sociology for the public

Sociological Images

Land Management and the American Mustang

The mustang has long been a symbol of the American West: wild, untamed, free, rugged, individual. Today, though, actual wild mustangs are at the center of a civic controversy, and their populations are controlled by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and contested by ranchers, environmentalists, animal welfare groups, historic preservationists, and others. Read More

Banal Nationalism

Subtle or overt, popular imagery and language serve as daily reminders of our nationality, a sentiment that can be easily politicized. Read More

Secrets of a Feminist Icon

Rosie the Riveter wasn’t always a feminist icon. Her roots lie in inspiring Westinghouse workers toward the war effort, and it wasn’t until the 1950s and ‘60s that women’s rights movements reframed the way we see Rosie. Read More

Social Control of Mothers

Drinking during pregnancy is not a good predictor of fetal alcohol disorders. Yet, public health campaigns urge women to stay alcohol-free before, during, and after pregnancy, and burden mothers with the responsibility of delivering a healthy child. Read More

Skull Face and the Self-Fulfilling Stereotype

The authors use the tale of a tattooed man to explore how self-fulfilling stereotypes shape individuals and societies in patterned ways. Read More

What is “indian art”?

Contemporary Native American artists are often confined by narrow ideas of what “Indian art” should be, and many find themselves choosing between commercial success and artistic innovation. Read More


Sociological Images explores how whiteness defines how our sense of normal skin tone through images and language. Read More