About Contexts

    Contexts is a quarterly magazine that makes cutting-edge social research accessible to general readers. We're the public face of sociology.

    It is a publication of the American Sociological Association, edited by Arlene Stein (Rutgers) and Jodi O’Brien (Seattle University) through Fall 2014. Starting with the Winter 2015 issue, it will be edited by Syed Ali (Long Island University) and Philip Cohen (University of Maryland).

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    Molly Deaths and the Failed War on Drugs

    The 2003 RAVE Act fails to prevent drug use at electronic dance music parties—and is partially responsible for the recent deaths of several young partygoers. Keep Reading...


    Current Issue: Fall 2014

    From biological explanations for social behavior, to understanding political violence, electronic dance music parties, and sex research, this issue explores how experts set the terms of much of the knowledge we take for granted, and how skeptics contest these so-called truths.

    More Fall 2014…


    Individual and instutional subscriptions to Contexts are available through SAGE. Discounts are available for ASA members and students. More information…


    Contexts accepts proposals for full-length features as well as for our departments: mediations, photo essays, pedagogies, trends, and book reviews. Download our submission guidelines for details. More information…

    A compilation of more than 60 of our best articles.

    The Contexts Reader enables instructors to assign readings that are as accessible as a popular paperback, but as brief as a journal article, in one affordable anthology. Three-quarters of the articles were published in the last four years and are therefore new to the Second Edition.

    Learn more.