Contexts

understanding people in their social worlds

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Social analysis from a personal angle.

Great Books Aren’t Written, They’re Re-Written

NYU Editor Ilene Kalish shares her single most valuable tip for authors: rewrite. Read More

A Populist Sociology

A few years back, I was on a prestigious Centennial Panel at the American Sociological Association’s (ASA) 100th birthday party. The topic was public sociology. Read More

Ye of Little Faith

Despite the proclamations of Republican senators, there are more secular Americans now then ever before; sociologist Phil Zuckerman argues that their growth warrants greater attention to secularity on the part of social science. Read More

Revising Peer Review

Kathleen Fitzpatrick argues that as online platforms for scholarly publishing foster increasingly fluid means of communication amongst researchers, the principles on which such publishing is founded—including, most crucially, peer review—must become more flexible. Read More

When History Intervenes

Sociologists tend to downplay the role of accidents, circumstance, serendipity, and luck. This essay describes three times that history derailed Michael Kimmel's research agenda, and how he "recovered." Read More

Got Power?

Sociologist Christine Williams reflects on how she, as a feminist professor, advises her students to get power. Read More

Does Society Exist?

Dennis Loo reflects on the existence of society. He argues that academics must become public intellectuals and that sociologists, in particular, are well-positioned to reaffirm that we are first and foremost social beings. Read More

Falling Upward

Conley reflects on income inequality in the United States, and how our collective investment in the market likely ensures its perpetuation and growth. Read More

The Poverty Fight

One thing I know is, if we’re going to significantly reduce poverty, we’ll have to fight for it. Liberals often discuss antipoverty strategies as … Read More

People Like Health Reform When They Learn What It Does

Theda Skocpol explains the basics of the Affordable Care Act, arguing that Americans embrace the reform when they understand its core provisions. Read More