sociology for the public


Using data to help readers gain a new perspective on our world.

Reefer Normal

Sociologist Thomas J. Linneman explores trends of support for marijuana legalization in the United States. Read More

Food Insecurity in Rural America

Sociologists Joy Rayanne Piontak and Michael D. Schulman explore spatial inequalities in food insecurity in the United States, specifically the problems of hunger and food access in non-metropolitan and rural localities. Read More

Aging Women, Living Poorer

Sociologist Stacy Torres examines why higher poverty rates persist among older women compared with older men and finds that women continue to face significant economic disadvantages in old age, partly due to a lifetime of unpaid, work-interrupting care giving responsibilities. Read More

Choosing Single Motherhood

Scholar Micere Keels explores the rise of college-educated women of color having children outside of marriage. Read More

C-Section Epidemic

How can we explain the exponential increase of the cesarean section in the U.S. in recent decades? Drawing from 130 in-depth interviews with women, obstetricians, midwives, and labor and delivery nurses, sociologist Theresa Morris explains the epidemic that affects the lives, health, and families of every woman in America. Read More

Privatization and Racial Inequality

Sociologists Vincent J. Roscigno and George Wilson discuss workplace “reforms” that undermine public sector workers’ rights. Read More

How Parents Grade Schools

Scholars Sean Kelly and Laura Northrop discuss recent changes in perceptions of school quality. They find that Americans are not positive about the overall quality of elementary and secondary schools in the United States, while beliefs about school-to-school differences in quality are often exaggerated. Read More

Inequality and the Growth of Bad Jobs

The share of jobs that are low-skill declined by 15% from 1960 to 2005, yet low-wage jobs have made up an increasing share of total job growth over that period. Scholar Matt Vidal discusses how the manufacturing-based, nationally bound economy of the postwar years allowed employers to pay decent wages for low-skill jobs, but in today’s postindustrial, internationalized economy, wage-based competition has returned with a vengeance. Read More

The Rise of the “Illegal Alien”

As media outlets move away from the term "illegal immigrant," Edwin F. Ackerman uses media analysis to track the rise of the term--and others--since the 1920s. Read More

Race and the Same-Sex Marriage Divide

When it comes to same-sex marriage, one might expect black Americans to be on board--if it's a civil rights question, why shouldn't they be? Marcus Anthony Hunter looks at some of the tangled past behind blacks' reluctance to accept gay marriage. Read More