Contexts

sociology for the public

Winter 2013

Volume: 12 | Number: 1

This issue covers violence in everyday Buenos Aires, movements to end deadly war in Central Africa, and young men’s masculinity in affluent societies. Also, an interview with a founding father of the Occupy movement and an analysis of public mourning practices from Steve Jobs to Kim Jong Il.

Body Lessons

Sociologist Janet Enke explores the challenges of teaching a course on the body. She discusses how to synthesize the subjective experience of the body with academic theory, and convey knowledge about the politics of the body. Read More

Ye of Little Faith

Despite the proclamations of Republican senators, there are more secular Americans now then ever before; sociologist Phil Zuckerman argues that their growth warrants greater attention to secularity on the part of social science. Read More

The Hearts of Boys

Five experts, Niobe Way, C.J. Pascoe, Mark McCormack, Amy Schalet, and Freeden Ouer shed light on the everyday lives of teenage boys and their relationships. Read More

Truth-Telling and Intellectual Activism

Patricia Hill Collins, a feminist public intellectual, discusses the importance of speaking across multiple audiences. Read More

Mourning Becomes Democratic

Public mourning is not a spontaneous expression of grief but a symbolic and political practice. Sociologist Bin Xu examines a new trend in recent decades, the “democratization of public mourning,” that celebrates our symbolic equality and individuality instead of affirming status hierarchies. Read More

Beyond The One-Size-Fits-All College Degree

James Rosenbaum, Kennan Cepa, and Janet Rosenbaum examine how commonplace assumptions about higher education limit opportunity. Read More

Missing Romance

Sociologist Minjeong Kim asks why Asian American characters in the U.S. television shows and films are always in interracial relationships, and explores the implications of the absence of Asian American couplings on screen. Read More

Beyond “Post 9/11”

Sociologist Erik Love reviews the books Islamophobia and the Politics of Empire and Terrifying Muslims. Each move beyond “post 9/11” explanations for anti-Muslim sentiment, showing how Islamophobia is best understood not as a temporary backlash, but rather as stemming from longstanding and durable forms of racial bigotry and colonialism. Read More

Speciesism

Speciesism, coined in the 1970s, means the implicit superiority of one species, usually humans, over all others. Sociologist Lisa Jean Moore discusses this term and how sociologists are primed to use the concept in teaching and research. Read More

Born Amid Bullets

Different forms of violence are enveloping territories of urban relegation in Latin America. Sociologist Javier Auyero examines how children and adolescents have become familiarized with diverse types of interpersonal brutality. Read More