Midwest Sociology

The Necessity of Public Schools

In Hindsight 2070, Vox asked 15 experts, “What do we do now that will be considered unthinkable in 50 years?” In her reflections, Adia Harvey Wingfield describes how our changing society will come to regret the move to school choice because we need public education now more than ever. Wingfield reminds us that the current […]

No Taxation Without Sociological Imagination

Ben Franklin famously quipped that nothing in life is certain except death and taxes. However, sociologists would add that the burden of taxation (and mortality, for that matter) is not evenly distributed across members of society. This tax season we examine the research on who pays how much to Uncle Sam. Taxation is such a […]

Constructing Merit in College Admissions

The FBI recently announced charges in a wide-spread college admission scandal involving fake test scores and fabricated athletic resumes. In the wake of the scandal, sociologists are weighing in and reminding us that college admissions is as much about legitimating privilege as improving life prospects. Sociologists have long been skeptical of the term meritocracy, which […]

Measuring American Indian Identities

Following taunts from President Trump and other Republican officials, Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren took a DNA test to “prove” her American Indian ancestry last fall. However, the political spectacle did not involve the Cherokee Nation’s determinations of who can rightfully claim their heritage, and for many American Indians, DNA tests have no bearing on deciding […]

The Luck of the Irish

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! As you top one off down at the pub, here’s a round on the house about how the Irish became white in the United States.     Irish presence in America greatly expanded following increased emigration in the mid-to-late 19th century. The journey from Ireland was arduous and dangerous, but their welcome […]

Why Access to Civil Justice Matters

Many Americans are familiar with popular daytime courtroom TV shows like Judge Judy or People’s Court. While these shows present an exaggerated and dramatic scene of a small-claims court, the programs do highlight how many people face everyday problems that can be addressed through civil law. The outcomes of these cases in the real world […]

What Would W.E.B. DuBois Do?

In honor of Black History Month, we at TSP hope to spark a larger conversation about the oft-understated role of black sociologists in advancing the field itself. One such figure is W.E.B DuBois. His is a name that Americans may recognize as an iconic black intellectual, but did you know he was a sociologist? In […]

Gender, Mental Illness, and Reproductive Decision Making

Brea L. Perry, Emma Frieh, and Eric R. Wright, “Therapeutic Social Control of People with Serious Mental Illness: An Empirical Verification and Extension of Theory,” Society and Mental Health, 2018 Throughout history, concerns about women’s sexual behavior and reproduction have often been tied to mental health. For example, in the Victorian era, doctors believed that women’s […]