American Sociological Association

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  1. Review Essays: Disciplines, Area Studies, and Publics: Rethinking Sociology in a Global World

    Hiro Saito reviews Japan Copes with Calamity: Ethnographies of the Earthquake, Tsunami and Nuclear Disasters of March 2011, edited by Tom Gill, Brigitte Steger, and David H. Slater.

  2. “I Did Not Miss Any, Only When I Had a Valid Reason”: Accounting for Absences from Sociology Classes

    In this study we explore how absence from sociology classes is understood by undergraduate students at University College Dublin. The authors use Scott and Lyman’s (1968) concept of accounts to explore absence sociologically. Drawing on data generated via focus groups, an open-ended questionnaire, and an online survey with students, we outline the different excuses and justifications for missing classes used by students and present their understanding of attendance at classes as an optional feature of student life.

  3. 2014 Hans O. Mauksch Address: Neoliberalism and Higher Education: How a Misguided Philosophy Undermines Teaching Sociology

    This article argues that neoliberalism is a critical public issue influencing the apparently private troubles of college students and teachers. For example, earning a college degree has become ever more important for success; yet, because of declining state support for public education, students are taking on extraordinary levels of debt. As a result, learning is being pushed aside by vocational and other considerations that result from neoliberal policy imperatives.

  4. The Bourgeoisie Dream Factory

    Effectively teaching sociological theories to undergraduate students is challenging. Students often enroll in theory courses due to major requirements, not personal interest. Consequently, many students approach the study of theory with anxiety. This study examined the effectiveness of an experiential learning activity designed to teach Karl Marx’s theory of alienation. Based on pretest/posttest surveys, responses to open-ended questions, and observational data, students reported that the activity helped them gain a clearer understanding of Marx.

  5. 2013 Presidential Address: Why Status Matters for Inequality

    To understand the mechanisms behind social inequality, this address argues that we need to more thoroughly incorporate the effects of status—inequality based on differences in esteem and respect—alongside those based on resources and power. As a micro motive for behavior, status is as significant as money and power. At a macro level, status stabilizes resource and power inequality by transforming it into cultural status beliefs about group differences regarding who is “better” (esteemed and competent).

  6. Other People's Racism: Race, Rednecks, and Riots in a Southern High School

    This article uses data drawn from nine months of fieldwork and student, teacher, and administrator interviews at a southern high school to analyze school racial conflict and the construction of racism. We find that institutional inequalities that stratify students by race and class are routinely ignored by school actors who, we argue, use the presence of so-called redneck students to plausibly deny racism while furthering the standard definition of racism as blatant prejudice and an individual trait.

  7. Teaching about Race and Ethnicity: Trying to Uncover White Privilege for a White Audience

    Teaching about Race and Ethnicity: Trying to Uncover White Privilege for a White Audience