American Sociological Association

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  1. Biases of Online Political Polls: Who Participates?

    With a large portion of the population online and the high cost of phone-based surveys, querying people about their voter preference online can offer an affordable and timely alternative. However, given that there are biases in who adopts various sites and services that are often used as sampling frames (e.g., various social media), online political polls may not represent the views of the overall population. How are such polls biased? Who is most likely to participate in them?
  2. The Impact of Racial Diversity in the Classroom: Activating the Sociological Imagination

    Diverse college campuses have been conclusively associated with a variety of positive outcomes for all students. However, we still know very little empirically about how student diversity directly impacts the core task of the university: classroom learning. While students vary based on race along a broad spectrum of experiences and backgrounds, we have yet to establish how those varying backgrounds might impact the ways students engage with course material.

  3. Can Online Courses Deliver In-class Results? A Comparison of Student Performance and Satisfaction in an Online versus a Face-to-face Introductory Sociology Course

    This study uses a quasi-experimental design to assess differences in student performance and satisfaction across online and face-to-face (F2F) classroom settings. Data were collected from 368 students enrolled in three online and three F2F sections of an introductory-level sociology course. The instructor, course materials, and assessments were consistent between the two delivery formats. The investigators compare student satisfaction and student performance on midterm exams and an integrating data analysis assignment.

  4. Text Analysis with JSTOR Archives

    I provide a visual representation of keyword trends and authorship for two flagship sociology journals using data from JSTOR’s Data for Research repository. While text data have accompanied the digital spread of information, it remains inaccessible to researchers unfamiliar with the required preprocessing. The visualization and accompanying code encourage widespread use of this source of data in the social sciences.

  5. Featured Essay: Lost and Saved . . . Again: The Moral Panic about the Loss of Community Takes Hold of Social Media

    Why does every generation believe that relationships were stronger and community better in the recent past? Lamenting about the loss of community, based on a selective perception of the present and an idealization of ‘‘traditional community,’’ dims awareness of powerful inequalities and cleavages that have always pervaded human society and favors deterministic models over a nuanced understanding of how network affordances contribute to different outcomes. Taylor Dotson’s (2017) recent book proposes a broader timeline for the demise of community.
  6. The Paradox of Persistence: Explaining the Black-White Gap in Bachelor’s Degree Completion

    Bachelor’s degree (BA) completion is lower among black students than among white students. In this study, we use data from the Education Longitudinal Study of 2002 and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, together with regression-based analytical techniques, to identify the primary sources of the BA completion gap. We find that black students’ lower academic and socioeconomic resources are the biggest drivers of the gap. However, we also find that black students are more likely to enroll in four-year colleges than are white students, given pre-college resources.
  7. BMI Trajectories in Adulthood: The Intersection of Skin Color, Gender, and Age among African Americans

    This study addresses three research questions critical to understanding if and how skin color shapes health among African Americans: (1) Does skin color predict trajectories of body mass index (BMI) among African Americans across ages 32 to 55? (2) To what extent is this relationship contingent on gender? (3) Do sociodemographic, psychosocial, and behavioral factors explain the skin color–BMI relationship?
  8. As Disaster Costs Rise, So Does Inequality

    Across the United States, communities are experiencing increases in the frequency and severity of natural hazards. The pervasiveness and upward trajectory of these damages are worrisome enough, but equally disconcerting are the social inequalities they can leave in their wake. To examine these inequalities, the authors linked county-level damage data to a random sample of American households. The authors visualize the pervasiveness of natural hazards as well as their influence on racial wealth gaps over time.

  9. Problems Establishing Identity/Residency in a City Neighborhood during a Black/White Police‐Citizen Encounter: Reprising Du Bois’ Conception of Submission as “Submissive Civility”

    This article revisits W.E.B. Du Bois' (1943) conception of “The Submissive Man” in the context of a Black/White police‐citizen encounter. Du Bois argued that submission to democratic principles that place the well‐being of the whole over the individual is a Black American ideal, which offers a necessary counter‐balance to the individualism of the dominant White “Strong Man” ideal.

  10. U.S. Empire and the “Adaptive Education” Model: The Global Production of Race

    Following World War I, the U.S. Department of Labor worked with a large-scale commercial philanthropic endeavor called the Phelps Stokes Fund to transfer educational policies designed for African Americans to West Africa and South Africa. They specifically promoted the “adaptive education” model used at Tuskegee and the Hampton institutes for African American education. This model emphasized manual labor, Christian character formation, and political passivity as a form of racial uplift.