American Sociological Association

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  1. The Sociology of Gaslighting

    Gaslighting—a type of psychological abuse aimed at making victims seem or feel “crazy,” creating a “surreal” interpersonal environment—has captured public attention. Despite the popularity of the term, sociologists have ignored gaslighting, leaving it to be theorized by psychologists. However, this article argues that gaslighting is primarily a sociological rather than a psychological phenomenon. Gaslighting should be understood as rooted in social inequalities, including gender, and executed in power-laden intimate relationships.
  2. Complaint-Oriented Policing: Regulating Homelessness in Public Space

    Over the past 30 years, cities across the United States have adopted quality-of-life ordinances aimed at policing social marginality. Scholars have documented zero-tolerance policing and emerging tactics of therapeutic policing in these efforts, but little attention has been paid to 911 calls and forms of third-party policing in governing public space and the poor.
  3. Making It Count: Using Real-World Projects for Course Assignments

    Previous scholarship has demonstrated the value of high-impact practices of community engagement, inquiry-based pedagogy, and collaborative learning for engagement and learning in sociology courses, especially undergraduate research methods and statistics. This article explores the changes made to an upper-division undergraduate course focused on applied research practices and community-level interventions.
  4. Between Tolerant Containment and Concerted Constraint: Managing Madness for the City and the Privileged Family

    How do public safety net and elite private mental health providers cope with a key dilemma since psychiatric deinstitutionalization—managing madness when people have the right to refuse care? I observed two approaches to voluntary community-based services, one that tolerates “non-compliance” and deviant choices, and another that attempts to therapeutically discipline clientele. The puzzle, given theories of the paternalistic governance of poverty, is that select poor patients are given autonomy while the privileged are micro-managed.

  5. Theory Here and Now

    Social Theory Now is a stimulating volume that advances the domains of, and approaches to, contemporary social theory and represents an important new point of reference for those interested in the current state of theorizing. Readers will find familiar topics and subfields characterized in interesting and often novels ways and are likely to be introduced to new authors or concepts. The volume as a whole is attentive to the major new innovations and controversies in conceptualizing social life, and the chapters bear repeated consultation for the fresh formulations they give of these theories.
  6. Textual Spanning: Finding Discursive Holes in Text Networks

    We propose a measure of discursive holes well suited for the unique properties of text networks built from document similarity matrices considered as dense weighted graphs. In this measure, which we call textual spanning, documents similar to documents dissimilar from one another receive a high score, and documents similar to documents similar to one another receive a low score. After offering a simulation-based validation, we test the measure on an empirical document similarity matrix based on a preestimated topic-model probability distribution.
  7. Intergenerational Association of Maternal Obesity and Child Peer Victimization in the United States

    Drawing on the intergenerational stress proliferation theory, the courtesy stigma thesis, and the buffering ethnic culture thesis, this study examines the association between maternal obesity and child’s peer victimization and whether this association varies for white and black children. Based on longitudinal data from a nationally representative sample of mother–child pairs in the U.S.
  8. “It’s Hard to Be Around Here”: Criminalization of Daily Routines for Youth in Baltimore

    The authors examine how youth in Baltimore experience criminalization in their everyday routines in two key social settings, schools and neighborhoods, and how this can affect their transition to adulthood. Respondents are African Americans between the ages of 15 and 24 who have spent some of their childhood in Baltimore’s poorest neighborhoods. The authors conducted qualitative, semistructured, in-depth interviews with 150 respondents.
  9. Getting to Know You: Welfare Fraud Investigation and the Appropriation of Social Ties

    State-level public assistance agencies completed nearly a million SNAP fraud investigations in fiscal year 2016. These investigations hinge on compiling incriminating information about clients. Drawing on interviews with welfare fraud workers in five U.S. states, this article shows how fraud investigators creatively exploit clients’ social networks to extract such information, and thus use clients’ social ties against them. Investigators gain some information through elective cooperation, when people voluntarily implicate others.
  10. The Heavy Hands of the State

    The modern state is that ensemble of fields of struggle among actors, agencies, and institutions over the capacity and right to monopolize not only the legitimate means of physical violence, as Max Weber famously argued, but also the means of symbolic violence over a given territory and its inhabitants. So argues Pierre Bourdieu, whose critical sociology of symbolic power is globally one of the most widely acknowledged approaches in sociology today.