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  1. Ecometrics in the Age of Big Data: Measuring and Assessing "Broken Windows" Using Large-scale Administrative Records

    The collection of large-scale administrative records in electronic form by many cities provides a new opportunity for the measurement and longitudinal tracking of neighborhood characteristics, but one that will require novel methodologies that convert such data into research-relevant measures. The authors illustrate these challenges by developing measures of "broken windows" from Boston’s constituent relationship management (CRM) system (aka 311 hotline).

  2. Featured Essay: Why Sociologists Matter in the Welfare Reform Debate

    In the 1960s, public support for Aid for Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), a federal program that provided cash benefits to eligible poor families with children, began to erode (Teles 1996). Critics of welfare associated the growing number of unwed mothers with the rising rates of AFDC, even though the scientific evidence offered scant support for this claim.
  3. Seeing Like the Fed: Culture, Cognition, and Framing in the Failure to Anticipate the Financial Crisis of 2008

    Seeing Like the Fed: Culture, Cognition, and Framing in the Failure to Anticipate the Financial Crisis of 2008
  4. Third Generation Disadvantage among Mexican Americans

    Among Mexican Americans, generational differences in education do not fit with assimilation theory’s predictions of significant improvement from the second to third generation; instead, education for third generation remains similar to the second generation and falls behind that of non-Hispanic whites. Scholars have not examined this educational gap for recent cohorts, nor have they considered a wide range of economic outcomes by generation.
  5. It’s High Time

    Scholars share essays on American states' broad marijuana prohibitions.

  6. Rich Friends, Poor Friends: Inter–Socioeconomic Status Friendships in Secondary School

    The author examines friendships between students from different socioeconomic groups, investigating the factors that make these relationships more likely and comparing these relationships with those between students from different races, which have been studied more extensively. Consistent with previous research, the results reveal that student homogeneity is positively related to social interaction in schools but that these relationships are not always straightforward with regard to socioeconomic status.

  7. Multiple Dimensions of Peer Effects and Deviance: The Case of Prescription Drug Misuse among Young Adults

    Sociological research has demonstrated that peers play a role in patterns of deviance. Yet, examinations of competing mechanisms in continued patterns of deviance are less well developed. We simultaneously examine multiple peer mechanisms of action on prescription drug misuse. Results identify drug sources, peer group norms, and a desire to enhance social experiences as important factors in the frequency of misuse, non-oral administration, and dependence, whereas peer pressure had no effect net of other peer factors.
  8. Race, Class, and the Framing of Drug Epidemics

    by Rebecca Tiger in the Fall 2017 Contexts

    As America’s opiate epidemic rages on, calls for “treatment not punishment” dominate the national media. The hypocrisy of this response is not lost on a range of commentators: the reported move away from criminalization, they argue, is yet another example of racist drug policy. White people get treatment and poor people of color get punishment. Again.

  9. 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.
  10. 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.