sociology for the public

Contexts Blog

Is Unauthorized Immigration an Economic Drain on American Communities? Research Says No.

In October 2017, the Tar River Times, a newspaper with a small print circulation in Tarboro, North Carolina—the hometown of both immigration sociologist Helen … Read More

Auditing Macroeconomic Data Production

A recent report from the Wall Street Journal suggests that the World Bank allowed politics to influence their assessments of business climates around the … Read More

A New Black Holiday, or Why W.E.B. Du Bois’s 150th Birthday Matters

In the weeks and years following the conclusion of World War II, Du Bois had traveled the globe advocating for nuclear disarmament and sending peacegrams … Read More

Can Hollywood Separate Gold from White?

Confederate statues and their demise have been top-of-mind lately. But every spring, a different statue captures our attention—it’s 13.5” tall, weighs 8.5 pounds, and is … Read More

Call for Papers: Asian America(ns)

Call for Papers Contexts: Understanding People in their Social Worlds is issuing a call for papers for its Fall 2018 issue, … Read More

Segregation in Social Networks on Facebook

On the morning of November 9th 2016, many democratic-oriented Americans updated their Facebook timelines, unhappy and frustrated about a rather unexpected outcome in the U.S. presidential election. People were … Read More

Durkheim Lives!

“Zombie Durkheim,” © David Witt,, for Contexts Magazine. On the anniversary of his death, we wanted to share … Read More

Google searches show more worry over gay men and boys than over gay women and girls

A 2014 New York Times story called “Google, Tell me. Is My Son a Genius?” reported that people ask Google whether their sons are … Read More

Amazon puts itself on the market, but we’re the ones for sale

This is Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’s Willy Wonka moment. The online retailer, consumer electronics giant, film studio, cloud computing company, and gourmet grocer announced a … Read More

Seven things social science tells us about natural disasters

The word disaster conjures a variety of devastating images. Natural disasters can have unpredictable and frightening impacts on communities. Survivors of such events … Read More