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  1. Sacred Alters: The Effects of Ego Network Structure on Religious and Political Beliefs

    Does who we know impact how strongly we believe? The claim seems reasonable, but research linking social network composition to political beliefs has produced conflicting results. We argue that methodological differences in measuring close ties can explain these inconsistencies and that work on the sacred umbrella provides a useful framework for moving forward. The sacred umbrella argues that when people close to you share your religious beliefs, you are shielded from doubt and uncertainty; perhaps the same mechanism also operates for political views.
  2. Talking Your Self into It: How and When Accounts Shape Motivation for Action

    Following Mills, several prominent sociologists have encouraged researchers to analyze actors’ motive talk not as data on the subjective desires that move them to pursue particular ends but as post hoc accounts oriented toward justifying actions already undertaken.
  3. “Daddies,” “Cougars,” and Their Partners Past Midlife: Gender Attitudes and Relationship and Sexual Well-Being among Older Adults in Age-Heterogenous Partnerships

    Discussion of “daddies” has exploded in popular discourse, yet there is little sociological research on age-heterogenous partnerships. This paper uses data from the 2013 Midlife in the United States survey and the 2015–2016 National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project to examine age-heterogenous partnerships at older ages (63 was the approximate average age of each sample).

  4. Freedom and Frustration: Rachel Dolezal and the Meaning of Race

    Where ethnoracial boundaries are treated as rigid and real, their consequences are also rigid and real. But if Rachel Dolezal had lived in Brazil, she would have been just another negra frustrada.

  5. Uncertainty and Social Influence

    Much research documents that uncertainty is an important factor in the social influence process. We argue that there are two senses in which uncertainty plays a role. First, task uncertainty is a necessary but variable condition for social influence to occur. Second, uncertainty reduction is a mechanism producing social influence. We discuss how tasks can vary in the level of uncertainty they entail and how this impacts the mechanisms resulting in social influence. In this context, we predict that task uncertainty moderates social influence and that uncertainty reduction mediates it.
  6. The Temporal Logic of Deservingness: Inequality Beliefs in Two Postsocialist Societies

    Employing a cultural sociological approach, this article asks how individuals from two postsocialist societies articulate principles of justice by providing narrative accounts of other peoples’ perceived choices and social mobility trajectories after 1989.
  7. Freedom and the Iranian Women’s Movement

    The women of Iran are intimately familiar with repression and segregation. Iran’s mandatory dress code—veiling—is but one of many restrictions that regulate and control women’s bodies and shape their sense of agency and freedom.
  8. Toward a Hermeneutic Model of Cultural Globalization: Four Lessons from Translation Studies

    Many scholars study the global diffusion of culture, looking at how institutions spread culture around the world or at how intermediaries (or “cultural brokers”) adapt foreign culture in the local context. This research can tell us much about brokers’ “cultural-matching” or “congruence-building” strategies. To date, however, few scholars have examined brokers’ interpretive work. In this article, the author argues that globalization research needs to pay more attention to interpretation.

  9. Advancing Identity Theory: Examining the Relationship between Activated Identities and Behavior in Different Social Contexts

    This study advances identity theory by testing the impact of (moral) identity activation on behavior in different social contexts. At a large southwestern university, 343 undergraduate students completed a survey that measured meanings of their moral identity. Later they completed a laboratory task in which they were awarded more points than they deserved. Participants were given the opportunity to admit (or not admit) the improper point reward.

  10. Religion and Sexual Behaviors: Understanding the Influence of Islamic Cultures and Religious Affiliation for Explaining Sex Outside of Marriage

    Social scientists have long been interested in how cultural and structural characteristics shape individuals’ actions. We investigate this relationship by examining how macro- and micro-level religious effects shape individuals’ reports of premarital and extramarital sex. We look at how identifying with one of the major world religions—Islam, Hinduism, Christianity, Buddhism, or Judaism—and living in a nation with a Muslim culture shape the likelihood of sex outside of marriage.