American Sociological Association

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  1. Testing for Discrimination: Teaching Audit Studies in Quantitative Methods Courses

    This article demonstrates a method for teaching students to conduct audit studies of discrimination. The assignment can be used in courses on quantitative methods, race, gender, or other topics. Audit studies test for unequal treatment by having otherwise identical pairs of people who vary on a single trait, such as race or gender, apply for the same sets of opportunities, such as apartment vacancies or job openings. Once intricate and expensive to conduct, the online shift of the past 15 years has streamlined the approach, enabling researchers to execute audits via email.

  2. Teaching Critical Perspectives on Body Weight: The Obesity “Epidemic” and Pro-Ana Movement in Classroom Discussions

    While most sociology students are well prepared to think critically about inequalities involving race, gender, social class, and sexuality, the topics of body weight and health present some challenges for classroom discussion. Primarily, this is due to the body’s status in contemporary society as simultaneously malleable (able to be changed) and intractable (an indicator of moral worth). Such associations lead to cases of size discrimination—what is often called “sizeism”—with impacts similar to what is experienced around race and gender discrimination.

  3. Extra Credit in the Sociology Classroom

    The role of extra credit in the college classroom has been examined as a philosophical and pedagogical issue, but in this project, we argue that the matter of extra credit is also a sociological one. Using survey data, we examine how college instructors’ status and individual demographic characteristics are related to the use of extra credit. We found that women and instructors with less teaching experience are more likely to offer extra credit.
  4. Reconceptualizing Participation Grading as Skill Building

    Two common ways that instructors assess participation in sociology courses are recalling participation by memory or counting times spoken during class in real time. However, these common assessments rely on faulty assumptions that do not support their usage. This article reconceptualizes participation grading as an opportunity to motivate skill building across a variety of dimensions. The evidence from two classes of 45 and 47 students demonstrates that this conceptualization can be effectively implemented in undergraduate courses.
  5. Analyzing the Social Construction of Media Claims: Enhancing Media Literacy in Social Problems Classes

    Recent research has called on scholars to develop pedagogical interventions to address issues of media literacy. This teaching note answers that call by describing a media literacy project designed for use in social problems classes. The project acquaints students to the constructionist approach to social problems and the method of content analysis. Guided by the principles of scaffolding, the note discusses how students are guided through a series of readings, assignments, and activities that enables them to analyze how social problems are portrayed in news media.
  6. Call Your Representatives: Connecting Classroom Learning to Real-world Policy Action

    This article presents an in-class exercise that teaches students how to call elected officials about a course-related issue of their choice. The goals are to connect classroom learning with real-life action, to show that contacting elected officials need not be difficult or intimidating, and to help students develop a sense of efficacy that can contribute to ongoing engagement. I describe the exercise and present evidence that it led students to call their elected officials, most for the first time ever.
  7. Not in Your Backyard! Organizational Structure, Partisanship, and the Mobilization of Nonbeneficiary Constituents against “Fracking” in Illinois, 2013–2014

    In the interest of enlarging their constituencies, social movements often broaden mobilization efforts beyond the directly aggrieved, beneficiary populations. The authors examine this process through an analysis of a movement against unconventional oil and gas development (UOGD or “fracking”) in Illinois. Using data on more than 37,000 public comments submitted during a regulatory review of fracking, the authors examine the composition of the antifracking movement’s constituency.
  8. Black-white Biracial Students’ Evaluations of Blackness: The Role of College in Shaping Racial Regard

    This study explores biracial students’ racial regard, an evaluative component of racial identity that captures positive and negative feelings about the racial groups to which one belongs. Drawing on data from interviews with 62 black-white biracial students attending predominantly white institutions (PWIs) or historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), I explore the conditions of educational contexts that promote or hinder development of positive racial regard.
  9. Endogenous Dynamics in Contentious Fields: Evidence from the Shareholder Activism Network, 2006–2013

    Endogenous Dynamics in Contentious Fields: Evidence from the Shareholder Activism Network, 2006–2013
  10. Beyond "Just Being There": Teaching Internationalization at Home in Two Qualitative Methods Units

    Study-abroad and international-student programs are commonly understood to transform their participants into "global citizens" possessing "cross-cultural competencies." Similar benefits are anticipated from "internationalization at home"—defined as any on-campus, internationally related activity—whereby international students engage with and thus enrich the lives of domestic students. In this article, we reflect on a research project tied to two coursework units, in which largely domestic undergraduate students undertake qualitative research with or about international students.