American Sociological Association

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  1. ASA Task Force Issues Report on Evaluating Public Communication in Tenure and Promotion

    Washington, DC — Increasingly, social scientists use multiple forms of communication to engage broader audiences with their research and contribute to solutions of the pressing problems of our time. Yet, in academia, it is unclear whether these efforts to communicate with the public should count when colleges and universities are evaluating scholars.

  2. Instrumental and Expressive Education: College Planning in the Face of Poverty

    Nearly all young people in the United States aspire to a college degree, but many fail to complete college in a timely manner. Does this lack of attainment reflect abandoned college plans? I analyze mixed-methods data from a five-year study of 700 low-income mothers at two Louisiana community colleges. Hurricane Katrina displaced respondents and interrupted their college educations; respondents had to decide whether, how, and why to return to school. Few women earned degrees during the study, but survey data indicate that the rate of reenrollment and intentions to complete were high.

  3. Study Explores What Draws Sociology Faculty to Teach in Community Colleges

    Community college faculty who teach sociology are drawn to their positions for reasons that are personal and meaningful to them, including serving a diverse and underserved population and advancing social justice principles. This is despite the oftentimes challenging work conditions faced at community colleges, according to a new study by members of the American Sociological Association (ASA) Task Force on Community College Faculty in Sociology.

  4. Pulling Closer and Moving Apart: Interaction, Identity, and Influence in the U.S. Senate, 1973 to 2009

    This article reconciles two seemingly incompatible expectations about interpersonal interaction and social influence. One theoretical perspective predicts that an increase in interaction between two actors will promote subsequent convergence in their attitudes and behaviors, whereas another view anticipates divergence. We examine the role of political identity in moderating the effects of interaction on influence. Our investigation takes place in the U.S.

  5. Fitting In or Standing Out? The Tradeoffs of Structural and Cultural Embeddedness

    A recurring theme in sociological research is the tradeoff between fitting in and standing out. Prior work examining this tension tends to take either a structural or a cultural perspective. We fuse these two traditions to develop a theory of how structural and cultural embeddedness jointly relate to individual attainment within organizations. Given that organizational culture is hard to observe, we develop a novel approach to assessing individuals’ cultural fit with their colleagues based on the language expressed in internal e-mail communications.

  6. The Micropolitics of Legitimacy: Political Positioning and Journalistic Scrutiny at the Boundary of the Mainstream

    When journalists elicit opinion and policy pronouncements from politicians, this engages a two-dimensional struggle over (1) where the politician stands on the issue in question and (2) the legitimacy of that position. Using data drawn from broadcast news interviews and news conferences, this paper anatomizes the key features of political positioning questions and their responses, and documents a tension surrounding relatively marginal or extreme views that tend to be treated cautiously by politicians but are pursued vigorously by journalists.

  7. A Member Saved Is a Member Earned? The Recruitment-Retention Trade-Off and Organizational Strategies for Membership Growth

    A Member Saved Is a Member Earned? The Recruitment-Retention Trade-Off and Organizational Strategies for Membership Growth
  8. Is There a “Ferguson Effect?” Google Searches, Concern about Police Violence, and Crime in U.S. Cities, 2014–2016

    Between 2014 and 2016, the rate of homicide and other violent crime in the United States rose. One hypothesis discussed in the press and by some social scientists is that this increase was tied to political mobilization against police violence: As the Black Lives Matter movement gained support following protests in Ferguson, Missouri, perhaps police officers, worried about the new public mood, scaled back their law enforcement efforts, with crime as a consequence.
  9. 2017 Guide to Graduate Departments of Sociology Now Available

    The American Sociological Association is pleased to present the 2017 edition of the ASA Guide to Graduate Departments of Sociology. First published in 1965, the Guide can be used by a wide range of constituents for a variety of purposes—from graduate students considering job prospects to faculty advising undergraduates about graduate programs.

  10. Contexts: The Politics of Performance

    Summer 2016 Vol. 15 No. 3