American Sociological Association

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  1. Framing the Pandemic for Students from a Sociological Perspective (Economic Sociology)

    Financial crises tend to have a long-lasting effect on societies. COVID-19 will be no exception given that its economic and social impact is fueled by a public-health emergency that is difficult to curb and that is putting tremendous pressure on healthcare systems around the world.

  2. Lessons in Finding Consensus (Environmental Sociology)

    The work of a non-profit in rural Montana, Blackfoot Challenge (BC), to coordinate a community response to threats posed by carnivores, can provide insight on how to manage the social dynamics of the pandemic. A grizzly bear and a coronavirus are quite different, but collective action is needed to handle both, requiring agreement on the definition of the problem and enough participation in the solutions that they are effective.

  3. Social Interaction and Presentation of Self in a Masked World (Ethnomethodology and Conversation Analysis)

    The COVID-19 crisis highlights the importance of what we do as sociologists, throwing into sharp relief the dangers of adhering to individualism and disregarding the social mechanisms of cooperation and scientific/occupational expertise that organize the myriad situations of everyday life. As the pandemic reveals the inequalities and contradictions in our society, sociologists engaged in ethnomethodology and conversation analysis (EM/CA) are uniquely placed to examine what happens when taken-for-granted assumptions and interactional practices change rapidly.

  4. The COVID-19 Pandemic: A Lesson in Evolution, Biology, and Society (Evolution, Biology, and Society)

    As the COVID-19 pandemic continues its devastating march around the globe and across the United States, only those who dismiss statistics about its deadly toll or denigrate the pain of those afflicted can ignore the handwriting on the chalkboard: We ignore at our peril the biological foundations of our being and the evolutionary processes that have shaped and continue to change our natural and social worlds. From the functioning of our social institutions to the consequences of our social divisions, nothing about us stands apart from nature.

  5. Imagining the Public Amidst the Pandemic in China and the United States (Global and Transnational Sociology)

    Tropes and stereotypes exist in the many comparisons of the responses to COVID-19 in China and the United States. I focus here on a less mentioned reason: the differing imaginaries of the public held by policymakers and scientific and medical experts.

  6. Contributions to COVID-19 Response Efforts (Mathematical Sociology)

    In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the mathematical sociology community has been active in contributing its expertise to both combat and better understand the implications of this unfolding disaster. The following is a brief sample of some of the work being undertaken by our community.

    Modeling SARS-CoV-2 Diffusion

  7. Sociology as a Lens on the Pandemic and Responses to It (Medical Sociology)

    Compared to natural disasters—hurricanes, tornadoes, floods—pandemics are comparatively rare.  British sociologist Phil Strong (1990) was one of the few to study pandemics.  He developed a framework based on accounts of pandemics back to the Black Death in 14th century Europe. Pandemics represented moments of transparency in the social order. All sorts of institutions, relationships, and interactions suddenly became problematic. The taken-for-granted assumptions of everyday life were exposed and became uncertain and questionable.

  8. COVID-19: A Threat to Jobs and Identities (Organizations, Occupations, and Work)

    As unemployment skyrockets during the COVID-19 pandemic, our occupational identities may not be the first thing on our minds. But the social changes we are facing may threaten these core identities, which endangers our mental health. The reality of unemployment, reduced hours, or furloughs is pervasive. For those of us fortunate enough to remain employed, the nature of our work has changed. Many white-collar workers are suddenly working from home, in a virtual environment, often while trying to balance work with parenting.

  9. Theorizing Social Response to COVID-19 in the U.S. (Political Sociology)

    Nearly 90 percent of Americans are under stay-at-home and organizational closure orders from their state governors or city mayors (Washington Post, April 2, 2020). These orders may carry legal weight but have rarely been strictly enforced by police. Yet as of March 30, 53 percent of individuals were complying (CNN Ipsos poll, April 1). By April 7, 87% practiced social distancing (Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, April 17); 80% supported social distancing even if it damaged the economy (Politico poll, Star-Tribune, April 18). 

  10. Linking Higher Black Mortality Rates from COVID-19 to Racism and Racial Inequality (Racial and Ethnic Minorities)

    One of the greatest professional challenges facing sociologists dealing with the coronavirus is to quickly analyze and interpret the vast amounts of relevant epidemiological, demographic and social data, and present those data to both the academic community and, most importantly, the public at large. This is especially important given the tendency by some politicians and social media outlets to present misinformation to the public.