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  1. The Struggle to Save Abortion Care

    by Carole Joffe, Summer 2018 Contexts

  2. Beyond Health Effects? Examining the Social Consequences of Community Levels of Uninsurance Pre-ACA

    The lack of health insurance is traditionally considered a problem faced by individuals and their families. However, because of the geographically bounded organization and funding of healthcare in the United States, levels of uninsurance in a community may affect everyone living there. Health economists have examined how the effects of uninsurance spillover from the uninsured to the insured, negatively affecting healthcare access and quality for the insured.
  3. Social Networks and Health in a Prison Unit

    Although a growing body of research documents lasting health consequences of incarceration, little is known about how confinement affects inmates’ health while incarcerated. In this study, we examine the role of peer social integration and prisoners’ self-reported health behaviors (smoking, exercise, perception of health, and depression) in a prison unit. We also consider whether inmates with similar health characteristics cluster within the unit.
  4. Economic Expectations of Young Adults

    In uncertain economic times, who are those young adults that show positive expectations about their economic future? And who are those who worry? Based on previous stratification research and extending economic sociology insights into the realm of young people’s economic expectations, we focus on the impact of family class background and a sense of current meaningful community relations on young adults’ general and job-specific economic expectations.
  5. The Social Construction of Illness: Key Insights and Policy Implications

    The social construction of illness is a major research perspective in medical sociology. This article traces the roots of this perspective and presents three overarching constructionist findings. First, some illnesses are particularly embedded with cultural meaning—which is not directly derived from the nature of the condition—that shapes how society responds to those afflicted and influences the experience of that illness. Second, all illnesses are socially constructed at the experiential level, based on how individuals come to understand and live with their illness.

  6. Review Essays: In Search of Social Ties amid Abandonment: A Review of Abandoned Families and Surviving Poverty

    Judging by their titles alone, a reader might expect that Abandoned Families: Social Isolation in the Twenty-First Century, by Kristin Seefeldt, and Surviving Poverty: Creating Sustainable Ties among the Poor, by Joan Maya Mazelis, focus on very similar subject matter. Both concern themselves with social ties among the poor, a topic that has long been of interest to scholars and has been debated intensely since Carol Stack first documented the necessity of kin and fictive-kin ties for poverty survival (Stack 1974).

  7. The Relevance of Organizational Sociology

    Brayden G. King reviews Manufacturing Morals: The Values of Silence in Business School Education by Michel Anteby, Hyper-Organization: Global Organizational Expansion by Patricia Bromley and John W. Meyer, The Vanishing American Corporation: Navigating the Hazards of a New Economy by Gerald F. Davis and The Fracturing of the American Corporate Elite by Mark S. Mizruchi. 

  8. Union, Premium Cost, and the Provision of Employment-based Health Insurance

    The decline of employment-based health plans is commonly attributed to rising premium costs. Using restricted data and a matched sample from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey–Insurance Component, the authors extend previous studies by testing the relationships among premium costs, employment relationships, and the provision of health benefits between 1999 and 2012. The authors report that both establishment- and state-level union densities are associated with a higher likelihood of employers’ providing health plans, whereas right-to-work legislation is associated with lower provision.
  9. It’s Only Wrong If It’s Transactional: Moral Perceptions of Obfuscated Exchange

    A wide class of economic exchanges, such as bribery and compensated adoption, are considered morally disreputable precisely because they are seen as economic exchanges. However, parties to these exchanges can structurally obfuscate them by arranging the transfers so as to obscure that a disreputable exchange is occurring at all.
  10. The Social Ecology of Speculation: Community Organization and Non-occupancy Investment in the U.S. Housing Bubble

    The housing boom of the mid-2000s saw the widespread popularization of non-occupant housing investment as an entrepreneurial activity within U.S. capitalism. In 2005, approximately one sixth of all mortgage-financed home purchases in the United States were for investment purposes. This article develops a sociological account that links the geographic distribution of popular investment to the social and institutional organization of communities.