This episode we talk to Joel Best, author of popular, accessible sociology books such as Damned Lies and Statistics, Everyone’s a Winner, and hot off the presses, a brand new Social Problems textbook from W.W. Norton.

Download Office Hours #50.

This week we talk with Nathan Palmer about teaching sociology in the internet age. Nathan talks about Sociology Source, the Soc101 Class Pack, and how we should be excited, not scared, about what the internet can do for our teaching.

Download Office Hours #21

This week we talk with Shamus Khan about his new book Privilege: The Making of an Adolescent Elite at St. Paul’s School. One the one hand, elite social institutions—such as St. Paul’s—have opened up to women and minorities in recent decades, but on the other hand, inequality has increased and wealth is more concentrated now than since the 1920s. What explains this apparent contradiction between increasing openness yet rising inequality? Khan draws on his experiences as a student and then researcher at St. Paul’s to help answer this question.

Download Office Hours #16

Do schools reproduce or challenge inequality? And how can we know one way or another? Douglas Downey calls into the Contexts Podcast to help us answer these questions. Be sure to check out Downey’s Spring 2010 Contexts feature How Schools Really Matter!

Also: Jon shares a discovery about gender and software development from last month’s JITP conference on The Politics of Open Source by Hanna Wallach and the FLOSSPOLS project.

Download episode #37 now!

Doug McAdam chats with Jesse about why Freedom Summer was a transformative experience for those involved and why other youth activism efforts, such as Teach for America, tend to not be as transformative.

But first, Sarah shares a discovery about how incarceration shapes racial identity.

Download episode #34 now!

This episode we sit down with Walt Jacobs to discuss his Winter 2010 Contexts feature 30 Years of Black Presidents. During the interview, Walt and Sarah listen in on comic sketches by Richard Pryor and Dave Chapelle. If you prefer your audio/visual materials to include video as well as audio, you can watch the clips below!

But first, we have a discovery on segregation and crime presented by Arturo!

Download episode #32 now!

Videos in the Podcast

John Mayer skit from Tom on Vimeo.

Videos Discussed in the Article

This episode, Julie Artis discusses her Fall 2009 Contexts article, Breastfeed at your own Risk — which you can read online at for free, by the way! Artis discusses the history of breastfeeding, and what breastfeeding can tell us about motherhood, gender and culture. She also addresses the reaction to her article and it’s title.

But first, Jeremy Minyard shares a discovery about socioeconomic differences in college transfer.

Download episode #24 now!

This episode, we talk with the authors of two recent Contexts features on higher education. We speak to Michael Hout about his Winter 2009 “One Thing I Know” column (which you can read online in its entirety here), and then William Beaver tells us about his article, A Matter of Degrees, from our Spring 2009 issue.

Kristin Haltinner drops by again to share a discovery about women rugby players.

Download episode #15 now!