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  1. Stability and Change in Americans’ Perception of Freedom

    Any American will tell you, this nation’s highest ideal is freedom. Survey data teases out how race, income, and political affiliation inflect individuals’ sense of lilberty.
  2. Who Is Called by the Dog Whistle? Experimental Evidence That Racial Resentment and Political Ideology Condition Responses to Racially Encoded Messages

    Do appeals that subtly invoke negative racial stereotypes shift whites’ political attitudes by harnessing their racial prejudice? Though widely cited in academic and popular discourse, prior work finds conflicting evidence for this “dogwhistle hypothesis.” Here we test the hypothesis in two experiments (total N = 1,797) in which white Americans’ racial attitudes were measured two weeks before they read political messages in which references to racial stereotypes were implicit, explicit, or not present at all.

  3. Collective Social Identity: Synthesizing Identity Theory and Social Identity Theory Using Digital Data

    Identity theory (IT) and social identity theory (SIT) are eminent research programs from sociology and psychology, respectively. We test collective identity as a point of convergence between the two programs. Collective identity is a subtheory of SIT that pertains to activist identification. Collective identity maps closely onto identity theory’s group/social identity, which refers to identification with socially situated identity categories. We propose conceptualizing collective identity as a type of group/social identity, integrating activist collectives into the identity theory model.
  4. Puzzling Politics: A Methodology for Turning World-Systems Analysis Inside-Out

    Can world-systems analysis illuminate politics? Can it help explain why illiberal regimes, outsider parties, and anti-immigrant rhetoric seem to be on the rise? Can it help explain any such nationalchanges that seem destined to shift how nations relate to world markets? Leading surveys of historical sociology seem to say no. We disagree. While there are problems with Wallerstein’s early mode of analyzing politicsin the capitalist world-system from the outside-in, historical sociologists have been too quick to dismiss world-systems analysis.
  5. Economic Populism and Bandwagon Bigotry: Obama-to-Trump Voters and the Cross Pressures of the 2016 Election

    Through an analysis of validated voters in the 2016 American National Election Study, this article considers the voters who supported Obama in 2012 and Trump in 2016. More than 5.7 million in total, Obama-to-Trump voters were crucial to Trump’s victory in the Electoral College. They were more likely to be white, working class, and resident in the Midwest. They had lower levels of political interest, were centrist in both party affiliation and ideology, and were late deciders for the 2016 election.
  6. Sociology's Greatest Hits of 2018

    From a study on the impact of racial resentment on political ideology to analysis of issues including minority college admissions, the success of lying demagogues, and public opposition to “religious freedom” laws, the most downloaded sociological research published in the American Sociological Association’s journals in 2018 spanned a wide range of topics and social concerns.

  7. Summer 2019 Contexts Online Free until August 30

    From the Editors

    Special Issue on Freedom

  8. The Political-Military Foundations of China’s Global Ascendency

    In recent years China has positioned itself as a global economic leader, working through its “Belt and Road” initiative (BRI) and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), to not only expand its global economic reach, but to organize and lead global economic relations. China’s rise is largely understood in economic terms, but the history of global power dynamics suggests that such leadership is built on both economic and political-military foundations.
  9. CASM: A Deep-Learning Approach for Identifying Collective Action Events with Text and Image Data from Social Media

    Protest event analysis is an important method for the study of collective action and social movements and typically draws on traditional media reports as the data source. We introduce collective action from social media (CASM)—a system that uses convolutional neural networks on image data and recurrent neural networks with long short-term memory on text data in a two-stage classifier to identify social media posts about offline collective action. We implement CASM on Chinese social media data and identify more than 100,000 collective action events from 2010 to 2017 (CASM-China).
  10. Preventing Violence: Insights from Micro-Sociology

    Micro-sociology of violence looks at what happens in situations where people directly threaten violence, but only sometimes carry it out. This process and its turning points have become easier to see in the current era of visual data: cell-phone videos, long-distance telephoto lenses, CCTV cameras. New cues and instruments are on the horizon as we look at emotional signals, body rhythms, and monitors for body signs such as heart rate (a proxy for adrenaline level).