sociology for the public


In-depth, analytical storytelling about how and why our world works the way it does.

A Hand Up for Lower-Income Families

Welfare queens driving Cadillacs. Food stamp kings buying filet mignon. The stereotypes are rife. What if there was a way to support lower-income families without … Read More

Microscopic Hair Comparison and the Sociology of Science

Flawed forensics and overstated claims make scientific evidence tricky at trial. Read More

Digital Punishment’s Tangled Web

Online mugshots and crime reports comprise an emerging—and sticky—form of extralegal punishment. Read More

Six Lessons of Suicide Bombers

This article was published in 2007. Click below for the link to the article on the publisher’s website, In … Read More

Not a Snowball’s Chance for Science

Ego networks and echo chambers mean politicians don’t cross the aisle until they’re ready to argue. Read More

Border-crossings in Literature and Sociology

Back in February, Philip Kasinitz organized a wonderful panel on crossing borders in literature and sociology at the Eastern Sociological Society meeting in New York City. He brought together four brilliant writers who engage in creative non-fiction and fiction: Suketu Mehta, Suki Kim, Teju Cole, and Andre Aciman. Read More

Bathroom Battlegrounds and Penis Panics

How transgender rights legislation got framed as “bathroom bills,” with seemingly everyone trying to mark their territory. Read More

Marrying Across Class Lines

All marriages have their ups and downs, but cross-class marriages may see unique challenges. Photo by Garry Knight. Christie, a cheerful social worker in … Read More

Carrying Guns, Contesting Gender

How carrying a concealed weapon reinforces and challenges gender norms and changes how women move through and experience public space. Read More

Molly Deaths and the Failed War on Drugs

Sociologist Tammy L. Anderson proposes that the 2003 RAVE Act may endanger ravers more than protect them. Today's popularity of huge commercial raves—and the incidence of health complications at them—suggests this relic law of the twentieth century War on Drugs needs our attention.. Read More