Contexts

understanding people in their social worlds

Culture

Making meaning of people making meaning.

Hiking the West Bank

New construction in the settlement of Betar Illit overlooks the fields of Wadi Fukin village. ©2012 Andy Clarno. In … Read More

Lesbian Geographies

When we think about gay neighborhoods, many of us are not immediately imagining lesbians. But like gay men, lesbians also have certain cities, neighborhoods, and … Read More

Looking–Who Are We Now?

Sociologist Cory Albertson examines the implications of the HBO television series Looking and its attempt to accurately depict the lives of gay men by showing heteronormative ideals being maintained and challenged in romantic relationships. Read More

Narrating the Transgressive Self

Since Augustine penned his Confessions, authors of memoirs describing their transgressive behavior have teetered on a balance beam between telling an interesting, exciting, naughty story, and exculpating their character for their participation in it, through the use of deviance neutralizing devices; here sociologist Erich Goode explains how this balancing act is accomplished. Read More

A Feminist Guide to Cooking

" Sociologist Stacy J. Williams examines cookbooks and articles about cooking written by second-wave feminists. She explains how these activists brought their political ideas to the kitchen and suggested cooking in ways that could work toward greater gender equality. " Read More

Meat Masculinity

Scholar Ricardo G. Costa Filho explores Brazilian meat brand Friboi’s recent advertising campaign, and finds an intricate connection between hygiene, masculinity, and animal protein consumption. Read More

The Mediated Sociologist

Sociologist Karen Sternheimer considers the opportunities and challenges of presenting sociological concepts in the news media, particularly when our ideas are edited or interpreted by others. Read More

Paintings, Pensions and Pain

Sociologist Paul Draus and Economist Juliette Roddy discuss tensions in Detroit as the nation's largest municipal bankruptcy unfolds. The competing interests of art and pensions and the stamina of social contracts in times of financial insecurity are examined. Read More

Survival of the Fastest?

Borrowing from Herbert Spencer’s phrase “survival of the fittest,” the documentary film Survival of the Fastest aired just before the 2012 Olympic Games. It recycles the outmoded notion that race is an extant biological category that determines physical and intellectual outcomes. Sociologist Matthew W. Hughey discusses how such archaic racist assumptions are repackaged in the media spectacle of contemporary sporting and the glossy veneer of documentary film. Read More

Hollywood Sperm Donors

Sociologist Margaret K. Nelson explores how Hollywood has portrayed the use of assisted reproductive technologies. She argues that these new technologies have the potential to transform the nuclear family as we know it; however, popular films glorify romantic love and traditional family structures. Read More