Contexts

understanding people in their social worlds

One Thing I Know

The Sociological Imagination Is Well Suited to Political Office

The weekend I graduated from the 2018 Emerge program—a six-month boot-camp for women wanting to run for office—a very different graduation picture showed up in … Read More

Policies in Practice

Bill Bielby reflects on his role as an expert witness for women seeking class action status for a discrimination suit against Wal-Mart. He argues that sociologists must take the stand to point out the difference between policies and practices. Without expert testimony, courts can too easily believe that discrimination ends when well-intentioned policies are put in place. Read More

People Like Health Reform When They Learn What It Does

Theda Skocpol explains the basics of the Affordable Care Act, arguing that Americans embrace the reform when they understand its core provisions. Read More

Compared to What?

Too often discussions lack historical context; Claude S. Fischer argues that honest debate depends on our ability to construct relative comparisons rooted in reality. Read More

Sexuality Has No Expiration Date

Contrary to popular conceptions, many people remain sexually active well into their golden years in spite of the decline of partner availability and overall health. Sexuality remains an important part of the lives of the elderly, though its expression may decrease or change over time. Read More

Making Sociology More Socially Useful

After I conducted my 1997 study of best selling sociology books, I concluded that sociologists shouldn’t attempt to publish best sellers but “intellectually and … Read More

Redefining Retirement

If married women’s movement into the workforce was the labor market story of the 20th century, the aging workforce and growing retired force will … Read More

Framing Race and Poverty

One thing I know is that it’s extremely important to discuss how race and poverty are framed in public policy discussions. How we situate social issues in the larger context of society says a lot about our commitment to change. Read More

Bringing Social Science to the White House

One thing I know is that the American people deserve a government that draws upon the best social science available when developing social policy. Read More

One Liberalism

When I talk about my recent book The Future of Liberalism, and especially when I talk to more conservative audiences, I’m frequently asked which liberalism … Read More