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  1. States With Punitive Justice Systems Have Higher Rates of Foster Care, Study Finds

    The number of children in foster care across the country is driven not solely by child abuse and neglect, but by states' varying politics and approaches to social problems, a new University of Washington (UW) study finds.

    States with more punitive criminal justice systems tend to remove children from their homes far more frequently than those with generous welfare programs — meaning that two states with similar rates of child abuse and neglect could have very different rates of foster care entry.

  2. The Graduate Teaching Seminar Project Using TRAILS

    A vigorous discipline of sociology requires the creation of meaningful research knowledge and the training of professional sociologists able to pass on that knowledge effectively. In spring 2015, four ASA Department Affiliate institutions participated in a pilot project to integrate TRAILS, ASA’s Teaching Resources and Innovations Library for Sociology, into their graduate teaching seminars.

  3. Study Reveals Incarceration’s Hidden Wounds for African American Men

    There’s a stark and troubling way that incarceration diminishes the ability of a former inmate to empathize with a loved one behind bars, but existing sociological theories fail to capture it, Vanderbilt University sociologists have found.

  4. Graduate Student Teacher Training: Still Relevant (and Missing?) 20 Years Later

    Twenty years ago, Pescosolido and Milkie (1995) reported that 50 percent of U.S. and Canadian sociology graduate programs offered formal teacher training. Despite pronouncements that offerings have increased substantially, no similarly thorough and direct investigation has been published since. In this time of dramatic change and increasing scrutiny of higher education, graduate teacher training is arguably more important than ever before. Thus, we seek to provide a new baseline of teacher training in the discipline. Using a 2013 survey of U.S.

  5. Gaps in White, Black, and Hispanic Violence

    Despite significant public, political, and media attention to the issue of criminal violence in the United States, we know surprisingly little about the trends in violent crime for different racial/ethnic groups in recent decades. For example, what are the disparities in homicide between whites, African Americans, and Hispanics? Have these disparities changed over the past 20 years? If so, why? This lack of knowledge is largely due to data limitations, as ethnic identifiers are rarely collected in many official crime statistics.

  6. Does the Center Hold? Reflections on a Sociological Core

    Is there a distinct disciplinary core (or foundation of agreed on knowledge) in sociology? Should we define a core in our broad field to build consensus? If so, what should it look like? We address these questions by presenting three viewpoints that lean for and against identifying a core for department curricula, students, and the public face of sociology. First, "There really is not much, if any, core." Second, sociology is "a habit of the mind" (a sociological imagination). Third, key content of a sociological core can be identified using a long or short list.

  7. The Center Does Hold: The Sociological Literacy Framework

    This article provides a critique and an addition to observations raised by Ballantine et al. in this issue. After reviewing the strengths of Ballantine et al.’s article about the need for a core in sociology, I argue that this debate has gone on long enough and needs to be reframed around areas of agreement.

  8. Living Theory: Principles and Practices for Teaching Social Theory Ethnographically

    This article details the principles and practices animating an "ethnographic" method of teaching social theory. As opposed to the traditional "survey" approach that aims to introduce students to the historical breadth of social thought, the primary objective of teaching ethnographically is to cultivate students as participant observers who interpret, adjudicate between, and practice social theories in their everyday lives.

  9. Social Issues and Problem-based Learning in Sociology: Opportunities and Challenges in the Undergraduate Classroom

    This article discusses the use of problem-based learning (PBL) in the undergraduate sociology classroom. PBL shifts students from the role of passive listeners and learners to active knowledge builders and communicators through the use of concise and engaging social problem cases. PBL creates opportunities for building substantive area knowledge, research skills, and problem-solving capacities and fosters student enjoyment.

  10. Student Engagement, Accountability, and Empowerment: A Case Study of Collaborative Course Design

    This article describes an experiment in collaborative course design in a midlevel sociology course. Unlike most of the literature on collaborative teaching and learning, which often deals with collaboration among students, this article discusses collaboration between the instructor and students. The students in this course collaborated with the instructor in designing the course—choosing the readings and developing the assignments—from the first day of class. Student feedback on the experiment was overwhelmingly positive.