American Sociological Association

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  1. Social Relationships and Health: A Flashpoint for Health Policy

    Social relationships—both quantity and quality—affect mental health, health behavior, physical health, and mortality risk. Sociologists have played a central role in establishing the link between social relationships and health outcomes, identifying explanations for this link, and discovering social variation (e.g., by gender and race) at the population level.

  2. Stress and Health: Major Findings and Policy Implications

    Forty decades of sociological stress research offer five major findings. First, when stressors (negative events, chronic strains, and traumas) are measured comprehensively, their damaging impacts on physical and mental health are substantial. Second, differential exposure to stressful experiences is a primary way that gender, racial-ethnic, marital status, and social class inequalities in physical and mental health are produced. Third, minority group members are additionally harmed by discrimination stress.

  3. Where Are All of the Women? Untangling the Effects of Representation, Participation, and Preferences on Gender Differences in Political Press Coverage

    The author examines why female politicians continue to be underrepresented in the press by measuring how structural inequalities, engagement in traditional and disruptive dialogue, and gender preferences influence the amount of press coverage U.S. House representatives receive.
  4. Union, Premium Cost, and the Provision of Employment-based Health Insurance

    The decline of employment-based health plans is commonly attributed to rising premium costs. Using restricted data and a matched sample from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey–Insurance Component, the authors extend previous studies by testing the relationships among premium costs, employment relationships, and the provision of health benefits between 1999 and 2012. The authors report that both establishment- and state-level union densities are associated with a higher likelihood of employers’ providing health plans, whereas right-to-work legislation is associated with lower provision.
  5. Biases of Online Political Polls: Who Participates?

    With a large portion of the population online and the high cost of phone-based surveys, querying people about their voter preference online can offer an affordable and timely alternative. However, given that there are biases in who adopts various sites and services that are often used as sampling frames (e.g., various social media), online political polls may not represent the views of the overall population. How are such polls biased? Who is most likely to participate in them?
  6. Shifting Racial Subjectivities and Ideologies in Brazil

    Census ethnoracial categories often reflect national ideologies and attendant subjectivities. Nonetheless, Brazilians frequently prefer the non-census terms moreno (brown) and negro (black), and both are core to antithetical ideologies: racial ambiguity versus racial affirmation. Their use may be in flux as Brazil recently adopted unprecedented race-targeted public policy. We examine propensities to self-classify as moreno and negro before and after the policy shift.
  7. Teaching Content Analysis through Harry Potter

    Content analysis is a valuable research tool for social scientists that unfortunately can prove challenging to teach to undergraduate students. Published classroom exercises designed to teach content analysis have thus far been predominantly envisioned as lengthy projects for upper-level courses. A brief and engaging exercise may be more beneficial for introductory social science courses in which less time can be allotted to any one topic, such as content analysis.

  8. Discovering Race in a “Post-Racial” World: Teaching Race through Primetime Television

    Teaching students about race remains a challenging task for instructors, made even more difficult in the context of a growing “post-racial” discourse. Given this challenge, it is important for instructors to find engaging ways to help students understand the continuing significance of race and racial/ethnic inequality. In this article, we detail an exercise that asks students to analyze representations of race/ethnicity on network television for one week as a way of illustrating white dominance, white privilege, and racial inequality.

  9. Letter Regarding the Proposed Legal Definition of Sex

    According to a memo obtained by The New York Times on October 21, the Department of Health and Human Services is seeking to establish a legal definition of sex under Title IX based on “a biological basis that is clear, grounded in science, objective and administrable.” The proposed definition would allow only a binary classification that is immutable and based on genitalia at birth. ASA sent a letter to the Secretary of DHHS expressing strong objection to this proposal which fails to reflect the findings from extensive sociological literature on this subject.

  10. Poverty Dynamics, Parenting, and Child Mental Health in Canada

    Although the detrimental effects of poverty on child mental health are well established, questions remain as to which aspects of poverty matter most and which mechanisms account for the association. This study tested the relative influence of depth of current poverty and poverty duration on child anxiety/depression and antisocial behavior, then evaluated whether parenting practices mediated observed associations.