In this episode, guest host Amber Joy chats with Courtney Bell, a high school teacher in North Minneapolis who was a candidate for the 2018 Minnesota Teacher of the Year Award. In a recent article by the Star Tribune, Bell talks about her work teaching sociology to high school students in North Minneapolis. Bell discusses how she encourages her high school students to see themselves as budding sociologists, keeps them engaged in sociological research methods, and uses lessons from sociology to build what she calls emancipatory education.

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In this episode, guest host Allison Nobles talks to Tulane professor Mimi Schippers about her book Beyond Monogamy: Polyamory and the Future of Polyqueer Sexualities. The book interrogates “compulsory monogamy”, or our cultural disposition towards being in a relationship with only one other person at a time. Schippers argues that this compulsory disposition towards monogamy limits the ways that we can view relationships, and reproduces various kinds of inequalities.

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In this episode, guest hosts Amber Powell and Allison Nobles talk to Associate Professor of Sociology at Occidental College Lisa Wade about her book American Hookup: The New Culture of Sex on Campus. The conversation focuses on interrogating what ‘hookup culture’ really is— and how college students make sense of themselves and their positions within (and excluded from) the culture. Using students’ self-reported experiences with sex on campus, Wade is able to narrate the complexities involved in navigating this ‘hookup culture’.

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In this episode, guest host Caty Taborda-Whitt sits down with Trevor Hoppe to discuss his new book, Punishing Disease: HIV and the Criminalization of Sickness, which looks at the public health response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The conversation focuses on how this infectious disease became a target for criminalization through policies and laws that punished the sick.

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In this episode, guest host Wahutu talks to Professor of Journalism at Columbia University Michael Schudson about his new book The News Media: What Everyone Needs to Know. The conversation focuses on the history of news as well as how the public makes sense of news today. Of particular interest is the legacy of the Watergate scandal on journalism and the east coast’s position historically as a center for news production.


Stanford sociologist Marianne Cooper is a leading expert in the field of gender and family dynamics. Her latest book, Cut Adrift: Families in Insecure Times, details her efforts to understand how families representing an array of social classes perceive and manage contemporary economic anxieties. She and guest-host Sarah Catherine Billups discuss the many ways that these problems often fall to wives and mothers, even amongst those who have transcended gender boundaries in professional life.

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Our guest today is Theda Skocpol, the Victor S. Thomas Professor of Government and Sociology at Harvard University, and the director of the Scholar Strategy Network, a network of professors that seeks to improve public policy and strengthen democracy by organizing scholars working in America’s colleges and universities, and connecting them and their research to policy makers, citizen’s associations, and the media.

Professor Skocpol is an expert on the history of American civic and political institutions. Her recent work has applied this knowledge to the Tea Party, the Koch Brothers, and the range of organizations currently marshalling resources and political energy on the right and the left. Today, we talk with her about how the Koch Brothers have transformed American democracy, and whether any corollaries are emerging on the political left.

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With the election of Donald Trump, much has been made about the construction of barriers to entry along the US border with Mexico. But while Trump has placed particular emphasis on the image of a wall designed to limit illegal movement across this border, thousands of workers travel lawfully from cities like Tijuana into the US — and back again — every day. In today’s episode, I talk with Rice University’s Sergio Chávez about his new book Border Lives: Fronterizos, Transnational Migrants, and Commuters in Tijuana, an ethnographic product of many years spent traveling (and waiting to travel) across the border with commuting workers. Dr. Chávez describes the incredible strain that border controls and bureaucracies place on low wage workers, but he also provides a remarkable account of the way that many workers leverage these difficulties into relationships and livelihood strategies. We also explore the implications of his findings for a relatively new approach to the scholarship on immigration, which social scientists call transnationalism.

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In this episode, guest host Neeraj Rajasekar talks to Harvard professor Natasha Warikoo about her book The Diversity Bargain: And Other Dilemmas of Race, Admissions, and Meritocracy at Elite Universities. The book centers on conversations with white students and students of color at Harvard, Brown, and Oxford around their understandings of diversity and diversity programs. Through these interviews, Warikoo illustrates how elite students make sense of their positions at elite universities, the merit involved, and the role privilege plays.


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In his new book, To Care for Creation: the Emergence of the Religious Environmental Movement, Professor Stephen Ellingson explores new — and often localized — environmental activism among mainstream religious groups in the United States. Through interviews with over 60 organizations, he tells the story of how activists overcome the institutional, political, and cultural barriers that have typically prevented religious organizations from investing in environmental causes.

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