Contexts

understanding people in their social worlds

Feature

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

Dinner With Bruce

Journalist Sabine Heinlein explores the difficulties of post-incarceration reentry through discussions with a recently released convict. Read More

Jeremy Lin’s Model Minority Problem

In 2012, an Asian American, Ivy-League educated basketball player captured the country's attention: what was it that made Jeremy Lin so exceptional, from his race to his physical and mental prowess to his athletic masculinity. In short: what led to the rise and fall of Linsanity? Will it have a legacy? Read More

Disaster Porn!

The term disaster porn has evolved over time, from an epithet directed at extreme depictions of suffering in the developing world, to a broader critique today of all sorts of disaster-related media—even fictional Hollywood blockbusters. Sociologist Timothy Recuber examines how disaster porn, in all its iterations and for all its flaws, is a vital political terrain in which publics are at least implicitly asked to struggle with the social significance of the suffering of others. Read More

Transnational Gender Vertigo

Sociologist Kimberly Kay Hoang explores sex work and international migration, how sex workers-turned-wives become breadwinners. Read More

Reproducing the Nation

Sociologist Özlem Altıok discusses the recent efforts to further restrict abortion in Turkey. She argues that these efforts are part of an effort to manage the population by disciplining women's fertility under a new “reproductive governmentality.” Read More

Breaking Barriers to Climate Justice

Sociologists John Foran and Richard Widick explore the nature of the current global impasse on climate change negotiations, and argue that an emerging alliance among progressive nations and climate justice movements, and especially youth, offers grounds for cautious optimism. Read More

Walking Like A Man

SlutWalk marches have emerged to protest the blaming of women for their own sexual assault. Sociologists Kristen Barber and Kelsy Kretschmer consider the different ways men participate in SlutWalk, and how their participation at times both supports and undermines the feminist goals of the event. Read More

Beyond The One-Size-Fits-All College Degree

James Rosenbaum, Kennan Cepa, and Janet Rosenbaum examine how commonplace assumptions about higher education limit opportunity. Read More

Truth-Telling and Intellectual Activism

Patricia Hill Collins, a feminist public intellectual, discusses the importance of speaking across multiple audiences. Read More

Mourning Becomes Democratic

Public mourning is not a spontaneous expression of grief but a symbolic and political practice. Sociologist Bin Xu examines a new trend in recent decades, the “democratization of public mourning,” that celebrates our symbolic equality and individuality instead of affirming status hierarchies. Read More