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  1. Historical Sociology’s Puzzle of the Missing Transitions

    Prominent accounts of the transition to capitalism have a far too limited understanding of pre-capitalist agrarian economies’ potential for dynamism. Recent research shows that conditions earlier accounts identify as triggers for a transition to capitalism could be present without a transition occurring. I expand on implications of these cases of “missing transitions” for theorizing the dynamics of pre-capitalist agrarian economies.

  2. The Scholar Celebrated: The Work of W.E.B. Du Bois

    This special themed Book Review section is built around a review of Aldon Morris’s groundbreaking The Scholar Denied, a book that has argued for W.E.B. Du Bois’s inclusion as a founder of the discipline of sociology. Indeed, Crystal Fleming’s review kicks off this set of pieces.
  3. Theorizing at the Margins: Du Bois, The Scholar Denied, and the Matter of Black Lives

    Who could deny the enduring relevance of Du Bois’s nearly century-long record of achievement and the genius of this brilliant scholar’s mind? In fact, as Aldon Morris chronicles in The Scholar Denied, almost all of Du Bois’s white peers—and subsequent generations of white sociologists—worked very hard to ignore, undermine, and minimize the accomplishments of the multitalented and multilingual scholar, activist, and educator.
  4. Policy Entrepreneurs and the Origins of the Regulatory Welfare State: Child Labor Reform in Nineteenth-Century Europe

    Industrial child labor laws were the earliest manifestation of the modern regulatory welfare state. Why, despite the absence of political pressure from below, did some states (but not others) succeed in legislating working hours, minimum ages, and schooling requirements for working children in the first half of the nineteenth century? I use case studies of the politics behind the first child labor laws in Germany and France, alongside a case study of a failed child labor reform effort in Belgium, to answer this question.
  5. Hooking Up and Dating are Two Sides of a Coin

    Tracy Luff, Kristi Hoffman, and Marit Berntson on a false divide.

  6. ASA President Writes Letter in Defense of Jan Tomasz Gross

    ASA President Michèle Lamont recently wrote President Andrzej Duda, Chancellery of the President of the Republic of Poland criticizing a new Polish law that significantly harms academic freedom. The law punishes those who study Poland's past and reach a well researched conclusion that is opposite to the Polish government's narrative. 

    Lamont urges that no charges be filed against Professor Gross. Gross has written about Poles complicity in the persecution of Jews during WWII.

  7. Relationships: Cutting the Cord Is Easier Said Than Done

    Chances are, you have someone in your life who causes a lot of tension and stress. Difficult relationships are common. They are also commonly difficult to evade. Who are these people and why can't we just cut the cord?

    New research explores these questions and sheds light on the answers. Plain and simple: They are people you are stuck with, either because you need them or because you can't ignore them.

  8. Review Essays: A Comparative Approach to Social Differences

    Rogers Brubaker is well known in the sociology of race and ethnicity for the critique of “groupist” tendencies in his now-classic Ethnicity without Groups. In Grounds for Difference, Brubaker extends his comparative and constructionist lens beyond ethnicity; he argues that in recent decades sociological theories of social difference have been challenged by the return to scholarly and popular prominence of three age-old social forces: inequality, biology, and religion.
  9. Definitions and the Development of Theory in Social Psychology

    Formal definitions specify what is necessary and sufficient for the identification of a particular term. These formal definitions use precise language and do not admit contradictions; they are exact class. There are multiple advantages of exact class definitions. They enable us to confidently use deductive arguments so we can ensure that the terms in the premises match the terms in the conclusion. They prevent sloppiness and circularity of logic. They also help us look beyond common sense or what we think we already know.
  10. From “Ridiculous” to “Glad to Have Helped”: Debriefing News Delivery and Improved Reactions to Science in Milgram’s “Obedience” Experiments

    Commentators on Milgram’s classic and controversial experiments agree that better integration of theories of “obedience to authority” with current archival research on participants’ viewpoints is essential in explaining compliance. Using conversation analysis, we examine an archived data source that is largely overlooked by the Milgram literature, yet crucial for understanding the interactional organization of participants’ displayed perspectives. In hundreds of interviews conducted immediately after each experiment, participants received one of two types of debriefing: deceptive or full.