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  1. Sociologists Receive ASA Funding to Study Impact of Laws Permitting Concealed Weapons on College Campuses

    If you are a student at a public college or university in Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Oregon, Texas, Utah, or Wisconsin, the person sitting next to you in class may legally have a handgun under that collegiate sweatshirt he or she is wearing. In these 10 states, legislation allows students and faculty members who have concealed weapon licenses to bring their weapons, such as handguns, to campus. In 2014, bills proposing similar legislation were introduced in 14 states.

  2. The COVID-19 Pandemic: Normal Accidents and Cascading System Failures (Inequality, Poverty, and Mobility)

    Charles Perrow described the 1979 Three Mile Island nuclear reactor meltdown as a Normal Accident. Normal accidents are a class of events produced when subsystems in risky, complex and tightly coupled systems fail. Tight linkages between subsystems propagate failure, and local breakdowns cascade into systemic collapse. Diane Vaughn applied the normal accident metaphor to the 1986 Challenger Disaster.

  3. Contributions to COVID-19 Response Efforts (Mathematical Sociology)

    In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the mathematical sociology community has been active in contributing its expertise to both combat and better understand the implications of this unfolding disaster. The following is a brief sample of some of the work being undertaken by our community.

    Modeling SARS-CoV-2 Diffusion

  4. COVID-19: A Threat to Jobs and Identities (Organizations, Occupations, and Work)

    As unemployment skyrockets during the COVID-19 pandemic, our occupational identities may not be the first thing on our minds. But the social changes we are facing may threaten these core identities, which endangers our mental health. The reality of unemployment, reduced hours, or furloughs is pervasive. For those of us fortunate enough to remain employed, the nature of our work has changed. Many white-collar workers are suddenly working from home, in a virtual environment, often while trying to balance work with parenting.

  5. Theorizing Social Response to COVID-19 in the U.S. (Political Sociology)

    Nearly 90 percent of Americans are under stay-at-home and organizational closure orders from their state governors or city mayors (Washington Post, April 2, 2020). These orders may carry legal weight but have rarely been strictly enforced by police. Yet as of March 30, 53 percent of individuals were complying (CNN Ipsos poll, April 1). By April 7, 87% practiced social distancing (Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, April 17); 80% supported social distancing even if it damaged the economy (Politico poll, Star-Tribune, April 18). 

  6. Looking Beyond the Sick Body (Sociology of Body and Embodiment)

    Perhaps the image of COVID-19 that evokes the deepest fear is that of a person on a ventilator, alone in a hospital room. It is a visceral image, the isolated body as victim to the virus. But embodied social experiences go beyond hospital rooms. Social routines and the risks associated with care work all produce physical changes in a pandemic, and they do so in ways that reproduce inequality.

  7. What We Still Need to Know (Sociology of Population)

    As of mid-May, 90,000 Americans had been killed by COVID-19, and provisional data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that the devastation is disproportionally shouldered by racial/ethnic minorities. Nevertheless, it is way too early to assess the population effects of this deadly virus.