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  1. Imbricated Spaces: The High Line, Urban Parks, and the Cultural Meaning of City and Nature

    This article explores how the socio-spatial relationship between cities and nature is changing under the cultural conditions of the twenty-first century. I argue that contemporary urban parks such as New York’s High Line, along with less cultivated sites of city-nature intersections such as vacant lots, represent variations of an emergent type of social space, which I term imbricated spaces. Imbricated spaces present “city” and “nature” as active agents in their creation through the decay of the built environment and the growth of the natural environment.

  2. The Social Determinants of Conspiratorial Ideation

    Scholars have recently become increasingly interested in understanding the prevalence and persistence of conspiratorial beliefs among the public as recent research has shown such beliefs to be both widespread and to have deleterious effects on the political process. This article seeks to develop a sociological understanding of the structural conditions that are associated with conspiratorial belief.

  3. Socius Special Issue Call for Papers

    Socius: Sociological Research for a Dynamic World invites papers for a special issue on gender in the 2016 elections. We invite contributions on all topics relevant to gender and politics. Potential topics could include (but are not limited to): gender and the executive; women, social policy, and state legislative elections; intersectionality and the media; gender and public opinion; and women in changing political institutions. Informative papers on trends or cross-national comparisons are welcome as long as they are framed in relation to the 2016 U.S. election.

  4. Against Orthodoxy: Social Theory and Its Discontents

    Contemporary Sociology, Volume 46, Issue 1, Page 29-30, January 2017.
  5. The Hazards of Expert Control: Chief Risk Officers and Risky Derivatives

    American Sociological Review, Volume 82, Issue 3, Page 511-541, June 2017.
    Abstract
  6. Less Theory. More Description.

    Sociology must worry less about theoretical innovation and more about empirical description.
  7. Study: Banks Hired Risk Officers to Mitigate Risk in Years Before Collapse. It Didn’t Go So Well

    New research suggests a significant number of national and international American banks hired new Chief Risk Officers to mitigate risk but may have actually helped lead the industry into widespread insolvency.

    Starting in the 1990s, many major banks hired Chief Risk Officers (CROs) in a response to new laws and regulations put in place following financial meltdowns in the 1980s. In an effort to comply, banking officials elevated risk analysts to corner offices to show they were serious about tackling risk.

  8. Shadow Plays: Theory’s Perennial Challenges

    This article argues that theory holds its ground when it confronts itself with the empirics of its claims and this confrontation is geared to the project of increasing analytical specificity. This means (1) shedding as much light as possible on the very process whereby a type of outcome gets generated or takes shape and (2) identifying the factors that condition the likelihood of this process. From this perspective, sound theorizing is predicated on both empirical grounding and analytical specificity.
  9. Puzzling in Sociology: On Doing and Undoing Theoretical Puzzles

    One typical way to motivate a sociological argument is to present the research question as a puzzle. Unlike in physical sciences, sociologists work backward to construct theoretical puzzles from their data. Sociologists risk puzzling for puzzles’ sake, and in so doing, they reify categories and concepts that are not necessary or useful to their empirical material at hand. This essay examines mostly qualitative sociologists’ conventions for puzzling and suggests alternatives rooted in thick description of empirics.
  10. Paul Starr on the Shaping of the American Health Care System

    Health care continues to be a "toxic issue" at the center of American politics but, according to sociologist Paul Starr, it didn't have to be. In an ASA-produced video, Dr. Starr takes a sociological look at the history of health care to see how the medical industry played a role in sending the U.S. in its current course eschewing other options that would have provided universal access. Starr is Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs at Princeton University and author of The Social Transformation of American Medicine.