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  1. Review Essay: See It with Figures

    The short story is that Kieran Healy’s Data Visualization: A Practical Introduction is a gentle introduction to the effective display of social science data using the R package ggplot2. It is beautifully put together, achingly clear, and effective.
  2. The Geometry of Culture: Analyzing the Meanings of Class through Word Embeddings

    We argue word embedding models are a useful tool for the study of culture using a historical analysis of shared understandings of social class as an empirical case. Word embeddings represent semantic relations between words as relationships between vectors in a high-dimensional space, specifying a relational model of meaning consistent with contemporary theories of culture.
  3. Does Intra-household Contagion Cause an Increase in Prescription Opioid Use?

    Opioid use claims many thousands of lives each year. This article considers the diffusion of prescription opioid (PO) use within family households as one potential culprit of the proliferation of these medications. In an analysis of hundreds of millions of medical claims and almost 14 million opioid prescriptions in one state between 2010 and 2015, we show that the use of POs spreads within family households.

  4. Assessing Differences between Nested and Cross-Classified Hierarchical Models

    Sociological Methodology, Volume 49, Issue 1, Page 220-257, August 2019.
  5. Review Essay: Back to the Future

    In one of my undergraduate courses, I show students a photo of Paul Lazarsfeld and Frank Stanton. Of course, neither social scientist is familiar to them, but I argue to my students that Lazarsfeld had a bigger impact on the daily practice of sociology than any member of the Marx/Weber/Durkheim triumvirate they study in classical theory.

  6. A General Framework for Comparing Predictions and Marginal Effects across Models

    Many research questions involve comparing predictions or effects across multiple models. For example, it may be of interest whether an independent variable’s effect changes after adding variables to a model. Or, it could be important to compare a variable’s effect on different outcomes or across different types of models. When doing this, marginal effects are a useful method for quantifying effects because they are in the natural metric of the dependent variable and they avoid identification problems when comparing regression coefficients across logit and probit models.
  7. Weathering, Drugs, and Whack-a-Mole: Fundamental and Proximate Causes of Widening Educational Inequity in U.S. Life Expectancy by Sex and Race, 1990–2015

    Discussion of growing inequity in U.S. life expectancy increasingly focuses on the popularized narrative that it is driven by a surge of “deaths of despair.” Does this narrative fit the empirical evidence? Using census and Vital Statistics data, we apply life-table methods to calculate cause-specific years of life lost between ages 25 and 84 by sex and educational rank for non-Hispanic blacks and whites in 1990 and 2015. Drug overdoses do contribute importantly to widening inequity for whites, especially men, but trivially for blacks.

  8. Immigrant Generation, Stress Exposure, and Substance Abuse among a South Florida Sample of Hispanic Young Adults

    Existing research finds that succeeding immigrant generations are at greater risk for mental health problems as well as higher levels of substance use. Previous studies have attempted to unpack the role of acculturation stress, discrimination, and other factors in these outcomes. Using data from a community-based sample of Miami-Dade County young adults, we use an empirically and theoretically precise measurement of generational status, allowing us to better understand the process of acculturation and adaptation experienced by each generation.

  9. Visualizing Police Exposure by Race, Gender, and Age in New York City

    This figure depicts the disparities in average police stops in New York City from 2004 to 2012, disaggregated by race, gender, and age. Composed of six bar charts, each graph in the figure provides data for a particular population at the intersection of race and gender, focusing on black, white, and Hispanic men and women. Each graph also has a comparative backdrop of the data on police stops for black males.
  10. Textual Spanning: Finding Discursive Holes in Text Networks

    We propose a measure of discursive holes well suited for the unique properties of text networks built from document similarity matrices considered as dense weighted graphs. In this measure, which we call textual spanning, documents similar to documents dissimilar from one another receive a high score, and documents similar to documents similar to one another receive a low score. After offering a simulation-based validation, we test the measure on an empirical document similarity matrix based on a preestimated topic-model probability distribution.