American Sociological Association


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  1. The Two Faces of Diversity: The Relationships between Religious Polarization, Religious Fractionalization, and Self-rated Health

    A dominant discourse in the social sciences theorizes that religious diversity puts individuals’ health at risk via interreligious hostility. However, this discourse overlooks the different subtypes of religious diversity and the moderation of political institutions. To better understand the issue of diversity and health, in this study, we distinguish between two subtypes of religious diversity—polarization and fractionalization—and argue that their impacts on health are heterogeneous.
  2. The Network Structure of Police Misconduct

    Conventional explanations of police misconduct generally adopt a microlevel focus on deviant officers or a macrolevel focus on the top-down organization of police departments. Between these levels are social networks of misconduct. This study recreates these networks using data on 16,503 complaints and 15,811 police officers over a six-year period in Chicago. We examine individual-level factors associated with receiving a complaint, the basic properties of these misconduct networks, and factors related to officer co-naming in complaints.
  3. Challenging Evolution in Public Schools: Race, Religion, and Attitudes toward Teaching Creationism

    Researchers argue that white evangelical Christians are likely to support teaching creationism in public schools. Yet, less is known about the role religion may play in shaping attitudes toward evolution and teaching creationism among blacks and Latinos, who are overrepresented in U.S. conservative Protestant traditions. This study fills a gap in the literature by examining whether religious factors (e.g., religious affiliation and Biblical literalism) relate to differences in support for teaching creationism between blacks and Latinos compared to whites and other racial groups.
  4. Social Networks, Support, and Depressive Symptoms: Gender Differences among Clergy

    This study extends social-psychological research on social networks and mental health by examining cross-gender differences in social integration and depression among United Methodist clergy in North Carolina. Using data from the fifth wave of the Clergy Health Initiative panel survey, we used cross-group models to examine the association of depressive symptoms and network in-degree, out-degree, and perceived social isolation among men (N = 1,145) and women (N = 535) clergy. The analysis reveals gendered differences in this association.
  5. Sacred Alters: The Effects of Ego Network Structure on Religious and Political Beliefs

    Does who we know impact how strongly we believe? The claim seems reasonable, but research linking social network composition to political beliefs has produced conflicting results. We argue that methodological differences in measuring close ties can explain these inconsistencies and that work on the sacred umbrella provides a useful framework for moving forward. The sacred umbrella argues that when people close to you share your religious beliefs, you are shielded from doubt and uncertainty; perhaps the same mechanism also operates for political views.
  6. Certainty, Uncertainty, or Indifference? Examining Variation in the Identity Narratives of Nonreligious Americans

    Much research in social science concludes that uncertainty surrounding individual beliefs and identities is negative and anxiety-inducing, and that people are continuously searching for certainty. In the context of rising rates of religious disaffiliation in the United States, and the rise of social and political organizations created to promote nonreligious beliefs and values, the nonreligious offer a strategic case to explore the meaning and lived experience of certainty and uncertainty surrounding belief and identity formation.
  7. Does Religion Buffer the Effects of Discrimination on Distress for Religious Minorities? The Case of Arab Americans

    Religiosity is well documented as a coping resource that protects against the effects of discrimination on distress, but little is known about the utility of religious minorities’ religiosity. This study investigates if religious resources buffer the effect of discrimination on distress for Arab Americans and if that relationship differs based on religious minority status.

  8. Public Concern about Terrorism: Fear, Worry, and Support for Anti-Muslim Policies

    In the era of 9/11, terrorist attacks occur with sufficient frequency and lethality to constitute a realistic threat to the well-being of the American public. Sensing this concern, politicians emphasize the threat of violent attacks to advance a platform of making public safety a priority. In this context, the authors assess the extent, sources, and emotional impact of the public’s concern about terrorism. On the basis of a national survey of 1,000 Americans, the authors examine levels of fear of a terrorist attack and worry about terrorism relative to other potential harms.

  9. Not by Bread Alone: Mobility Experiences, Religion, and Optimism about Future Mobility

    Americans are quite optimistic about their chances of upward mobility, but sometimes even they have their doubts. The authors examine how mobility experiences boost or dampen American optimism about mobility and how the relationship is connected to religion. The authors find that Americans whose subjective financial situations have recently worsened are less optimistic, whereas those whose situations have improved are more optimistic. Objective measures of mobility were not connected to optimism.

  10. No Longer Discrete: Modeling the Dynamics of Social Networks and Continuous Behavior

    The dynamics of individual behavior are related to the dynamics of the social structures in which individuals are embedded. This implies that in order to study social mechanisms such as social selection or peer influence, we need to model the evolution of social networks and the attributes of network actors as interdependent processes. The stochastic actor-oriented model is a statistical approach to study network-attribute coevolution based on longitudinal data. In its standard specification, the coevolving actor attributes are assumed to be measured on an ordinal categorical scale.