About the Site

Sociological Images is designed to encourage all kinds of people to exercise and develop their sociological imagination by presenting brief sociological discussions of compelling and timely imagery that spans the breadth of sociological inquiry. Please friend us on Facebook or follow us on Mastodon, TwitterTumblr, or Pinterest.

Sociological Images is used as a source by a wide range of news organizations and are routinely cross-posted at high profile news and opinion sites.


We have been reviewed favorably in Teaching Sociology and Visual Studies, featured in an academic article at Teaching in Higher Education. The blog received the 2015 Distinguished Contributions to Teaching Award from the American Sociological Association. We have also been granted awards from The American Sociological Association section on Communication and Information Technologies, The Pacific Sociological Association, the University of Minnesota Department of Sociology, and the Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching.


Editor and Principal Author

Evan Stewart is an assistant professor of sociology at University of Massachusetts Boston. He earned his MA and PhD in sociology from the University of Minnesota and holds a BA in political theory and social policy from Michigan State University. His research on political culture, public opinion, and religion and secularism has appeared in journals such as Social Forces, Social Currents, and The Sociological Quarterly. You can follow Evan on Twitter, or visit his website for a curriculum vitae, teaching information, and more.  

Founding Editor and Contributor

With Gwen Sharp, Lisa Wade founded Sociological Images in the summer of 2007. She remained the principal writer and editor of the site until the September 2017.  She earned a BA in philosophy from UC Santa Barbara, an MA in human sexuality from NYU, and a PhD in sociology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Today she is an Associate Professor at Tulane University in New Orleans, with appointments in sociology, gender and sexuality studies, and the Newcomb Institute. Her most recent book, American Hookup, is described as an open-minded, compassionate, and unflinching account of the new culture of sex on campus. She is also the author of a forthcoming introduction to sociology textbook titled Terrible Magnificent Sociology, the bestselling textbook Gender: Ideas, Interactions, Institutions (with Myra Marx Ferree), and the co-editor of Assigned, a book about life with gender. You can join Lisa on Twitter and Instagram. Or, you can visit her website for her curriculum vitae, syllabi, information on public speaking, and more.

Founding editor

Gwen Sharp co-founded Sociological Images with Lisa Wade in 2007 and was a principal writer and editor for the site until 2012. She earned a PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is currently an Associate Dean at Nevada State College. She developed the sociology minor at NSC and taught Principles of Sociology, Gender and Society, Racial and Ethnic Conflict, Social Stratification, Sex and Social Relations, and Popular Culture. Dr. Sharp won the 2012 campus award for Teaching Excellence at NSC, and in 2014 received the state-wide Nevada Board of Regents Teaching Excellence Award. You can visit her website for more.

Other Associates

Tristan Bridges served as the Sociological Images Guest Editor from January 2017 to March 2017. He is an assistant professor in the sociology department at the University of California, Santa Barbara.  His research is primarily concerned with shifts in the gender identities and practices of young men and how those transformations relate to contemporary gender and sexual inequality. You can visit his website, his blog, or follow him on Twitter.

Our regular contributors have included Philip Cohen of Family Inequality, Martin Hart-Landsberg of Reports from the Economic Front, and Jay Livingston of Montclair SocioBlog.

Our student interns have included Javier Quiroz (2013/2014), Laura Bertocci (2012/2013), Norma Morella (2011/2012), and Lauren McGuire (2010/2011).


WHY: In an era where people face fake news and post-truth politics, the sociological imagination is more necessary than ever. It is also easier than ever for us to share what we learn about the social systems that shape our world. Researchers are flocking to social media, people are making their data beautiful, and, as always, a good image is often more effective for getting a point across than all the citations, repetition, or jumping up and down and saying “really I swear” will be.

We hope this blog encourages all kinds of people to exercise and develop their sociological imagination and that, between all of us, public discourse will increasingly include a sociological lens with which we can all learn about social processes, critique social inadequacies, and design functional and equitable alternatives.

Also, if you are an instructor, we hope that the material will be useful for your classes.  Check out our collection of Sociological Images assignments.

OUR AUDIENCE: We assume that you, our audience, are sociologically-inclined folks. So we do not typically include a lengthy beginner-level sociological interpretation of the images.

DIALOGUE: Images are polysemic and people will view and use them in many different ways, so our commentary, when offered, is never meant to control how people use the images (as if we could anyway).  We welcome comments that offer additional or alternative interpretations of images.

TRIGGER WARNINGS: We do our best to place potentially upsetting images and text after a jump.  If we’ve failed to notice that something needs a trigger warning, or have forgotten to do this, please feel free to send us a note letting us know.  We’ll fix it ASAP.

COMMENTS MODERATION: Comments that are hateful or threatening toward other commenters, mean-spirited toward particular social groups, or otherwise useless, will be deleted.

STANDARDS OF EVIDENCE: The point of this blog is not to prove that sociological insights actually describe the social world (i.e., “prove” that they are “true”), but to illustrate those sociological insights that are shown or posited to be true elsewhere in academia.  This is by design.

LEGALITY: While all law is a matter of interpretation, we believe Sociological Images to be legal under the Fair Use doctrine. That is, we use the images for a non-commercial educational purpose and that makes it all good.