In this episode, I talk to University of Minnesota Professor and Editor-In-Chief of TheSocietyPages Douglas Hartmann about his book Midnight Basketball: Race, Sports, and Neoliberal Social Policy. This conversation focuses on a 1990s crime initiative, known as midnight basketball, which aimed to curb crime by setting up late night basketball leagues in inner cities. While initially popular with democrats and republicans , including president George H. W. Bush, the program would eventually fall, being attacked by right-wing politicians and radio hosts alike, but it left behind a complex history with many implications for sports, race, and social policy today.

This week we talk with Lane Kenworthy, Professor of Sociology and Political Science at the University of Arizona. Lane studies causes and consequences of poverty, inequality, economic growth, and social policy in the United States and other affluent countries, and recently published Social Democratic Americaa look at the current state of inequality in the U.S. and what can be done to fix it. We touch on a number of hot policy issues and discuss the role of the sociologist in producing relevant research and writing for public audiences.

Download Office Hours #91

In this episode, we talk with Emily Baxter, creator of the documentary project “We Are All Criminals,” where participants recall crimes they committed for which they were never caught. Emily is also the Director of Public Policy and Advocacy at the Council on Crime and Justice. In her work, she is responsible for development and implementation of the organizations’ public policy agenda, services for individuals with criminal records, and education of employers to promote the hiring of individuals with criminal records. She is also the Fall 2013 Robina Institute Visiting Fellow at the University of Minnesota Law School.

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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.

Paul Mattessich and Ela Rausch from Wilder Research stop by to discuss how they use social science research to help communities improve their quality of life. Be sure to check out their article in our Winter 2009 issue, Communities that Don’t Bowl in the Fog.

In our Discoveries segment, Tim Ortyl discusses the first representative GLBT survey in California and how it improves our knowledge of the GLBT community.

Download episode #10 now!