Troubling Bodies

Identity is increasingly tied to the body. Advertisements for natural herbal supplements to improve body shape, scientific concoctions to increase libido, and surgical procedures guaranteed, if not required, to impress sexual partners fill email inboxes on a daily basis. The … Read More

Climate Change and the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election

Despite increasing global attention and action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, climate change has become a contested political issue in the U.S. While Donald Trump has referred to climate change as a hoax, indigenous and environmental activists have … Read More

Is the (Tea) Party Over?

A roundtable discussion concerning the Tea Party in 2015 and the future. Read More

Re-evaluating the “Culture of Poverty”

Despite its great wealth, the United States has long struggled with poverty. One popular theory for the paradox suggests that a “culture of poverty” prevents the poor from economic betterment despite social programs designed to assist them. The phrase was … Read More

Biophobia and the Reluctant Sociologist

We evolved to be cultural, social animals. So the capacity for culture itself is biological. The capacity for culture evolved because it was adaptive for humans---it helped us… survive and reproduce. In addition, many aspects of culture are not infinitely … Read More

Looking into the Racial Wealth Gap, with Dalton Conley, Rachel Dwyer, and Karyn Lacy

The racial wealth gap is one measure that social scientists use to quantify racial economic inequalities. Wealth is considered a comprehensive measure of economic status, as it takes into account household income and assets as well as levels of indebtedness. Read More

The Enduring Effects of Online Mug Shots

Mug shot websites have become a popular online blend of entrepreneurship and voyeurism. Using public data, site administrators can easily post photos of recent arrestees, then charge the same people a hefty fee to have their photo removed. Read More

“Crimmigration,” With Tanya Golash-Boza, Ryan King, and Yolanda Vázquez

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) removed a record high of 419,000 people---ten times as many as in 1991, and more than during the entire decade of the 1980s. This increase can be attributed to the fact … Read More

Mass Violence and the Media

Acts of mass violence generally receive prompt, widespread, and often one-note media coverage in the U.S. For instance, coverage of a mass shooting at the Washington Navy Yard was dominated by punditry over the ease with which the … Read More

Burning Man: A Roundtable Discussion

Each year around Labor Day, nearly 60,000 people gather to participate in Burning Man, an “experimental community” committed to art, creativity, and free expression. The festival began on a San Francisco beach in 1986 and has since moved to … Read More