The American Sociological Association has some great sociological resources on their website related to COVID-19. While they are primarily meant to support sociologists during this time, we think many of the resources will appeal to TSP’s broad audience. For example, ASA has curated a list of journal articles (open-access for the time being – no paywall!) related to COVID-19, like this article on how job insecurity relates to mental health. For instructors, ASA’s teaching resources platform, TRAILS, is currently open-access. Read more about the resources ASA is offering below.

Open Access ASA Journal Articles Relevant to COVID-19  

ASA has worked with our journal editors to create a curated collection of existing articles from ASA journals that could be useful when trying to respond to, cope with, and teach about the enormous disruptions this pandemic has produced.  A few examples of what you will find in the collection:

  • A graphic visualization of the cumulative effects of natural hazards on racial wealth gaps between 1999-2013 which sheds light on disparities in economic impact this pandemic may have.  
  • A socio-organizational approach to explaining empirical variation in rates of altruism. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing might be conceptualized as an altruistic act that can be more or less effectively structured and developed by the organizational and institutional environment. 
  • The now classic article “Social Conditions as Fundamental Causes of Disease,” which has been cited nearly 5,000 times since it was first published in 1995.

Click here to freely access the full collection of articles.

Crowd Sourced: Sociologists in the News on COVID-19

Journalists are turning to sociologists to help them explain the social dimensions of the current crisis. We have created an open-access spread sheet devoted to collecting and sharing information about these media mentions and media appearances. Please help spread the word about sociologists in the news by adding information about your own media appearances and those you have seen.

Crowd Sourced: COVID-19 Projects Initiated by Sociologists

Sociologists are responding in creative ways to learn more about the pandemic and its consequences. They are collecting data, creating interdisciplinary research collaborations, and supporting their communities. We have launched an open-access spread sheet devoted to collecting and sharing information about these projects. You’ll see that some initiatives are already listed. We’re hoping you will add initiatives of which you are aware, and together we can disseminate information about these projects.  

TRAILS Remains Temporarily Open Access 

In response to COVID-19, ASA has temporarily made TRAILS, its peer-reviewed library of teaching and learning materials for sociology, available to everyone. Anyone may log in to TRAILS using their ASA username and password, regardless of their membership status. If someone does not have an ASA username and password, they can create one here. Please share this information with your colleagues.  

ASA Webinars – All Welcome

Sociology Student Town Hall: Navigating COVID-19. April 16, 2020. 3:00 p.m. Eastern. The Student Forum Advisory Board invites sociology graduate and undergraduate students to a town hall to discuss how to navigate the challenges of being a student during this difficult time. Whether you are taking courses or are in the final stages of writing your dissertation, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted students in unique ways. We invite students at all stages to join us for a conversation to share resources, discuss coping strategies, and commiserate. Click here to register

Best Practices and Strategies for Successful Online Teaching. April 22, 2020. 3:00 p.m. Eastern.  Because of COVID-19, faculty have quickly moved their courses online, and their immediate focus is getting through the crisis. As institutions look beyond the current semester, a growing number are moving summer courses online and some are planning for this possibility for fall. In this previously scheduled webinar, Melinda Messineo will cover best practices for online teaching and learning, as well as sociology-specific recommendations to help faculty prepare for and improve their online teaching. Dr. Messineo is a professor of sociology at Ball State University. She was a member of theASA Task Force on Liberal Learning and the Sociology Major, where she was part of the subcommittee on online learning. Click here to register.

Expanded: ASA Webpage with COVID-19 Resources for Sociologists

ASA has expanded its webpage devoted to collecting and sharing resources useful to sociologists during the current crisis. New additions to the page include a recorded webinar, “College Students and Mental Health: Strategies for Supporting Students,” resources for students, and resources to support teaching and advising, including new links to online sociological content for courses. Among those, don’t miss the brand new video in the Sociological Insights series, “An Embrace of Christian Nationalism,” featuring research by Andrew Whitehead.

Welcome Back! This week, we round up sociological research on astrology, and feature guest posts critiquing the use of the phrase “social distancing” and explaining how to make sense of the COVID-19 models that are now omnipresent.

Special Features:

In “What are COVID-19 Models Modeling?,” jimi adams explains three commonly used models, how they work, and what kinds of clarity they can provide despite their uncertainty.

The Editors’ Desk:

In “Why Social Distancing is the Wrong Phrase,” Ron Anderson explains the origin of the term “social distancing” as a way to measure the amount of separation between social groups.

There’s Research on That:

Reach For the Stars” by Christine Delp and Jillian LaBranche. We round up research examining how alternative belief systems like astrology can help us find community and grapple with uncertainty.

Teaching TSP:

Using TSP’s Partner and Community Pages to Teach Online” by Allison Nobles. This post provides an overview of the high-interest and accessible sociological content that’s available on TSP and great for teaching.

From Our Partners:

Contexts

COVID-19 Policies from Around the World” by Rashawn Ray and Fabio Rojas.

Structural Shocks and Extreme Exposures” by Rashawn Ray and Fabio Rojas.

Council on Contemporary Families

What Covid-19 Reveals About the Social Safety Net in the United States” by Sinikka Elliott.

From Our Community Pages:

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Image of people each standing 6 feet apart from the others by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay

We share this writing in memoriam of Ron Anderson (June 14, 1941 – December 21, 2020) Professor Emeritus of sociology, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. In the coming weeks, to honor Ron’s memory, we will share more of his writing.

Over the past month with lightning speed the phrase ‘social distancing’ became part of the American vocabulary. Epidemiologists invented the phrase in earlier epidemics to refer to avoiding close contact with other people during the outbreak of a contagious disease. The word now evokes such actions as staying six feet away from others, avoiding crowded places, stop handshakes and hugs and even washing your hands a lot.

But the phrase is not perfect. In fact, the World Health Organization and quite a few bloggers have called for use of an alternative phrase, ‘physical distancing’ to bring clarity. Their argument is that the word ‘social’ in social distancing suggests we should cut off relations with people. But in a pandemic, we desperately need social connecting via technology to avoid the social isolation that distancing demands.

From a sociological perspective another consideration is worth noting. Most of us have been advocating the reduction of social distance in the sense of reducing distance among race, class and sex-based groupings. Furthermore, almost 100 years ago a sociologist Emory S. Bogardus designed the research tool called the Bogardus Social Distance Scale. The tool measures the degree of separateness rather than closeness among any kind of social groups including race, class and gender. 

The long tradition of sociological measurement of social distance implies another argument against using ‘social distance’ to talk about being safe in an epidemic. We don’t want to inadvertently suggest people increase their distance with minority ethnic groups. We are living in a time when white nationalism has been rising and there are many reports of prejudice and discrimination toward Asians. We need to build less, not more social distance.

It is probably too late to get most people to switch phrases from ‘social distancing’ to ‘physical distancing’ or just ‘distancing.’ But you can add your thoughts about this issue to the dialog on Wikipedia or elsewhere on this important topic. And you can be more precise in your own use of distancing terminology.

Happy Friday! This week, we feature new research on stereotypes and reporting, algorithms used to drive policy, and the importance of Census data for understanding race, diversity, and inequality.

Discoveries:

Traffic Accident Reporting Drives Gender Stereotypes” by Jean Marie Maier. We bring you new research investigating how gender stereotypes about bad drivers are perpetuated by the media.

Algorithmic Blues: Accuracy Versus Morality in Policy Debates” by Mahala Miller. New research explores how policymakers feel about insurance companies’ use of credit scores to predict prices–one consequential example of a predictive algorithm used to set policy.

There’s Research on That:

A #TSPClassics Collection: The Sociology of the Census” by Neeraj Rajasekar. We round up research on the history and methods of conducting the Census, and how social scientists have used Census data in research and theory-building.

From Our Partners:

Contexts

Con Corazón San Antonio” by Fabio Rojas.

Healthcare and Critical Infrastructure” by Rashawn Ray and Fabio Rojas.

COVID-19 Impact on Asia and Beyond” by Rashawn Ray and Fabio Rojas.

Council on Contemporary Families

Online learning will be hard for kids whose schools close – and the digital divide will make it even harder for some of them” by Jessica Calarco.

From Our Community Pages:

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Welcome back! This week, we provide resources to help instructors move the courses they designed to teach in person fully online. We also bring you new research examining colorism in NCAA basketball commentary, and a roundup of research on the impact of economic recessions on family life.

Discoveries:

Throwin’ Shade On the Court” by Christine Delp. New research helps us to understand how NCAA broadcast announcers talk differently about the physical performance, physicality, and mental ability of lighter and darker-skinned players.

There’s Research on That:

Portent of Things to Come? How the Great Recession of 2008 Changed Family Life” by Mahala Miller. We round up research on how the Great Recession of 2008 impacted families’ decision-making to help us imagine what might lie ahead.

Teaching TSP:

Using TSP to Teach Online” by Allison Nobles. We offer a guide to the clear, concise, and public-facing sociological content on our site, and suggestions for how to incorporate it in lessons for undergraduates! 

Teaching Something Suddenly-Online that you Designed for an In-Person Course due to #COVID19” by Erika Sanborne. This post offers helpful and reassuring advice for making online courses accessible, delivering course content, and assessing student learning.

From Our Partners:

Contexts

The Global Coronavirus Epidemic: Commentary on East Asia’s Response” by Rashawn Ray and Fabio Rojas.

Council on Contemporary Families

Love in the time of Corona: How to stay connected with family when we “gotta keep ’em separated”” by Patricia N. E. Roberson.

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Welcome back! This week, we bring you new research on rural college-goers and a TSP Classic on the sociology of public outings. We also bring back a popular piece from Soc Images that helps us understand the relationship between social inequality, fears about health, and pandemics.

Discoveries:

Parents’ Lack of Education Fuels Push for Children’s Education” by Nick Matthews. New research helps us to understand how rural parents, often lacking financial resources or higher education, can be an asset to their children’s college-going.

Best of 2018: More Than Just a Walk in the Park” by Brooke Chambers. We bring back this TSP Classic exploring how our public outings are influenced by social factors, like identity and bias.

From Our Partners:

Contexts

Call for Papers: The Global Impact of the Coronavirus” by Rashawn Ray and Fabio Rojas.

Working to Live: Winter 2020” by Rashawn Ray and Fabio Rojas.

Gender in the One Percent” by Jill Yavorsky, Lisa Keister, and Yue Qian.

American Academics’ Apathy and Complicity in Palestinian Oppression” by Johnny E. Williams and David G. Embrick.

Sociological Images

Back by popular demand! We reposted “Social Inequality, Medical Fears, and Pandemics” by Joseph O. Baker, Ann Gordon, L. Edward Day, and Christopher D. Bader.

From Our Community Pages:

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Welcome back! This week, we round up research on disease and discrimination to help make sense of the coronavirus from a sociological perspective. And, as spring break looms large, we offer a collection of scholarship on celebration and solidarity, and new research on exchange rates.

There’s Research on That:

Disease Exposes Discrimination” by Allison Nobles. We bring together research on the long, problematic history of blaming marginalized groups for the spread of infectious disease.

The Social Science of Spring Break” by Neeraj Rajasekar. Partying is packed with sociological ideas, and we round up research unpacking the social processes of rituals, festivals and trips.

Discoveries:

Vitriol & Volatility: How Trump’s Tweets Affect the Peso” by Jillian LaBranche. New scholarship finds a relationship between the President’s derogatory tweets about Mexico and the U.S. Dollar-Mexican Peso exchange rate.

From Our Partners:

Sociological Images

Social Inequality, Medical Fears, and Pandemics” by Joseph O. Baker, Ann Gordon, L. Edward Day, and Christopher D. Bader.

Does Blindness Beat Bias?” by Evan Stewart.

Council on Contemporary Families:

Working Parents are Leaders” by Stew Friedman and Alyssa Westring.

From Our Community Pages:

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Welcome back! This week we’ve got new research on who’s having same-sex sex and what resources Black and white teachers get from same-race social ties. We also round up research on how American history textbooks cover violence, national figures, and more.

There’s Research on That:

ConTEXTualizing Historical Knowledge,” by Jillian LaBranche. American history textbooks vary wildly in educational content. To understand more, we review social science research on how textbooks cover violence, national figures, and more.

Discoveries:

Black and White Teachers’ Access to School Resources,” by Amber Joy Powell. New research in the American Journal of Sociology finds that Black teachers do not get the same resources as white teachers do from same-race social ties at work.

Who Is Having More Same-Sex Sex? by Jean Marie Maier. New research in Gender & Society finds that younger people demonstrate more same-sex sexual behavior than older people, with a greater increase for women and black men.

From Our Partners:

Council on Contemporary Families:

What’s New About Consent,” by Rebecca L. Davis.

From Our Community Pages:

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Welcome back! This week we’ve got new research on public health epidemics and media coverage, how social ties help refugees, and reflections on colleges’ role in reducing unwanted sex on campus.

There’s Research on That:

Contagion and Panic in the Media,” by Allison J. Steinke. In light of current coronavirus concerns, we review social science research on public health epidemics and media coverage.

Journalism’s Evasive Objectivity Norm,” by Allison J. Steinke. In recent years ideals of fairness, accuracy, and balance in journalism have come under increasing attack, so we rounded up research on objectivity in journalism.

Discoveries:

How Social Ties Help Refugees,” by Allison Nobles. New research in Socius finds that refugees need both strong and weak social ties to meet their needs in an unfamiliar society.

From Our Partners:

Council on Contemporary Families:

No Easy Answers: Can Colleges Define Consent and Reduce Unwanted Sex?” by Stephanie Coontz and Paula England.

Sociological Images:

What’s Weird about Where You’re From?” by Evan Stewart.

From Our Community Pages:

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Welcome back! This week, we bring you research on graduate student debt, and a review of a new book investigating the stress and sleeplessness of Gen X women. We also feature a roundup of 16 TSP Classic posts that demonstrate why it’s important to celebrate Black history all year long.

Discoveries:

Graduate Student Debt is Growing but Stratified” by Jean Marie Maier. New research on student loans identify graduate school as a major contributor to rising debt. Find out which students are better positioned by their degrees to pay it off.

The Editor’s Desk:

American Women on the Verge: A review of Ada Calhoun’s Why We Can’t Sleep” by Syed Ali.

From Our Partners:

Council on Contemporary Families:

The Puzzling Persistence of Gendered Dating” by Ellen Lamont.

Sociological Images:

Hopeful Research on Romance” by Evan Stewart.

From Our Community Pages:

TSP Classics:

As Black History Month draws to a close, we bring you “From the #TSPClassics Collection: Black History Month, a TROT that rounds up our favorite, timeless posts about the history, meaning, and importance of celebrating Black history.

Presidents Pick the Power Elite” by Mark Lee. This TSP Classic Clipping draws on sociological expertise to understand the influence of millionaire investors on government leaders.

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