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  1. Probing the Links Between Trustworthiness, Trust, and Emotion: Evidence From Four Survey Experiments

    An outstanding puzzle in the social sciences remains about the forms of perceived trustworthiness sufficient to produce trust. Survey experiments adjudicated between four models of the trustworthiness-trust link—social constraints, encapsulated interests, goodwill, and virtuous dispositions—and tested novel hypotheses about other-praising emotions (admiration and gratitude) as mediating effects.

  2. On the Sociology of Occasions

    This article fills a long-standing gap, proposing a framework for what Goffman called for in 1967’s Interaction Ritual: a sociology of occasions. Occasions are omnipresent throughout the sociological literature yet are often only casually analyzed. The author proposes a perspective that solidifies occasions as a basic unit of sociological analysis. This proposal offers a framework based on (1) four resources, (2) three patterns, and (3) five properties. These simple and interlocking tools situate the occasion as a valuable and adaptable sociological focus.

  3. Teaching for Social Justice: Motivations of Community College Faculty in Sociology

    This article evaluates the reasons for career choice and job satisfaction among community college faculty who teach sociology, in relation to a social justice motivation for teaching. Using closed- and open-ended response data from a 2014 national survey of community college sociology faculty, this study finds that a preponderance of faculty do not see themselves as pushed into their careers through external factors but, rather, describe being pulled into community college instruction through a set of personally meaningful internal motivations.

  4. Fractures in the Color Line: Consequences of Constructions of Race and Ethnicity on Measures of Imprisonment

    Studies of social stratification and factors that contribute to inequalities by indices such as race, ethnicity, and gender are core contributions sociologists make to the discipline and to general discourse. The measurement and construction of such indices play a crucial role in the understanding or misunderstanding of inequalities in society.

  5. Review Essays: Both Ever and Never Together: Toward a Sociology Fit to the Human Condition

    In this beautifully produced little book, Ira Cohen takes a “voyage of sociological discovery” by focusing on what he calls solitary action. His definitional statements vary in emphasis but most readers will sense a contrast to what is usually glossed as “face-to-face” interaction. It does not take long to make a convincing case that much of everyday life offers plenty of material for an analysis of solitary action.

  6. Study Reveals Incarceration’s Hidden Wounds for African American Men

    There’s a stark and troubling way that incarceration diminishes the ability of a former inmate to empathize with a loved one behind bars, but existing sociological theories fail to capture it, Vanderbilt University sociologists have found.

  7. The Ecstatic Edge of Politics: Sociology and Donald Trump

    "As the United States prepares for the upcoming presidential election, Arlie Hochschild’s essay, “The Ecstatic Edge of Politics: Sociology and Donald Trump,” provides valuable insight into the emotional dynamics that underpin the political perceptions of Trump supporters. Hochschild’s account provides new perspective on the causes of the disenchantment experienced by large sections of the voting population and the particular nature of Donald Trump’s charismatic appeal to them." -  Michael Sauder, editor, Contemporary Sociology

  8. Summer 2016 Contexts online free until November 17

    Dateline: Seattle. Sitting together at the American Sociological Association’s annual conference, we’re reminded (not that we really needed reminding) that sociologists do a really good job of documenting and analyzing so many different facets of our social world. While the last issue was themed “Good News,” this issue is a cornucopia of sociological goodness.

  9. Capturing Culture: A New Method to Estimate Exogenous Cultural Effects Using Migrant Populations

    We know that culture influences people’s behavior. Yet estimating the exact extent of this influence poses a formidable methodological challenge for the social sciences. This is because preferences and beliefs are endogenous, that is, they are shaped by individuals’ own experiences and affected by the same macro-structural conditions that constrain their actions. This study introduces a new method to overcome endogeneity problems in the estimation of cultural effects by using migrant populations.

  10. Pulling Closer and Moving Apart: Interaction, Identity, and Influence in the U.S. Senate, 1973 to 2009

    This article reconciles two seemingly incompatible expectations about interpersonal interaction and social influence. One theoretical perspective predicts that an increase in interaction between two actors will promote subsequent convergence in their attitudes and behaviors, whereas another view anticipates divergence. We examine the role of political identity in moderating the effects of interaction on influence. Our investigation takes place in the U.S.