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. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Implementing a Careers and Professional Development Course for Sociology Students

    Sociology students are interested in having meaningful careers that use their sociological knowledge and skills, and higher education institutions are under pressure to show that their graduates achieve career success. A one-credit-hour course focused on careers, professional development, and resources for sociology majors can increase students’ confidence that multiple options exist for them in their postbaccalaureate lives.
  6. 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.
  7. The Coming Divorce Decline

    This article analyzes U.S. divorce trends over the past decade and considers their implications for future divorce rates. Modeling women’s odds of divorce from 2008 to 2017 using marital events data from the American Community Survey, I find falling divorce rates with or without adjustment for demographic covariates. Age-specific divorce rates show that the trend is driven by younger women, which is consistent with longer term trends showing uniquely high divorce rates among people born in the Baby Boom period.
  8. Using Racial and Class Differences in Infant Mortality to Teach about White Privilege: A Cooperative Group Activity

    A considerable amount of research across the past several decades has documented the emergence of a new racial ideology of “color-blindness” as well as evidence that white college students have difficulty recognizing the racial privileges that are obscured by this color-blindness. To address this, we developed a cooperative group White Privilege Activity that used racial and class differences in infant mortality to help students recognize the existence of white privilege.
  9. Sociology, Demography, and Economics Presidential Ages and Sex over Time

    I provide a visualization of presidential ages and gender over time for three academic associations: the American Sociological Association (ASA), the Population Association of America (PAA), and the American Economic Association (AEA). The figure reveals important trends in the twentieth century concerning (1) the continued aging of association presidents, (2) the relatively recent increasing gender parity in association presidents of ASA and PAA but not AEA, and (3) the sharp increase in PAA presidential ages beginning near the turn of the twenty-first century.
  10. Consequences of Routine Work-Schedule Instability for Worker Health and Well-Being

    Research on precarious work and its consequences overwhelmingly focuses on the economic dimension of precarity, epitomized by low wages. But the rise in precarious work also involves a major shift in its temporal dimension, such that many workers now experience routine instability in their work schedules. This temporal instability represents a fundamental and under-appreciated manifestation of the risk shift from firms to workers. A lack of suitable existing data, however, has precluded investigation of how precarious scheduling practices affect workers’ health and well-being.