Contexts

sociology for the public

Culture

Making meaning of people making meaning.

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

Who's Counting?

In 21, a group of smart, nerdy MIT students travel to Las Vegas to count cards and score big at some of the biggest casinos … Read More

Why We Go Home Again

Still Waiting: Life After Katrina follows the families of three African American women as they rebuild their lives and community in the aftermath of Hurricane … Read More