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  1. Featured Essay: Frontlash/Backlash: The Crisis of Solidarity and the Threat to Civil Institutions

    Jeffrey C. Alexander argues for an understanding of the polarizing and excluding forces of Trumpism as sociologically ‘‘normal’’ to the ongoing dynamics of civil spheres.
  2. Visualizing Feminized International Migration Flows in the 1990s

    The authors estimate migration flows of women in the 1990s at a global scale and provide a description of these migratory movements. The authors produce these data combining the 2011 World Bank Global Migrant Stock Database and state-of-the-art techniques to estimate migratory flows from stock data. The authors examine these flows in light of the global demand for care workers in the 1990s, showing that migration flows of women in that decade map onto the global care chains discussed in the qualitative literature.
  3. Asymmetric Fixed-effects Models for Panel Data

    Standard fixed-effects methods presume that effects of variables are symmetric: The effect of increasing a variable is the same as the effect of decreasing that variable but in the opposite direction. This is implausible for many social phenomena. York and Light showed how to estimate asymmetric models by estimating first-difference regressions in which the difference scores for the predictors are decomposed into positive and negative changes. In this article, I show that there are several aspects of their method that need improvement.

  4. Bribery in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Mediating Effects of Institutional Development and Trust

    The issue of bribery raises questions about the implications of institutional development and trust in the raw material industry. This paper uses theories of institutionalism and trust to explore path dependence arguments seeking to explain the resource curse puzzle. Institutional development and trust are examined as potential mediators linking mineral extraction/processing to bribery in sub-Saharan African countries.

  5. Textual Spanning: Finding Discursive Holes in Text Networks

    We propose a measure of discursive holes well suited for the unique properties of text networks built from document similarity matrices considered as dense weighted graphs. In this measure, which we call textual spanning, documents similar to documents dissimilar from one another receive a high score, and documents similar to documents similar to one another receive a low score. After offering a simulation-based validation, we test the measure on an empirical document similarity matrix based on a preestimated topic-model probability distribution.
  6. Community Influences on Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting in Kenya: Norms, Opportunities, and Ethnic Diversity

    Female genital mutilation/cutting (FGMC) is a human rights violation with adverse health consequences. Although prevalence is declining, the practice persists in many countries, and the individual and contextual risk factors associated with FGMC remain poorly understood. We propose an integrated theory about contextual factors and test it using multilevel discrete-time hazard models in a nationally representative sample of 7,535 women with daughters who participated in the 2014 Kenya Demographic and Health Survey.
  7. Visualizing Police Exposure by Race, Gender, and Age in New York City

    This figure depicts the disparities in average police stops in New York City from 2004 to 2012, disaggregated by race, gender, and age. Composed of six bar charts, each graph in the figure provides data for a particular population at the intersection of race and gender, focusing on black, white, and Hispanic men and women. Each graph also has a comparative backdrop of the data on police stops for black males.
  8. Elusive Events

    The purpose of What Is an Event? by Robin Wagner-Pacifici is to “build a model for the analysis of events in general” (p. 3). To this end, it develops an “analytical apparatus, termed political semiosis,” the “basic features” of which are “performatives, demonstratives, and representations” (Chapter 1). At the forefront of this endeavor is the attempt to understand how “events take shape” (pp. 10, 83, 91, 109, 140) given the “grounds from which they erupt” (p. 48) and the “ruptures” that set them off (p. 105).
  9. Comment on Barbara Risman’s review of Cheap Sex: The Transformation of Men, Marriage, and Monogamy

    The habit of contesting criticisms in print is one I have never acquired, in part because I am committed to the democracy and pace of scholarly debate. Nothing attracted me more to the sociological life than the opportunity to wrestle with ideas. But that is why I feel compelled to respond to Risman’s apoplectic interpretation of Cheap Sex. The reader learns next to nothing about what is actually in the book. Her remarks display far less interest in wrestling with ideas than in ad hominem assaults and sarcastic guesses at my character, values, and motives.
  10. Is Recreational Sex a Social Problem? Or, What’s Wrong with Kids Today?

    Decades have passed since we liberated normative sex from the confines of heterosexual marriage. But the divorce of sexual activity from romantic relationships among young people is still the topic of much debate. Both American Hookup: The New Culture of Sex on Campus, by Lisa Wade, and Cheap Sex: The Transformation of Men, Marriage, and Monogamy, by Mark Regnerus, address what’s happening with sex and relationships today; and although they identify similar trends, their analyses could not be more different.