American Sociological Association



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  1. 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.

  2. The Purposes of Refugee Education: Policy and Practice of Including Refugees in National Education Systems

    This article explores the understood purposes of refugee education at global, national, and school levels. To do so, we focus on a radical shift in global policy to integrate refugees into national education systems and the processes of vernacularization accompanying its widespread implementation. We use a comparative case study approach; our dataset comprises global policy documents and original interviews (n = 147) and observations in 14 refugee-hosting nation-states.
  3. Racial and Other Sociodemographic Disparities in Terrorism Sting Operations

    Previous research suggests a high prevalence of entrapment in post-9/11 terrorism sting operations, but it is unknown whether entrapment abuses are disproportionately targeted at specific racial/ethnic, religious, or socioeconomic groups. Drawing on Black’s theory of law, symbolic threat theory, and research on stereotypes, cognitive biases, and institutional incentives, the authors hypothesize that government agents and informants will use problematic tactics disproportionately against certain marginalized groups.

  4. Analyzing Meaning in Big Data: Performing a Map Analysis Using Grammatical Parsing and Topic Modeling

    Social scientists have recently started discussing the utilization of text-mining tools as being fruitful for scaling inductively grounded close reading. We aim to progress in this direction and provide a contemporary contribution to the literature. By focusing on map analysis, we demonstrate the potential of text-mining tools for text analysis that approaches inductive but still formal in-depth analysis.
  5. Intersubjectivity, Normativity, and Grammar

    Interactants depend on background knowledge and commonsense inferences to establish and maintain intersubjectivity. This study investigates how the resources of language—or more specifically, of grammar—can be mobilized to address moments when such inferences might risk jeopardizing understanding in lieu of promoting it. While such moments may initially seem to undermine the normative commonsensicality of the particular inference(s) in question, the practice examined here is shown to legitimize those inferences through the very act of setting them aside.

  6. How Do We “Do Gender”? Permeation as Over-Talking and Talking Over

    Gendered expectations are imported from the larger culture to permeate small-group discussions, creating conversational inequalities. Conversational roles also emerge from the negotiated order of group interactions to reflect, reinforce, and occasionally challenge these cultural patterns. The authors provide a new examination of conversational overlaps and interruptions. They show how negotiated conversational roles lead a status distinction (gender) to shape conversational inequality.

  7. Aggressive Policing and the Educational Performance of Minority Youth

    An increasing number of minority youth experience contact with the criminal justice system. But how does the expansion of police presence in poor urban communities affect educational outcomes? Previous research points at multiple mechanisms with opposing effects. This article presents the first causal evidence of the impact of aggressive policing on minority youths’ educational performance. Under Operation Impact, the New York Police Department (NYPD) saturated high-crime areas with additional police officers with the mission to engage in aggressive, order-maintenance policing.
  8. Being “on Point”: Exploring the Stress-related Experiences of Incarceration

    Prior studies establish a link between incarceration and stress-related health, but relatively little is known about perceived stressors among current and former prisoners. To better understand the stress-related experiences of this population, in-depth interviews were conducted with 25 former inmates in upstate New York and northeast Ohio in 2012 and 2013. Participants were asked about their health during and after prison, with all participants describing aspects of their incarcerations as stressful.
  9. Visualizing Police Exposure by Race, Gender, and Age in New York City

    This figure depicts the disparities in average police stops in New York City from 2004 to 2012, disaggregated by race, gender, and age. Composed of six bar charts, each graph in the figure provides data for a particular population at the intersection of race and gender, focusing on black, white, and Hispanic men and women. Each graph also has a comparative backdrop of the data on police stops for black males.
  10. Community Crime Prevention in High‐Crime Areas: The Seattle Neighborhood Group Hot Spots Project

    Hot spots policing, in which police resources are directed toward small geographic areas with high crime levels, has been widely implemented and evaluated, but less is known about the effectiveness of nonpolice efforts to address high‐crime locations. Here, we examine the effectiveness of two hot spot interventions led by a community‐based nonprofit organization in Seattle, Washington. We use interrupted time series analysis to assess changes in total calls, as well as drug and disorder events at each site and in catchment areas surrounding each site.