A student newsletter of the American Sociological Association
Fall Edition
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Welcome to the first edition of The Independent Variable! We at ASA love sociology (obviously!) and want to offer all the insight we can on how to utilize the sociology tool box you are now building. Over 30,000 undergrads receive a sociology degree each year. This newsletter aims to connect ASA to sociology majors and offer relevant information and guidance as you navigate your college experience and continue your studies in sociology.
In Every Issue:
  • Contexts magazine: Peruse newly released material free for 30 days!
  • In the News: Sociological research is cited and covered in newspapers, radio spots, and television segments everyday. In this section we will share articles featuring sociological research from both national and international media outlets.
  • Success in Sociology: What does it take to succeed in our discipline? Studying, exams, internships, and the job market- we will help you tackle them all!
Contexts is a quarterly magazine that makes cutting-edge social science research accessible to the general public. Inside each edition of Contexts you will find interesting sociological ideas and research, clear, concise, and jargon-free articles, and thought provoking pieces on modern life. By clicking here you can access the new Fall edition free for 30 days. In this issue, "Experts and Skeptics", the contributing authors look at how "experts set the terms of much of the knowledge we take for granted, and how skeptics contest these so called truths." The issue explores a range of topics including: marijuana legalization and rave culture, as well as political violence and the life of a disabled parent.
In The News:
Contexts magazine's Summer issue was all about food. The Washington Post covered the work of three North Carolina State sociologists, who found that the pressure to cook a traditional family meal is actually pretty stressful.
Most of us have heard of virginity pledges (perhaps from Glee), nonetheless it is not uncommon for children in religious families to pledge their virginity until marriage. Rarely however, is this explored from the male point of view. New York magazine covered research by a University of Washington graduate student that she presented at the 2014 ASA Annual Meeting.
John Oliver
Given the continuing media convergence surrounding the events in Ferguson, MO, we find this piece by John Oliver quite interesting. Hopefully it leads you to a broader discussion on how the sociological imagination can help explain social phenomena.

The end of Mean Girls? The UK publication, The Daily Mail, covers research reported on an American Sociological Review study concerning the prevalence of cliques and social hierarchies in high schools.

Success in Sociology
Sociologists Stephen Sweet and James Rothenberg have compiled the most perfect welcome letter. For an everything intro to sociology, read Navigating the Sociology Major.

Professor pet peeves are real. Learn all about them here.

The popular women's lifestyle magazine, Cosmopolitan, has published an article geared toward sociology students: 5 "Fascinating Jobs You Can Get with a Sociology Degree".
Waking up to a cold Winter day may induce a desire to skip class. Sociologist Susan Davis-Ali explains why that's not a good idea.

Thinking about an internship? Forbes wrote an article, "How to Land an Awesome Internship" that offers a few tips to get your wheels turning.
Call for Papers: Student Forum Competition
Deadline: January 7, 2015
The Student Forum of the American Sociological Association invites undergraduate and graduate students to submit papers for the 2015 Annual Meeting in Chicago, IL.
Students should submit their papers through the ASA online submission system. Papers are peer-reviewed and up to four papers are selected for each of two Paper Sessions. Those which are not selected for a paper session will be included in the Student Forum sponsored roundtable session.
Of the papers that are selected one paper will be chosen as the ASA Student Forum Student Paper Winner. The winner will receive a $100 prize check and a $225 Student Forum Travel Award to help defray travel expenses to the Annual Meeting.
Submissions must be entered into the ASA online submission portal to be considered for the Student Forum Paper Sessions as well as for the Paper Competition. The online submission system will open on December 5, 2014. The deadline for submissions for the 2015 Call for Papers is January 7, 2015, 3:00pm EST.
Questions should be directed to

What is Sociology?
We googled it and found this great
1 minute video by Dr. Michael Sosteric.

The Wisdom of Sociology:
What if we all thought like sociologists? This topic was explored by Penn State professor Sam Richards in this engaging TedX talk.
Copyright © 2014 American Sociological Association, All rights reserved.

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