sociology for the public

Summer 2010

Volume: 9 | Number: 3

Volume 9, Issue 3

Sociologists on sex: teenage sleepovers, hooking up, and straight girls kissing. This issue also examines the sociology of animals, the work of Sebastiao Salgado, and a look at collective memory in South Africa.

CSI: The Scenes Behind The Look

TV shows have piqued public interest in forensic work and how crime is done. But the attention hasn’t necessarily been good for those who work with corpses in real life. Medical examiners’ daily work remains mundane, misunderstood, and underappreciated. Read More

Situating Memory in Argentina

I left the facility with a strong desire to wash my hands, perhaps to shed any trace of horror in my body. Yet as an … Read More

Pepper Schwartz and the Sociology of Sex

From her own memoir on dating between ages 55 and 60 to social networking, Pepper Schwartz discusses what we do and don’t know about sex … 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 is “indian art”?

Contemporary Native American artists are often confined by narrow ideas of what “Indian art” should be, and many find themselves choosing between commercial success and artistic innovation. Read More

Dissonance and Discovery

Brooke Harrington talks with economic sociologist David Stark about his new book, The Sense of Dissonance, and its reflection on his 30 years of ethnographic field work. Stark advocates the study of situations (rather than institutions) to learn how people understand their worlds and the issues that are most important to them. Read More

The Princess and the Frog

Despite being marketed as the first black princess cartoon, Disney’s The Princess and the Frog fails to challenge gender and race stereotypes. Charania and Simonds provide detailed commentary and illuminate how the film merely reworks and disguises old, familiar themes. Read More

Saintly Mission or Sins of Commission?

Rodney Stark’s The Case for the Crusades argues that the Crusades were a justified defense against Muslim aggression, rather than purely brutal colonialism at work. Reviewer Evelyn Bush addresses this analysis and concludes that the book raises good questions that make it a good read. Read More

Depression Chic — Shopping Our Way To Recovery

Consumption has taken an inconspicuous turn during this recession, and “Depression chic” has emerged as an outlet for those who want to spend without appearing ostentatious. Overpriced, baggy sack dresses, newsboy hats, and Mary Jane shoes allow buyers to acknowledge something is amiss while still enjoying the pleasures of shopping and style. Read More

Destination and Drift in Atlantic City

“America’s Playground” entertains many with its glitz and gambling, but it’s also home to many street homeless. This essay explores the paradox. Read More