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  1. Study Explores Reasons Behind Alcohol Abuse in Non-Heterosexual Women

    Non-heterosexual women who feel a disconnect between who they are attracted to and how they identify themselves may have a higher risk of alcohol abuse, according to a new study led by Amelia E. Talley, an assistant professor in Texas Tech University's Department of Psychological Sciences.

  2. Consumers Increasingly Face Companies’ Creative Smoke and Mirrors, Study Finds

    Heavily marketed as a safer, healthful alternative to smoking, electronic cigarettes are under fire from California health officials who have declared "vaping" a public health threat, hoping to head off the type of deceptive manipulation that tobacco companies succeeded with for decades, according to researchers. 

  3. 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.

  4. Getting the Most Out of the U.S. Healthcare System

    Kids with life-threatening illnesses need cutting-edge technology and medical expertise, but families face uneven access and paths to such care.

  5. 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.

  6. "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.

  7. Civic Stratification and the Exclusion of Undocumented Immigrants from Cross-border Health Care

    This paper proposes a theoretical framework and an empirical example of the relationship between the civic stratification of immigrants in the United States, and their access to healthcare. We use the 2007 Pew Hispanic Center/Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Hispanic Healthcare Survey, a nationally representative survey of U.S. Latinos (N = 2,783 foreign-born respondents) and find that immigrants who are not citizens or legal permanent residents are significantly more likely to be excluded from care in both the United States and across borders.

  8. Cancer Diagnosis and Mental Health among Older White Adults: Moderating Role for Social Networks?

    Cancer is a life-changing condition for many American seniors, and a growing body of literature is assessing the mental health implications of living with the disease. This article builds from the well-known buffering hypothesis with insights from recent cancer research to investigate whether social networks moderate the association between cancer and mental health for older men and women.

  9. Uncertain Expertise and the Limitations of Clinical Guidelines in Transgender Healthcare

    To alleviate uncertainty in the specialized field of transgender medicine, mental and physical healthcare providers have introduced the rhetoric of evidence-based medicine (EBM) in clinical guidelines to help inform medical decision making. However there are no diagnostic tests to assess the effectiveness of transgender medical interventions and no scientific evidence to support the guidelines. Using in-depth interviews with a purposive sample of 23 healthcare providers, I found that providers invoked two strategies for negotiating the guidelines.

  10. A Multilevel Test of Constrained Choices Theory: The Case of Tobacco Clean Air Restrictions

    According to Bird and Rieker’s sociology of constrained choices, decisions and priorities concerning health are shaped by the contexts—including policy, community, and work/family—in which they are formulated. While each level received attention in the original and subsequent research, we contend their constrained choices theory provides a powerful multilevel framework for modeling health outcomes. We apply this framework to tobacco clean air restrictions, combining a comprehensive database of tobacco policies with the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 from ages 19 to 31.