American Sociological Association

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  1. Performative State-Formation in the Early American Republic

    How do proto-state organizations achieve an initial accumulation of power, such that they are in a position to grow (or shrink) as an organization, maintain their prestige (or lose it), and be viewed, by elite and populace, as something real and consequential that can be argued about, supported, or attacked?
  2. Scientific Elite: Nobel Laureates in the United States

    Zuckerman’s well-written book provides a comprehensive study of Nobel Laureates in the United States. The process by which the Nobel Prize is awarded is examined as a case study of the reward and evaluation system in science. Analysis is based on an impressive array of data.
  3. Students Under Stress

    With surveys, participant observation, depth interviews, and sociometry, David Mechanic researched twenty-three University of Wisconsin sociology graduate students preparing for their comprehensive examinations. His report deserves thorough utilization by two types of researchers: those concerned with the sociology of psychiatric disorders; and sociologists of higher education. Mechanic’s study was first released in 1962 and has received a fair amount of attention, but not nearly what it deserves and will hopefully receive with this reissue.
  4. Navigating the Process of Curriculum Redesign in Sociology: Challenges and Lessons from One Program

    The American Sociological Association has produced a wide range of reports and materials addressing curricular best practices. Collectively, those materials are an invaluable resource for guiding revisions of the sociology major, but they do not address processes for implementing such revisions. In this conversation piece, we describe the steps by which our department implemented a thorough curricular redesign—a process nearing completion after five years of formal discussions, and with roots reaching back even farther.
  5. Who Counts as a Notable Sociologist on Wikipedia? Gender, Race, and the “Professor Test”

    This paper documents and estimates the extent of underrepresentation of women and people of color on the pages of Wikipedia devoted to contemporary American sociologists. In contrast to the demographic diversity of the discipline, sociologists represented on Wikipedia are largely white men. The gender and racial/ethnic gaps in likelihood of representation have exhibited little change over time. Using novel data, we estimate the “risk” of having a Wikipedia page for a sample of contemporary sociologists.
  6. Do Well-off Families Compensate for Low Cognitive Ability? Evidence on Social Inequality in Early Schooling from a Twin Study

    This article bridges the literature on educational inequality between and within families to test whether high–socioeconomic status (SES) families compensate for low cognitive ability in the transition to secondary education in Germany. The German educational system of early-ability tracking (at age 10) represents a stringent setting for the compensatory hypothesis. Overall, previous literature offers inconclusive findings.
  7. Textual Spanning: Finding Discursive Holes in Text Networks

    We propose a measure of discursive holes well suited for the unique properties of text networks built from document similarity matrices considered as dense weighted graphs. In this measure, which we call textual spanning, documents similar to documents dissimilar from one another receive a high score, and documents similar to documents similar to one another receive a low score. After offering a simulation-based validation, we test the measure on an empirical document similarity matrix based on a preestimated topic-model probability distribution.
  8. Asymmetric Fixed-effects Models for Panel Data

    Standard fixed-effects methods presume that effects of variables are symmetric: The effect of increasing a variable is the same as the effect of decreasing that variable but in the opposite direction. This is implausible for many social phenomena. York and Light showed how to estimate asymmetric models by estimating first-difference regressions in which the difference scores for the predictors are decomposed into positive and negative changes. In this article, I show that there are several aspects of their method that need improvement.

  9. 2018 Presidential Address: Feeling Race: Theorizing the Racial Economy of Emotions

    In this presidential address, I advance a theoretical sketch on racialized emotions—the emotions specific to racialized societies. These emotions are central to the racial edifice of societies, thus, analysts and policymakers should understand their collective nature, be aware of how they function, and appreciate the existence of variability among emoting racial subjects. Clarity on these matters is key for developing an effective affective politics to challenge any racial order. After the sketch, I offer potential strategies to retool our racial emotive order as well as our racial selves.
  10. The Conscripted Curriculum and the Reproduction of Racial Inequalities in Contemporary U.S. Medical Education

    In their attempt to address racial disparities in the provision of healthcare, the U.S. medical profession has reproduced racial inequalities of their own. In this article, I draw upon interview data with medical educators and students to detail how medical educators routinely offload the instruction on the social underpinnings and consequences of race onto students, particularly students of color. I develop the concept of the conscripted curriculum to capture how students’ social identities are utilized by educators in the professionalization process.