Recognition of the life stage between childhood and adulthood as a subject of modern scientific inquiry began in the early twentieth century with the publication of Antonio Marro’s La Puberta (1898) and G. Stanley Hall’s highly influential compendium Adolescence (1904).In Europe, romantic conceptions of a sexually charged, troubled youth (e.g., in Rousseau’s Emile) circulated among […]


Becoming an adult is a life-cycle transition signified by multiple markers (Hogan and Astone 1986). These include the completion of education, the establishment of an independent residence, the attainment of economic self-sufficiency, marriage, parenthood, permission to vote and serve in the military, and the entry into full-time work. These multifaceted, objective markers of adult status, […]


Most basically defined, adult education is the intentional, systematic process of teaching and learning by which persons who occupy adult roles acquire new values, attitudes, knowledge, skills, and disciplines. As a concept, ”adult education” demarcates a subfield of education that is distinct from the latter’s historical and still general identification with the formal schooling of […]


Sociologist Erving Goffman (1969) argued that people conduct themselves so as to generate impressions that maintain the identities, or ”faces,” that they have in social situations. Human action— aside from accomplishing tasks—functions expressively in reflecting actors’ social positions and in preserving social order. Affect control theory (Heise 1979; Smith-Lovin and Heise 1988; MacKinnon 1994) continues […]


The term affirmative action has been used in the United States since the late 1960s to refer to policies that go beyond the simple prohibition of discrimination on grounds of race, national origin, and sex in employment practices and educational programs. These policies require some further action, ”affirmative action,” to make jobs and promotions and […]


In its most extreme forms, aggression is human tragedy unsurpassed. Hopes that the horrors of World War II and the Holocaust would produce a worldwide revulsion against the taking of another human’s life, resulting in the end of genocidal practices and a reduction in homicide rates, have been dashed by the realities of increasing homicide […]


Research on African Americans covers many important areas, only a few of which will be discussed here: theories of white-black relations; the enslavement of African Americans; the development of an antiblack ideology; the creation of white wealth with black labor; the idea of whiteness; racial discrimination today; and possibilities for social change. THEORIES OF WHITE-BLACK […]


African studies simply defined is the systematic, scientific study of African peoples, and their institutions, culture, and history. But such a simple definition fails to encompass adequately the complexity of this important but often neglected arena for sociological theory and research. THE GEOGRAPHY OF AFRICA In sociology, the definition of one’s unit of study is […]


INTRODUCTION The sociological study of alcohol in society is concerned with two broad areas. (1) The first area is the study of alcohol behavior, which includes: (a) social and other factors in alcohol behavior, (b) the prevalence of drinking in society, and (c) the group and individual variations in drinking and alcoholism. (2) The second […]


Getting a new idea adopted can be very difficult. This is all the more frustrating when it seems to the proponents of the new idea that it has very obvious advantages. It can be a challenge to try to introduce new ideas in rural areas, particularly in less-developed societies, where people are somewhat set in […]