students memorize and repeat top-down “official” knowledge in order to achieve success.
  9. Community-Initiated Student-Engaged Research: Expanding Undergraduate Teaching and Learning through Public Sociology

    Drawing on a multiyear local research project on the affordable housing crisis, this article outlines a pedagogical approach we call Community-Initiated Student-Engaged Research, or CISER. The CISER model brings together three key groups of actors—undergraduate students, university researchers, and community organizations—drawing on and extending the powers of cooperative “dyads” between them.
  10. Strategic Design toward Foundational Learning Goals in Introduction to Sociology

    Scholars of teaching and learning in sociology have argued that introductory courses should teach toward foundational learning goals instead of providing an exhaustive review of the discipline. Nevertheless, prior research has provided far more guidance on what instructors ought to teach than how they can cohesively support learning across the goals advocated. Additionally, few studies have considered whether introductory course designs adequately address students’ diverse reasons for enrolling.