sociology for the public

Winter 2014

Volume: 13 | Number: 1

This issue examines the promise and possibilities of cities: from Philadelphia’s Seventh Ward to the suburbs of Chicago, we explore race, transportation policy, homeownership, and gentrification. Also: viewpoints on human trafficking, an interview with Budapest’s sociologist mayor, and some help with the jargon of labeling gender and sexuality.

C-Section Epidemic

How can we explain the exponential increase of the cesarean section in the U.S. in recent decades? Drawing from 130 in-depth interviews with women, obstetricians, midwives, and labor and delivery nurses, sociologist Theresa Morris explains the epidemic that affects the lives, health, and families of every woman in America. Read More

Allah In China

Sociologists Xi Chen and Keith Kerr explore Hui-Muslim double identities. Read More

Privatization and Racial Inequality

Sociologists Vincent J. Roscigno and George Wilson discuss workplace “reforms” that undermine public sector workers’ rights. Read More

Black Philly After The Philadelphia Negro

Beginning where W. E. B. Du Bois’s classic The Philadelphia Negro ends, sociologist Marcus Anthony Hunter considers the history of public housing in Philadelphia during the New Deal era. Focusing on black activism, black politics, and neighborhood change during the New Deal era, he shows that Black residents have long been citymakers, forces for progressive change. Read More


Scholar Melissa M. Wilcox provides a historical overview of the development of self-chosen terminology among same-sex attracted and gender-nonconforming people in the twentieth and twenty-first century, particularly in Western Anglophone cultures. She explains why certain terms are preferred over others, as well as when and why the preferred terms have changed. Read More

Selling People

Six experts, Sutapa Basu, Anne T. Gallagher, Denise Brennan, Elena Shih, Kari Lerum, and Ronald Weitzer, examine human trafficking and whether rescue efforts really help. Read More

Bitter Ironies of History

Former Budapest mayor Gábor Demszky talks with scholar James Jasper about his life as a publisher of samizdat literature before 1989, and his life as mayor afterward. Demszky also grimly assesses Hungary's future under Fidesz. Read More

The New Workplayce

Corey FieldsDoes all work and no play really make Jack a dull boy? In a 2006 TED talk, education … Read More

Fashioning Flawlessness

Amanda LanzoneDuring New York’s Fashion Week last September, patients of plastic surgeon Ramtin Kassir sashayed down the runway to … Read More

Kidneys and Kin

While organ donation systems in the United States are designed to be efficient and equitable, distributing organs harvested from recently deceased individuals to those who … Read More