American Sociological Association

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  1. Featured Essay: Lost and Saved . . . Again: The Moral Panic about the Loss of Community Takes Hold of Social Media

    Why does every generation believe that relationships were stronger and community better in the recent past? Lamenting about the loss of community, based on a selective perception of the present and an idealization of ‘‘traditional community,’’ dims awareness of powerful inequalities and cleavages that have always pervaded human society and favors deterministic models over a nuanced understanding of how network affordances contribute to different outcomes. Taylor Dotson’s (2017) recent book proposes a broader timeline for the demise of community.
  2. Letter to the Editors

    Timothy M. Gill writes to add context to the Summer 2018 issue’s policy brief and urge an interrogation of assumptions that democracy assistance is a benign form of foreign policy.
  3. Risk and Race in Measuring Special Education Need

    George Farkas and Paul L. Morgan on improving special education provision through metric precision.
  4. The Heavy Hands of the State

    The modern state is that ensemble of fields of struggle among actors, agencies, and institutions over the capacity and right to monopolize not only the legitimate means of physical violence, as Max Weber famously argued, but also the means of symbolic violence over a given territory and its inhabitants. So argues Pierre Bourdieu, whose critical sociology of symbolic power is globally one of the most widely acknowledged approaches in sociology today.
  5. Featured Essay: Frontlash/Backlash: The Crisis of Solidarity and the Threat to Civil Institutions

    Jeffrey C. Alexander argues for an understanding of the polarizing and excluding forces of Trumpism as sociologically ‘‘normal’’ to the ongoing dynamics of civil spheres.
  6. Getting to Know You: Welfare Fraud Investigation and the Appropriation of Social Ties

    State-level public assistance agencies completed nearly a million SNAP fraud investigations in fiscal year 2016. These investigations hinge on compiling incriminating information about clients. Drawing on interviews with welfare fraud workers in five U.S. states, this article shows how fraud investigators creatively exploit clients’ social networks to extract such information, and thus use clients’ social ties against them. Investigators gain some information through elective cooperation, when people voluntarily implicate others.
  7. ASA Sends Letter to the U.S. Ambassador to Hungary Regarding the Hungarian Academy of Sciences

    In a February 15, 2019, letter to David B. Cornstein, the U.S. Embassor to Hungary, ASA wrote:

    Dear Ambassador Cornstein,   
     
    We, the American Sociological Association, representing more than 12,000 professionals in our field, are writing to express our concern and to register opposition to the proposed changes in governance of the world-renowned Hungarian Academy of Sciences, including the Social Science Research Institute in which many Hungarian sociologists are employed.    

  8. Agency and Change in Healthcare Organizations: Workers’ Attempts to Navigate Multiple Logics in Hospice Care

    How do major healthcare policy changes affect the delivery of care? Healthcare policy changes often have unintended consequences that affect workers’ practices and patient experiences. Medicare, which pays for the vast majority of hospice end-of-life care, recently changed a policy to curb long hospice stays. Starting in 2011, all patients who were enrolled in hospice for 180 days or more were required to have a face-to-face visit with a physician or qualified nurse practitioner.
  9. Agency and Change in Healthcare Organizations: Workers’ Attempts to Navigate Multiple Logics in Hospice Care

    There is no doubt that the organization of healthcare is currently shifting, partly in response to changing macrolevel policies. Studies of healthcare policies often do not consider healthcare workers’ experiences of policy change, thus limiting our understanding of when and how policies work. This article uses longitudinal qualitative data, including participant observation and semistructured interviews with workers within hospice care as their organizations shifted in response to a Medicare policy change.