American Sociological Association

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  1. Understanding Racial-ethnic Disparities in Health: Sociological Contributions

    This article provides an overview of the contribution of sociologists to the study of racial and ethnic inequalities in health in the United States. It argues that sociologists have made four principal contributions. First, they have challenged and problematized the biological understanding of race. Second, they have emphasized the primacy of social structure and context as determinants of racial differences in disease. Third, they have contributed to our understanding of the multiple ways in which racism affects health.

  2. Mechanisms Linking Social Ties and Support to Physical and Mental Health

    Over the past 30 years investigators have called repeatedly for research on the mechanisms through which social relationships and social support improve physical and psychological well-being, both directly and as stress buffers. I describe seven possible mechanisms: social influence/social comparison, social control, role-based purpose and meaning (mattering), self-esteem, sense of control, belonging and companionship, and perceived support availability. Stress-buffering processes also involve these mechanisms.

  3. Causal Inference with Networked Treatment Diffusion

    Treatment interference (i.e., one unit’s potential outcomes depend on other units’ treatment) is prevalent in social settings. Ignoring treatment interference can lead to biased estimates of treatment effects and incorrect statistical inferences. Some recent studies have started to incorporate treatment interference into causal inference. But treatment interference is often assumed to follow a simple structure (e.g., treatment interference exists only within groups) or measured in a simplistic way (e.g., only based on the number of treated friends).
  4. Integrating Sociological Perspectives into Obesogenic Research: Associations between Air Pollution Exposure and Obesity Prevalence across U.S. Metropolitan Statistical Areas

    Obesogenic theories suggests that obesity risk can be influenced by exposure to toxic chemicals present in built and natural environments. Although physical scientists have been on the forefront of obesogenic research, social science perspectives have been absent in understanding the relationship between environmental pollution and obesity risk. To address such gaps, the author uses a sociological perspective to explore the way in which exposure to a specific class of obesogens, endocrine disruptors, influences adult obesity prevalence.
  5. 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?
  6. Response to Morgan: On the Role of Status Threat and Material Interests in the 2016 Election

    I am delighted to have the opportunity to respond to Morgan’s article, which is a critique of my recent publication (Mutz 2018). I will restrict my response to matters concerning the data and analysis, excluding issues such as whether the journal PNAS is appropriately named (Morgan this issue:3) as well as Morgan’s views about how this work was covered in various media outlets (Morgan this issue:3–6). These issues are less important than whether material self-interest or status threat motivated Trump supporters.

  7. How and Why Haifa Has Become the “Palestinian Cultural Capital” in Israel

    With the growth of Palestinian original cultural productions and independent performance venues in Haifa, its residents have dubbed it the “Palestinian cultural capital in Israel.” An important cosmopolitan center prior to the loss of its majority Palestinian population in 1948, how have Haifa's Palestinian residents today revived the city and claimed this ambitious new title? What factors have enabled this development to take place specifically in Haifa? And, what can it tell us about Palestinians’ imagination of national space under Israel's dominance?

  8. 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.
  9. Urban Hospitals as Anchor Institutions: Frameworks for Medical Sociology

    Recent policy developments are forcing many hospitals to supplement their traditional focus on the provision of direct patient care by using mechanisms to address the social determinants of health in local communities. Sociologists have studied hospital organizations for decades, to great effect, highlighting key processes of professional socialization and external influences that shape hospital-based care. New methods are needed, however, to capture more recent changes in hospital population health initiatives in their surrounding neighborhoods.
  10. The Effect of Serious Offending on Health: A Marginal Structural Model

    In this study, we contribute to the emerging scholarship at the intersection of crime and health by estimating the effect of serious offending on offenders’ health. By building on sociological stress research, we identify and adjust for the key life course processes that may intervene on the pathway from offending to health using a rich set of measures available in the panel data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health.