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  1. Place and Perception: Constructions of Community and Safety across Neighborhoods and Residents

    Residents of urban neighborhoods derive a sense of place and connection to their neighborhoods through their engagement with the neighborhood, including both the people in it and its amenities. In addition, one's perception of a neighborhood shapes one's sense of safety and fear of crime. In this paper, we analyze data from 84 interviews with residents in three Boston neighborhoods that varied on demographics, crime levels, and association to stereotypes about crime.

  2. Race as an Open Field: Exploring Identity beyond Fixed Choices

    This paper uses new, nationally representative data to examine how Americans describe their own racial and ethnic identities when they are not constrained by conventional fixed categories. Recent work on shifting racial classifications and the fluidity of racial identities in the United States has questioned the subjective and cultural adequacy of fixed categorization schemes. Are traditional racial boundaries breaking down? We explore the possibility in three ways.
  3. “I’m Not Spanish, I’m from Spain”: Spaniards’ Bifurcated Ethnicity and the Boundaries of Whiteness and Hispanic Panethnic Identity

    This study counters potentially premature demographic and sociological claims of a large-scale Hispanic transition into mainstream whiteness. Via in-depth interviews and ethnographic observations of recently arrived Spanish immigrants in the United States, it presents a distinctive shift in American categorization logic, whereby race and ethnicity switch in order of everyday importance. Despite Spanish immigrants’ direct links to Europe and few structural social boundaries between them and mainstream U.S.
  4. Interethnic Contact in Integrated Churches: Mediation without Transformation of Majority-Roma Relations in Central Europe

    While intergroup contact and group position scholars have found that individuals can maintain prejudice despite associational contact and affective ties, this study finds that integrated organizations can specifically mediate ethnic relations through managing threat to the privileged majority’s group position. In Slovakia, where Roma are generally even more impoverished and interethnic relations are just as tense, group-level interethnic conflict occurs less often than in the neighboring Czech Republic.
  5. God’s Country in Black and Blue: How Christian Nationalism Shapes Americans’ Views about Police (Mis)treatment of Blacks

    Research shows that Americans who hold strongly to a myth about America’s Christian heritage—what is called “Christian nationalism”—tend to draw rigid boundaries around ethnic and national group membership. Incorporating theories connecting ethnic boundaries, prejudice, and perceived threat with a tendency to justify harsher penalties, bias, or excessive force against racial minorities, the authors examine how Christian nationalist ideology shapes Americans’ views about police treatment of black Americans.
  6. 2018 Hans O. Mauksch Address: Service Sociology for a Better World: A Critical and Imperative Strategy for Teaching and Learning in Sociology

    Service sociology is a critical strategy for teaching and learning in sociology. Even beyond that, service sociology is an imperative for communicating the value of our discipline to our students and other constituents. Using data collected from faculty members in Minnesota colleges and universities, I describe the salience of the sociology literacy framework for service sociology and as a means to avoid some of the weaknesses associated with service learning as a general pedagogy in our discipline.
  7. Reconceptualizing Participation Grading as Skill Building

    Two common ways that instructors assess participation in sociology courses are recalling participation by memory or counting times spoken during class in real time. However, these common assessments rely on faulty assumptions that do not support their usage. This article reconceptualizes participation grading as an opportunity to motivate skill building across a variety of dimensions. The evidence from two classes of 45 and 47 students demonstrates that this conceptualization can be effectively implemented in undergraduate courses.
  8. Extra Credit in the Sociology Classroom

    The role of extra credit in the college classroom has been examined as a philosophical and pedagogical issue, but in this project, we argue that the matter of extra credit is also a sociological one. Using survey data, we examine how college instructors’ status and individual demographic characteristics are related to the use of extra credit. We found that women and instructors with less teaching experience are more likely to offer extra credit.
  9. Analyzing the Social Construction of Media Claims: Enhancing Media Literacy in Social Problems Classes

    Recent research has called on scholars to develop pedagogical interventions to address issues of media literacy. This teaching note answers that call by describing a media literacy project designed for use in social problems classes. The project acquaints students to the constructionist approach to social problems and the method of content analysis. Guided by the principles of scaffolding, the note discusses how students are guided through a series of readings, assignments, and activities that enables them to analyze how social problems are portrayed in news media.
  10. Call Your Representatives: Connecting Classroom Learning to Real-world Policy Action

    This article presents an in-class exercise that teaches students how to call elected officials about a course-related issue of their choice. The goals are to connect classroom learning with real-life action, to show that contacting elected officials need not be difficult or intimidating, and to help students develop a sense of efficacy that can contribute to ongoing engagement. I describe the exercise and present evidence that it led students to call their elected officials, most for the first time ever.