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  1. Sociological Insights for Development Policy

    The Sociology of Development Section announces a new policy brief series: Sociological Insights for Development Policy. The purpose of the series is not only to raise awareness of the thought-provoking research being done by members of the section, but also to strengthen engagement between scholars, policy makers and development practitioners. The long-term aim is to enhance sociology’s impact on development discourse and practice throughout the world. Sociological Insights for Development Policy publish short (2-page) briefs that are distilled from section members’ research.

  2. Big Data May Amplify Existing Police Surveillance Practices

    With access to more personal data than ever before, police have the power to solve crimes more quickly, but in practice, the influx of information tends to amplify existing practices, according to sociological research at the University of Texas at Austin.

  3. Wage Stagnation and Buyer Power: How Buyer-Supplier Relations Affect U.S. Workers’ Wages, 1978 to 2014

    Since the 1970s, market restructuring has shifted many workers into workplaces heavily reliant on sales to outside corporate buyers. These outside buyers wield substantial power over working conditions among their suppliers. During the same period, wage growth for middle-income workers stagnated. By extending organizational theories of wage-setting to incorporate interactions between organizations, I predict that wage stagnation resulted in part from production workers’ heightened exposure to buyer power.
  4. Mass Mobilization and the Durability of New Democracies

    The “elitist approach” to democratization contends that “democratic regimes that last have seldom, if ever, been instituted by mass popular actors” (Huntington 1984:212). This article subjects this observation to empirical scrutiny using statistical analyses of new democracies over the past half-century and a case study. Contrary to the elitist approach, I argue that new democracies growing out of mass mobilization are more likely to survive than are new democracies that were born amid quiescence.
  5. The Algorithmic Rise of the “Alt-Right”

    As with so many technologies, the Internet’s racism was programmed right in—and it’s quickly fueled the spread of White supremacist, xenophobic rhetoric throughout the western world.
  6. Conspicuous Reviewing: Affiliation with High-status Organizations as a Motivation for Writing Online Reviews

    The vast amount of reviews available online presents a paradox: Why do reviewers spend hours writing them? Here we demonstrate in three studies that one reason people write online reviews is to bolster their public identity by conspicuously affiliating with high-status products or organizations. First, we conducted a set of surveys and found that participants are more likely to post online reviews of restaurants that are higher status, controlling for their familiarity and liking of the restaurant.

  7. Measuring Social Capital with Twitter within the Electronics and ICT Cluster of the Basque Country

    Social network sites like Twitter enable the creation of virtual environments where online communities are formed around specific topics. Lately, due to their increasing success, these platforms are turning out to be effective for electronic word‐of‐mouth communication since they can be used as another means to spread information and build a network of contacts.

  8. Virtual Rituals: Community, Emotion, and Ritual in Massive Multiplayer Online Role-playing Games—A Quantitative Test and Extension of Structural Ritualization Theory

    Millions of people worldwide immerse themselves in massive multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs). These games generate large, diverse communities that engage in rituals within the game, completing missions or quests. What role do these MMORPG rituals play in commitment to these gaming communities? To address this question, we extend structural ritualization theory to explain the impact of ritual events and emotion on commitment to community in the game World of Warcraft.
  9. Searching for a Mate: The Rise of the Internet as a Social Intermediary

    This article explores how the efficiency of Internet search is changing the way Americans find romantic partners. We use a new data source, the How Couples Meet and Stay Together survey. Results show that for 60 years, family and grade school have been steadily declining in their influence over the dating market. In the past 15 years, the rise of the Internet has partly displaced not only family and school, but also neighborhood, friends, and the workplace as venues for meeting partners.