American Sociological Association

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  1. Does Intra-household Contagion Cause an Increase in Prescription Opioid Use?

    Opioid use claims many thousands of lives each year. This article considers the diffusion of prescription opioid (PO) use within family households as one potential culprit of the proliferation of these medications. In an analysis of hundreds of millions of medical claims and almost 14 million opioid prescriptions in one state between 2010 and 2015, we show that the use of POs spreads within family households.

  2. Coloring Weight Stigma: On Race, Colorism, Weight Stigma, and the Failure of Additive Intersectionality

    America’s obsession with obesity has spawned increasing amounts of research examining how body size shapes social outcomes. Generally, body size negatively correlates with these outcomes, with larger people suffering lower self-esteem, marriage rates, and wages. However, these outcomes are unevenly distributed among racial groups, as black people counterintuitively seem robust to many of the ravages of weight discrimination.

  3. Ordinary Lives and the Sociological Character of Stress: How Work, Family, and Status Contribute to Emotional Inequality

    It has been thirty years since the publication of Leonard Pearlin’s (1989) “The Sociological Study of Stress.” This classic work left an indelible mark, shaping the way the field thinks about stressors, their emotional consequences, and the factors that influence the nature of the links between stressors and outcomes.

  4. Blood Donation across the Life Course: The Influence of Life Events on Donor Lapse

    This article examines how blood donation loyalty changes across the life course as a result of life events. Previous studies have shown that life events affect involvement in prosocial behavior, possibly as a result of loss of human and social capital. Using registry data from the blood collection agency in the Netherlands, linked to longitudinal survey data from the Donor InSight study (N = 20,560), we examined whether life events are related to blood donor lapse.

  5. Abandoning Medical Authority: When Medical Professionals Confront Stigmatized Adolescent Sex and the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccine

    Despite authority’s centrality to the medical profession, providers routinely forgo their medical authority during clinical encounters. Research focuses on patients challenging medical authority but indicates these confrontations are uncommon and providers seldom relinquish their authority in response. Using rare data of 75 audio recordings of adolescent vaccine discussions during clinical encounters and interviews with and observations of medical staff, I examine how staff leverage or abandon their medical authority to convince parents to vaccinate.

  6. Political Institutions and the Comparative Medicalization of Abortion

    Comparative-historical research on medicalization is rare and, perhaps for that reason, largely ignores political institutions, which tend to vary more across countries than within them. This article proposes a political-institutional theory of medicalization in which health care policy legacies, political decentralization, and constitutionalism shape the preferences, discourses, strategies, and influence of actors that seek or resist medicalization. The theory helps explain why abortion has been more medicalized in Britain than the United States.

  7. Wayward Elites: From Social Reproduction to Social Restoration in a Therapeutic Boarding School

    In the past few decades, a multi-billion-dollar “therapeutic boarding school” industry has emerged largely for America’s troubled upper-class youth. This article examines the experiences of privileged youth in a therapeutic boarding school to advance social restoration as a new form of social reproduction. Drawing on interviews and fieldwork inside a Western therapeutic boarding school for young men struggling with substance abuse, I explore how students leverage a stigmatized, addict identity in ways that can restore privilege.

  8. Queer Integrative Marginalization: LGBTQ Student Integration Strategies at an Elite University

    The author draws on the oral histories of 44 LGBTQ Princeton alumni who graduated from 1960 to 2011 to examine student strategies for negotiating marginal identities when integrating into an elite university. Even with greater LGBTQ visibility and resources at the institutional level, LGBTQ students’ experiences and strategies suggest that we question the larger social narrative of linear progress.

  9. The Effect of Serious Offending on Health: A Marginal Structural Model

    In this study, we contribute to the emerging scholarship at the intersection of crime and health by estimating the effect of serious offending on offenders’ health. By building on sociological stress research, we identify and adjust for the key life course processes that may intervene on the pathway from offending to health using a rich set of measures available in the panel data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health.
  10. Inmate Mental Health and the Pains of Imprisonment

    We use national data on 5,552 inmates and the 214 state prisons in which they reside to examine how prison conditions are associated with mental health symptoms net of individual-level factors. Structural equation models indicate that prison overcrowding and punitiveness are positively related to both depression and hostility, while the availability of work assignments is negatively related to both mental health indicators. The proportion of inmates whose home is more than 50 miles from the prison was positively associated with depression.