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  1. Review Essays: Little Shop of Horrors? A Digital Age Startup’s Experiment with Radical Transparency

    TechCo, the conversational firm at the center of Catherine Turco’s ethnography, is a fast-growing social media marketing company. Turco opens The Conversational Firm: Rethinking Bureaucracy in the Age of Social Media by introducing the founders of the firm, Eric and Anil, whose mission is “radical openness” in the service of succeeding in the digital economy (p. 15). Eric and Anil believe their organization must be nimble, responding directly and personally to their business customers through social media of all types.
  2. The Uses of Ambiguity in Sociological Theorizing: Three Ethnographic Approaches

    Claims of causality and generalizability are the primary means through which sociologists triumph over ambiguity. Yet ambiguity also has significant uses in the process of theorizing.
  3. Enchanting Self-discipline: Methodical Reflexivity and the Search for the Supernatural in Charismatic Christian Testimonial Practice

    Social science has long operated under the assumption that enchantment, seeking out this-worldly manifestations of the supernatural, impedes the cultivation of self-discipline. How, then, to account for a Christian brotherhood whose testimonial practice is at once enchanting and disciplining of the self?
  4. The Deliberate Racism Making #Gaymediasowhite

    Once cloaked in non-descript brown wrappers and confined to back-alley magazine stores, gay media is now ubiquitous.

  5. Watching the Ethnographers

    Interrogating Ethnography: Why Evidence Matters by Steven Lubet Oxford University Press, 2017 216 pages

  6. Conformers, Adaptors, Imitators, and Rejecters: How No-excuses Teachers’ Cultural Toolkits Shape Their Responses to Control

    In the past, sociologists have provided keen insights into the work of teaching, but classic studies by scholars like Dan Lortie and Willard Waller are now decades old. With the current emphasis on teacher evaluation and accountability, the field is ripe for new sociological studies of teaching. How do we understand the work of teaching in this new context of control? In this article, I use the case of an urban, ‘‘no-excuses’’ charter school to examine how teachers responded to the school’s intensive effort to socialize them into a uniform set of disciplinary practices.
  7. Girls Rock the Stage and Smash the Patriarchy

    Trisha L. Crawshaw on a rock camp helping eqip kids to resist gender norms, acknowledge privilege, and confront racism.

  8. Glory and Gore

    Who’s the most important character in the Iliad? That depends. Using the poem, Rossman illustrates how to understand related but conceptually distinct concepts through social network analysis.

  9. 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.
  10. Interdependent Career Types and Divergent Standpoints on the Use of Advanced Technology in Medicine

    This paper uses the case of the uneven use of a robotic technology to explain how physicians with similar training come to engage in different medical practices. I develop a conceptual framework in which their decisions to use advanced technologies are informed by “interdependent career types,” a concept that incorporates features of the professional social context of physicians’ work and the expertise they use, and reflects how medicine distributes expertise via formal and informal referral structures.