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  1. Blended Learning as a Potentially Winning Combination of Face-to-face and Online Learning: An Exploratory Study

    Blended learning, in the form of screencasts to be viewed online outside of class, was incorporated into three sections of an introductory sociology course in a liberal arts college setting. The screencasts were used to introduce concepts and theories to provide more time for discussion in class and more opportunity for students to review concepts and theories outside of class. Students’ use and their perceptions of the impact of the screencasts were assessed with an in-class survey instrument in addition to a web-based college-administered survey.

  2. Digital Punishment's Tangled Web

    Americans love crime. The criminal justice system is fetishized in popular culture and news media. We watch the news and scour the Internet to assess our own moral compass, take cues from others' digressions, and bear witness to justice and punishment. Historically, we learned about crime through news media and fiction. The Internet has dramatically changed this landscape: for the first time, mug shots and jailhouse rosters are available with a click.

  3. States With Punitive Justice Systems Have Higher Rates of Foster Care, Study Finds

    The number of children in foster care across the country is driven not solely by child abuse and neglect, but by states' varying politics and approaches to social problems, a new University of Washington (UW) study finds.

    States with more punitive criminal justice systems tend to remove children from their homes far more frequently than those with generous welfare programs — meaning that two states with similar rates of child abuse and neglect could have very different rates of foster care entry.

  4. Private Journals versus Public Blogs: The Impact of Peer Readership on Low-stakes Reflective Writing

    This article isolates and observes the impact of peer readership on low-stakes reflective writing assignments in two large Introduction to Sociology classes. Through a comparative content analysis of over 2,000 private reflective journal entries and semipublic reflective blog posts, I find that both practices produce distinct forms of reflection. I argue that these differences can be understood in terms of the risks that students take in their writing.

  5. Youth Cyberbullying Most Common Among Current or Former Friends and Dating Partners

    Youth cyberbullying is dramatically more likely to occur between current or former friends and dating partners than between students who were never friends or in a romantic relationship, suggests a new study that was presented at the 111th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association (ASA).

  6. ‘I Miss You So Much’: How Twitter Is Broadening the Conversation on Death and Mourning

    Death and mourning were largely considered private matters in the 20th century, with the public remembrances common in previous eras replaced by intimate gatherings behind closed doors in funeral parlors and family homes.

    But social media is redefining how people grieve, and Twitter in particular — with its ephemeral mix of rapid-fire broadcast and personal expression — is widening the conversation around death and mourning, two University of Washington (UW) sociologists say.

  7. Toxic Ties: Networks of Friendship, Dating, and Cyber Victimization

    We examine instances of youth cyber aggression, arguing that the close relationships of friendship and romance substantially influence the chances of being targeted. We investigate networks of friendship, dating, and aggression among a sample of 788 eighth- to twelfth-grade students in a longitudinal study of a New York school. Approximately 17 percent reported some involvement in cyber aggression within the past week. LGBTQ youth were targeted at a rate over four times that of their heterosexual peers, and females were more frequent victims than males.

  8. Does Owning a Well Foster Environmental Citizenship? A New Study Provides Evidence

    Kansans who own water wells show more awareness of state water policy issues than those who rely on municipal water supplies, according to a study that could have implications for groundwater management and environmental policies. 

    Brock Ternes, a University of Kansas doctoral student in sociology, found that well owners prioritized issues related to the depletion of the High Plains Aquifer — which is the underground reservoir of freshwater beneath much of the western half of the state. 

  9. Study Examines Families’ Journeys to Accepting Transgender Children, Mothers Play Key Advocacy Role

    A tiny hair barrette and an anguished moment marked the turning point for one mother in coming to fully accept that her child, who was born a boy, was a transgender girl.

    Quinn had expressed a preference for girls’ clothing and accessories at a young age, but Jessica and her husband, Steve, would not allow her to wear them outside their home.

    One day, picking her up from school, Jessica watched Quinn quickly remove a barrette from her hair and slip it into her pocket, ashamed that her mother might have seen.

  10. Study Uses Geo-Mapping to Identify ‘Hot Spots’ for Use of Fentanyl and Other Opiates

    As the U.S. experiences sharp increases in drug overdoses, researchers in Delaware are using geo-mapping to look at the state, neighborhood by neighborhood, to identify “hot spots” where the use of prescription fentanyl — an extremely powerful synthetic opiate, which recently attracted national attention as the drug that caused Prince’s death — and other opiates is especially prevalent.