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  1. Republication of “Science Fiction and Introductory Sociology: The Handmaid in the Classroom”

    Although there is a great deal of available material on using nontraditional resources for teaching sociology, the pedagogical uses of science fiction have not been examined for 20 years. This essay first asserts the need for an update based on changes in society and in science fiction over the past two decades.
  2. Carving Out a Niche or Finding a Place at the Table? The Sociology of Transgender Studies

    Over the last decade, transgender studies has benefited from an explosion of interest within academia. Sociology is not immune to these developments in a field of inquiry that has existed for some time. But what does it mean for sociologists to become immersed in a topic that claims no disciplinary boundaries, no agreed-upon methodological strategies, and even a lack of consensus on how to define “transgender”?
  3. Inequality and Opportunity in a Perfect Storm of Graduate Student Debt

    Recent efforts to understand aggregate student loan debt have shifted the focus away from undergraduate borrowing and toward dramatically rising debt among graduate and professional students. We suggest educational debt plays a key role in social stratification by either deterring bachelor’s degree holders from disadvantaged and underrepresented backgrounds from pursuing lucrative careers through advanced degree programs or imposing a high cost for entry.
  4. Delayed Benefits: Effects of California School District Bond Elections on Achievement by Socioeconomic Status

    Contradictory evidence of the relationship between education funding and student achievement could reflect heterogeneous effects by revenue source or student characteristics. This study examines potential heterogeneous effects of a particular type of local revenue—bond funds for capital investments—on achievement by socioeconomic status.
  5. The Weberian Presuppositional Analytic

    This article offers an account of a conceptual framework in Max Weber’s writings offering leverage on empirical, normative, and theoretical questions. Weber relied on the notion of Voraussetzung—presupposition—across his work to distinguish the criteria of concepts of empirical phenomena, accounts of such phenomena, and conditions shaping evaluative stands among alternative courses of action. Weber also refers to Denkvoraussetzungen—presuppositions of thought—which refer to sets of fundamental principles structuring experience.
  6. On the Ambivalence of the Aphorism in Sociological Theory

    Sociologists have long been taken by certain pithy expressions from the founders of the discipline. We propose here both a new explanation for the endurance of these statements as well as an analysis of the power, limitations, and possibilities of aphorisms. By drawing from the critical scholarship concerned with aphorisms, we demonstrate that some of the allure of the classical sociological texts derives from their form, and particularly their reliance on the relative autonomy of the aphorism.
  7. On Assemblages and Things: Fluidity, Stability, Causation Stories, and Formation Stories

    This article conducts a dialogue and creates a new synthesis between two of the most influential ontological discourses in the field of sociology: assemblage theory and critical realism. The former proposes a focus on difference, fluidity, and process, the latter a focus on stability and structure. Drawing on and assessing the work of Deleuze, DeLanda, and Bhaskar, we argue that social ontology must overcome the tendency to bifurcate between these two poles and instead develop an ontology more suited to explaining complex social phenomena by accommodating elements of both traditions.
  8. Hashtag Syllabus

    The hashtag syllabus is a crowd-sourced body of work that can, in some cases, challenge the knowledge construction of the academy. Hashtag syllabi have the opportunity to reshape how knowledge is produced, whose knowledge is affirmed, and what knowledge people are exposed to.

  9. Computation and the Sociological Imagination

    Computational sociology leverages new tools and data sources to expand the scope and scale of sociological inquiry. It’s opening up an exciting frontier for sociologists of every stripe—from theorists and ethnographers to experimentalists and survey researchers. It expands the sociological imagination.

  10. Genes, Gender Inequality, and Educational Attainment

    Women’s opportunities have been profoundly altered over the past century by reductions in the social and structural constraints that limit women’s educational attainment. Do social constraints manifest as a suppressing influence on genetic indicators of potential, and if so, did equalizing opportunity mean equalizing the role of genetics? We address this with three cohort studies: the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study (WLS; birth years 1939 to 1940), the Health and Retirement Study, and the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health; birth years 1975 to 1982).