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  1. Thinking with Bourdieu against Bourdieu: A ‘Practical’ Critique of the Habitus

    There are two strands in Bourdieu's sociological writings. On the one hand, Bourdieu argues for a theoretical position one might term his “practical theory” which emphasizes virtuosic interactions between individuals. On the other hand, and most frequently, Bourdieu appeals to the concept of the habitus according to which society consists of objective structures and determined—and isolated—individuals.

  2. The Meaning of 'Theory'

    ‘Theory’ is one of the most important words in the lexicon of contemporary sociology. Yet, their ubiquity notwithstanding, it is quite unclear what sociologists mean by the words ‘theory,’ ‘theoretical,’ and ‘theorize.’ I argue that confusions about the meaning of ‘theory’ have brought about undesirable consequences, including conceptual muddles and even downright miscommunication. In this paper I tackle two questions: (a) what does ‘theory’ mean in the sociological language?; and (b) what ought ‘theory’ to mean in the sociological language? I proceed in five stages.

  3. Data Collection as Disruption: Insights from a Longitudinal Study of Young Adulthood

    Research disrupts the social world, often by making respondents aware that they are being observed or by instigating reflection upon particular aspects of life via the very act of asking questions. Building on insights from the first Hawthorne studies, reflexive ethnographers, and methodologists concerned with panel conditioning, we draw on six years of research within a community in southern Malawi to introduce a conceptual framework for theorizing disruption in observational research.

  4. Essay: Sociology's New Steps?

    It was the devastating problems linked to the dramatic shift from farm to factory during the nineteenth century that fueled sociology’s origins, whether we turn to Comte, Marx, Weber, Durkheim, or Simmel. Building on the eighteenth-century Enlightenment spirit of the power of reason and freedom as well as the triumphs of the biophysical sciences, they envisaged a powerful science of human behavior that could solve those problems.

  5. Profit as Social Rent: Embeddedness and Stratification in Markets

    This article shows how research on the social structure of markets may contribute to the analysis the growing income inequality in contemporary capitalist economies. The author proposes a theoretical link between embeddedness and social stratification by discussing the role of institutions and networks in markets for the distribution of economic profits between firms. The author claims that we must understand profit and free competition as opposites, as economic theory does.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Americans’ Perceptions of Transgender People’s Sex: Evidence from a National Survey Experiment

    Drawing on the first national survey experiment of its kind (n = 3,922), the authors examine Americans’ perceptions of transgender people’s sex and the factors that underlie these perceptions. The authors randomly assigned respondents to a vignette condition describing a transgender person whose self-identified gender (i.e., identifies as a man or a woman), age (i.e., adult or teenager), and gender conformity in physical appearance (i.e., conforming, nonconforming, ambiguous, or unspecified) had been experimentally manipulated.

  9. Emergence of Third Spaces: Exploring Trans Students’ Campus Climate Perceptions Within Collegiate Environments

    Our study aims to understand trans students’ perceptions of campus climate, with a particular focus on students’ demographics, academic experiences, and cocurricular experiences. We use Bhabha’s concept of third space as an epistemological lens and Rankin and Reason’s transformational tapestry model as a theoretical framework. Using a national sample of 207 trans collegians from the National LGBTQ Alumnx Survey, we utilize regression analysis supplemented by an analysis of open-ended responses to highlight the experiences of trans respondents.

  10. Trends in U.S. Gender Attitudes, 1977 to 2018: Gender and Educational Disparities

    These figures display gender- and education-related gaps in U.S. gender attitudes from 1977 to 2018. The authors use data from the General Social Survey (N = 57,224) to estimate the historical trajectory of U.S. attitudes about women in politics, familial roles, and working motherhood. Of all attitudes analyzed, Americans hold the most liberal attitudes toward women in politics, with no gender gap and little educational difference on this issue. Attitudes toward familial roles have the largest educational gap but a small gender difference.