Diversity and Wealth in Congress Today

In 1972, I took a summer break from graduate work at the University of California, Santa Cruz and went to Washington, D.C. to work for Ralph Nader as a Nader’s Raider. One of my projects was to put together what … Read More

Who Gets the Blame When a Town Explodes?

Williston August 2012, Photo by Tim Pippert. For the better part of the last century, North Dakota has been slowly losing population. Vast oil reserves trapped in shale approximately two miles below the prairie sparked relatively small population booms upon … Read More

What’s Behind Asian Americans’ Academic Protests?

Asian Americans and elite academics are again headline news. Certain Asian Americans are contesting the Harvard University admissions process, arguing that anti-Asian stereotypes paint them as less viable applicants. Many also resent proposed changes by New York City Mayor Bill … Read More

Suddenly Single: A Widow’s Challenge

Widows tend to be invisible in modern society.  Thus, it is ironic that when they reach the big screen in the film Widows (to be released in November, 2018), they are highlighted in the most outrageous and demeaning way. They … Read More

Merit and the Admissions Debates at Harvard University and Stuyvesant High School

Harvard University is the most prestigious university in the country and perhaps the world. Getting into Harvard is extremely difficult; less than five percent of applicants are accepted, and these applicants excel in every way. Getting into Harvard is a … Read More

Much Ado about a Hairdo? Unraveling the Social Significance of Jeremy Lin’s Dreadlocks

“I have dreads now. And you probably have some questions and comments. I definitely want to hear them.” – Jeremy Lin in “So…About My Hair,” published in The Players’ Tribune, Oct. 3, 2017   On October 3, 2017, at … Read More

Unsportsmanlike Conduct? Reflections on a Tumultuous NFL Season

In a year of many big stories both on and off the fields of play, the runaway winner for top sports story of 2017 from the Associated Press was the “NFL National Anthem … Read More

A Sociology of Joy

The growth and development of interdisciplinary happiness studies has been encouraging, fascinating, and useful. However, the flower of happiness is still in bud and has not yet blossomed. When it does, happiness will be replaced with joy. In … Read More

Learning from Pulse, Listening to Latinx Queers

[This piece is an excerpt from the book I’m writing on changes in gay bars.] In 2016, two gay bars became national monuments, one in the early hours of June the … Read More

Drawing Boundaries Around Who Counts as Asian American

This May marks the 25th anniversary of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. The United States looks much different than it did 25 years ago, as does its Asian American population. Asian … Read More