American Sociological Association



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  1. Review Essay: Public Engagement and the Influence Imperative

    These three books—Going Public: A Guide for Social Scientists, by Arlene Stein and Jessie Daniels; The Social Scientist’s Soapbox: Adventures in Writing Public Sociology, by Karen Sternheimer; and The Public Professor: How to Use Your Research to Change the World, by M. V. Lee Badgett—by three sociologists (Stein, Daniels, and Sternheimer) and an economist (Badgett) address the demand for guidance and support as academic sociologists respond to the disciplinary imperative to make our work more influential.
  2. Do They Have to Like It to Learn from It? Students’ Experiences, Group Dynamics, and Learning Outcomes in Group Research Projects

    Small-group pedagogies, such as group research projects, are a common instructional method in undergraduate education. The literature suggests that small-group learning has positive effects on learning outcomes, but some students have negative attitudes toward group work, and student complaints about negative group dynamics, such as free-riding, are common.
  3. Teaching Note: Social Networks and Labor Market Inequality: A Role-playing Activity to Teach Difficult Concepts

    Role-playing activities, as a form of active learning, enable instructors to teach difficult concepts in ways that better facilitate student learning. This note tests the effectiveness of a role-playing activity that simulates the job market: Most students play job seekers seeking employment, and a few play the employers who make employment decisions. However, students are constrained in that they can only talk to students they already know or meet during the game.
  4. Measuring Automatic Cognition: Advancing Dual-Process Research in Sociology

    Dual-process models are increasingly popular in sociology as a framework for theorizing the role of automatic cognition in shaping social behavior. However, empirical studies using dual-process models often rely on ad hoc measures such as forced-choice surveys, observation, and interviews whose relationships to underlying cognitive processes are not fully established.
  5. National Crimes: A New National Data Set of Lynchings in the United States, 1883 to 1941

    Historians are increasingly studying lynching outside of the American Southeast, but sociologists have been slow to follow. We introduce a new public data set that extends existing data on lynching victims to cover the contiguous United States from 1883 to 1941. These data confirm that lynching was a heterogeneous practice across the United States.

  6. Trends in U.S. Gender Attitudes, 1977 to 2018: Gender and Educational Disparities

    These figures display gender- and education-related gaps in U.S. gender attitudes from 1977 to 2018. The authors use data from the General Social Survey (N = 57,224) to estimate the historical trajectory of U.S. attitudes about women in politics, familial roles, and working motherhood. Of all attitudes analyzed, Americans hold the most liberal attitudes toward women in politics, with no gender gap and little educational difference on this issue. Attitudes toward familial roles have the largest educational gap but a small gender difference.

  7. Crossing Categorical Boundaries: A Study of Diversification by Social Movement Organizations

    When do protest organizations borrow issues or claims that are outside their traditional domains? Sociologists have examined the consequences of borrowing claims across movement boundaries, but not the antecedents of doing so. We argue that movement boundaries are strong when there is consensus about the core claims of a social movement, which we measure by cohesion and focus. Cohesion and focus enhance the legitimacy of a movement and impede member organizations from adopting claims associated with other movements.

  8. The Global Increase in the Socioeconomic Achievement Gap, 1964 to 2015

    The “socioeconomic achievement gap”—the disparity in academic achievement between students from high- and low-socioeconomic status (SES) backgrounds—is well-known in the sociology of education. The SES achievement gap has been documented across a wide range of countries. Yet in most countries, we do not know whether the SES achievement gap has been changing over time. This study combines 30 international large-scale assessments over 50 years, representing 100 countries and about 5.8 million students.

  9. Intragenerational Variations in Autobiographical Memory: China’s “Sent-Down Youth” Generation

    The relationship between generation and memory instantiates a theme central to sociology: the intersection between history and biography. This study addresses two gaps in the literature. First, whereas the dominant approach uses a cognitive concept of memory operationalized as naming events, I focus on autobiographical memory represented in life stories, in which members of a generation understand the meanings of their personal past as part of a historical event.

  10. Political Institutions and the Comparative Medicalization of Abortion

    Comparative-historical research on medicalization is rare and, perhaps for that reason, largely ignores political institutions, which tend to vary more across countries than within them. This article proposes a political-institutional theory of medicalization in which health care policy legacies, political decentralization, and constitutionalism shape the preferences, discourses, strategies, and influence of actors that seek or resist medicalization. The theory helps explain why abortion has been more medicalized in Britain than the United States.