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  1. Protest Campaigns and Movement Success: Desegregating the U.S. South in the Early 1960s

    Can protest bring about social change? Although scholarship on the consequences of social movements has grown dramatically, our understanding of protest influence is limited; several recent studies have failed to detect any positive effect. We investigate sit-in protest by black college students in the U.S. South in 1960, which targeted segregated lunch counters.

  2. Relationships: Cutting the Cord Is Easier Said Than Done

    Chances are, you have someone in your life who causes a lot of tension and stress. Difficult relationships are common. They are also commonly difficult to evade. Who are these people and why can't we just cut the cord?

    New research explores these questions and sheds light on the answers. Plain and simple: They are people you are stuck with, either because you need them or because you can't ignore them.

  3. Definitions and the Development of Theory in Social Psychology

    Formal definitions specify what is necessary and sufficient for the identification of a particular term. These formal definitions use precise language and do not admit contradictions; they are exact class. There are multiple advantages of exact class definitions. They enable us to confidently use deductive arguments so we can ensure that the terms in the premises match the terms in the conclusion. They prevent sloppiness and circularity of logic. They also help us look beyond common sense or what we think we already know.
  4. From “Ridiculous” to “Glad to Have Helped”: Debriefing News Delivery and Improved Reactions to Science in Milgram’s “Obedience” Experiments

    Commentators on Milgram’s classic and controversial experiments agree that better integration of theories of “obedience to authority” with current archival research on participants’ viewpoints is essential in explaining compliance. Using conversation analysis, we examine an archived data source that is largely overlooked by the Milgram literature, yet crucial for understanding the interactional organization of participants’ displayed perspectives. In hundreds of interviews conducted immediately after each experiment, participants received one of two types of debriefing: deceptive or full.
  5. Stereotype Threat and Educational Tracking: A Field Experiment in Chinese Vocational High Schools

    Educational tracks create differential expectations of student ability, raising concerns that the negative stereotypes associated with lower tracks might threaten student performance. The authors test this concern by drawing on a field experiment enrolling 11,624 Chinese vocational high school students, half of whom were randomly primed about their tracks before taking technical skill and math exams. As in almost all countries, Chinese students are sorted between vocational and academic tracks, and vocational students are stereotyped as having poor academic abilities.
  6. Racial-ethnic Disparities in Inflammation: Evidence of Weathering in Childhood?

    Building on the weathering hypothesis, we advance health disparities research by assessing racial-ethnic differences in low-grade inflammation, a marker of chronic stress exposure, in young children. Using nationally representative data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (N = 6,652) and logistic regression, we find an increased risk of low-grade inflammation among Hispanic and African American children compared to white children.
  7. Marriage, Social Control, and Health Behavior: A Dyadic Analysis of Same-sex and Different-sex Couples

    Prior research based on studies of heterosexual populations suggests that men’s health benefits more from marriage than women’s, in part because women do more than men to influence the health habits of their spouse. We extend this work by using dyadic survey data from 838 spouses in 419 gay, lesbian, and heterosexual marriages to consider differences in social control tactics across same-sex and different-sex couples—that is, how spouses monitor and regulate each other’s health habits.
  8. Villains, Victims, and Heroes in Character Theory and Affect Control Theory

    We examine three basic tropes—villain, victim, and hero—that emerge in images, claims, and narratives. We compare recent research on characters with the predictions of an established tradition, affect control theory (ACT). Combined, the theories describe core traits of the villain-victim-hero triad and predict audiences’ reactions. Character theory (CT) can help us understand the cultural roots of evaluation, potency, and activity profiles and the robustness of profile ratings.
  9. The Social Construction of Illness: Key Insights and Policy Implications

    The social construction of illness is a major research perspective in medical sociology. This article traces the roots of this perspective and presents three overarching constructionist findings. First, some illnesses are particularly embedded with cultural meaning—which is not directly derived from the nature of the condition—that shapes how society responds to those afflicted and influences the experience of that illness. Second, all illnesses are socially constructed at the experiential level, based on how individuals come to understand and live with their illness.