understanding people in their social worlds


Making meaning of people making meaning.

Art and Abu Ghraib

Sociologists interested in U.S. foreign policy, the politics of atrocity, and political culture have much to learn from studying artistic responses to Abu Ghraib. This art poses provocative challenges to the dominant framing of Abu Ghraib and highlights the importance of culture as a realm of political activism. Read More

Post 9/11, But Not Post-Racial

In the popular television shows Heroes and Lost, people of color are well represented among the casts. Although sci-fi television has been a haven for … Read More

A Raw Export

Pro wrestling is often derided for its fake drama, and pageantry, as well as its violence, lack of subtlety, and over-the-top, macho characters. However, pro … Read More

New Fish on the Block

For many young adults, art performances simply aren’t fun. (Le) Poisson Rouge, a multimedia art cabaret in New York’s Greenwich Village, is trying to combat … Read More

Valuing Art

In September 2008, Damien Hirst became the first famous, living artist to sell his work directly through an auction house, bypassing the gallery system. This … Read More

Bring Out Your Dead

George Carlin should be the perfect comedian for sociologists. He was left- leaning, political, and not especially funny. In fact, his earnest concern for social … Read More

A (Sheltered) Island of Acceptance

Shelter Island is a resort town on the east end of Long Island, New York, adjacent to The Hamptons and part of a county (Suffolk) … Read More

Investigating the Aspen Elite

The author spent a year in a mountain hideaway in the Roaring Fork Valley of Colorado observing and interviewing the locals. He found Aspen to … Read More

Smoking Clean

Since the 1960s, federal, state, and local government agencies have restricted where Americans can smoke. These rules emphasize the health hazards of smoking. In contrast, … Read More

Bottoms Up

America is witnessing a kind of renaissance of working-class culture, but it’s being ushered in by people distinctively not working-class. To understand why middle-class Americans … Read More