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  1. Review Essay: Public Engagement and the Influence Imperative

    These three books—Going Public: A Guide for Social Scientists, by Arlene Stein and Jessie Daniels; The Social Scientist’s Soapbox: Adventures in Writing Public Sociology, by Karen Sternheimer; and The Public Professor: How to Use Your Research to Change the World, by M. V. Lee Badgett—by three sociologists (Stein, Daniels, and Sternheimer) and an economist (Badgett) address the demand for guidance and support as academic sociologists respond to the disciplinary imperative to make our work more influential.
  2. Using Racial and Class Differences in Infant Mortality to Teach about White Privilege: A Cooperative Group Activity

    A considerable amount of research across the past several decades has documented the emergence of a new racial ideology of “color-blindness” as well as evidence that white college students have difficulty recognizing the racial privileges that are obscured by this color-blindness. To address this, we developed a cooperative group White Privilege Activity that used racial and class differences in infant mortality to help students recognize the existence of white privilege.
  3. Teaching Note: Social Networks and Labor Market Inequality: A Role-playing Activity to Teach Difficult Concepts

    Role-playing activities, as a form of active learning, enable instructors to teach difficult concepts in ways that better facilitate student learning. This note tests the effectiveness of a role-playing activity that simulates the job market: Most students play job seekers seeking employment, and a few play the employers who make employment decisions. However, students are constrained in that they can only talk to students they already know or meet during the game.
  4. What Percentage of Americans Have Ever Had a Family Member Incarcerated?: Evidence from the Family History of Incarceration Survey (FamHIS)

    What percentage of Americans have ever had a family member incarcerated? To answer this question, we designed the Family History of Incarceration Survey (FamHIS). The survey was administered in the summer of 2018 by NORC at the University of Chicago using their AmeriSpeak Panel. It was funded by FWD.us, which released a separate report using the data. The data show that 45 percent of Americans have ever had an immediate family member incarcerated.
  5. Intergenerational Wealth Mobility and Racial Inequality

    The black-white gap in household wealth is large and well documented. Here, we visualize how this racial wealth gap persists across generations. Animating the flow of individuals between the relative wealth position of parents and their adult children, we show that the disadvantage of black families is a consequence both of wealth inequality in prior generations and race differences in the transmission of wealth positions across generations: Black children both have less wealthy parents on average and are far more likely to be downwardly mobile in household wealth.
  6. Basic Income and the Pitfalls of Randomization

    This essay evaluates the state of the debate around basic income, a controversial and much-discussed policy proposal. I explore its contested meaning and consider its potential impact. I provide a summary of the randomized guaranteed income experiments from the 1970s, emphasizing how experimental methods using scattered sets of isolated participants cannot capture the crucial social factors that help to explain changes in people’s patterns of work.
  7. “Keeping Us in Our Place”: Low-Income Moms Barred From College Success

    Mothers, trying to graduate their way out of poverty, describe controlling state policies and university cultures of exclusion that seem aligned in barring them from social mobility.
  8. Black Debt, White Debt

    Racial discrimination shapes who feels debt as a crushing burden and who experiences debt as an opportunity. U.S. financial products and rules, and the ways they’re implemented, amplify this inequality along racial lines.
  9. Disrupting the Racial Wealth Gap

    African-American families possess a dime for every dollar of White families’ wealth. Among policy ideas to remedy this stark racial wealth divide, baby bonds, basic income, reducing student loan debt, and federal job guarantees hold transformative potential.
  10. Political Ontology and Race Research: A Response to “Critical Race Theory, Afro-pessimism, and Racial Progress Narratives”

    This article is a critical response to a previous article by Victor Ray, Antonia Randolph, Megan Underhill, and David Luke that sought to incorporate lessons from Afro-pessimism for sociological research on race. Specifically, in their article, the authors emphasize conclusions from Afro-pessimism in their assessment of its lessons for theories of racial progress and labor-market research.