sociology for the public

Fall 2011

Volume: 10 | Number: 4

Civic recreation and fitness fundraisers, challenging the myth of the lonely genius, and the sociology of death and dying. This issue also explores international adoption, images of everyday life, and the marketing of “closure”.

Gettin’ Down on “Friday”

Rebecca Black’s “Friday” may be annoying and ubiquitous, but it’s also a great example of contemporary cultural production. The author explores the making of a meme and the many hands behind a hit. Read More

Muslim Female Athletes and the Hijab

A revival of the hijab and an embrace of sport among young Muslim women around the world has created a contested space: their heads. Women, negotiating the rules of their teams and leagues, along with their own religious devotion, must make choices about participating—and dressing—for athletics. Read More

Medicare and the Lessons of History

Author Stephen Steinberg revisits his own 1964 data to consider how and when Medicare became the “third rail of American politics.” Read More

Under God: Stories from Soho Road

Photographer Liz Hingley documents the religious diversity of Birmingham’s Soho Road. She writes, “At a time when religion can breed fear and prejudice, my photographs reveal what devotions bring to everyday, inner-city life.” Read More

Chasing “Closure”

“Closure” has become a buzzword for a commodity to be bought and sold. Sociologist Nancy Berns explores the creation and sale of the “feeling rules” of closure: what it is, why it is both important and problematic. Read More

There’s No “I” in Innovation

While most think of innovation’s insights coming in a flash of inspiration, Eric Dahlin uses multidisciplinary research to show that advances, big and small, more often result from collaborative, incremental efforts. To understand and spur innovation, then, scholars and practitioners must abandon the romantic notion of the lonely genius in favor of the wisdom of the collective. Read More

The Many Faces of International Adoption

Adoption is an old story with a new twist: international adoptions are reshaping American families and cultural landscape. In the long view, the authors believe international adoption is an immigration story that must be contextualized within research not only on individual adoptees, but within the waves of immigration that have altered American history. Read More

The Dead, the Living, and Those Yet to Come

Drawing on classical sociology texts, Charles Lemert explores the necessity of a sociological examination of what he calls the Society of the Dead and how its memories impact social life. Read More

What Happens in Vegas

Every issue we provide a roundup of sociologists, and sociology, in the news. This issue we find sociologists commenting on Las Vegas and the ASA … Read More

Fall 2011 Discoveries

Each issue, we bring you Discoveries: short, snappy overviews of recently published sociological research. Discoveries from our Fall 2011 issue are available online at … Read More