American Sociological Association

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  1. From Waste to Resources? Interrogating ‘Race to the Bottom’ in the Global Environmental Governance of the Hazardous Waste Trade

    The rise of global environmental governance regimes allegedly contradicts the process of an environmental “race to the bottom” (RTB) that results from capitalist globalization. We examine new developments in this area through a qualitative case study of the Basel Convention. Here, we find that new regulations in toxic wastes governance are in fact being co-created with industry actors and aim to accelerate the flow of toxic “resources” to less-developed countries.

  2. The Parallels between Mass Incarceration and Mass Deportation: An Intersectional Analysis of State Repression

    In the spring of 2014, President Obama’s administration reached a landmark of over 2 million deportations—more in under six years than the sum total of all deportations prior to 1997. Mass deportation has not affected all communities equally: the vast majority of deportees are Latin American and Caribbean men. Today, nearly 90 percent of deportees are men, and over 97 percent of deportees are Latin American or Caribbean. This article explores the global context under which mass deportation has occurred and draws parallels with mass incarceration.
  3. Piracy in a Contested Periphery: Incorporation and the Emergence of the Modern World-System in the Colonial Atlantic Frontier

    This article uses world-systems analysis to examine the role that pirates and privateers played in the competition between European core states in the Atlantic and Caribbean frontier during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Piracy was an integral part of core-periphery interaction, as a force that nations could use against one another in the form of privateers, and as a reaction against increasing constraints on freedom of action by those same states, thus forming a semiperiphery.
  4. Complaint-Oriented Policing: Regulating Homelessness in Public Space

    Over the past 30 years, cities across the United States have adopted quality-of-life ordinances aimed at policing social marginality. Scholars have documented zero-tolerance policing and emerging tactics of therapeutic policing in these efforts, but little attention has been paid to 911 calls and forms of third-party policing in governing public space and the poor.
  5. Ending the Stalemate: Toward a Theory of Anthro-Shift

    For years, sociologists who study society and the environment have focused on resolving the debate regarding the relationship between economic development and environmental degradation. Studies from a family of critical perspectives tend to find that economic development is antithetical to environmental protection, whereas a suite of more optimistic perspectives has uncovered more hopeful findings. We attempt to resolve these differences by situating this debate within the larger framework of the anthro-shift.
  6. On Assemblages and Things: Fluidity, Stability, Causation Stories, and Formation Stories

    This article conducts a dialogue and creates a new synthesis between two of the most influential ontological discourses in the field of sociology: assemblage theory and critical realism. The former proposes a focus on difference, fluidity, and process, the latter a focus on stability and structure. Drawing on and assessing the work of Deleuze, DeLanda, and Bhaskar, we argue that social ontology must overcome the tendency to bifurcate between these two poles and instead develop an ontology more suited to explaining complex social phenomena by accommodating elements of both traditions.
  7. Is Urbanization Good for the Climate? A Cross-County Analysis of Impervious Surface, Affluence, and the Carbon Intensity of Well-Being

    We contribute to literature exploring the socioecological impact of urban development as a multidimensional project, one in which changes to landscape features complement changes in demographic and administrative measures to co-constitute the socioecological impact of urbanity. We use a random coefficients modeling approach to examine U.S. relationships between the intensity of impervious surface within a county, population density in impervious areas, and carbon intensity of well-being (CIWB)—here constructed using industrial emissions.

  8. Who Speaks for (and Feeds) the Community? Competing Definitions of “Community” in the Austin, TX, Urban Farm Debate

    Alternative food supporters claim that food produced outside the corporate system can improve the wellbeing of communities. A closer look at these claims raises the question: How are members of the alternative food movement defining “community” and who is being included in and excluded from these definitions? We draw from in‐depth interviews with (1) urban famers and their supporters and (2) neighborhood members of gentrifying East Austin to examine irreconcilable disputes on the process of rewriting Austin's urban farm code.

  9. Increasing American Political Tolerance: A Framework Excluding Hate Speech

    According to prior research, political tolerance has either stagnated since the 1970s (if to be tolerant one must be tolerant of every group in all circumstances) or steadily increased (if tolerance is measured using an index, averaging across groups). Using General Social Survey cross-sectional and panel data on civil liberties, this article proposes a new framework: separating out the groups that use hate speech from those that may be only controversial. The United States is unique among Western liberal democracies in not having a prohibition against hate speech.

  10. Racial Inequities in the Federal Buyout of Flood-Prone Homes: A Nationwide Assessment of Environmental Adaptation

    One way the U.S. government is responding to the challenges of climate change is by funding the purchase of tens of thousands of flood-prone homes in more than 500 cities and towns across the country. This study provides a nationwide analysis of that program, extending beyond cost-benefit calculations to investigate racial inequities at different scales of local implementation, from county-level adoption, through neighborhood-level participation, to homeowner approval.