Inequality

April 26, 2017

Charter School Myths

Do charter schools perform better than traditional public schools? Does competition between schools really help students? Ebony Duncan Shippy, a sociologist of education, breaks down some common myths about charter schools and offers her advice for newly appointed education secretary Betsy DeVos.

 

 

April 6, 2017

Making Sense of Klansville

During the civil rights era, North Carolina was home to more dues-paying Klan members than the rest of the South combined. When conducting research on this chapter of history for his acclaimed book Klansville, USAsociologist David Cunningham encountered the work of a journalist named Pete Young, who in the 1960s attempted to understand what was happening in North Carolina. Cunningham shares some of this history and describes how Young's insights could hold lessons for today. 

 

March 8, 2017

Right to Work? Unions & Income Inequality

Over the past three decades in the United States, the wealth gap between the richest Americans and everyone else has reached new extremes. At the same time, labor union membership has drastically decreased. In his book What Unions No Longer Do, sociologist Jake Rosenfeld argues that you can't understand one trend without the other. Rosenfeld shares ideas from his book and considers what so-called "Right to Work" legislation may mean for the future of organized labor. 

February 22, 2017

Inequality at Work

In her book No More Invisible Man: Race and Gender in Men’s Work, sociologist Adia Harvey Wingfield documents the pervasive and often subtle ways that successful black men – people like doctors, lawyers, and engineers – continue to face inequality in the workplace. Here she shares some of these men’s stories and discusses the causes of professional inequality. In addition to teaching sociology at Washington University in St. Louis, Wingfield is a regular contributor to The Atlantic.

September 28, 2017

Creators and Copycats: The Business of Fashion in Guatemala

In an indigenous Maya community in highland Guatemala, sociocultural anthropologist Kedron Thomas noticed a trend. Despite companies' increased efforts to protect their brands against "piracy," knock-off clothing fashion was everywhere. In her book Regulating Style: Intellectual Property Law and the Business of Fashion in Guatemala, Thomas takes a deep dive into this style scene. What do brands mean for the Maya people of Guatemala? What are the goals and effects of intellectual property laws in this context? Who is a fashion creator, and who is a copycat? And who gets to decide?

September 6, 2017

Moms at Work: Policies and Perspectives in Europe and the US

Sociologist Caitlyn Collins frequently remembers a familiar phrase from her childhood. Collins’ mom, a successful sales director, often said with a sigh: “If we were in Europe, this would be so much easier!” So, was Collins’ mom correct? Are the lives of working mothers that much easier in Europe? Collins now investigates how public policies affect family life in both Europe and the US. She shares some of her findings on the laws and cultural attitudes that shape women's careers and lives.