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  1. Social Context, Biology, and the Definition of Disorder

    In recent years, medical sociologists have increasingly paid attention to a variety of interactions between social and biological factors. These include how social stressors impact the functioning of physiological systems, how sociocultural contexts trigger genetic propensities or mitigate genetic defects, and how brains are attuned to social, cultural, and interactional factors. This paper focuses on how both sociocultural and biological forces influence what conditions are contextually appropriate responses or disorders.
  2. The Spillover of Genomic Testing Results in Families: Same Variant, Different Logics

    Journal of Health and Social Behavior, Volume 58, Issue 2, Page 166-180, June 2017.
  3. Social Disadvantage, Severe Child Abuse, and Biological Profiles in Adulthood

    Guided by the stress process model and the life course perspective, we hypothesize: (1) that childhood abuse is concentrated, in terms of type and intensity, among socially disadvantaged individuals, and (2) that experiencing serious abuse contributes to poor biological profiles in multiple body systems in adulthood. Data came from the Biomarker subsample of Midlife in the United States (2004–2006). We used latent class analysis to identify distinct profiles of childhood abuse, each reflecting a combination of type and severity.
  4. Gender-specific Pathways of Peer Influence on Adolescent Suicidal Behaviors

    The author explores new directions of understanding the pathways of peer influence on adolescent suicidal behavior by leveraging quasi-experimental variation in exposure to peer suicidal behaviors and tracing the flows of influence throughout school environments and networks. The author uses variation in peers’ family members’ suicide attempts to deploy an across–grade level, within-school analysis to estimate causal effects.

  5. Naturalizing Gender through Childhood Socialization Messages in a Zoo

    We draw on public observations conducted in a zoo to identify three instances in which adults make use of its specific spatial and symbolic resources to transmit socialization messages to children according to "naturalized" models of hegemonic gender difference. First, adults attribute gender to zoo animals by projecting onto them human characteristics associated with feminine and masculine stereotypes. Second, adults mobilize zoo exhibits as props for modeling their own normative gender displays in the presence of children.

  6. Negotiating the Diagnostic Uncertainty of Genomic Test Results

    Clinicians order next-generation genomic testing to address diagnostic uncertainty about the cause of a patient’s symptoms. Based on video-recorded observations, we examine geneticists as they return exome sequencing results to families. We find that in consultations, clinical geneticists’ interpretations of genomic findings frequently go beyond the laboratory report. The news delivery offers parents insight into the basis of clinicians’ judgment but also invites parents’ involvement in the determination of genetic causality.

  7. Ambiguity and Scientific Authority: Population Classification in Genomic Science

    The molecularization of race thesis suggests geneticists are gaining greater authority to define human populations and differences, and they are doing so by increasingly defining them in terms of U.S. racial categories. Using a mixed methodology of a content analysis of articles published in Nature Genetics (in 1993, 2001, and 2009) and interviews, we explore geneticists’ population labeling practices. Geneticists use eight classification systems that follow racial, geographic, and ethnic logics of definition. We find limited support for racialization of classification.

  8. Understanding the Link between Victimization and Alcohol Use among Homeless Youth Using Ecological Momentary Assessment

    Most prior research on victimization and alcohol use among homeless youth is retrospective and thus does not allow researchers to determine the sequencing of these events. We address this gap using ecological momentary assessment via short message service surveying with homeless youth during 30 days. Multilevel binary logistic regression results revealed that experiencing physical or sexual victimization on a specific day was positively associated with youth’s drinking alcohol later that day.
  9. Featured Essay: The Arrival of Social Science Genomics

    “The genetics revolution may be well underway,” write Dalton Conley and Jason Fletcher in The Genome Factor, “but the social genomics revolution is just getting started” (p. 11). They are not alone in their excitement for recent developments bringing together social science and genetic research. Decades from now, folks may well look back at this time as the start of a golden age for the field.
  10. Time, Anticipation, and the Life Course: Egg Freezing as Temporarily Disentangling Romance and Reproduction

    This study examines women’s use of egg freezing as a tool to renegotiate the relationship between romantic and reproductive trajectories and temporalities. We interviewed 52 participants who were considering freezing their eggs, were in the process of freezing their eggs, had already frozen their eggs, or had considered freezing their eggs and chose not to do so. We find that most of our participants used egg freezing to disentangle the trajectory of finding a partner from the trajectory of having children, with the end goal of bundled marriage and childbearing.