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  1. Coleman’s Boat Revisited: Causal Sequences and the Micro-macro Link

    This article argues that empirical social scientists can be freed from having to account for “micro-to-macro transitions.” The article shows, in opposition to the (still) dominant perspective based on Coleman’s macro-micro-macro model, that no micro-macro transitions or mechanisms connect the individual level to the macro level in empirical social science. Rather, when considering that social macro entities and properties are micro manifest rather than macro manifest, it becomes clear that the micro-macro move in empirical social science is purely conceptual or analytical.
  2. Visualizing Stochastic Actor-based Model Microsteps

    This visualization provides a dynamic representation of the microsteps involved in modeling network and behavior change with a stochastic actor-based model. This video illustrates how (1) observed time is broken up into a series of simulated microsteps and (2) these microsteps serve as the opportunity for actors to change their network ties or behavior. The example model comes from a widely used tutorial, and we provide code to allow for adapting the visualization to one’s own model.

  3. Encultured Biases: The Role of Products in Pathways to Inequality

    Recent sociological work shows that culture is an important causal variable in labor market outcomes. Does the same hold for product markets? To answer this question, we study a product market in which selection decisions occur absent face-to-face interaction between intermediaries and short-term contract workers. We find evidence of “product-based” cultural matching operating as a pathway to inequality.
  4. Text Analysis with JSTOR Archives

    I provide a visual representation of keyword trends and authorship for two flagship sociology journals using data from JSTOR’s Data for Research repository. While text data have accompanied the digital spread of information, it remains inaccessible to researchers unfamiliar with the required preprocessing. The visualization and accompanying code encourage widespread use of this source of data in the social sciences.

  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. The Possessive Investment in White Sociology

    In this feature review we explore the idea that the discipline is collectively, possessively invested in a particular version of itself—white sociology. We think through some of the key elements of this investment, its consequences, and explore possible ways to divest from it.
  8. Dietary Assimilation among Mexican Children in Immigrant Households: Code-switching and Healthy Eating across Social Institutions

    Immigrant health assimilation is often framed as a linear, individualistic process. Yet new assimilation theory and structural theories of health behavior imply variation in health assimilation as immigrants and their families interact with different US social institutions throughout the day. We test this idea by analyzing how two indicators of dietary assimilation—food acculturation and healthy eating—vary throughout the day as Mexican children in immigrant households consume food in different institutional settings.
  9. Featured Essay: Lost and Saved . . . Again: The Moral Panic about the Loss of Community Takes Hold of Social Media

    Why does every generation believe that relationships were stronger and community better in the recent past? Lamenting about the loss of community, based on a selective perception of the present and an idealization of ‘‘traditional community,’’ dims awareness of powerful inequalities and cleavages that have always pervaded human society and favors deterministic models over a nuanced understanding of how network affordances contribute to different outcomes. Taylor Dotson’s (2017) recent book proposes a broader timeline for the demise of community.
  10. Gender, Socioeconomic Status, and Diet Behaviors within Brazilian Families

    Existing literature documents the key role that parents play in transmitting diet behaviors to their children; however, less is known about differences by parent and child gender within families, especially with attention to household socioeconomic status (SES). We use nationally representative household data from Brazil and ask how parent-child associations of diet behavior differ by gender within lower- and higher-SES households.