The summer is finally here! To celebrate the season, the TSP board has put our heads together to bring you a list of sociology reading recommendations. Whether you’re lounging by the pool, relaxing at the beach, or simply enjoying some downtime at home, we hope these books will provide you with both entertainment and insights. Dive into these selections and have a restful summer. Happy reading!

  • In 2020: One City, Seven People, and the Year Everything Changed, Eric Klinenberg provides an in-depth, probing, and intimate sociological analysis of a year that none of us who lived through it will likely forget. As one of our most trusted public sociologists, Klinenberg examines the challenges of social solidarity and its unique fragility in the United States. His work not only helps us understand the pandemic but also lays a foundation for reimagining (or not) our politics, culture, and institutions in the future. – Recommended by Doug and Chris
  • Very Important People by Ashley Mears brings the reader into the exclusive, extravagant, and disturbing world of the elite global party circuit. Mears blends sociological analysis with an engaging narrative to reveal the extreme gender inequalities of these VIP spaces and update Veblen’s theory of conspicuous consumption for the 21st Century. – Recommended by Mallory
  • In Elusive Jannah, Cawo Abdi explores the varying experiences of members of the Somali diaspora in three countries: the United States, South Africa, and the United Arab Emirates. It’s a fascinating examination of how people’s experiences are uniquely shaped by culture, religion, and government policy. – Recommended by S
  • Mona Lynch’s Hard Bargains provides an engaging examination of how federal prosecutors induce guilty pleas in drug cases tried in federal courts. The book begins by providing readers with a brief history of America’s approach to confronting drug crimes, which sets the stage for the findings of Lynch’s research of how prosecutors in different regions of the U.S. used markedly different tactics when trying to indict drug defendants. – Recommended by John
  • The Minneapolis Reckoning: Race, Violence, and the Politics of Policing in America by Michelle Phelps analyzes the roots of George Floyd’s murder by Derek Chauvin and the conflicts between Minneapolis’s BIPOC communities and its police department. This book explores why Minneapolis was poised to be the perfect place for political protest by examining its intertwined histories of activism and policing. This book covers the deep complexity of how activism and accountability work to push for policing change. – Recommended by Ellie
  • In Before the Badge, Samantha J. Simon explores the selection and training of police officers, revealing how it instills a mindset of state violence. After spending a year training with cadets, Simon shows how the process encourages viewing Black and Latino communities as enemies, perpetuating patterns of police violence. Her work calls for a reimagining of policing in the United States. – Recommended by Leo
  • Examining the shifting lines over gun rights in the United States after the 2020 election fallout, Jennifer Carlson‘s Merchants of the Right covers the surge in liberal gun buyers. Conducting interviews with gun sellers, Carlson discovered that traditional gun supporters faced a new dilemma of either 1) welcoming the new liberal gun owners or 2) doubling down on gun ownership as an exclusively conservative identity. – Recommended by Forrest
  • MacArthur Genius Reuben Miller‘s book, Halfway Home: Race, Punishment, and the Afterlife of Mass Incarceration, centers around the conditions and realities in one of the largest and historically recognized American jails, Cook County, Chicago. As a social work and sociology grad student, I connected with the personal stories Dr. Miller shared of incarcerated loved ones and the importance of working as a grounded academic. I highly recommend Halfway Home for anyone interested in the current criminal justice system. – Recommended by Jake

New & Noteworthy

Mason Jones published a new Discovery, Gender Differences For Medical Student Evaluations, from research by Laura K. Nelson in the American Sociological Review. This study found that women doctors are more likely than men to provide written feedback to medical students, indicating that women do more nurturing work that is crucial yet often unrewarded, contributing to the gender pay gap.

And this week’s Clippings includes:

From the Archives

  • President Biden announced new border policies today, impacting federal immigration – but also between states. Read Ghazah Abbasi’s piece, The Border is a Budget, showing how both Democratic and Republican administrations in the U.S. consistently funding immigration enforcement despite differing rhetoric.
  • Summer is starting for many kids around the United States, adding additional responsibilities to parents. Screen time is a common activity that parents use, but these digital activities often bring judgment against parents who allow generous amounts of screen time. However, some parents have little choice and must rely on digital options – check out this piece by Amy August to learn more: Screen Time in Summer Time.

More from our Partners & Community Pages

Context’s latest from their Spring 2024 issue includes:

Council on Contemporary Families has a new piece:

New & Noteworthy

Forrest Lovette‘s new Discovery, Volunteering or Vacationing? covers research by Netta Kahana on the shifting public opinions about combining travel with volunteering activities–practices, known widely as volunteer tourism or sometimes “voluntourism”. The research found that the participants shared positive self-evaluations of their characters and used them to dispel any perceived judgments from society that might be raised about their participation. 

This week’s Clippings includes Zeynep Tufekci in NHPR on organizing pre-post social media, Beth Linker in The New York Times on their new book Slouch: Posture Panic in Modern America, Nicole Kravitz-Wirtz in The New York Times on gun violence and COVID-19, and Jess Carbino on The League dating app in Yahoo! Life.

Backstage with TSP

The TSP board held our end-of-the-year gathering, and celebrated our star graduating undergrads – Leo LaBarre, Caroline Garland, Ellie Nickel (coming back as grad student!), John Purnell, and Nicole Schmitgen. See pics above.

TSP Tuesdays, Clippings, and new Discoveries/TROTs will now be biweekly until September.

More from our Partners & Community Pages

Contexts has its Spring 2024 issue live! It includes (but is not limited to) pieces on the stigmatizing labels faced by sexual violence survivors, the racial pressures on mixed-race families, the social needs driving conspiracy beliefs, and the impact of Twitter/X’s data access cut on global research. Check it out!

New & Noteworthy

Our new Discovery by Mallory Harrington, Disease Stigma Through the Media covers research by Rachel Best and Alina Arseniev-Koehler. In this piece, the different levels of stigmatization of diseases are investigated via the media coverage and stereotyping that accompanies them. They find that the level of overall disease stigma has decreased over time, but it remains high for behavioral and infectious diseases.

In case you missed it, we posted some new TikToks on the value and importance of sociology via Nicole Schmitgen. Give them a watch, like, and share!

From the Archives

Trump’s trial continues to capture headlines. Take a look back on contexts’ Winter 2018 issue (trump365) on a time where Trump’s policies impacts on society were taking place real-time.

Wars in the Middle East and Eastern Europe continue to leave millions harmed and the impacts will continue far beyond when the bullets stop flying. Read our 2019 Discovery on veteran’s mental health by Allison Nobles to learn more.

More from our Partners & Community Pages

The latest from contexts includes:

  • the case for grandmothers by Neda Maghbouleh on the critical roles and resilience of elder matriarchs in multigenerational Syrian migrant households in Canada, despite immigration policies that often overlook their value.
  • from the corner to the digital street by Parker Muzzerall on research by Yuan Hsiao who finds that real-world interactions and proximity among Chicago’s Latino gangs significantly influence their online conflicts, demonstrating the complex interplay between offline realities and online behaviors.

Council on Comtemporary Families has a new piece:

New & Noteworthy

Colleges, administration, and professors across the United States are responding to student organizing around the conflict in Gaza. In light of this organizing, we compiled 6 pieces from us and our partners to read on student organizing.

First Hand Faculty Experiences on Campus Issues

  • Mass Movements; Moral Moments by Donna Gabaccia reflects on her first-hand experience as a faculty member during an incident of police abuse in Minneapolis, recalling a distressing scene where a young Black teenager was unjustly detained by police in a library.

Young Adults and Social Structure of Protests

  • When Youth Become Activists by Amber Joy Powell writes up some research on the nationwide youth-led movement advocating for stricter gun control in 2018, demonstrating the significant impact young activists can have using modern tools like social media to enhance their cause.
  • in brief: close to the issue by Parker Muzzerall on how proximity to protests, such as the Occupy Central Movement in Hong Kong, increases support for the movement and shifts political ideologies leftward among nearby residents, despite the disruptions caused.

Challenges of Involving Police

Public Opinion and Tolerance (or lack of) on Campus Protests and Academic Freedom in Sociology

Turning to Clippings, this week includes Erin Cech and Elana Goldenkoff‘s article for The Conversation assessing how prepared engineers are to face ethical dilemmas regarding AI,  Richard Ocejo in the Times Union on his new book Sixty Miles Upriver: Gentrification and Race in a Small American City, Robert Bullard‘s recent win of the TIME Earth Award in recognition of his work in environmental justice, and Stephanie Alice Baker‘s article for The Conversation on how wellness influencers are contributing to misleading information about birth control on social media sites. 

And lastly, new from The Conversation, we reposted their new piece by Cheryl Cooky, Is this the dawn of a new era in women’s sports? This piece covers Iowa’s Caitlin Clark and the record-breaking viewership of this year’s women’s Final Four.

Behind the Scenes with TSP

Summer is nearly here! At TSP, this time of year means taking inventory of our current projects and setting new goals for the summer. This summer, we will be posting a TSP Summer Reading List with some recommended summer readings:

More from our Partners & Community Pages

The latest from Contexts:

New posts from the Council on Comtemporary Families include:

New & Noteworthy

Our latest ‘There’s Research on That’, War on Women on the Web by S Ericson and Caroline Garland, covers some of the research on the manosphere. These groups vary in their approaches, with some outright attacking women and others using pseudoscience to back their arguments against women.

This week Clippings covers Josh Greenberg‘s article for The Conversation on the resurgence of the vinyl LP, Chizuko Ueno named as one of the 100 most influential people of 2024 by Time Magazine,  Darnell Hunt and Camille Charles in SRN News on how O.J. Simpson’s trial still reflects the realities of racial divisions in America, Ashley Mears in Jacobin on her new book Very Important People: Status and Beauty in the Global Party Circuit, and Artūras Tereškinas in an LRT article about the Eurovision Song Contest and how Lithuanians react to their representatives.

From the Archives

Students across the U.S. continue to organize and protest for Palestine, with 9 arrested at the University of Minnesota today. Read out ‘There’s Research on That’ When Youth Become Activists by Amber Joy Powell to learn about the role that students and youths play in social issues.

Botched Botox” makes headlines, check out this Sociological Images piece, Botox, Gender, and the Emotional Lobotomy to delve into some of the complexities of this practice.

More from our Partners & Community Pages

Elena G. Van Stee‘s latest piece, making mom proud, covers research by Priya Fielding-Singh and Marianne Cooper which covers how lower-income mothers manage the emotional stress of not meeting societal parenting norms by employing “downscaling” strategies.

Council on Comtemporary Families‘s latest Older Hispanic adults, marital relationships, and depression. Why does the relationship quality matter? which highlights research findings that marital quality significantly impacts mental health, with positive marital interactions reducing depressive symptoms and negative interactions worsening them.

New & Noteworthy

This week’s Clippings includes media coverage of Dana R. Fisher‘s new book: Saving Ourselves: From Climate Shocks to Climate Action in Yale Climate Connections, Agustín Teglia leveraging on chess workshops as a tool to foster socialization among young people who are vulnerable to violence, and marginality in Scroll.in, Tressie McMillan Cottom‘s opinion piece for the New York Times on O.J. Simpson, Apryl Williams new book: Not My Type: Automating Sexual Racism in Online Dating in The Harvard Gazette, and Pamela Prickett and Stefan Timmermans‘s new book The Unclaimed: Abandonment and Hope in the City of Angels reviewed by Alex Kotlowitz for The Atlantic.

From the Archives

Parents of the shooter from Michigan’s school shooting were sentenced to 10-15 years in prison. Check out Context’s piece on some research analyzing these acts of violence as “organizational accidents.”

O.J. Simpson died this past week. Check out our ‘There’s Research on That’, Un-Making a Murderer Still Leaves a Mark by Ryan Larson, to learn about this cultural coverage of crime like in Making a Murderer and others.

Vietnamese business tycoon Truong My Lan was sentenced to death in the country’s largest fraud case. Learn about the “legitimized violence”, or legal violence from a government towards individuals in our ‘There’s Research on That’ by Jillian LaBranche.

More from our Partners & Community Pages

The latest from Contexts includes:

Council on Contemporary Families has a new piece:

New & Noteworthy

Paula Fomby, Professor of Sociology at Penn Arts & Sciences and Associate Director at the Penn Population Studies Center, published a new TSP Special, Families change. The way we support kids should change too. This piece covers some of the realities of children’s experiences, marriage, and some sociology-based research policies that could benefit children and marriage in the United States.

Shania Kuo has a new Discovery on Asian American Views Towards Affirmative Action from research by Ji-won Lee and W. Carson Byrd. Their research finds that “Over 50% of Koreans, Bangladeshis, Filipinos, and Cambodians were in favor or strongly in favor of race-conscious admissions” and “Chinese, Vietnamese, and Hmong respondents were the least likely to be in favor of affirmative action and more likely to be opposed to it.” Give it a read to learn more about race-conscious admissions attitudes of Asian Americans.

From the Archives

March Madness ended this past weekend, with stories of disparities affecting gender and racial differences in working conditions continuing. Check out this Engaging Sports piece from 2022 on the topic.

The solar eclipse was yesterday – learn more about the prominence of Astrology in society, and meaning/community finding under this non-traditional belief.

More from our Partners & Community Pages

The latest from Contexts includes:

The Council on Contemporary Families has a new piece:

New & Noteworthy

We have a new ‘There’s Research on That’ by Forrest Lovette and John Purnell covering the value and role that Sociology has on society, Curriculum, Culture Wars, and Sociology in the Classroom. In response to Flordia’s efforts to de-legitimize the role of sociology in Flordia, this piece covers some research surrounding this recent anti-intellectual attack.

This week’s Clippings includes Caitlyn Collins on The Ezra Klein Show on how national policies, social support, and culture affect experiences of parenthood, The Harvard Crimson coverage of false allegations of plagiarism against Christina Cross, and Amin Ghaziani‘s latest book‘s,  Long Live Queer Nightlife: How the Closing of Gay Bars Sparked a Revolution, coverage by The New York Times.

From the Archives

Long Island County in New York recently restricted a trans woman and roller derby player from playing. Read our recent TSP Special Feature by Chris Knoester covering sex discrimination against trans athletes.

MLB started last week with Shohei Ohtani capturing more headlines. Read some baseball sociology from Contexts to learn about some stats on MLB.

Behind the Scenes with TSP

ASA recently called for submissions on the value of sociology through a TikTok/Instagram contest. Last week, we brainstormed ideas and our fearless undergraduate board members have a number of ideas.

More from our Partners & Community Pages

Here are the latest must-reads from:

Contexts

Council on Contemporary Families

New & Noteworthy

TSP board member Caroline Garland‘s latest Discovery on work by Andréa Becker covers some research on the different experiences of pressures of hysterectomies towards cis women, women of color, and non-binary communities.

This week’s Clippings includes Zeynep Tufekci‘s op-ed for the New York Times on the media frenzy surrounding Kate Middleton’s disappearance from the public eye, Anna Mueller and Seth Abrutyn’s upcoming book Life Under Pressure: The Social Roots of Youth Suicide and What to Do About Them in Mirage News, Haley McEwen in DW – South Africa on how US fundamentalist Christian churches are promoting negative sentiments against LGBTQ+ people and abortion rights in Africa, Michael Burawoy‘s profile on the life of South African sociologist Edward Webster, and Greg Yudin in The New York Times on the upcoming election in Russia.

From the Archives

Last week 70 companies in the U.S. closed their doors to demonstrate support of paid family and medical leave. Read this piece by the Council on Contemporary Families on some of the strains of intensive parenting and the need for expanded parental leave.

Immigration in Texas continues to put a strain on immigrating families and institutions. Read our recent piece by Leo LaBarre on research by Michael T. Light, Jason P. Robey, and Jungmyung Kim about the prosecution of immigrants to learn about the differences between California and Texas policies.

More from our Partners & Community Pages

First Publics has a new Reflections by our very own Douglas Hartmann which covers the balance of old school teaching strategies and modern elements, and Bernadette Ludwig, Susan Rakosi Rosenbloom, and and Kristin Kenneavy share insights to junior faculty on community-based learning courses.

Context’s Elena van Stee spoke with Benjamin Shestakofsky on his latest book  Behind the Startup: How Venture Capital Shapes Work, Innovation, and Inequalitycheck it out here.

Best for Whom? Breastfeeding and Child Development by Jessica Houston Su on the Council on Contemporary Families covers some of the benefits of breastfeeding and the need for reducing barriers.

give theory a chance has a new release, Hannah McCann on Judith Butler, covering Butler’s theorizing of sex and gender and some of the recent attacks.