understanding people in their social worlds

In Pictures

Nuanced, visual explorations of sociological themes.

12,906 Days

Wrongfully convicted at 18, Michael Ustaszewski was paroled from prison six weeks shy of his 54th birthday. Sociologist Melissa Sheridan Embser-Herbert documents his experience reentering society after over 35 years behind bars. Read More

Mapping the Flavors of New York City

Artist Hanna Kang-Brown and Sociologist Jacob Kang-Brown explores food as a medium for understanding the U.S. census, representing neighborhood data with spices and using the tasting experience to create a new conversational space in which to talk about the ways in which we identify ourselves and others and how that is shaped by census design. Read More

Detroit’s Wealth of Ruins

Sociologist Jonathan Jan Benjamin Mijs explores Detroit, the symbol of destructive global forces, and finds agency in a wealth of ruins. Read More

Allah In China

Sociologists Xi Chen and Keith Kerr explore Hui-Muslim double identities. Read More

Remembering E. 6th Street

Visual sociologist Helen M. Stummer revisits her early work on E. 6th Street and highlights her portraits of an interracial family she became close to in this photo essay. Read More


Hannah Scott's family legacy is its tobacco farm. In this communal work, they find history and hope for a future. She captures their work in a loving photo essay. Read More

Juvenile in Justice

The research, interviews, images, and findings that are represented in are the result of Richard Ross's continuing project that has lasted over six years, involved hundreds of institutions, and over 1,000 kids that are detained and confined. They are the voices of the youngest, least heard, from families with the least resources from neighborhoods with the least power.  Read More

Digging for Mutual Cooperation

Kody Steffy presents a portrait of elderly Buddhist monk Bak Him, a resettled refugee living in rural Maine. Steffy’s photographs of Bak Him’s arduous labor highlight the refugee community’s ongoing struggle for understanding and integration. Read More

Borders and Margins

Photographer Emmanuel Maillard and sociologist Maryann Bylander document the lives of Cambodian migrants in Thailand. Through photographs taken for their Borders & Margins project at border crossings, work sites, and living spaces, they highlight the ambivalence many migrants express about their experiences abroad. Read More

Raising Them Right

This body of work explores young motherhood in Chelsea, Massachusetts. Through the combination of photographs and the young mothers’ own words, Amanda Van Scoyoc presents evidence of the complicated reality that is adolescent parenting. Read More