American Sociological Association

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  1. Formula Narratives and the Making of Social Stratification and Inequality

    Sociological research on inequality has increasingly moved beyond the examination of inequalities as they presumably exist to explore the generic narrative processes that perpetuate that inequality. Unfortunately, however, this research remains concentrated on either individual or ideological grand narratives and ignores the fact that the work narratives do, including the production and structuring of inequality, occurs at multiple levels: cultural, structural, organizational, and personal, and never exclusively at just one of these.

  2. Memorializing Lynch Victims: Countering Colorblind Ideologies with Experiential Learning

    This article describes a class project designed to develop students’ abilities to use their sociological imagination to better understand the structural sources of racial inequality. The event consisted of a memorial reading of the names of more than 4,000 documented lynch victims in the United States. Authors conducted a pretest and posttest on racial attitudes in large Introduction to Sociology courses. Posttest responses evidenced less support for "colorblind" ideologies and greater support for structural sources of inequality.

  3. 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.

  4. Whither the White Working Class? A Comment on Khanna and Harris, "Discovering Race in a 'Post-Racial' World: Teaching Race through Primetime Television"

    Even though I recognize the value of using the mass media to teach sociological concepts and reveal racial biases, I caution against the use of classroom exercises that are developed solely in the context of whiteness studies. Overarching statements of white privilege mask complex race-class interactions generally and the mass media’s stereotypical depictions of the white working class specifically. In this "conversation," I explain why the use of the concept white privilege in and of itself obfuscates more than it reveals complex race-class interactions today.

  5. A Rebuttal to Jack Niemonen's "Whither the White Working Class?"

    Prof. Niemonen claims that the concept of white privilege is "anti-sociological" and "mask[s] complex race–class interactions." He highlights the importance of including social class in discussions of white privilege but focuses exclusively on the white working class, neglecting how race and social class also intersect for people of color. Further, while different social identities mediate how whites experience race privilege, race remains a key factor in shaping life chances and opportunities.

  6. 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.

  7. 2013 Presidential Address: Why Status Matters for Inequality

    To understand the mechanisms behind social inequality, this address argues that we need to more thoroughly incorporate the effects of status—inequality based on differences in esteem and respect—alongside those based on resources and power. As a micro motive for behavior, status is as significant as money and power. At a macro level, status stabilizes resource and power inequality by transforming it into cultural status beliefs about group differences regarding who is “better” (esteemed and competent).

  8. Deconcentration without Integration: Examining the Social Outcomes of Housing Choice Voucher Movement in Los Angeles County

    This article reports on the social experiences of tenants moving from low-income neighborhoods in the City of Los Angeles to a racially mixed, lower poverty suburb—the Antelope Valley—using Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers. Voucher tenants experience significant social exclusion and aggressive oversight. Local residents use racial shorthand to label their black neighbors as voucher holders and apply additional scrutiny to their activity. They aggressively report voucher tenants to the housing authority and police, instigating inspections that threaten tenants’ voucher status.

  9. 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.

  10. Study Investigates Why Blacks Have Higher Risk of Cognitive Impairment

    Social and economic disadvantages play a significant role in why blacks face a much higher risk than whites of developing cognitive impairment later in life, indicates a national study led by a Michigan State University (MSU) sociologist.