American Sociological Association

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  1. Teaching Critical Perspectives on Body Weight: The Obesity “Epidemic” and Pro-Ana Movement in Classroom Discussions

    While most sociology students are well prepared to think critically about inequalities involving race, gender, social class, and sexuality, the topics of body weight and health present some challenges for classroom discussion. Primarily, this is due to the body’s status in contemporary society as simultaneously malleable (able to be changed) and intractable (an indicator of moral worth). Such associations lead to cases of size discrimination—what is often called “sizeism”—with impacts similar to what is experienced around race and gender discrimination.

  2. Does Patient-centered Care Change Genital Surgery Decisions? The Strategic Use of Clinical Uncertainty in Disorders of Sex Development Clinics

    Genital surgery in children with ambiguous or atypical genitalia has been marred by controversies about the appropriateness and timing of surgery, generating clinical uncertainty about decision making. Since 2006, medical experts and patient advocates have argued for putting the child’s needs central as patient-centered care. Based on audio recordings of 31 parent–clinician interactions in three clinics of disorders of sex development, we analyze how parents and clinicians decide on genital surgery. We find that clinicians and parents aim for parent-centered rather than infant-centered care.
  3. Perceived Unfair Treatment by Police, Race, and Telomere Length: A Nashville Community-based Sample of Black and White Men

    Police maltreatment, whether experienced personally or indirectly through one’s family or friends, represents a structurally rooted public health problem that disproportionately affects minorities. Researchers, however, know little about the physiological mechanisms connecting unfair treatment by police (UTBP) to poor health. Shortened telomeres due to exposure to this stressor represent one plausible mechanism.
  4. God’s Country in Black and Blue: How Christian Nationalism Shapes Americans’ Views about Police (Mis)treatment of Blacks

    Research shows that Americans who hold strongly to a myth about America’s Christian heritage—what is called “Christian nationalism”—tend to draw rigid boundaries around ethnic and national group membership. Incorporating theories connecting ethnic boundaries, prejudice, and perceived threat with a tendency to justify harsher penalties, bias, or excessive force against racial minorities, the authors examine how Christian nationalist ideology shapes Americans’ views about police treatment of black Americans.
  5. Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison

    Stanley Cohen revisits Foucault's _Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison_.
  6. Getting to Know You: Welfare Fraud Investigation and the Appropriation of Social Ties

    State-level public assistance agencies completed nearly a million SNAP fraud investigations in fiscal year 2016. These investigations hinge on compiling incriminating information about clients. Drawing on interviews with welfare fraud workers in five U.S. states, this article shows how fraud investigators creatively exploit clients’ social networks to extract such information, and thus use clients’ social ties against them. Investigators gain some information through elective cooperation, when people voluntarily implicate others.
  7. Gender and Health: Beyond Binary Categorical Measurement

    This study leverages multiple measures of gender from a US national online survey (N = 1,508) to better assess how gender is related to self-rated health. In contrast to research linking feminine behaviors with good health and masculine behaviors with poor health, we find that masculinity is associated with better self-rated health for cisgender men, whereas femininity is associated with better self-rated health for cisgender women.
  8. Being “on Point”: Exploring the Stress-related Experiences of Incarceration

    Prior studies establish a link between incarceration and stress-related health, but relatively little is known about perceived stressors among current and former prisoners. To better understand the stress-related experiences of this population, in-depth interviews were conducted with 25 former inmates in upstate New York and northeast Ohio in 2012 and 2013. Participants were asked about their health during and after prison, with all participants describing aspects of their incarcerations as stressful.
  9. Research Notes: Persistent Identity Threats: Emotional and Neurological Responses

    In the past few decades, sociologists have called for the incorporation of biological ideas and methods into sociology as a means of improving our understanding of social behavior. In this vein, researchers have argued that bringing neuroscience into the study of self and identity processes will help sociologists refine and construct more accurate theories. The present study pursues this agenda by using neuroscience insights and methodology to empirically examine a poorly understood aspect of identity processes: persistent identity nonverification.
  10. “Broken Windows,” Lower Grades

    The “Broken Windows” theory of policing, applied in New York and other major American cities since the early ‘90s, has been credited in some quarters with reducing crime.  Stopping, warning and even arresting perpetrators of low-impact crimes like vandalism and disorderly behavior, says the theory, contributes to a more cohesive neighborhood and a setting less likely to attract violent crime.