American Sociological Association

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  1. Reconceptualizing Participation Grading as Skill Building

    Two common ways that instructors assess participation in sociology courses are recalling participation by memory or counting times spoken during class in real time. However, these common assessments rely on faulty assumptions that do not support their usage. This article reconceptualizes participation grading as an opportunity to motivate skill building across a variety of dimensions. The evidence from two classes of 45 and 47 students demonstrates that this conceptualization can be effectively implemented in undergraduate courses.
  2. 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?
  3. Analyzing the Social Construction of Media Claims: Enhancing Media Literacy in Social Problems Classes

    Recent research has called on scholars to develop pedagogical interventions to address issues of media literacy. This teaching note answers that call by describing a media literacy project designed for use in social problems classes. The project acquaints students to the constructionist approach to social problems and the method of content analysis. Guided by the principles of scaffolding, the note discusses how students are guided through a series of readings, assignments, and activities that enables them to analyze how social problems are portrayed in news media.
  4. Call Your Representatives: Connecting Classroom Learning to Real-world Policy Action

    This article presents an in-class exercise that teaches students how to call elected officials about a course-related issue of their choice. The goals are to connect classroom learning with real-life action, to show that contacting elected officials need not be difficult or intimidating, and to help students develop a sense of efficacy that can contribute to ongoing engagement. I describe the exercise and present evidence that it led students to call their elected officials, most for the first time ever.
  5. Traveling across Racial Borders: TripAdvisor and the Discursive Strategies Businesses Use to Deny Racism

    Travel and leisure activities can bring many rewards, and yet for those deemed “racialized Others,” these same activities can be fraught with anxiety and tension. As in all aspects of society, racism mediates the rewards of travel and leisure. Decisions about when and how to confront racism are central in the lives of those considered racialized Others. Given a wish to de-escalate racist situations and respond later, some individuals are using online platforms to call out racism.
  6. Item Location, the Interviewer–Respondent Interaction, and Responses to Battery Questions in Telephone Surveys

    Survey researchers often ask a series of attitudinal questions with a common question stem and response options, known as battery questions. Interviewers have substantial latitude in deciding how to administer these items, including whether to reread the common question stem on items after the first one or to probe respondents’ answers. Despite the ubiquity of use of these items, there is virtually no research on whether respondent and interviewer behaviors on battery questions differ over items in a battery or whether interview behaviors are associated with answers to these questions.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Numbers, Narratives, and Nation: Mainstream News Coverage of U.S. Latino Population Growth, 1990–2010

    Ideologies that support racial domination and White supremacy remain foundational in U.S. society, even as the nation becomes increasingly diverse and progressively focused on quantitative measurement. This study explores how a prominent mainstream news outlet represents the growth of the nation’s second largest population, Latinos, within this changing demographic and numeric environment.