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  1. Context and Change: A Longitudinal Analysis of Attitudes about Immigrants in Adolescence

    Research has explored many different relationships between contextual influences, such as levels of immigration or economic condition, and attitudes about immigrants, with mixed results. These have largely been international comparative studies using cross-sectional data, therefore they have been unable to make claims about changes in environmental context translating to changes in attitudes of respondents.

  2. Not by Bread Alone: Mobility Experiences, Religion, and Optimism about Future Mobility

    Americans are quite optimistic about their chances of upward mobility, but sometimes even they have their doubts. The authors examine how mobility experiences boost or dampen American optimism about mobility and how the relationship is connected to religion. The authors find that Americans whose subjective financial situations have recently worsened are less optimistic, whereas those whose situations have improved are more optimistic. Objective measures of mobility were not connected to optimism.

  3. Racial and Other Sociodemographic Disparities in Terrorism Sting Operations

    Previous research suggests a high prevalence of entrapment in post-9/11 terrorism sting operations, but it is unknown whether entrapment abuses are disproportionately targeted at specific racial/ethnic, religious, or socioeconomic groups. Drawing on Black’s theory of law, symbolic threat theory, and research on stereotypes, cognitive biases, and institutional incentives, the authors hypothesize that government agents and informants will use problematic tactics disproportionately against certain marginalized groups.

  4. Americans’ Perceptions of Transgender People’s Sex: Evidence from a National Survey Experiment

    Drawing on the first national survey experiment of its kind (n = 3,922), the authors examine Americans’ perceptions of transgender people’s sex and the factors that underlie these perceptions. The authors randomly assigned respondents to a vignette condition describing a transgender person whose self-identified gender (i.e., identifies as a man or a woman), age (i.e., adult or teenager), and gender conformity in physical appearance (i.e., conforming, nonconforming, ambiguous, or unspecified) had been experimentally manipulated.

  5. Public Concern about Terrorism: Fear, Worry, and Support for Anti-Muslim Policies

    In the era of 9/11, terrorist attacks occur with sufficient frequency and lethality to constitute a realistic threat to the well-being of the American public. Sensing this concern, politicians emphasize the threat of violent attacks to advance a platform of making public safety a priority. In this context, the authors assess the extent, sources, and emotional impact of the public’s concern about terrorism. On the basis of a national survey of 1,000 Americans, the authors examine levels of fear of a terrorist attack and worry about terrorism relative to other potential harms.

  6. How Religious Composition Around the World Differs between Younger and Older Populations

    This graphic shows differences in the religious composition of people around the world by age group. Religious change caused by demographic processes is more than a hypothetical future possibility. The consequences of demographic differences can be seen today by comparing the religious composition of younger and older populations.

  7. Religion and Sexual Behaviors: Understanding the Influence of Islamic Cultures and Religious Affiliation for Explaining Sex Outside of Marriage

    Social scientists have long been interested in how cultural and structural characteristics shape individuals’ actions. We investigate this relationship by examining how macro- and micro-level religious effects shape individuals’ reports of premarital and extramarital sex. We look at how identifying with one of the major world religions—Islam, Hinduism, Christianity, Buddhism, or Judaism—and living in a nation with a Muslim culture shape the likelihood of sex outside of marriage.

  8. School Context and the Gender Gap in Educational Achievement

    Today, boys generally underperform relative to girls in schools throughout the industrialized world. Building on theories about gender identity and reports from prior ethnographic classroom observations, we argue that school environment channels conceptions of masculinity in peer culture, fostering or inhibiting boys’ development of anti-school attitudes and behavior. Girls’ peer groups, by contrast, vary less strongly with the social environment in the extent to which school engagement is stigmatized as un-feminine.

  9. Racial Mismatch in the Classroom: Beyond Black-white Differences

    Previous research demonstrates that students taught by teachers of the same race and ethnicity receive more positive behavioral evaluations than students taught by teachers of a different race/ethnicity. Many researchers view these findings as evidence that teachers, mainly white teachers, are racially biased due to preferences stemming from racial stereotypes that depict some groups as more academically oriented than others.

  10. Placing Racial Classification in Context

    This article extends previous research on place-based patterns of racial categorization by linking it to sociological theory that posits subnational variation in cultural schemas and applying regression techniques that allow for spatial variation in model estimates. We use data from a U.S. restricted-use geocoded longitudinal survey to predict racial classification as a function of both individual and county characteristics.