Social Studies
MN

Same-Sex, Different Attitudes

In a now-classic white paper, sociologist Kathy Hull asks how and why American public opinion about marriage equality evolved so quickly: “It’s not a case of older people with more conservative beliefs dying out and being replaced by younger, more liberal generations. Rather, this kind of rapid shift suggests some individuals are changing their minds on the issue.”

Thinking about Trayvon: Privileged Response and Media Discourse

A classic roundtable discussion from The Society Pages features U of M professors Zenzele Isoke and Enid Logan. Isoke issues a damning critique of media constructions of balance: “When the media panders to both sides or both ‘storylines’ … it makes a mockery of the political community. The media operates on the fiction that both sides are ‘equally valid,’ when clearly they are not.”

To Want the Tough Conversations

Richard Lee studies how parents and children in racially mixed families talk about race and racism.

One Thing I Know: Redefining Retirement

Life course scholar Phyllis Moen’s classic 2010 piece on why retirement is no longer a moment, but a project.

Why Punishment Is Purple

Sociologist Josh Page on the politics of punishment and why candidates and communities come together on criminal justice and, increasingly, criminal justice reform.

To Ensure Governments Uphold Justice and Human Dignity

Director of the U of M’s Human Rights Program, Barbara Frey discusses what drives her research.

Time for a Fresh Look at Pension Design

In a Heller-Hurwicz Economics Institute policy brief, economists Kurt Winkelmann and Jahiz Barlas write that policymakers should be concerned about the ability of many of the world’s pension systems to deliver on their promises. It is time, they believe, to build a new foundation for pension systems using the tools of quantitative economic analysis with aggregate welfare as the evaluation yardstick.