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  1. Why Petroleum Did Not Save the Whales

    Ironically, even though fossil fuels provided substitutes for the main uses of whale oil, the rise of fossil fuel use in the nineteenth century served to increase the intensity of whaling. The connections between fossil fuels and whaling are an example of the unanticipated consequences that frequently come with technological change. I draw on political-economic theory to explain why fossil fuels served to escalate rather than eliminate whaling.
  2. ASA President Eduardo Bonilla-Silva Responds to Chief Justice John Roberts

    Last week, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, during oral arguments in the gerrymandering case Gill v Whitford, referred to social science as "sociological gobbledygook." ASA President Eduardo Bonilla-Silva has responded in a letter, the content of which is below. You can also download a .pdf of the letter here


    Dear Chief Justice John Roberts:

  3. U.S. has 5 percent of world's population, but had 31 percent of its public mass shooters from 1966-2012

    Despite having only about 5 percent of the world's population, the United States was the attack site for a disproportionate 31 percent of public mass shooters globally from 1966-2012, according to research presented at the 2015 Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association (ASA).

  4. Going Out: A Sociology of Public Outings

    In this article we propose a framework for description and analysis of public life by treating “outings” as a unit of sociological analysis. Studying outings requires bracketing a concern with bounded places and isolated encounters. Instead, descriptions of outings track people as they organize trips “out,” including their preparations, turning points, and post hoc reflections. We emphasize how people understand and contextualize their time in public by linking situated moments of public life to the outing’s unfolding trajectory and to people’s biographical circumstances.
  5. The Algorithmic Rise of the “Alt-Right”

    As with so many technologies, the Internet’s racism was programmed right in—and it’s quickly fueled the spread of White supremacist, xenophobic rhetoric throughout the western world.
  6. (Good) Debt is an Asset

    Raphael Charron-Chenier and Louise Seamster on debt and social inequality.
  7. Can Reducing Income Inequality Decouple Economic Growth from CO2 Emissions?

    In the past two decades, income inequality has steadily increased in most developed nations. During this same period, the growth rate of CO2 emissions has declined in many developed nations, cumulating to a recent period of decoupling between economic growth and CO2 emissions. The aim of the present study is to advance research on socioeconomic drivers of CO2 emissions by assessing how the distribution of income affects the relationship between economic growth and CO2 emissions.
  8. The Cultural-Cognitive Mapping of Scientific Professions

    Even with widespread interest, public perceptions of science remain understudied and poorly theorized by social scientists. A central issue has been the persistent assumption that publics require a base of scientific knowledge for science to have broad cultural meaning. Yet, recent advances in cultural and cognitive sociology point to alternative research programs seeking to identify how publics come to understand complex and uncertain issues, when information is incomplete and asymmetric.
  9. Dual Autonomies, Divergent Approaches: How Stratification in Medical Education Shapes Approaches to Patient Care

    The United States relies on international and osteopathic medical graduates (“non-USMDs”) to fill one third of residency positions because of a shortage of American MD graduates (“USMDs”). Non-USMDs are often informally excluded from top residency positions, while USMDs tend to fill the most prestigious residencies. Little is known, however, about whether the training in these different settings is comparable or how it impacts patients.
  10. Marxist Thought and the City

    First published in Paris in 1972, Marxist Thought and the City is the latest collection of urban writings by the French social thinker Henri Lefebvre to appear in English translation. The book is a close reading of the largely fragmentary urban reflections in the work of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. While it is written a bit like a comprehensive exam, Lefebvre manages to turn this simple exercise into a vibrant book of contemporary (and still fresh) urban theory.