American Sociological Association



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  1. Why Does the Importance of Education for Health Differ across the United States?

    The positive association between educational attainment and adult health (“the gradient”) is stronger in some areas of the United States than in others. Explanations for the geographic pattern have not been rigorously investigated. Grounded in a contextual and life-course perspective, the aim of this study is to assess childhood circumstances (e.g., childhood health, compulsory schooling laws) and adult circumstances (e.g., wealth, lifestyles, economic policies) as potential explanations.

  2. Ending the Stalemate: Toward a Theory of Anthro-Shift

    For years, sociologists who study society and the environment have focused on resolving the debate regarding the relationship between economic development and environmental degradation. Studies from a family of critical perspectives tend to find that economic development is antithetical to environmental protection, whereas a suite of more optimistic perspectives has uncovered more hopeful findings. We attempt to resolve these differences by situating this debate within the larger framework of the anthro-shift.
  3. Computation and the Sociological Imagination

    Computational sociology leverages new tools and data sources to expand the scope and scale of sociological inquiry. It’s opening up an exciting frontier for sociologists of every stripe—from theorists and ethnographers to experimentalists and survey researchers. It expands the sociological imagination.

  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Assessing Differences between Nested and Cross-Classified Hierarchical Models

    Sociological Methodology, Volume 49, Issue 1, Page 220-257, August 2019.
  7. 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.

  8. 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.
  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.