sociology for the public

In Pictures

Nuanced, visual explorations of sociological themes.

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


Violent death is so commonplace in Philadelphia that it infuses the visual culture of the city with haunting imagery. Sociologist James Dickinson shows how memorial portraits, roadside shrines, sidewalk plaques, murals, billboards, and graffiti variously recall, memorialize, criticize, or comment on the epidemic of lethal violence in the City of Brotherly Love. Read More

Guantanamo Bay

Photographer Christopher Sims documents the everyday spaces at Guantanamo Bay. He writes, "I went with the intention of photographing beyond the prison, and capturing a sense of daily life on the military base." Read More

Michigan’s Public Square

Sociologist and photographer Steven Gold documents the public use of the Michigan Capitol building. He writes, “The Michigan Capitol continues to provide a space where attention is devoted to issues and events of broad public concern.” Read More