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  1. Elusive Events

    The purpose of What Is an Event? by Robin Wagner-Pacifici is to “build a model for the analysis of events in general” (p. 3). To this end, it develops an “analytical apparatus, termed political semiosis,” the “basic features” of which are “performatives, demonstratives, and representations” (Chapter 1). At the forefront of this endeavor is the attempt to understand how “events take shape” (pp. 10, 83, 91, 109, 140) given the “grounds from which they erupt” (p. 48) and the “ruptures” that set them off (p. 105).
  2. Comment on Barbara Risman’s review of Cheap Sex: The Transformation of Men, Marriage, and Monogamy

    The habit of contesting criticisms in print is one I have never acquired, in part because I am committed to the democracy and pace of scholarly debate. Nothing attracted me more to the sociological life than the opportunity to wrestle with ideas. But that is why I feel compelled to respond to Risman’s apoplectic interpretation of Cheap Sex. The reader learns next to nothing about what is actually in the book. Her remarks display far less interest in wrestling with ideas than in ad hominem assaults and sarcastic guesses at my character, values, and motives.
  3. Is Recreational Sex a Social Problem? Or, What’s Wrong with Kids Today?

    Decades have passed since we liberated normative sex from the confines of heterosexual marriage. But the divorce of sexual activity from romantic relationships among young people is still the topic of much debate. Both American Hookup: The New Culture of Sex on Campus, by Lisa Wade, and Cheap Sex: The Transformation of Men, Marriage, and Monogamy, by Mark Regnerus, address what’s happening with sex and relationships today; and although they identify similar trends, their analyses could not be more different.
  4. 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.
  5. Biblical Literalism Influences Perceptions of History as a Scientific Discipline

    Recent work on religious conservatives frequently finds biblical literalism to have a negative influence on individuals’ attitudes toward science. We present a science-related issue for which biblical literalism seems, at least on the surface, to have a more positive influence. Specifically, individuals expressing a literalist view of the Bible are more likely than those who view the Bible as a book of fables to say that the field of history is scientific.
  6. Consequences of Routine Work-Schedule Instability for Worker Health and Well-Being

    Research on precarious work and its consequences overwhelmingly focuses on the economic dimension of precarity, epitomized by low wages. But the rise in precarious work also involves a major shift in its temporal dimension, such that many workers now experience routine instability in their work schedules. This temporal instability represents a fundamental and under-appreciated manifestation of the risk shift from firms to workers. A lack of suitable existing data, however, has precluded investigation of how precarious scheduling practices affect workers’ health and well-being.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.