Americans love crime. The criminal justice system is fetishized in popular culture and news media. We watch the news and scour the Internet to assess our own moral compass, take cues from others' digressions, and bear witness to justice and punishment. Historically, we learned about crime through news media and fiction. The Internet has dramatically changed this landscape: for the first time, mug shots and jailhouse rosters are available with a click.
A symbolic politics approach contends that the meanings policy proposals convey, and the audiences they attract, may matter more than whether they become law. Yet, we know little about the sociopolitical conditions prompting lawmakers to engage in symbolic politics.
In 2013 the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) initiated the Measuring College Learning (MCL) project because SSRC recognized a pressing need for greater clarity, intentionality, and quality in U.S. higher education.
The American Sociological Association (ASA) applauds the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling today in the affirmative action case Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin. The judgement allows the university to continue using race as a factor in admissions decisions.
What should activist-scholars teach in the social problems classroom? In this conversation, I challenge the assertion that advancing a sociology of social problems is an overly academic enterprise of little use to students and other publics. I introduce the potential of a pedagogical framework for promoting social problems literacy: a set of skills that promotes critical, sociological understandings of social problems toward aims of supporting civic engagement and activism.
What explains the rise of race-conscious affirmative action policies in undergraduate admissions? The dominant theory posits that adoption of such policies was precipitated by urban and campus unrest in the North during the late 1960s. Based on primary research in a sample of 17 selective schools, we find limited support for the dominant theory. Affirmative action arose in two distinct waves during the 1960s. A first wave was launched in the early 1960s by northern college administrators inspired by nonviolent civil rights protests in the South.
Social movement researchers argue that tactical innovation occurs as a response to changes external to movements, such as police repression and shifts in political authority, or is due to internal movement processes, such as the characteristics of movement organizations and actors. In this study, we locate the roots of tactical innovation in the multiplicity of movement claims articulated at protest events.
It appears that people who actively participate in demonstrations during social movements on behalf of those dissimilar to them do so for two important reasons.
First, they trust their outgroup peers. Secondly, the political climate in their home countries actually fosters both trust and political engagement, and this is particularly true in countries with well-functioning political institutions.
ASA speaks with retired sociologist Jose Calderon at the 2016 ASA Annual Meeting on August, 2016, in Seattle, WA. Calderon talks about what it means to “do sociology,” how he uses sociology in his work, highlights of his work in the field, the relevance of sociological work to society, and his advice to students interested in entering the field.