Contexts

sociology for the public

Spring 2018

Volume: 17 | Number: 2

Education is a central feature of our lives. Collectively, our society invests billions of dollars in schools and colleges, with the hope that they act as transformative institutions that create a society of educated and productive citizens. But what if education doesn’t deliver on its promises? What if our educational institutions are poorly suited to the tasks we demand of them? In this issue, Prudence Carter explores how schooling might be mobilized in a world of relatively rigid racial and economic inequality. Karl Alexander, who has worked for decades in the sociology of education, discusses his involvement in Baltimore school reform efforts, including racial integration. Our back page piece, by Jal Mehta and Scott Davies, asks whether sociologists, in their concern about inequality, have neglected the institutional and political effects of education. And Jennifer Randles looks at a different kind of education: government funded programs aimed to “teach” men to be responsible fathers, and through which many of those fathers earn GEDs that help them access better jobs.

Saluting Sexuality

How does “outness” affect lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) service members’ mental health? In Armed Forces and Society, Wyatt Evans and colleagues explore how … Read More

Access Isn’t Enough

New York State’s groundbreaking tuition-free degree program will help thousands of middle- and lower-class families send their high school seniors to college. However, recent … Read More

Gender Inequality in Academic Self-Citations

The “selfie” generation posts pictures of themselves, often aiming to boost their social media presence. For academics, selfies might also refer to self-citations, aimed to … Read More

Can Sociology Help Democracy Assistance Programs?

Programs that encourage democracy in foreign countries have become controversial, in part because of problems in how they have been implemented. Sociological research has the … Read More

Black Deaths Matter

It’s hard to imagine a more traumatic experience than the unexpected death of a loved one. But imagination often becomes reality for Black Americans, who … Read More

Setting Precedent

Jeannine Bell interviews Justice Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar about serving on California’s highest court. Read More

The Academic Partner Penalty

Women represent about half of the students enrolled in doctoral programs, but they are largely under-represented in tenure-track professor positions at research universities. Possibly this … Read More

Mental Illness Affects Police Fatal Shootings

Police fatally shot almost 2,000 people in the U.S. from the beginning of 2015 to the end of 2016. Much of the news coverage about … Read More

Thinking Caps

This Spring, an annual fashion trend will return to the campus of California State University–Long Beach. As the familiar sounds of “Pomp and Circumstance” carry … Read More

Resist, or What?

Exploring a time of contentious political engagement, from individual actions to the social, regional, and topical movements taking form online, in the halls of government, and out in the streets Read More