sociology for the public


Making meaning of people making meaning.

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

How to be a Foodie

Food magazines are designed to appeal to the senses, but they provide guidance about culture, status, and the good life, as well as food. Rather … Read More

Enlightened Teenage Masculinity

While Superbad continues the crude and sophomoric story of nerdy, horny, and virginal teenage boys desperately eager to have sex with girls, it also presents … Read More