American Sociological Association



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  1. A Progressive Supervised-learning Approach to Generating Rich Civil Strife Data

    "Big data" in the form of unstructured text pose challenges and opportunities to social scientists committed to advancing research frontiers. Because machine-based and human-centric approaches to content analysis have different strengths for extracting information from unstructured text, the authors argue for a collaborative, hybrid approach that combines their comparative advantages.

  2. A Design and a Model for Investigating the Heterogeneity of Context Effects in Public Opinion Surveys

    Context effects on survey response, caused by the unobserved interaction between beliefs stored in personal memory and triggers generated by the structure of the survey instrument, are a pervasive challenge to survey research. The authors argue that randomized survey experiments on representative samples, when paired with facilitative primes, can enable researchers to model selection into variable context effects, revealing heterogeneity at the population level.

  3. An Introduction to the General Monotone Model with Application to Two Problematic Data Sets

    We argue that the mismatch between data and analytical methods, along with common practices for dealing with "messy" data, can lead to inaccurate conclusions. Specifically, using previously published data on racial bias and culture of honor, we show that manifest effects, and therefore theoretical conclusions, are highly dependent on how researchers decide to handle extreme scores and nonlinearities when data are analyzed with traditional approaches.

  4. Beyond Text: Using Arrays to Represent and Analyze Ethnographic Data

    Recent methodological debates in sociology have focused on how data and analyses might be made more open and accessible, how the process of theorizing and knowledge production might be made more explicit, and how developing means of visualization can help address these issues. In ethnography, where scholars from various traditions do not necessarily share basic epistemological assumptions about the research enterprise with either their quantitative colleagues or one another, these issues are particularly complex.

  5. Shrinkage Estimation of Log-odds Ratios for Comparing Mobility Tables

    Statistical analysis of mobility tables has long played a pivotal role in comparative stratification research. This article proposes a shrinkage estimator of the log-odds ratio for comparing mobility tables. Building on an empirical Bayes framework, the shrinkage estimator improves estimation efficiency by "borrowing strength" across multiple tables while placing no restrictions on the pattern of association within tables.

  6. Can Non-full-probability Internet Surveys Yield Useful Data? A Comparison with Full-probability Face-to-face Surveys in the Domain of Race and Social Inequality Attitudes

    The authors investigate the potential utility of Web-based surveys of non-full-probabilistically sampled respondents for social science research. Specifically, they compare demographic, attitude response, and multivariate model results produced by two distinct survey modalities: the traditional full-probability sample face-to-face survey and the non-full-probability Web survey.

  7. Defining the State from within: Boundaries, Schemas, and Associational Policymaking

    A growing literature posits the importance of boundaries in structuring social systems. Yet sociologists have not adequately theorized one of the most fraught and consequential sites of boundary-making in contemporary life: the delineation of the official edges of the government—and, consequently, of state from society. This article addresses that gap by theorizing the mechanisms of state boundary formation. In so doing, we extend culturalist theories of the state by providing a more specific model of how the state-society boundary is produced.

  8. Gabriel Tarde and Contemporary Social Theory

    After a century of obscurity, the work of Gabriel Tarde is once again attracting the attention of social theorists. In particular, Bruno Latour has been a fervent advocate of Tarde’s work as a form of sociology, which, he claims, anticipates actor network theory and which is therefore appropriate for an era of globalization. Rejecting Durkheimian appeals to an autonomous and preformed social reality, Tarde focuses on dynamic and hybrid processes of individual imitation and interaction. This article reexamines the work of Gabriel Tarde to assess the validity of Latour’s interpretation.

  9. Field and Ecology

    This article offers a theoretical comparison between field and ecology, as developed by Pierre Bourdieu and the Chicago School of sociology. While field theory and ecological theory share similar conceptualizations of actors, positions, and relations, and while they converge in their views on structural isomorphism, temporality, and social psychology, they are quite different on several other scores: power and inequality, endogeneity, heterogeneity, metaphorical sources, and abstraction.

  10. Community Sense: The Cohesive Power of Aesthetic Judgment

    Sociologists have undertheorized the role of aesthetic judgment in group identification. The author argues that the communication of aesthetic judgments in face-to-face interaction powerfully works to confirm or deny feelings of group belonging. The author introduces the concept of "community sense," the public face of shared aesthetic judgments that is communicated and upheld within a group. The author illustrates this concept through an ethnographic case study of an erotic arts club, a group predicated on achieving a shared sense of "good" and "bad" taste.