American Sociological Association

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  1. The Structure of Causal Chains

    Sociologists are increasingly attentive to the mechanisms responsible for cause-and-effect relationships in the social world. But an aspect of mechanistic causality has not been sufficiently considered. It is well recognized that most phenomena of interest to social science result from multiple mechanisms operating in sequence. However, causal chains—sequentially linked mechanisms and their enabling background conditions—vary not just substantively, by the kind of causal work they do, but also structurally, by their formal properties.
  2. Coleman’s Boat Revisited: Causal Sequences and the Micro-macro Link

    This article argues that empirical social scientists can be freed from having to account for “micro-to-macro transitions.” The article shows, in opposition to the (still) dominant perspective based on Coleman’s macro-micro-macro model, that no micro-macro transitions or mechanisms connect the individual level to the macro level in empirical social science. Rather, when considering that social macro entities and properties are micro manifest rather than macro manifest, it becomes clear that the micro-macro move in empirical social science is purely conceptual or analytical.
  3. Recentering U.S. Empire: A Structural Perspective on the Color Line

    In the past 20 years, scholars of top sociology and race and ethnicity articles increasingly have mentioned the term “color line.” Prominent among them are sociologists concerned with how incoming waves of Latin American and Asian immigration, increasing rates of intermarriage, and a growing multiracial population will affect the U.S. racial order. While much of this work cites Du Bois, scholars stray from his definition of the color line in two ways. First, they characterize the color line as unidimensional and Black–white rather than as many divisions between non-white people and whites.
  4. God’s Country in Black and Blue: How Christian Nationalism Shapes Americans’ Views about Police (Mis)treatment of Blacks

    Research shows that Americans who hold strongly to a myth about America’s Christian heritage—what is called “Christian nationalism”—tend to draw rigid boundaries around ethnic and national group membership. Incorporating theories connecting ethnic boundaries, prejudice, and perceived threat with a tendency to justify harsher penalties, bias, or excessive force against racial minorities, the authors examine how Christian nationalist ideology shapes Americans’ views about police treatment of black Americans.
  5. Reconceptualizing Participation Grading as Skill Building

    Two common ways that instructors assess participation in sociology courses are recalling participation by memory or counting times spoken during class in real time. However, these common assessments rely on faulty assumptions that do not support their usage. This article reconceptualizes participation grading as an opportunity to motivate skill building across a variety of dimensions. The evidence from two classes of 45 and 47 students demonstrates that this conceptualization can be effectively implemented in undergraduate courses.
  6. Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison

    Stanley Cohen revisits Foucault's _Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison_.
  7. 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.
  8. Editor's Remarks: The Art of Acknowledgments

    Michael Sauder reflects on expressive conventions and sociological affect in the genre of Acknowledgments.
  9. 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.
  10. 2018 Presidential Address: Feeling Race: Theorizing the Racial Economy of Emotions

    In this presidential address, I advance a theoretical sketch on racialized emotions—the emotions specific to racialized societies. These emotions are central to the racial edifice of societies, thus, analysts and policymakers should understand their collective nature, be aware of how they function, and appreciate the existence of variability among emoting racial subjects. Clarity on these matters is key for developing an effective affective politics to challenge any racial order. After the sketch, I offer potential strategies to retool our racial emotive order as well as our racial selves.