American Sociological Association



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  1. Big Data Surveillance: The Case of Policing

    This article examines the intersection of two structural developments: the growth of surveillance and the rise of “big data.” Drawing on observations and interviews conducted within the Los Angeles Police Department, I offer an empirical account of how the adoption of big data analytics does—and does not—transform police surveillance practices. I argue that the adoption of big data analytics facilitates amplifications of prior surveillance practices and fundamental transformations in surveillance activities.
  2. Analytical Sociology and Agent-Based Modeling: Is Generative Sufficiency Sufficient?

    Building mechanisms-based, black box–free explanations is the main goal of analytical sociology. In this article, I offer some reasons to question whether some of the conceptual and methodological developments of the analytical community really serve this goal. Specifically, I argue that grounding our computer modeling practices in the current definition of mechanisms posits a serious risk of defining an ideal-typical research path that neglects the role that the understanding of the generative process must have for a black box–free explanation to be met.
  3. A Cornerstone Course in Sociology: Providing Students with Theory, Methods, and Career Preparation Early in the Major

    Cornerstone courses bridge introductory content from lower-level survey courses with the more advanced theoretical and methodological content of upper-level, major-only courses. Cornerstones are implemented with the goal of better preparing students for advanced coursework and/or assisting them with understanding their major and its associated career options. Although cornerstones are common in psychology, biology, and business, they are seemingly less popular in sociology curriculums.
  4. Gender Differences in Context: The Impact of Track Position on Study Involvement in Flemish Secondary Education

    This study examines whether the influence of track position on study involvement is gendered and whether gender differences in study involvement according to track position are associated with school misconduct and rather poor future perspectives. Three-level analyses (HLM 6) of data gathered in 2004-2005 from 11,872 third- and fifth-grade students in 146 tracks in a representative sample of 85 secondary schools in Flanders (Belgium) confirmed the impact of tracking on boys’ as well as girls’ study involvement.
  5. Welfare Benefits and Unemployment in Affluent Democracies: The Moderating Role of the Institutional Insider/Outsider Divide

    Welfare Benefits and Unemployment in Affluent Democracies: The Moderating Role of the Institutional Insider/Outsider Divide
  6. Retrospective Reporting of First Employment in the Life-courses of U.S. Women

    The authors investigate the accuracy of young women’s retrospective reporting on their first substantial employment in three major, nationally representative U.S. surveys, examining hypotheses that longer recall duration, employment histories with lower salience and higher complexity, and an absence of “anchoring” biographical details will adversely affect reporting accuracy. The authors compare retrospective reports to benchmark panel survey estimates for the same cohorts.
  7. Exponential-family Random Graph Models for Rank-order Relational Data

    Rank-order relational data, in which each actor ranks other actors according to some criterion, often arise from sociometric measurements of judgment or preference. The authors propose a general framework for representing such data, define a class of exponential-family models for rank-order relational structure, and derive sufficient statistics for interdependent ordinal judgments that do not require the assumption of comparability across raters.
  8. Visualizing Latent Class Models with Analysis-of-distance BIPLOTS

    The authors propose using categorical analysis-of-distance biplots to visualize the posterior classifications arising from a latent class (LC) model. Using this multivariate plot, it is possible to visualize in two (or three) dimensions the profile of multiple LCs, specifically both the within- and between-class variation, and the overlap or separation of the classes together with the class weights. Furthermore, visualization of the relative density of each of the data patterns associated with a class is possible.
  9. The Costs of Simplicity: Why Multilevel Models May Benefit from Accounting for Cross-Cluster Differences in the Effects of Controls

    Context effects, where a characteristic of an upper-level unit or cluster (e.g., a country) affects outcomes and relationships at a lower level (e.g., that of the individual), are a primary object of sociological inquiry. In recent years, sociologists have increasingly analyzed such effects using quantitative multilevel modeling. Our review of multilevel studies in leading sociology journals shows that most assume the effects of lower-level control variables to be invariant across clusters, an assumption that is often implausible.
  10. New Survey Questions and Estimators for Network Clustering with Respondent-driven Sampling Data

    Respondent-driven sampling (RDS) is a popular method for sampling hard-to-survey populations that leverages social network connections through peer recruitment. Although RDS is most frequently applied to estimate the prevalence of infections and risk behaviors of interest to public health, such as HIV/AIDS or condom use, it is rarely used to draw inferences about the structural properties of social networks among such populations because it does not typically collect the necessary data.