American Sociological Association

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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. 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). 

  4. Is it Really Okay to Feel Not Okay? Reflections from Three Scholars of Emotion (Sociology of Emotions)

    Jessica Collett, University of California-Los Angeles

    Interpreting physiological responses is a key part of emotional experience. Imagine a father who tells a child about to start kindergarten that what they describe as feeling sick is actually a sign of nervous excitement—what some call butterflies—and not illness. His emotional vocabulary, combined with an understanding of situational cues, help him interpret his child’s experience (and stops him from searching for the pediatrician’s number).