Americans love crime. The criminal justice system is fetishized in popular culture and news media. We watch the news and scour the Internet to assess our own moral compass, take cues from others' digressions, and bear witness to justice and punishment. Historically, we learned about crime through news media and fiction. The Internet has dramatically changed this landscape: for the first time, mug shots and jailhouse rosters are available with a click.
Despite significant public, political, and media attention to the issue of criminal violence in the United States, we know surprisingly little about the trends in violent crime for different racial/ethnic groups in recent decades. For example, what are the disparities in homicide between whites, African Americans, and Hispanics? Have these disparities changed over the past 20 years? If so, why? This lack of knowledge is largely due to data limitations, as ethnic identifiers are rarely collected in many official crime statistics.
ASA speaks with sociologist Christopher Dum at the 2016 ASA Annual Meeting on August, 2016, in Seattle, WA. Dum talks about what it means to “do sociology,” how he uses sociology in his work, highlights of his work in the field, the relevance of sociological work to society, and his advice to students interested in entering the field.
The idea for this special issue was suggested by Katherine Rowell (Sinclair Community College) and Margaret Weigers Vitullo (American Sociological Association) as a means to help draw attention to the ongoing work of the American Sociological Association’s Task Force on Community College Faculty in Sociology. I am very pleased that Teaching Sociology has received the opportunity to publish important research performed by members of this task force as well as by others with expertise in instruction in the community college context.
Community college faculty who teach sociology are drawn to their positions for reasons that are personal and meaningful to them, including serving a diverse and underserved population and advancing social justice principles. This is despite the oftentimes challenging work conditions faced at community colleges, according to a new study by members of the American Sociological Association (ASA) Task Force on Community College Faculty in Sociology.
The American Sociological Association is pleased to present the 2017 edition of the ASA Guide to Graduate Departments of Sociology. First published in 1965, the Guide can be used by a wide range of constituents for a variety of purposes—from graduate students considering job prospects to faculty advising undergraduates about graduate programs.
The ASA Task Force on Contingent Faculty was appointed to address the changes in faculty employment and working conditions, career prospects for graduate students, and the consequences for higher education that have resulted from the increased reliance on contingent faculty. Contingent faculty, both part-time and full-time non-tenure track, have increased dramatically. By 2011 a majority of faculty were employed part-time. Contingent faculty are least common at Ph.D.
ASA President Michèle Lamont recently wrote President Andrzej Duda, Chancellery of the President of the Republic of Poland criticizing a new Polish law that significantly harms academic freedom. The law punishes those who study Poland's past and reach a well researched conclusion that is opposite to the Polish government's narrative.
Lamont urges that no charges be filed against Professor Gross. Gross has written about Poles complicity in the persecution of Jews during WWII.