sociology for the public

What I Learned

Boys vs. Girls

An undergraduate sociology student writes about observing the creation and replication of gender norms in a preschool classroom. Read More

The Irony Of Understanding

A veteran reflects on the circumstances that have caused his own path to diverge so widely from that of another brother-in-arms. Read More

Escape from Suburbia

Growing up suburban in America typically suggests a privileged lifestyle. Paradoxically, it can also provide a yearning for change. Read More


A personal essay about how deviant labels, such as “mentally ill,” create stigma, negatively affecting how people are treated and how they view themselves. Read More

Neighborhood Communities, Remixed for 2010

Renters are often looked down upon by homeowners in their neighborhoods. But with renting on the rise in this recession, there may be an opportunity to do away the stigma and redefine what it means to be a good neighbor. Read More

What The Census Taught Me About Myself

A sociology student shares how different geographic and demographic contexts have shaped her sense of self from grade school through young adulthood. Read More

Essays From Inside

The Inside-Out program brings college students and prison inmates together to learn. In essays, students from inside Oregon State Penitentiary share their reactions to studying side-by-side with students from Oregon State University. The results seem to be not just learning, but personal transformation on both sides of the bars. Read More

Learning From The Inside Out

A college student goes to class behind bars to learn theories of crime with those who know the material first-hand: inmates. She finds out that there's much more to people in prison than the social labels that define them. Read More

Children and Gender

A research methods course provides a sociology student the opportunity to examine first-hand how children “do” gender in the 21st century. Read More

What I Learned

An undergraduate writes about the social causes and consequences of eating disorders among girls and young women, including her personal struggle with anorexia nervosa. Read More