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  1. Moving a Mountain: The Extraordinary Trajectory of Same-Sex Marriage Approval in the United States

    Most public opinion attitudes in the United States are reasonably stable over time. Using data from the General Social Survey and the American National Election Studies, I quantify typical change rates across all attitudes. I quantify the extent to which change in same-sex marriage approval (and liberalization in attitudes toward gay rights in general) are among a small set of rapid changing outliers in surveyed public opinions. No measured public opinion attitude in the United States has changed more and more quickly than same-sex marriage.
  2. Public Assistance, Relationship Context, and Jail for Child Support Debt

    Previous studies of poverty governance have focused on the welfare system, the criminal justice system, and the connections between them. Yet less attention has been paid to a third institution that bridges the gap between these two systems: child support enforcement. Jailing for child support nonpayment is one of many mechanisms of child support enforcement, but little is known about this tactic.
  3. Men as Dependents? Marriage and Changes in Health Insurance Coverage among Working-age Adults in the United States, 1988 to 2008

    Changes in marriage and employment patterns may have affected health insurance coverage rates differently for women and men. The author investigates changes in health insurance coverage between 1988 and 2008, focusing on employersponsored insurance (ESI) dependent and employee coverage. Using Oaxaca-Blinder decompositions and Current Population Survey data, the author finds that married men’s coverage as dependents increased from 1988 to 2008, but a smaller share of men were married in 2008. Coupled with declines in ESI employee coverage, changes in marriage increased men’s uninsurance rate.
  4. Anticipatory Minority Stressors among Same-sex Couples: A Relationship Timeline Approach

    The authors build on previous stress theories by drawing attention to the concept of anticipatory couple-level minority stressors (i.e., stressors expected to occur in the future that emanate from the stigmatization of certain relationship forms). A focus on anticipatory couple-level minority stressors brings with it the potential for important insight into vulnerabilities and resiliencies of people in same-sex relationships, the focus of this study. The authors use relationship timelines to examine stressors among a diverse sample of same-sex couples (n = 120).
  5. Permanency and the Educational and Economic Attainment of Former Foster Children in Early Adulthood

    Foster children are at disproportionate risk of adverse outcomes throughout the life course. Public policy prioritizes permanency (exiting foster care through reunification with birth parents, adoption, or legal guardianship) to promote foster youths’ healthy development and well-being, but little empirical evidence indicates that permanency, including its most preferred form—reunification—promotes positive outcomes.
  6. The Struggle to Save Abortion Care

    by Carole Joffe, Summer 2018 Contexts

  7. Review Essays: In Search of Social Ties amid Abandonment: A Review of Abandoned Families and Surviving Poverty

    Judging by their titles alone, a reader might expect that Abandoned Families: Social Isolation in the Twenty-First Century, by Kristin Seefeldt, and Surviving Poverty: Creating Sustainable Ties among the Poor, by Joan Maya Mazelis, focus on very similar subject matter. Both concern themselves with social ties among the poor, a topic that has long been of interest to scholars and has been debated intensely since Carol Stack first documented the necessity of kin and fictive-kin ties for poverty survival (Stack 1974).

  8. Who are the “Illegals”? The Social Construction of Illegality in the United States

    Immigration scholars have increasingly questioned the idea that “illegality” is a fixed, inherent condition. Instead, the new consensus is that immigration laws produce “illegality.” But can “illegality” be socially constructed? When initially judging who is an “illegal immigrant,” common observers and even authorities typically do not rely on an individual’s documentation.
  9. Political Fit as a Component of Neighborhood Preference and Satisfaction

    We examine the role party identification plays in moderating people's perception of place. Do people rely on heuristics to gauge neighborhood partisan composition? If so, those estimates may influence their perception of fit and neighborhood satisfaction. We find that in the absence of concrete, detailed information, people make quick judgments. Republicans, compared to Democrats and non‐partisans, are more likely to develop impressions based on the specific location characteristics presented here.

  10. The Public Stigma of Mental Illness What Do We Think; What Do We Know; What Can We Prove?

    By the 1990s, sociology faced a frustrating paradox. Classic work on mental illness stigma and labeling theory reinforced that the “mark” of mental illness created prejudice and discrimination for individuals and family members. Yet that foundation, coupled with deinstitutionalization of mental health care, produced contradictory responses. Claims that stigma was dissipating were made, while others argued that intervention efforts were needed to reduce stigma.