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  1. People in Their 60s Uniquely Benefit From Giving Advice Despite Fewer Chances to Offer it

    A new study reveals that individuals in their 60s who give advice to a broad range of people tend to see their lives as especially meaningful. At the same time, this happens to be the age when opportunities for dispensing advice become increasingly scarce.

  2. Study Uses Internet and Social Media to Show How Fracking Documentary Influenced Public Perception and Political Change

    Social scientists have long argued documentary films are powerful tools for social change.

    But a University of Iowa (UI) sociologist and his co-researchers are the first to use the Internet and social media to systematically show how a documentary film reshaped public perception and ultimately led to municipal bans on hydraulic fracking.

  3. Elements of Professional Expertise: Understanding Relational and Substantive Expertise through Lawyers' Impact

    Lawyers keep the gates of public justice institutions, particularly through their roles in formal procedures like hearings and trials. Yet, it is not clear what lawyers do in such quintessentially legal settings: conclusions from past research are bedeviled by a lack of clear theory and inconsistencies in research design. Conceptualizing litigation work in terms of professional expertise, I conduct a theoretically grounded synthesis of the findings of extant studies of lawyers’ impact on civil case outcomes.

  4. "No Fracking Way!" Documentary Film, Discursive Opportunity, and Local Opposition against Hydraulic Fracturing in the United States, 2010 to 2013

    Recent scholarship highlights the importance of public discourse for the mobilization and impact of social movements, but it neglects how cultural products may shift discourse and thereby influence mobilization and political outcomes. This study investigates how activism against hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") utilized cultural artifacts to influence public perceptions and effect change. A systematic analysis of Internet search data, social media postings, and newspaper articles allows us to identify how the documentary Gasland reshaped public discourse.

  5. The Age-Graded Nature of Advice: Distributional Patterns and Implications for Life Meaning

    Drawing from life course, social networks, and developmental social psychology scholarship, this article considers how advice transmission varies across age groups and examines the age-contingent associations between advice-giving and life meaning. Binomial and ordered logistic regression using the 2006 Portraits of American Life Study (n = 2,583) reveal that adults in their twenties are most likely to report offering advice to multiple social targets.

  6. Who Are the People in Your Neighborhood? Neighborhood Age Composition and Age Discrimination

    Age discrimination is pervasive in the United States, yet little is known about the social contexts in which it occurs. Older persons spend much of their time in their neighborhoods, where a density of other older persons may protect against age discrimination. Extending group density theory to age, we analyze data from 1,561 older adults from the second wave of the National Survey of Midlife Development in the United States, using neighborhood-level data from the 2010 U.S. census.

  7. Healthy Time Use in the Encore Years: Do Work, Resources, Relations, and Gender Matter?

    Social engagement is theorized to promote health, with ages 55 to 75—what some call “encore” adulthood—potentially being a time for ongoing engagement or social isolation. We use the American Time Use Survey (N = 11,952) and a life course perspective to examine associations between paid work, resources, relations, and healthy time use for men and women in the first (55–64) and second (65–74) halves of the encore years. Work limits sufficient sleep (full-time working men) and television watching (all workers) but also time spent in physical activity (full-time workers).

  8. Physical Disability and Increased Loneliness among Married Older Adults: The Role of Changing Social Relations

    Examining the social context of disablement, we investigated how changes in social relations affect loneliness among married older men and women. With longitudinal data on 914 married persons from the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project (NSHAP), we found that changes in the quality of marital and nonmarital relations moderate the effect of disability on loneliness in unexpected ways. Increases in negative marital quality buffer the effect of physical disability, while increases in nonmarital support exacerbate it.

  9. The Social Connectedness of Older Adults: A National Profile

    For decades, scholars have wrestled with the assumption that old age is characterized by social isolation. However, there has been no systematic, nationally representative evaluation of this possibility in terms of social network connectedness. In this article, we develop a profile of older adults' social integration with respect to nine dimensions of interpersonal networks and voluntary associations. We use new data from the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project (NSHAP), a population-based study of noninstitutionalized older Americans ages 57 to 85, conducted in 2005 to 2006.

  10. Older People Benefit from Giving Advice

    A new study reveals that individuals in their 60s who give advice to a broad range of people tend to see their lives as especially meaningful. At the same time, this happens to be the age when opportunities for dispensing advice become increasingly scarce.