American Sociological Association

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  1. Prepare for a Vote: Understanding the Proposed Revision to the ASA Code of Ethics

    At the 2014 Annual Meeting in San Francisco, Executive Officer Sally Hillsman, met with the Committee on Professional Ethics (COPE) and suggested that it was time to revise the Code of Ethics. Revisions were last made to the Code 20 years ago, and a great deal of change had taken place. Regulatory and technological advances have had striking impacts on the field. At the time, the Department of Health and Human Services was about to announce changes to The Common Rule, which governs the vast majority of human subjects research efforts.

  2. Review Essays: How to Think like an Economic Sociologist

    According to Google Scholar, over his long and distinguished career Mark Granovetter has written a remarkable number of “blockbuster” publications, with two very influential articles at the top of the list: “The Strength of Weak Ties” (Granovetter 1973) and “Economic Action and Social Structure” (Granovetter 1985). These have generated more than 43,000 (!!) and 34,000 (!) citations, respectively. Even without Google Scholar’s “big data,” however, almost all sociologists would recognize Granovetter’s seminal contributions to network analysis and economic sociology, among other topics.
  3. Unemployment, Trust in Government, and Satisfaction with Democracy: An Empirical Investigation

    Evidence suggests that unemployment negatively affects various aspects of individuals’ lives. The author investigates whether unemployment changes individuals’ political evaluations in the form of trust in government and satisfaction with democracy. While most research in this area operates on the macro level, the author provides individual-level evidence. In doing so, the author investigates the assumed causal link with panel data from Switzerland and the Netherlands.

  4. ASA Signs on to Letter Supporting Federal Data Sources

    The ASA signed on to a letter expressing our strong support for the critical Federal data sources that inform and strengthen our nation’s world-leading economic, educational, democratic and civic institutions and successes. Our Federal statistical and data systems provide information that is uniquely accurate, objective, relevant, timely, and accessible. 

  5. Surviving at the Street Level: How Counselors’ Implementation of School Choice Policy Shapes Students’ High School Destinations

    Given the dominance of residentially based school assignment, prior researchers have conceptualized K–12 enrollment decisions as beyond the purview of school actors. This paper questions the continued relevance of this assumption by studying the behavior of guidance counselors charged with implementing New York City’s universal high school choice policy.
  6. What’s the Harm? The Coverage of Ethics and Harm Avoidance in Research Methods Textbooks

    Methods textbooks play a role in socializing a new generation of researchers about ethical research. How do undergraduate social research methods textbooks portray harm, its prevalence, and ways to mitigate harm to participants? We conducted a content analysis of ethics chapters in the 18 highest-selling undergraduate textbooks used in sociology research methods courses in the United States and Canada in 2013. We found that experiments are portrayed as the research design most likely to harm participants.
  7. Why Is There No Labor Party in the United States? Political Articulation and the Canadian Comparison, 1932 to 1948

    Why is there no labor party in the United States? This question has had deep implications for U.S. politics and social policy. Existing explanations use "reflection" models of parties, whereby parties reflect preexisting cleavages or institutional arrangements. But a comparison with Canada, whose political terrain was supposedly more favorable to labor parties, challenges reflection models.

  8. International Human Rights and Domestic Income Inequality: A Difficult Case of Compliance in World Society

    Much research finds that human rights treaties fail to improve domestic practices unless governments are held accountable in some fashion. The implication is that noncompliance can be attributed to insincere commitments and willful disobedience. I challenge this claim for a core but overlooked treaty: the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR). Few analysts have studied the ICESCR because its terms are difficult to implement and suitable measures for judging compliance are hard to find.

  9. “On Culture, Politics, and Poverty”

    The Great Recession, Occupy, and Black Lives Matter: all have helped raise public consciousness around issues of economic disadvantage. Leading figures from both major political parties have debated these issues, and the popular media has reported on a wide variety of stories relating to poverty and inequality. Everyday conversations among millions of Americans now include casual references to the 1%—and the 99%.

  10. Working at the Intersection of Race and Public Policy: The Promise (and Perils) of Putting Research to Work for Societal Transformation

    Today, race and ethnicity scholars generate a wealth of important research that documents the parameters of racial and/or ethnic inequality, how such inequality persists, and how it relates to, or intersects with, other dimensions of social life. Here we argue that these scholars should devote their abundant intellectual energies not only to illuminating the parameters and causes of racial injustice but also to producing work that might shift popular understandings and stimulate change.