sociology for the public

Summer 2011

Volume: 10 | Number: 3

The BP oil spill one year later, social science on the witness stand in Darfur, and an inside look at the public occupation of the Wisconsin state Capitol. Also in this issue: how to make sense of rumors, a followup on American Apartheid, and The Wire goes to college.

Lions, Tigers, and Bear Moms—oh, my!

Pushy parenting is a central theme in Amy Chua’s “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother,” but Chinese mothers aren’t the only caregivers well-schooled in the business of concerted cultivation. Read More

They Tried To Make Her Go To Rehab

Contradictory views of addiction as both sickness and moral failing have resulted in a broken system in which famous substance users (like their everyday counterparts) are bounced between overcrowded jails, prisons, and rehab centers, all with little expectation of “success.” Read More

Beyond Sectarianism in Iraq

During eight years of a U.S.-led occupation, Iraqi attitudes have shifted away from sectarianism and toward a national identity. Coupled with increased support for the separation of politics and religion, this shift may pave the road for a functioning national government. Read More

Korean Multiculturalism and the Marriage Squeeze

An imbalanced sex ratio in the 1970s and 1980s has led South Korean men to seek wives abroad. Though a solution to one problem, this spike in interracial marriage has posed new social conundrums for the formerly homogenous society. Read More

To Snitch Or Not To Snitch

Photographers document Philadelphia’s “stop-snitching” code, a response to the realities of impoverished Philadelphia neighborhoods that includes the necessity of the drug economy. Read More

Banal Nationalism

Subtle or overt, popular imagery and language serve as daily reminders of our nationality, a sentiment that can be easily politicized. Read More

The Irony Of Understanding

A veteran reflects on the circumstances that have caused his own path to diverge so widely from that of another brother-in-arms. Read More

Welfare-to-Work Doesn’t Really Work

Two analyses of welfare policy as it has played out for over a decade shows how welfare-to-work programs fail to meet the basic needs of their participants and their communities. Read More

My Hollywood and the Nanny Book Phenomenon

By and large, the recent crop of nanny-tales ignores the realities of childcare workers (and their employers), relying instead on messages of racial and cultural superiority and assurances that money cannot buy happiness. Read More

The Wire goes to college

It’s been years since the last episode of The Wire, a crime drama set in Baltimore, Maryland, aired on HBO, but its dedicated fan base, … Read More