American Sociological Association

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  1. 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.

  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. 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.

  5. “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.

  6. 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.

  7. Cabdrivers and Their Fares: Temporal Structures of a Linking Ecology

    The author argues that behind the apparent randomness of interactions between cabdrivers and their fares in Warsaw is a temporal structure. To capture this temporal structure, the author introduces the notion of a linking ecology. He argues that the Warsaw taxi market is a linking ecology, which is structured by religious time, state time, and family time. The author then focuses on waiting time, arguing that it too structures the interactions between cabdrivers and their fares.

  8. Advancing Identity Theory: Examining the Relationship between Activated Identities and Behavior in Different Social Contexts

    This study advances identity theory by testing the impact of (moral) identity activation on behavior in different social contexts. At a large southwestern university, 343 undergraduate students completed a survey that measured meanings of their moral identity. Later they completed a laboratory task in which they were awarded more points than they deserved. Participants were given the opportunity to admit (or not admit) the improper point reward.

  9. 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.

  10. Stigmatization of War Veterans with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): Stereotyping and Social Distance Findings

    Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) affects a significant portion of the US population, but there remains limited information on public responses to affected individuals. Diagnosed mental illnesses can lead to negative stereotyping by the public, who can then socially exclude or otherwise discriminate. This paper presents results of an experiment (N = 830) that assessed the extent to which workers with PTSD labels—either resulting from an auto accident or wartime military service—evoked negative stereotypes in a workplace scenario and social distance from study participants.