American Sociological Association

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Beyond Tracking and Detracking: The Dimensions of Organizational Differentiation in Schools

    Schools use an array of strategies to match curricula and instruction to students’ heterogeneous skills. Although generations of scholars have debated ‘‘tracking’’ and its consequences, the literature fails to account for diversity of school-level sorting practices.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Review Essay: Back to the Future

    In one of my undergraduate courses, I show students a photo of Paul Lazarsfeld and Frank Stanton. Of course, neither social scientist is familiar to them, but I argue to my students that Lazarsfeld had a bigger impact on the daily practice of sociology than any member of the Marx/Weber/Durkheim triumvirate they study in classical theory.

  8. 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.

  9. “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.

  10. Why Do Advantaged People Feel Unhappy? Effects of Materialistic Values on Subjective Well-Being

    This article aims to explore the relationship between income and happiness. As shown by the Easterlin paradox, the relationship between income and happiness is not simple but indeed is rather complicated. The author used finite mixtures of regression models to analyze the data from the National Survey of Social Stratification and Social Mobility conducted in Japan and implemented computer simulations based on the results of the finite mixtures of regression models to examine how changes in social values influence the relationship between income and happiness.