American Sociological Association

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  1. 2012 Presidential Address: Transforming Capitalism through Real Utopias

    This address explores a broad framework for thinking sociologically about emancipatory alternatives to dominant institutions and social structures, especially capitalism. The framework is grounded in two foundational propositions: (1) Many forms of human suffering and many deficits in human flourishing are the result of existing institutions and social structures. (2) Transforming existing institutions and social structures in the right way has the potential to substantially reduce human suffering and expand the possibilities for human flourishing.

  2. The Bourgeoisie Dream Factory

    Effectively teaching sociological theories to undergraduate students is challenging. Students often enroll in theory courses due to major requirements, not personal interest. Consequently, many students approach the study of theory with anxiety. This study examined the effectiveness of an experiential learning activity designed to teach Karl Marx’s theory of alienation. Based on pretest/posttest surveys, responses to open-ended questions, and observational data, students reported that the activity helped them gain a clearer understanding of Marx.

  3. Using a Social Science–Fictional Play to Teach about Global Capitalism and Macro-structural Systems in Introduction to Sociology

    This article explores the use of a social science–fictional play to teach macro-structural concepts related to global capitalism and surplus labor in a small and large Introduction to Sociology course. Relying on a cross-disciplinary and critical pedagogical approach that combines theory and practice to empower students to develop a critical consciousness of the world around them, the authors develop an active learning exercise centered on an in-class reading of the dystopian play I Like Firing People written by sociologists Charles Derber and Yale Magrass.
  4. Empowerment Gone Bad: Communicative Consequences of Power Transfers

    Empowerment as a positively connoted concept has been studied extensively in applied research in different fields. Yet its unfavorable, paradoxical character has so far not received enough theoretical attention to make it possible to improve empowerment efforts.
  5. Religion among Scientists in International Context: A New Study of Scientists in Eight Regions

    Scientists have long been associated with religion’s decline around the world. But little data permit analysis of the religiosity of scientists or their perceptions of the science-faith interface.
  6. The Connection between Neighboring and Volunteering

    Sociological theory predicts that volunteers are likely to be more socially integrated into their communities than nonvolunteers. In this study, we test this theory by examining three dimensions of relations to neighbors—contact, social engagement, and the perception that neighbors trust each other. We hypothesize reciprocal relations between volunteering and these three measures.

  7. Exchange, Identity Verification, and Social Bonds

    Although evidence reveals that the social exchange process and identity verification process each can produce social bonds, researchers have yet to examine their conjoined effects. In this paper, we consider how exchange processes and identity processes separately and jointly shape the social bonds that emerge between actors. We do this with data from an experiment that introduces the fairness person identity (how people define themselves in terms of fairness) in a negotiated exchange context.
  8. Estimating Income Statistics from Grouped Data: Mean-constrained Integration over Brackets

    Researchers studying income inequality, economic segregation, and other subjects must often rely on grouped data—that is, data in which thousands or millions of observations have been reduced to counts of units by specified income brackets.
  9. Item Location, the Interviewer–Respondent Interaction, and Responses to Battery Questions in Telephone Surveys

    Survey researchers often ask a series of attitudinal questions with a common question stem and response options, known as battery questions. Interviewers have substantial latitude in deciding how to administer these items, including whether to reread the common question stem on items after the first one or to probe respondents’ answers. Despite the ubiquity of use of these items, there is virtually no research on whether respondent and interviewer behaviors on battery questions differ over items in a battery or whether interview behaviors are associated with answers to these questions.
  10. Comment: Bayes, Model Uncertainty, and Learning from Data

    The problem of model uncertainty is a fundamental applied challenge in quantitative sociology. The authors’ language of false positives is reminiscent of Bonferroni adjustments and the frequentist analysis of multiple independent comparisons, but the distinct problem of model uncertainty has been fully formalized from a Bayesian perspective.