Contexts

understanding people in their social worlds

Fall 2014

Volume: 13 | Number: 4

From biological explanations for social behavior, to understanding political violence, electronic dance music parties, and sex research, this issue explores how experts set the terms of much of the knowledge we take for granted, and how skeptics contest these so-called truths.

Narrating the Transgressive Self

Since Augustine penned his Confessions, authors of memoirs describing their transgressive behavior have teetered on a balance beam between telling an interesting, exciting, naughty story, and exculpating their character for their participation in it, through the use of deviance neutralizing devices; here sociologist Erich Goode explains how this balancing act is accomplished. Read More

12,906 Days

Wrongfully convicted at 18, Michael Ustaszewski was paroled from prison six weeks shy of his 54th birthday. Sociologist Melissa Sheridan Embser-Herbert documents his experience reentering society after over 35 years behind bars. Read More

What’s Biology Got to Do with It

Five experts, Dalton Conley, Roger N. Lancaster, Alondra Nelson, Kristen Springer, and Karl Bryant, debate the natural science turn in sociological research. Read More