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  1. Paul Starr on the Shaping of the American Health Care System

    Health care continues to be a "toxic issue" at the center of American politics but, according to sociologist Paul Starr, it didn't have to be. In an ASA-produced video, Dr. Starr takes a sociological look at the history of health care to see how the medical industry played a role in sending the U.S. in its current course eschewing other options that would have provided universal access. Starr is Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs at Princeton University and author of The Social Transformation of American Medicine.

  2. Forced and Coerced Cesarean Sections in the United States

    The rise of the c-section is tied not to maternal or fetal outcomes, but to organizational and legal imperatives. To those ends, a woman’s rights to bodily integrity and decision-making–even the right to refuse surgery–are frequently challenged in childbirth.

  3. Where Punishment and Pregnancy Meet

    Megan Comfort speaks with Carolyn Sufrin, author of Jailcare: Finding the Safety Net for Women Behind Bars.

  4. Planning for Future Care and the End of Life: A Qualitative Analysis of Gay, Lesbian, and Heterosexual Couples

    Two key components of end-of-life planning are (1) informal discussions about future care and other end-of-life preferences and (2) formal planning via living wills and other legal documents. We leverage previous work on the institutional aspects of marriage and on sexual-minority discrimination to theorize why and how heterosexual, gay, and lesbian married couples engage in informal and formal end-of-life planning. We analyze qualitative dyadic in-depth interviews with 45 midlife gay, lesbian, and heterosexual married couples (N = 90 spouses).
  5. Review Essays: Mass Incarceration and Its Discontents

    The contours of mass incarceration are, by now, broadly familiar. The U.S. incarceration rate began an unprecedented ascent in the 1970s. This trend continued through 2007, when 760 of every 100,000 U.S. residents—nearly 1 in 100 adults—lived behind bars, five million others were on probation or parole, more than ten million were booked into jail, and nearly one in three U.S. residents had a criminal record (Kaeble and Glaze 2016, Table 4; PEW Center on the States 2008; Sabol 2014; Subramanian et al. 2016).
  6. Film Review: Alive Inside: A Story of Music and Memory

    Population aging and its common health dynamics have become immensely important topics for student learning in the social and clinical sciences alike. Societies around the globe are shifting over to a more balanced distribution of older and younger members due to numerous shifts in health care, family planning, infrastructure development, and other phenomena. On average, populations around the world have gotten older as people have lived longer and reproduced less. Consequently, responding to aging both socially and clinically has been a top priority.
  7. Race-Ethnicity, Poverty, Urban Stressors, and Telomere Length in a Detroit Community-based Sample

    Residents of distressed urban areas suffer early aging-related disease and excess mortality. Using a community-based participatory research approach in a collaboration between social researchers and cellular biologists, we collected a unique data set of 239 black, white, or Mexican adults from a stratified, multistage probability sample of three Detroit neighborhoods. We drew venous blood and measured telomere length (TL), an indicator of stress-mediated biological aging, linking respondents’ TL to their community survey responses.

  8. The Business of Egg and Sperm Donation

    The Business of Egg and Sperm Donation

  9. The Diaper Dilemma

    Just before he left office, Barack Obama proposed a $10 million federal initiative to test potential projects aimed at increasing low-income families’ access to diapers. The funding was never administered. States have tried, too: in September 2016, by a vote of 54-12, the California Assembly passed the first state-level diaper assistance bill. It would have provided $50 monthly diaper vouchers to cover the 120,000 children receiving state welfare aid, but the governor, Jerry Brown, vetoed it, citing the bill’s $120 million price tag.