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  1. Preventing Violence: Insights from Micro-Sociology

    Micro-sociology of violence looks at what happens in situations where people directly threaten violence, but only sometimes carry it out. This process and its turning points have become easier to see in the current era of visual data: cell-phone videos, long-distance telephoto lenses, CCTV cameras. New cues and instruments are on the horizon as we look at emotional signals, body rhythms, and monitors for body signs such as heart rate (a proxy for adrenaline level).
  2. Do Readers Judge Books by Author Gender? Results from a Randomized Experiment

    We run a randomized experiment to examine gender discrimination in book purchasing with 2,544 subjects on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. We manipulate author gender and book genre in a factorial design to study consumer preferences for male versus female versus androgynous authorship. Despite previous findings in the literature showing gender discrimination in book publishing and in evaluations of work, respondents expressed no gender preference across a variety of measures, including quality, interest, and the amount they were willing to pay to purchase the book.

  3. CASM: A Deep-Learning Approach for Identifying Collective Action Events with Text and Image Data from Social Media

    Protest event analysis is an important method for the study of collective action and social movements and typically draws on traditional media reports as the data source. We introduce collective action from social media (CASM)—a system that uses convolutional neural networks on image data and recurrent neural networks with long short-term memory on text data in a two-stage classifier to identify social media posts about offline collective action. We implement CASM on Chinese social media data and identify more than 100,000 collective action events from 2010 to 2017 (CASM-China).
  4. Why Are Women Penalized in Product Markets?

    Previous research using data from eBay found that women receive lower prices than men when selling the exact same products. The current project explores why this gender gap obtains and why some products have larger gender price gaps than others. To answer these questions, we exploit the variation in the gender price gap across products found in the earlier eBay data together with new survey data on the perceptions people have about seemingly male-typed and female-typed products and about people’s uncertainty about the prices of products.

  5. Sociology, Teaching, and Reflective Practice: Using Writing to Improve

    The scholarly literature on teaching sociology contains relatively little about improving courses from one semester to the next. In this article, I describe a method for continual teaching improvement that is based on writing, the well-established practice of teacher reflection, and classical sociological principles. This method was developed through the analysis of nine semesters of autoethnographic data that I collected in the form of daily reflective notes.

  6. Exploring Classroom Climate in Sociology Courses Using Syllabi

    The classroom climate shapes students’ learning and instructors’ teaching experience in profound ways. This study analyzes classroom climate statements in syllabi from various sociology courses to understand the extent that sociology instructors highlight climate issues and how climate is conceptualized in their syllabi. Drawing from data from two different times periods (pre-2005 and post-2010), the current study examines the frequency of classroom climate statements, the factors that may contribute to the presence of a statement, and themes within these statements.

  7. “I Understand What They’re Going through”: How Socioeconomic Background Shapes the Student Service-learning Experience

    Traditional service-learning pedagogy assumes that learning occurs when contact between relatively advantaged students and a relatively disadvantaged service population reduces prejudice. However, little is known about how students whose backgrounds are similar to the populations they serve process this learning experience. This study explores the connections between socioeconomic status and learning trajectories within service-learning. Students provided written reflections on a service-learning experience focused on food insecurity as part of course requirements.

  8. Integrating Community-based Research into a Senior Capstone Seminar: Lessons Learned from a Mixed-methods Study

    This article describes a senior capstone, Neighborhoods and Health, which used community-based research (CBR) as its primary pedagogy. Students in the course drew upon multiple research methods and forms of data to provide our partner, the Urban Farming Institute of Boston, with an array of research products in support of the revitalization of a historic farm in the Boston neighborhood of Mattapan.

  9. Collective Social Identity: Synthesizing Identity Theory and Social Identity Theory Using Digital Data

    Identity theory (IT) and social identity theory (SIT) are eminent research programs from sociology and psychology, respectively. We test collective identity as a point of convergence between the two programs. Collective identity is a subtheory of SIT that pertains to activist identification. Collective identity maps closely onto identity theory’s group/social identity, which refers to identification with socially situated identity categories. We propose conceptualizing collective identity as a type of group/social identity, integrating activist collectives into the identity theory model.
  10. Medicalization, Direct-to-Consumer Advertising, and Mental Illness Stigma

    In late 1997, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued new guidelines that allowed pharmaceutical companies to air prescription drug ads on television. These guidelines have expanded the pharmaceutical industry’s role as one of the major “engines” of medicalization. One arena in which there has been a dramatic increase in direct-to-consumer advertising (DTCA) of pharmaceuticals is the marketing of psychotherapeutic drugs, especially for depression.