Summer 2011

Volume 10, Issue 3

The BP oil spill one year later, social science on the witness stand in Darfur, and an inside look at the public occupation of the Wisconsin state Capitol. Also in this issue: how to make sense of rumors, a followup on American Apartheid, and The Wire goes to college.


Uncertain Knowledge

Rumors are best understood as knowledge—true or false—filtered through social process. How we learn which to trust and act upon is its own mysterious operation.

Voices of the Darfur Genocide

In Darfur and on the witness stand, social scientists are going beyond body counts to provide the foundation for prosecutorial theories and judicial decision-making in international genocide cases.

The BP Disaster as an Exxon Valdez Rerun

Full Text Online

The aftermath of the BP oil spill bears eerie resemblances to the environmental and social damage seen after the Exxon Valdez disaster of the late 1980s. The stress is affecting every aspect of social life— financial, political, natural, and cultural.

The Waning of American Apartheid?

It’s been almost twenty years since Douglas Massey and Nancy Denton released their classic American Apartheid. Reynolds Farley takes a look at the slow progress of residential integration since. In a companion piece, Maria Krysan explores the underlying reasons why segregation is so stubborn.

Race and Residence from the Telescope to the Microscope

In a companion piece to 'The Waning of American Apartheid?,' Maria Krysan explores the underlying reasons why segregation is so stubborn.

Enduring Dilemmas of Female Celebrity

Fan magazines from Hollywood’s Golden Age reveal that today’s starlets face the same troubles as actresses in the past; they, too, must walk a tightrope between celebration and condemnation.

Inside the Wisconsin Occupation

University of Wisconsin sociology students and Teaching Assistants Association members share their experiences creating community and making waves at their state Capitol.


From the Editors

Real People Problems

Full Text Online

Reflected Appraisals

Pets, Religion, and Conspiracy Theories


Summer 2011 Discoveries


The Wire goes to college

Photo Essay

To Snitch Or Not To Snitch


Korean Multiculturalism and the Marriage Squeeze

Beyond Sectarianism in Iraq

Culture Review

They Tried To Make Her Go To Rehab

Lions, Tigers, and Bear Moms—oh, my!

Let My People Go

Book Review

My Hollywood and the Nanny Book Phenomenon

Welfare-to-Work Doesn’t Really Work

Sociological Images

Banal Nationalism

What I Learned

The Irony Of Understanding

One Thing I Know

Falling Upward