American Sociological Association

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  1. 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.
  2. Gender and Health: Beyond Binary Categorical Measurement

    This study leverages multiple measures of gender from a US national online survey (N = 1,508) to better assess how gender is related to self-rated health. In contrast to research linking feminine behaviors with good health and masculine behaviors with poor health, we find that masculinity is associated with better self-rated health for cisgender men, whereas femininity is associated with better self-rated health for cisgender women.
  3. Research Notes: Persistent Identity Threats: Emotional and Neurological Responses

    In the past few decades, sociologists have called for the incorporation of biological ideas and methods into sociology as a means of improving our understanding of social behavior. In this vein, researchers have argued that bringing neuroscience into the study of self and identity processes will help sociologists refine and construct more accurate theories. The present study pursues this agenda by using neuroscience insights and methodology to empirically examine a poorly understood aspect of identity processes: persistent identity nonverification.
  4. Between Tolerant Containment and Concerted Constraint: Managing Madness for the City and the Privileged Family

    How do public safety net and elite private mental health providers cope with a key dilemma since psychiatric deinstitutionalization—managing madness when people have the right to refuse care? I observed two approaches to voluntary community-based services, one that tolerates “non-compliance” and deviant choices, and another that attempts to therapeutically discipline clientele. The puzzle, given theories of the paternalistic governance of poverty, is that select poor patients are given autonomy while the privileged are micro-managed.

  5. Testing Life Course Models Whereby Juvenile and Adult Adversity Combine to Influence Speed of Biological Aging

    The present study extends prior research on the links between social adversity and aging by employing more comprehensive measures of adversity and a new gene expression index of aging. Hierarchical regression and 20 years of data from a sample of 381 black Americans were used to test models regarding the impact of social adversity on speed of aging. Consistent with the early life sensitivity model, early adversity continued to predict accelerated aging after controlling for adult adversity.
  6. Piracy in a Contested Periphery: Incorporation and the Emergence of the Modern World-System in the Colonial Atlantic Frontier

    This article uses world-systems analysis to examine the role that pirates and privateers played in the competition between European core states in the Atlantic and Caribbean frontier during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Piracy was an integral part of core-periphery interaction, as a force that nations could use against one another in the form of privateers, and as a reaction against increasing constraints on freedom of action by those same states, thus forming a semiperiphery.
  7. Complaint-Oriented Policing: Regulating Homelessness in Public Space

    Over the past 30 years, cities across the United States have adopted quality-of-life ordinances aimed at policing social marginality. Scholars have documented zero-tolerance policing and emerging tactics of therapeutic policing in these efforts, but little attention has been paid to 911 calls and forms of third-party policing in governing public space and the poor.
  8. The Sociology of Gaslighting

    Gaslighting—a type of psychological abuse aimed at making victims seem or feel “crazy,” creating a “surreal” interpersonal environment—has captured public attention. Despite the popularity of the term, sociologists have ignored gaslighting, leaving it to be theorized by psychologists. However, this article argues that gaslighting is primarily a sociological rather than a psychological phenomenon. Gaslighting should be understood as rooted in social inequalities, including gender, and executed in power-laden intimate relationships.
  9. Complaining While Black: Racial Disparities in the Adjudication of Complaints Against the Police

    Reports of citizen complaints of police misconduct often note that officers are rarely disciplined for alleged misconduct. The perception of little officer accountability contributes to widespread distrust of law enforcement in communities of color. This project investigates how race and segregation shape the outcomes of allegations made against the Chicago Police Department (CPD) between 2011 and 2014. We find that complaints by black and Latino citizens and against white officers are less likely to be sustained.

  10. The Moral Limits of Predictive Practices: The Case of Credit-Based Insurance Scores

    Corporations gather massive amounts of personal data to predict how individuals will behave so that they can profitably price goods and allocate resources. This article investigates the moral foundations of such increasingly prevalent market practices. I leverage the case of credit scores in car insurance pricing—an early and controversial use of algorithmic prediction in the U.S. consumer economy—to unpack the premise that predictive data are fair to use and to understand the conditions under which people are likely to challenge that moral logic.