*updates

Dear readers,

This summer marks Sociological Images’ ten year anniversary. I founded the website with Gwen Sharp and have been at its helm ever since. With the support of the University of Minnesota (whose servers we used to crash); Doug Hartmann and Chris Uggen at The Society Pages (who have built an incredible site for SocImages to live on); Jon Smadja’s technical expertise (keeping it all humming); hundreds of insightful guest bloggers; and regular contributors like Jay Livingston, Philip Cohen, Martin Hart-Landsberg, and Tristan Bridges (who also did a grueling three month stint as Guest Editor), the site grew to a size that I never imagined possible. It reached at its peak over a half million visitors a month, boasts an archive of over 5,000 posts, and enjoys 162,000 social media followers. I am beyond grateful to my community of professional sociologists and to the sociology majors and sociology-curious out there in the world, without whom none of this could have happened.

When the site was new, and through 2012, I sat on panels at the American Sociological Association meetings that were titled something to the effect of “Will blogging ruin your career.” It did not. In 2015, Gwen Sharp and I were given the Distinguished Contributions to Teaching Award, the sixth of seven awards we would win for our shepherding of the site. Things changed, and fast. More and more sociologists came online, nearly a thousand of us joined Twitter, and sociology-themed blogs proliferated. Even fancy folk in the discipline started blogging, writing for high-profile news and opinion outlets, and building social media followers. This year a sociologist won a Pulitzer Prize for a book aimed at a — wait for it — general audience.

I am among those who have benefited from this public turn in sociology, the one that Michael Burawoy championed in 2004. It gave me the opportunity to speak to wider audiences, become visible to my peers, be recognized for thoughtful (and sometimes not-so-thoughtful) analyses, and a public reputation that led to a general audience book of my own. As the gatekeeper to Sociological Images and its social media, I also held in my hands the power to help other sociologists publicize their work, one that I tried to use liberally. This has been one of the most gratifying parts of being the site’s editor, and also one that I think has attracted much good will. Sociological Images has been, in short, an incredible boon to my career.

At this time, then, with my own career well-launched, it seems greedy to hold onto the reins. So, with this post I announce an editorial change and a new era for Sociological Images. I am so pleased and excited to introduce Evan Stewart as the new Editor and Principal Author. Evan is a late-stage PhD candidate at the University of Minnesota. After years as a board member and now Graduate Editor of The Society Pages, he brings many years of practice under the careful guidance of Chris Uggen and Doug Hartmann, sociologists who bring great wisdom to the practice of public sociology. I am thrilled that Evan is on board and confident that, under his leadership, the site will continue will be enjoyed by sociology-lovers and a resource for all sociologists who want to reach a broader public.

It is bittersweet to go. I will remain on as an occasional contributor (if Evan thinks my guest posts are of high enough quality to merit publication, of course) and share with him the keys to the social media accounts. I have new projects in the works that I am very excited about — many of which, in various ways, were made possible by SocImages — so you haven’t seen the last of me yet. And I will always be grateful to all of you for your part in the incredible journey the last decade has brought.

With that, please welcome Evan Stewart!

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Hello everyone!

I am honored to be taking up the torch at Sociological Images, and grateful to Lisa for the opportunity. Lisa has built a remarkable legacy with this blog, and I am looking forward to carrying it on into the future.

Sociological Images is the reason I got hooked on public sociology. I found the site late in my undergraduate career at Michigan State University. Lisa and Gwen were kind enough to publish, and later repost, a guest contribution I wrote for a visual sociology class—one that would eventually turn into a chapter for a book from UC Press.

When I started my graduate work in political and cultural sociology at the University of Minnesota, I jumped at the chance to do more public scholarship with The Society Pages. Thanks to Doug Hartmann and Chris Uggen, grad students on the TSP board learn to assess cutting-edge research from all over our field. Bringing this work to the public makes us better writers and scholars. With their support over four years at TSP, I founded and piloted two blogs: There’s Research on That!, which brings social science to the news of the day, and Social Studies Minnesotawhich covers UMN research in political science, psychology, mass communication, and beyond.

Doing great research and sharing great research with people go hand in hand. My research at the American Mosaic Project tackles big questions about how people think about who belongs in society—questions that matter to people! This is due in no small part to my wonderful academic advisor, Penny Edgell (who also blogs!), and graduate colleagues like Jacqui Frost and Jack Delehanty,

Now, I am excited to bring my experience to Sociological Images. The site has been a home for honing the sociological imagination for a decade, and I aim to keep it that way. You can expect to see a lot of familiar names as I continue to bring you top-notch blogging about the social world from SocImages’ old friends. I’ll also be producing original content and cross-posting material by the The Society Pages’ graduate editorial board. Look for some new folks from Minnesota in the by-lines, as well as future calls for guest submissions.

There will be more to come in the next few months, but for now say hi on Twitter and stay tuned for the first new posts coming this week!

Dear readers, I shut down SocImages after the election. It didn’t feel like a time for business as usual. Sociology is not a partisan enterprise, but sociologists understand themselves to be scientists and we share a body of literature from which we derive things we believe to be more fact than fiction, at least until we have better data. Donald Trump’s candidacy made a mockery of facts, while his and Pence’s policy recommendations on everything from torture to climate change to stop-and-frisk to excluding Muslims from the US to “reformability” of sexual minorities to The Wall fly in the face of available data.

I expressed my personal feelings about Trump’s election here, arguing that we need to shift our focus away from the voting patterns of our fellow Americans and toward the institutions that suppress, exclude, and differently weigh our votes. It’s a sociological argument, but also a partisan one, so I won’t reproduce it. What I will do is go forward with Sociological Images, bringing it back to keep spreading the science of sociology, putting empirical research before presumptions as best as I can, as I and so many guest posters did during the campaign.

See you on Monday.

Lisa Wade, PhD is a professor at Occidental College. She is the author of American Hookup, a book about college sexual culture, and a textbook about gender. You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

It’s been a difficult summer and I’ve done my best to try to ensure that SocImages is contributing to the many important conversations we’ve had. I’m grateful for the many guest bloggers who have helped. I’ll summarize the relevant posts here, throwing in June as well since I missed that month’s update.

Sociological perspectives on this summer’s current events:

Brexit

The Republican race

The Democratic race

Gun control

The Orlando massacre

Black Lives Matter

Brock Turner’s sentence for sexual assault

P.S.

Sociological Images turned 9-years old!

Social Media ‘n’ Stuff:

Find SocImages on twitterfacebooktumblr, and pinterest.

Or join me on facebook, twitter, and instagram.

Lisa Wade, PhD is a professor at Occidental College. She is the author of American Hookup, a book about college sexual culture, and a textbook about gender. You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Woo hoo! SocImages is nine!

Photo by zeitzeph on Flickr.
Photo by zeitzeph on Flickr.

Thanks to all of you who discovered SocImages this year and to those of you who’ve been hanging on!

It was my bumpiest year yet with a three month hiatus to finish American Hookup. There are also changes afoot. After nine years, it makes sense to shake things up a bit. I’m hoping to step back into more of an editor role, helping established scholars bring attention to their research, giving newer scholars a platform, and helping other sociology bloggers reach a wider audience. So, to all the sociologists out there, look out for more requests to re-print, please don’t hesitate to pitch me ideas, and feel free to send me things to share!

Here’s to the wide, varied, and important sociological blog-o-sphere that has erupted in the past nine years. I’m impressed with how far we’ve come and am eager to see how far we can go. To sociology!

Lisa Wade, PhD is a professor at Occidental College. She is the author of American Hookup, a book about college sexual culture, and a textbook about gender. You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

This month marked what would have been Frankie Manning’s 102nd birthday. Google marked it with a “Google doodle” and it sparked some conversation online about this extraordinary African American early dancer of the lindy hop. Among them was a discussion of the racial politics of the dance and its revival at Vox, including an quote from a post  here on Sociological Images.

Thanks to past SocImages posts on walk signs, guns, and gendered body language, I was also interviewed for articles on design in urban space, gun marketing, and eye-rolling. And, more generically, social class and hookup culture, male friendship, and men’s relationships with their most private part. It was a busy month!

You like!  Here are our most appreciated posts this month:

Thanks everybody!

Editor’s pick:

Social Media Milestones!

We’ve reached a couple big thresholds this month: 15,000 on Pinterest and 25,000 on Tumblr!

See you in June!

Lisa Wade, PhD is a professor at Occidental College. She is the author of American Hookup, a book about college sexual culture, and a textbook about gender. You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

A New Vision and a Hiatus:

Sociological Images turned 8 this year. It’s been a long, busy, and exciting journey and my own writing has been front-and-center for much of that time. Moving forward, my hope is to step back into more of an editor role, helping established scholars bring attention to their research, giving newer scholars a platform, and helping other sociology bloggers reach a wider audience. Essentially, I would like to use this site as an amplifier, broadcasting as many sociologists as I can as widely as possible by either cross-posting or using the SocImages social media reach. So, to all the sociologists out there, look out for more requests to re-print, please don’t hesitate to pitch me ideas, and feel free to send me things to share!

But… not yet. SocImages is taking its first hiatus. My book deadline is March 1st, so I’m taking two months off to polish the draft. See you all in 30 days!

Visits:

We rounded out the year with over 2,900,000 visits and nearly 4,000,000 page views.  We are proud and honored to enjoy almost 80,000 Facebook friends, over 23,000 Twitter followers, plus nearly 15,000 on Pinterest and over 24,000 on Tumblr.  A huge thank you to everyone for your enthusiasm and support!

Highlights:

Best of 2015!

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Over the last week we’ve featured my favorite and your most loved posts from 2015.  Here’s the list in case you missed it:

Reader’s Choice

Editor’s Picks

Happy New Year everyone!  Here’s to wonderful things in 2016!

Lisa Wade, PhD is a professor at Occidental College. She is the author of American Hookup, a book about college sexual culture, and a textbook about gender. You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

SocImages News:

Sociological Images’ post on Kim Kardashian and the patriarchal bargain is mentioned in Peggy Orenstein’s forthcoming book, Girls and Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape. What a wonderful surprise!

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Also this month, we featured a guest post by sociology graduate student Nicole Bedera. Her criticism of the latest viral Barbie ad prompted NPR to do a story. Listen to hear Nicole and Barbie-scholar Ann DuCille comment on about how far the doll has, or hasn’t, come.

Finally, I had the opportunity to contribute to a smart analysis of energy drink marketing at the New Yorker and a really nice discussion of “love your body”-type marketing at The Establishment.

You like!  Here are our most appreciated posts this month:

Thanks everybody!

Editor’s pick:

Top post on Tumblr this month:

Upcoming Lectures and Appearances:

Hey folks, I’m all booked up for February and March, but might be able to squeeze something in later in the semester. Happy to talk about hookup culture (that’s the favorite) or to offer some of the other talks I’ve worked up on American thinking about genital cutting, the science of sex differences, feminism and friendship, public sociology, and more!

Social Media ‘n’ Stuff:

Finally, this is your monthly reminder that SocImages is on TwitterFacebookTumblrGoogle+, and Pinterest.  I’m on Facebook and Instagram and most of the team is on Twitter: @lisawade@gwensharpnv@familyunequal, and @jaylivingston.

Lisa Wade, PhD is a professor at Occidental College. She is the author of American Hookup, a book about college sexual culture, and a textbook about gender. You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

SocImages News:

I’m so happy to announce a new partnership with Mental Floss! They will be featuring select posts from SocImages and bringing the sociological imagination to an even wider audience! Fabulous! Our first post is here.

Talks!

I’m excited to have been invited to speak about Sociological Images and public sociology in the upcoming months. I’ll be at the University of Nebraska, Omaha on November 13 and Witchita State University on March 4. (And thanks to Marshall University and Shawnee State for having me this month!) If anyone is in Omaha, Witchita, or Syracuse, let’s get in touch! More details here.

You like!  Here are our most appreciated posts this month:

Thanks everybody!

Editor’s pick:

Top post on Tumblr this month:

Social Media ‘n’ Stuff:

Your monthly reminder that SocImages is on TwitterFacebookTumblrGoogle+, and Pinterest.  I’m on Facebook and Instagram and most of the team is on Twitter: @lisawade@gwensharpnv@familyunequal, and @jaylivingston.

Finally…

Happy Halloween everyone! Here’s some scary characters riding the goblin float in the Krewe of Boo Halloween parade in New Orleans this year. Watch out or your might get some beads!

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Lisa Wade, PhD is a professor at Occidental College. She is the author of American Hookup, a book about college sexual culture, and a textbook about gender. You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.