Sociological Images is designed to encourage all kinds of people to exercise and develop their sociological imagination by presenting brief sociological discussions of compelling and timely imagery that spans the breadth of sociological inquiry. Please friend us on Facebook or follow us on TwitterTumblr, or Pinterest.

About the Site

Sociological Images encourages all kinds of people to exercise and develop their sociological imagination by presenting brief discussions of compelling and timely imagery that span the breadth of sociological inquiry.

Consisting of an archive of almost 5,000 posts, the website receives about 500,000 visits per month and is followed, additionally, by over 40,000 via Facebook, 15,000 on Twitter, and 10,000 on our 25+ Pinterest boards.  We also recently started a Tumblr page.

Sociological Images is used as a source by a wide range of news organizations and are routinely cross-posted at high profile news and opinion sites, including partial syndication agreements with Jezebel, Business Insider, PolicyMic, Pacific Standard, Racialicious, and The Huffington Post.


we have been reviewed favorably in Teaching Sociology and Visual Studies, featured in an academic article at Teaching in Higher Education, and have been granted awards from The American Sociological Association section on Communication and Information Technologies, The Pacific Sociological Association, the University of Minnesota Department of Sociology,  and MERLOT, the Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching, and MERLOT, the Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching.

Principal Author

Lisa Wade, PhD, holds an M.S. and Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, and an M.A. in Human Sexuality from New York University.  She is an Associate Professor at Occidental College in Los Angeles.  You can follow her on Twitter, on Facebook, or visit her personal website.



WHY: The sociological imagination is a woefully under-utilized tool. We hope this blog encourages all kinds of people to exercise and develop their sociological imagination and that, between all of us, public discourse will increasingly include a sociological lens with which we can all learn about social processes and mechanisms, critique social inadequacies, and design functional and equitable alternatives.

Also, if you are an instructor, we hope that the material will be useful for your classes.  A good image is often more effective for getting a point across than all the citations, repetition, or jumping up and down and saying “really I swear” will be.  Also, check out our essays for classroom use and our collection of Sociological Images assignments.

OUR AUDIENCE: We assume that you, our audience, are sociologically-inclined folks. So we do not typically include a lengthy beginner-level sociological interpretation of the images.

DIALOGUE: Images are polysemic and people will view and use them in many different ways, so our commentary, when offered, is never meant to control how people use the images (as if we could anyway).  We welcome comments that offer additional or alternative interpretations of images.

TRIGGER WARNINGS: We do our best to place potentially upsetting images and text after a jump.  If we’ve failed to notice that something needs a trigger warning, or have forgotten to do this, please feel free to send us a note letting us know.  We’ll fix it ASAP.

COMMENTS MODERATION: Comments that are hateful or threatening toward other commenters, mean-spirited toward particular social groups, or otherwise useless, will be deleted.

STANDARDS OF EVIDENCE: The point of this blog is not to prove that sociological insights actually describe the social world (i.e., “prove” that they are “true”), but to illustrate those sociological insights that are shown or posited to be true elsewhere in academia.  This is by design.

CONTRIBUTIONS: If you see an image you’d like to see posted, we’d be happy to oblige. Email the image to If you add commentary, we may even quote you! And, if you send a website or blog of your own, we’ll link to you.

LEGALITY: While all law is a matter of interpretation, we believe Sociological Images to be legal under the Fair Use doctrine. That is, we use the images for a non-commercial educational purpose and that makes it all good.