Contexts

understanding people in their social worlds

Trends

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

Parlez-vous civility?

National opinion polls show that Americans are increasingly concerned about decreasing politeness in U.S. social life, pointing to causes such as partisan politics and talk radio. The author examines this trend and how some community organizations are taking steps to counteract it. Read More

The Changing Face of Black America

Caribbean and African immigrants have been on the rise in the U.S. over the past 20 years, thanks to new immigration laws in the 1980s … Read More

Love Me, Love My…

Our pets, deceased loved ones, robots, and even computer-generated artworks are just some of the unconventional characters taking their place among Americans’ circles of companions and confidantes. This trend prompts a reflection on who or what is a social actor, and who or what makes up a person’s social networks. Read More

The Myth of the Over-Scheduled Child

Conventional wisdom suggests the younger generation will suffer long-term social and psychological consequences from too much structured time. But a hard look at national data … Read More

Fertility Rates and Youth Voting

worries over a population implosion by deborah carr For many demographers, old fears of too many people in the world have been replaced by new … Read More

Gender Politics

Despite the female candidates involved in the historic 2008 election, women trail men in all types of elected offices in the United States. The fascinating … Read More

middle (aged) kingdom

China’s “one-child policy” is hailed as the world’s most effective overpopulation control policy. It has been so effective, in fact, Chinese population officials now fear … Read More

The Greenwashing of America

Jarring statistics point out what little impact recyclers and low-carbon pledgers among us are having on saving the environment. Mass media accounts of corporate “greening” … Read More

Keeping the Faith

After the 2004 election, political pundits credited the religious right with ushering George W. Bush into office. Adherents to the culture war thesis—that political conflict … Read More