American Sociological Association

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  1. Formula Narratives and the Making of Social Stratification and Inequality

    Sociological research on inequality has increasingly moved beyond the examination of inequalities as they presumably exist to explore the generic narrative processes that perpetuate that inequality. Unfortunately, however, this research remains concentrated on either individual or ideological grand narratives and ignores the fact that the work narratives do, including the production and structuring of inequality, occurs at multiple levels: cultural, structural, organizational, and personal, and never exclusively at just one of these.

  2. Memorializing Lynch Victims: Countering Colorblind Ideologies with Experiential Learning

    This article describes a class project designed to develop students’ abilities to use their sociological imagination to better understand the structural sources of racial inequality. The event consisted of a memorial reading of the names of more than 4,000 documented lynch victims in the United States. Authors conducted a pretest and posttest on racial attitudes in large Introduction to Sociology courses. Posttest responses evidenced less support for "colorblind" ideologies and greater support for structural sources of inequality.

  3. None of the above: Strategies for Inclusive Teaching with "Representative" Data

    This conversation explores emerging debates concerning teaching to and about marginalized populations often left out of "representative" data sets. Based on our experiences studying, teaching, and belonging to some of these unrepresented populations, we outline some strategies sociologists may use to transform the limitations of data sets traditionally labeled as representative into tools for delivering core sociological concepts.

  4. Should We Talk about the Pain? Personalizing Sociology in the Medical Sociology Classroom

    This article discusses the potential of personalizing sociology curriculum, specifically in Medical Sociology courses, to increase student engagement and sociological awareness. Based on our experiences offering separate Medical Sociology courses at a large public research university and a small private teaching university, respectively, we outline emotional techniques we have each employed—separately and together—in our classes to facilitate student engagement, critical awareness, and medical coming out processes in our classrooms.

  5. An Old Tool Reexamined: Using the Star Power Simulation to Teach Social Inequality

    This study examined the effectiveness of the Star Power simulation for teaching stratification and inequality to students of the net generation. The data for this study were obtained through the use of survey methodology and content analysis of 126 course papers from introductory sociology classes. Papers were analyzed for identification and application of class concepts, recommendation of the simulation, and perceived value of the simulation as a learning tool.

  6. Whither the White Working Class? A Comment on Khanna and Harris, "Discovering Race in a 'Post-Racial' World: Teaching Race through Primetime Television"

    Even though I recognize the value of using the mass media to teach sociological concepts and reveal racial biases, I caution against the use of classroom exercises that are developed solely in the context of whiteness studies. Overarching statements of white privilege mask complex race-class interactions generally and the mass media’s stereotypical depictions of the white working class specifically. In this "conversation," I explain why the use of the concept white privilege in and of itself obfuscates more than it reveals complex race-class interactions today.

  7. A Rebuttal to Jack Niemonen's "Whither the White Working Class?"

    Prof. Niemonen claims that the concept of white privilege is "anti-sociological" and "mask[s] complex race–class interactions." He highlights the importance of including social class in discussions of white privilege but focuses exclusively on the white working class, neglecting how race and social class also intersect for people of color. Further, while different social identities mediate how whites experience race privilege, race remains a key factor in shaping life chances and opportunities.

  8. Discrimination against Queer Women in the U.S. Workforce: A Resume Audit Study

    The author reports on the first study to use an audit method to ascertain whether discrimination occurs against queer women (relative to straight women) when they apply to jobs in the United States. A field experiment was conducted in which a pair of fictitious women’s résumés were sent to apply to more than 800 administrative jobs from online job databases advertised by employers across four states.
  9. Evaluating Distributional Differences in Income Inequality

    Income and wage inequality between gender and other social groups is commonly evaluated by the difference in average income or the decomposition of the total amount of inequality into between-group and within-group components using an inequality measure such as the Theil index. Either approach ignores the dispersional difference between social groups, often manifested in glass-ceiling and glass-floor effects. The author introduces a refined Theil decomposition that offers two ways of capturing such between-group distributional differences.
  10. Status and Interaction: A Stochastic Model for the Measurement of Macro-status Value and the Determination of Micro-status Ranking in Task Group Interaction

    Status inequality is a matter both of the distribution of persons to status positions (men and women, highly educated and poorly educated, young and old) and of the value of those positions relative to one another. The authors’ work focuses on the second issue. The authors propose a stochastic model for how status value can be measured on a ratio scale from data on how occupancy of macro-status positions influences the micro-status orderings of actors that arise in task groups. The model is tested on three available data sets by estimating parameters and assessing goodness of fit.