American Sociological Association

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  1. Call Your Representatives: Connecting Classroom Learning to Real-world Policy Action

    This article presents an in-class exercise that teaches students how to call elected officials about a course-related issue of their choice. The goals are to connect classroom learning with real-life action, to show that contacting elected officials need not be difficult or intimidating, and to help students develop a sense of efficacy that can contribute to ongoing engagement. I describe the exercise and present evidence that it led students to call their elected officials, most for the first time ever.
  2. Share, Show, and Tell: Group Discussion or Simulations Versus Lecture Teaching Strategies in a Research Methods Course

    Impacts of incorporating active learning pedagogies into a lecture-based course were examined among 266 students across nine research methods course sections taught by one instructor at a large public university. Pedagogies evaluated include lecture only, lecture with small group discussions, and lecture with simulations. Although lecture-simulations sections outperformed lecture-only sections on one outcome measure, few performance differences appeared between lecture-only and alternative groups.
  3. Visualizing Police Exposure by Race, Gender, and Age in New York City

    This figure depicts the disparities in average police stops in New York City from 2004 to 2012, disaggregated by race, gender, and age. Composed of six bar charts, each graph in the figure provides data for a particular population at the intersection of race and gender, focusing on black, white, and Hispanic men and women. Each graph also has a comparative backdrop of the data on police stops for black males.
  4. 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.
  5. Navigating the Process of Curriculum Redesign in Sociology: Challenges and Lessons from One Program

    The American Sociological Association has produced a wide range of reports and materials addressing curricular best practices. Collectively, those materials are an invaluable resource for guiding revisions of the sociology major, but they do not address processes for implementing such revisions. In this conversation piece, we describe the steps by which our department implemented a thorough curricular redesign—a process nearing completion after five years of formal discussions, and with roots reaching back even farther.
  6. Using Racial and Class Differences in Infant Mortality to Teach about White Privilege: A Cooperative Group Activity

    A considerable amount of research across the past several decades has documented the emergence of a new racial ideology of “color-blindness” as well as evidence that white college students have difficulty recognizing the racial privileges that are obscured by this color-blindness. To address this, we developed a cooperative group White Privilege Activity that used racial and class differences in infant mortality to help students recognize the existence of white privilege.
  7. Do They Have to Like It to Learn from It? Students’ Experiences, Group Dynamics, and Learning Outcomes in Group Research Projects

    Small-group pedagogies, such as group research projects, are a common instructional method in undergraduate education. The literature suggests that small-group learning has positive effects on learning outcomes, but some students have negative attitudes toward group work, and student complaints about negative group dynamics, such as free-riding, are common.
  8. Teaching Note: Social Networks and Labor Market Inequality: A Role-playing Activity to Teach Difficult Concepts

    Role-playing activities, as a form of active learning, enable instructors to teach difficult concepts in ways that better facilitate student learning. This note tests the effectiveness of a role-playing activity that simulates the job market: Most students play job seekers seeking employment, and a few play the employers who make employment decisions. However, students are constrained in that they can only talk to students they already know or meet during the game.
  9. Pedagogy: Teaching and Learning about Settler-colonial Racism: A Case for “Unsettling” Minoritizing and Multicultural Perspectives

    This article contributes to emerging efforts to decolonize race-based approaches and antiracist pedagogies in sociology. Building on recent scholarship on settler colonialism and decolonization as well as her experiences of being unsettled, the author discusses the limitations of her critical sociological toolkit for understanding and teaching about the cultural violence associated with “Indian” sport mascots.
  10. Aggressive Policing and the Educational Performance of Minority Youth

    An increasing number of minority youth experience contact with the criminal justice system. But how does the expansion of police presence in poor urban communities affect educational outcomes? Previous research points at multiple mechanisms with opposing effects. This article presents the first causal evidence of the impact of aggressive policing on minority youths’ educational performance. Under Operation Impact, the New York Police Department (NYPD) saturated high-crime areas with additional police officers with the mission to engage in aggressive, order-maintenance policing.