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  1. Defining the State from within: Boundaries, Schemas, and Associational Policymaking

    A growing literature posits the importance of boundaries in structuring social systems. Yet sociologists have not adequately theorized one of the most fraught and consequential sites of boundary-making in contemporary life: the delineation of the official edges of the government—and, consequently, of state from society. This article addresses that gap by theorizing the mechanisms of state boundary formation. In so doing, we extend culturalist theories of the state by providing a more specific model of how the state-society boundary is produced.

  2. The Origins of Race-conscious Affirmative Action in Undergraduate Admissions: A Comparative Analysis of Institutional Change in Higher Education

    What explains the rise of race-conscious affirmative action policies in undergraduate admissions? The dominant theory posits that adoption of such policies was precipitated by urban and campus unrest in the North during the late 1960s. Based on primary research in a sample of 17 selective schools, we find limited support for the dominant theory. Affirmative action arose in two distinct waves during the 1960s. A first wave was launched in the early 1960s by northern college administrators inspired by nonviolent civil rights protests in the South.

  3. Saving Children, Controlling Families: Punishment, Redistribution, and Child Protection

    This study shows that state efforts at child protection are structured by the policy regimes in which they are enmeshed. Using administrative data on child protection, criminal justice, and social welfare interventions, I show that children are separated from their families and placed into foster care far more frequently in states with extensive and punitive criminal justice systems than in states with broad and generous welfare programs.
  4. 2016 Hans O. Mauksch Address

    Teaching Sociology, Volume 45, Issue 1, Page 1-13, January 2017.
  5. Relationships between the Public and Crimmigration Entities in North Carolina: A 287(g) Program Focus

    How does local law enforcement, with the aid of city and county governments, respond to racialized immigrant threat through policy implementation, namely, through adoption of intergovernmental agreements? More specifically, how is this response tailored for Latino immigrant communities, particularly in new destination communities?
  6. Lean Enough: Institutional Logics of Best Practice and Managerial Satisficing in American Manufacturing

    Lean Enough: Institutional Logics of Best Practice and Managerial Satisficing in American Manufacturing
  7. 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.
  8. Channeling Hearts and Minds: Advocacy Organizations, Cognitive-Emotional Currents, and Public Conversation

    Do advocacy organizations stimulate public conversation about social problems by engaging in rational debate, or by appealing to emotions? We argue that rational and emotional styles of communication ebb and flow within public discussions about social problems due to the alternating influence of social contagion and saturation effects. These “cognitive-emotional currents” create an opportunity structure whereby advocacy organizations stimulate more conversation if they produce emotional messages after prolonged rational debate or vice versa.
  9. A New Political Generation: Millennials and the Post-2008 Wave of Protest

    Building on Karl Mannheim’s theory of generations, this address argues that U.S. Millennials comprise a new political generation with lived experiences and worldviews that set them apart from their elders. Not only are they the first generation of “digital natives,” but, although they are more educated than any previous U.S. generation, they face a labor market in which precarity is increasingly the norm.
  10. Paradoxes of Social Policy: Welfare Transfers, Relative Poverty, and Redistribution Preferences

    Korpi and Palme’s (1998) classic “The Paradox of Redistribution and Strategies of Equality” claims that universal social policy better reduces poverty than social policies targeted at the poor. This article revisits Korpi and Palme’s classic, and in the process, explores and informs a set of enduring questions about social policy, politics, and social equality.