Social Studies

Unlocking the Mysteries of Language

The ability to speak, to learn languages: It is one of the most–if not the most–defining of human characteristics. But the whys and hows of how it evolved fascinate scientists, including Michael Wilson in the Department of Anthropology.

To Close the Achievement Gap

Today, roughly 50 percent of black students drop out of high school, and another 50 percent drop out of college. “When a student drops out of school, we all lose,” Keith Mayes says. “Who knows what that student could have achieved with a good education? We all lose out on that student’s potential to change the world.”

Three Questions with Dr. Mark Snyder

Dr. Mark Snyder describes his work as a blend of social psychology and personality study, aimed at understanding “how individuals create their own social worlds” and how individual motivations translate into social action and altruism. The McKnight Presidential Endowed Chair in Psychology at the University of Minnesota…

Moin Syed, TEDx6CEA: "What is 'Developmental' about Identity Development?"

Psychologist Moin Syed presents at the 6th Annual Conference on Emerging Adulthood.

There's Research on That! Women at Work: When Self Help Isn't Help Enough

Sociologist Penny Edgell gathers research on why pop culture’s self-help mantras do little to change women’s experiences in the workplace: “trying to solve a problem of structural sexism with a good night’s sleep, a self-help book, and a smile is a losing proposition.”

Office Hours Podcast: Joyce Bell on Social Work and the Black Power Movement

Sociologist Joyce Bell, author of The Black Power Movement and American Social Work, discusses the activist legacy and community organizations that grew out of the 1960s and ’70s Black Power movement.

Atheists Remain Most Disliked Religious Minority in the U.S.

Ten years ago University of Minnesota sociologists conducted research showing that, among a long list of racial and religious minority groups, atheists were the most disliked group of people in the United States. Last month they followed up with new research that shows that Americans still have negative opinions of atheists and the non-religious–and now…

Morality Built Upon Atheism? digs into research from U of M sociologists Penny Edgell, Joseph Gerteis, and Doug Hartmann that shows atheists remain America’s most disliked “religious” group.