Contexts

understanding people in their social worlds

Culture

Making meaning of people making meaning.

The Great Helmsman's Cultural Death

Outside of Mao Zedong’s mausoleum in Tiananmen Square, Chinese entrepreneurs sell cigarette lighters, watches, and other trinkets that bear the former leader’s image. Mao’s transformation … Read More

Trespassing in Someone Else's Utopia

Fan Fair-the Country Music Association (CMA) Music Festival-is an annual migration for tens of thousands of fans. Nashville’s storied Lower Broad district is glutted with … Read More

The Big Business of Haut Chocolat

Chocolate, in case you haven’t noticed, is big business. Visits to the 13th annual Salon du Chocolat in Paris and the 10th annual … Read More

Good Sociology Makes Lousy TV

There are very few films and virtually no television or literary characters that speak to sociology. And what is out there depicts sociologists as idealistic … Read More

Peeing in Public

The inequities of class, gender, and physical capacity gain their expression in moments of anxiety over how to eliminate one’s waste. This is one truth … Read More

The Word is Egalitarian

The larger trend that includes Akeelah and the Bee has catapulted the once esoteric activity of spelling competitions into commercial pop culture. Cable television and … Read More

Sociology At The Stove

Ratatouille is a treasure trove for sociologists because it lays out an organization with its attendant work roles and then shows how it functions in … Read More

The Lie of Heroism

Several elements combined to make the California fires a mega story. And most prominent among the media attention were stories of firefighters that, for the … Read More

Comment Dit-on "do'h!" En Français?

Every once in a while a comedy manages to transcend cultural boundaries. Today, the most successful of the few American television comedies that work outside … Read More