American Sociological Association

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  1. Statement on the Importance of Free Movement of Scholars Across Borders

    ASA has recently been alerted to efforts by the Israeli government to tighten restrictions on international academics who teach at Palestinian institutions of higher education.
     

  2. 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.

  3. Beyond Social Contagion: Associative Diffusion and the Emergence of Cultural Variation

    Network models of diffusion predominantly think about cultural variation as a product of social contagion. But culture does not spread like a virus. We propose an alternative explanation we call associative diffusion. Drawing on two insights from research in cognition—that meaning inheres in cognitive associations between concepts, and that perceived associations constrain people’s actions—we introduce a model in which, rather than beliefs or behaviors, the things being transmitted between individuals are perceptions about what beliefs or behaviors are compatible with one another.
  4. The Role of Social Media in Collective Processes of Place Making: A Study of Two Neighborhood Blogs in Amsterdam

    The wide use of social media has facilitated new social practices that influence place meaning. This paper uses a double case study of two neighborhood blogs in gentrifying communities, to explore the role of social media in sharing place associations and community formation. Drawing on Collins’ theory of interaction ritual chains, this research project investigates how the intertwining of online and offline interaction around the blogs creates interaction chains whereby the place associations of participants in the blog become more aligned, creating an alternative place narrative.

  5. Neighborhood Diversity and the Rise of Artist Hotspots: Exploring the Creative Class Thesis Through a Neighborhood Change Lens

    The diversity of the U.S. urban population has increased dramatically in recent decades, yet the processes through which population diversity may be driving neighborhood change remain insufficiently understood. Building on Claude Fischer's subcultural theory of urbanism and other classic sociological insights, this article makes the case that population diversity shapes the character of place and drives the spatial clustering of artists and art organizations.

  6. Regulating Landlords: Unintended Consequences for Poor Tenants

    This paper explores “hidden” ways by which cities may inadvertently undermine access to decent, stable, affordable housing—especially for vulnerable renter households—through regulations that sanction landlords for tenant activities on their property.

  7. Opportunity for Whom? The Diverse Definitions of Neighborhood Opportunity in Baltimore

    Across the United States, communities are increasingly interested in the spatial structure of opportunity. Recently, several federal programs have promulgated opportunity mapping as a tool to help increase disadvantaged communities’ access to neighborhood opportunity. The increasing institutionalization of opportunity mapping raises questions about how opportunity is defined and by whom. This paper analyzes data from community engagement events held for a regional planning process throughout the Baltimore metropolitan area.

  8. Omnivorous Gentrification: Restaurant Reviews and Neighborhood Change in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver

    Through an analysis of restaurant reviews, this paper examines the production and consumption of food, as well as ideas and symbols about food, within a gentrifying neighborhood, the Downtown Eastside in Vancouver. In particular, it analyzes how reviewers frame culinary “authenticity” and attach symbolic value to a low‐income area of the city, while often acknowledging an emerging civil discourse that sees gentrification as a problem.

  9. Do‐It‐Yourself Urban Design: The Social Practice of Informal “Improvement” Through Unauthorized Alteration

    There are numerous ways in which people make illegal or unauthorized alterations to urban space.

  10. From Juvenile Delinquency to Adult Crime: Criminal Careers, Justice Policy, and Prevention

    Scott Decker reviews From Juvenile Delinquency to Adult Crime: Criminal Careers, Justice Policy, and Prevention edited by Rolf Loeber and David P. Farrington