American Sociological Association

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  1. Neoliberalism

    Johanna Bockman unpacks a hefty term, neoliberalism. She cites its roots and its uses, decoding it as a description of a “bootstraps” ideology that trumpets individualism and opportunity but enforces conformity and ignores structural constraints.

  2. Understanding Racial-ethnic Disparities in Health: Sociological Contributions

    This article provides an overview of the contribution of sociologists to the study of racial and ethnic inequalities in health in the United States. It argues that sociologists have made four principal contributions. First, they have challenged and problematized the biological understanding of race. Second, they have emphasized the primacy of social structure and context as determinants of racial differences in disease. Third, they have contributed to our understanding of the multiple ways in which racism affects health.

  3. Mechanisms Linking Social Ties and Support to Physical and Mental Health

    Over the past 30 years investigators have called repeatedly for research on the mechanisms through which social relationships and social support improve physical and psychological well-being, both directly and as stress buffers. I describe seven possible mechanisms: social influence/social comparison, social control, role-based purpose and meaning (mattering), self-esteem, sense of control, belonging and companionship, and perceived support availability. Stress-buffering processes also involve these mechanisms.

  4. Causal Inference with Networked Treatment Diffusion

    Treatment interference (i.e., one unit’s potential outcomes depend on other units’ treatment) is prevalent in social settings. Ignoring treatment interference can lead to biased estimates of treatment effects and incorrect statistical inferences. Some recent studies have started to incorporate treatment interference into causal inference. But treatment interference is often assumed to follow a simple structure (e.g., treatment interference exists only within groups) or measured in a simplistic way (e.g., only based on the number of treated friends).
  5. Visualizing Africa’s Educational Gender Gap

    This figure depicts the gendered patterns of educational expansion across Africa. The horizontal axis displays educational access, and vertical lines represent educational gender gaps for 267 country-specific birth cohorts, representing adults born between 1941 and 1992 in 32 African countries. The gaps take on an almond shape. In early stages of educational expansion, boys enter school at higher rates than girls; female enrollment begins to catch up only when at least half of the cohort attends school.
  6. Gender, Socioeconomic Status, and Diet Behaviors within Brazilian Families

    Existing literature documents the key role that parents play in transmitting diet behaviors to their children; however, less is known about differences by parent and child gender within families, especially with attention to household socioeconomic status (SES). We use nationally representative household data from Brazil and ask how parent-child associations of diet behavior differ by gender within lower- and higher-SES households.
  7. Integrating Sociological Perspectives into Obesogenic Research: Associations between Air Pollution Exposure and Obesity Prevalence across U.S. Metropolitan Statistical Areas

    Obesogenic theories suggests that obesity risk can be influenced by exposure to toxic chemicals present in built and natural environments. Although physical scientists have been on the forefront of obesogenic research, social science perspectives have been absent in understanding the relationship between environmental pollution and obesity risk. To address such gaps, the author uses a sociological perspective to explore the way in which exposure to a specific class of obesogens, endocrine disruptors, influences adult obesity prevalence.
  8. BMI Trajectories in Adulthood: The Intersection of Skin Color, Gender, and Age among African Americans

    This study addresses three research questions critical to understanding if and how skin color shapes health among African Americans: (1) Does skin color predict trajectories of body mass index (BMI) among African Americans across ages 32 to 55? (2) To what extent is this relationship contingent on gender? (3) Do sociodemographic, psychosocial, and behavioral factors explain the skin color–BMI relationship?
  9. Income Inequality and Population Health: A Global Gradient?

    Cross-national empirical research about the link between income inequality and population health produces conflicting conclusions. We address these mixed findings by examining the degree to which the income inequality and health relationship varies with economic development. We estimate fixed-effects models with different measures of income inequality and population health. Results suggest that development moderates the association between inequality and two measures of population health. Our findings produce two generalizations.
  10. Letter to the Editors

    Timothy M. Gill writes to add context to the Summer 2018 issue’s policy brief and urge an interrogation of assumptions that democracy assistance is a benign form of foreign policy.