This address explores a broad framework for thinking sociologically about emancipatory alternatives to dominant institutions and social structures, especially capitalism. The framework is grounded in two foundational propositions: (1) Many forms of human suffering and many deficits in human flourishing are the result of existing institutions and social structures. (2) Transforming existing institutions and social structures in the right way has the potential to substantially reduce human suffering and expand the possibilities for human flourishing.
One reason reform does not dramatically change public schools is because instructional practices are highly institutionalized. This article advances a theory for how teacher agency can both change and maintain institutionalized instructional practices in schools. Based on findings from one U.S. urban public school undergoing state-mandated reform, I assert that three mechanisms drive a particular form of teacher agency.
In this article, we outline the analytic limitations of action theories and interpretive schemes that conceive of beliefs as explicit mental representations linked to a desire-opportunity folk psychology. Drawing on pragmatism and practice theory, we recast the notion of belief as a species of habit, with pre-reflexive anticipation the primary mechanism accounting for both the formation of beliefs and their causal influence on action.
Previous work on conservative Protestant creationism fails to account for other creationists who are much less morally invested in opposition to evolution, raising the sociological question: What causes issues’ moral salience? Through ethnographic fieldwork in four creationist high schools in the New York City area (two Sunni Muslim and two conservative Protestant), I argue that evolution is more important to the Christian schools because it is dissonant with their key practices and boundaries.
Color is a central feature of social life, yet its value in sociological theory is ambiguous. This paper establishes an approach to a social theory of color by focusing on color perception. Using theories from materiality studies and cultural sociology, I argue that color perception is an unstable and contestable phenomenon shaped by social and material factors. My argument is empirically grounded in a case study of a blockbuster museum show called Gods in Color. The show toured 21 cities in Europe and North America from 2003 to 2015.
Recent years have seen renewed interest in the study of revolutions. Yet the burgeoning interest in revolutionary events has not been matched by a comparable interest in the development of revolutionary theory. For the most part, empirical studies of revolutions remain contained within the parameters established by the "fourth generation" of revolutionary theory. This body of work sees revolutions as conjunctural amalgams of systemic crisis, structural opening, and collective action, which arise from the intersection of international, economic, political, and symbolic factors.
ASA speaks with sociologist Dustin Kidd at the 2016 ASA Annual Meeting on August, 2016, in Seattle, WA. Kidd 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.
We can think of three basic principles of classificatory judgment for comparing things and people. I call these judgments nominal (oriented to essence), cardinal (oriented to quantities), and ordinal (oriented to relative positions). Most social orders throughout history are organized around the intersection of these different types. In line with the ideals of political liberalism, however, democratic societies have developed an arsenal of institutions to untangle nominal and ordinal judgments in various domains of social life.
Field theory largely treats the cultural dimensions of social fields as an emergent property of their objective structures. In this article, I reconsider the role of culture in fields by studying how the logics that govern their emergence develop. As a study case, I examine the rise of the field of transnational humanitarianism by focusing on the early endeavors of the International Committee of the Red Cross (established 1863).