understanding people in their social worlds

Spring 2010

Volume: 9 | Number: 2

Permanent impermanence in Dubai, love and marriage in the United States, and the astroturfing of the political process. Also, a look back at the work of Studs Terkel, a chat about glam metal and celebrity with Chuck Klosterman, and a data-driven evaluation of how schools matter for equality.

How Schools Really Matter

Schools are often scapegoated whenever problems of youth arise. Situating schools in their broader context, however, shows how schools actually do enhance child well-being and development. Read More

Industry-Driven Activism

Studies of recent political protests reveal how corporations mobilize their advocates in ways that blur the lines among citizens, industry and government. Read More

When He Listened, People Talked

Studs Terkel's knack for interviewing led to a prodigious career shaping America's oral histories on topics ranging from work, race, and social change. His legacy provides lessons in how to blend sociology and social critique. Read More

Permanent Impermanence

In Dubai, expatriates give up political rights for the potential of economic gain. Ali explains this phenomenon, its variations, and their consequences. He also speculates about the extent to which Western countries are moving toward similar arrangements. Read More

The Changing Landscape of Love and Marriage

American norms about love and marriage are in transition. The paradoxical embrace of two contradictory American ideals- individualism and commitment-lead Americans to place a high value on lifelong marriage while also wanting the option of an exit. Read More

A Fresh Look At Sociology Bestsellers

The Contexts graduate student editorial board updates Herbert Gans' seminal 1997 study, documenting the kinds of books, topics and authors that bring sociology into the public arena. Read More

The Sociologist’s Non-Sociologists

A little over a year ago, our Minnesota graduate student editorial board began discussing a project to better understand and promote Contexts’ mission of … Read More

Making Sociology More Socially Useful

After I conducted my 1997 study of best selling sociology books, I concluded that sociologists shouldn’t attempt to publish best sellers but “intellectually and … 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

Glam Metal and Guilty Pleasures: Sailing Away with Chuck Klosterman and David Grazian

Writer and pop culture critic Chuck Klosterman talks with Contexts culture editor David Grazian about authenticity, celebrity, and the limits of interviewing as a means to understand others. Read More