Frontiers - Society

  • May 2016

    Liberating Black Female Sexuality

    Dorothy Roberts, George A. Weiss University Professor of Law and Sociology, Raymond Pace and Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander Professor of Civil Rights, professor of Africana studies, and director of the Program on Race, Science, and Society, explores the complex history of Black female sexuality.

    What’s so dangerous about Black women’s sexuality?

  • May 2016

    Penn PORES: NBC’s Decision Desk 2016 (Video)

    Penn Arts & Sciences undergraduates have been following this extraordinary primary election from behind the decision desk at NBC. As interns in the new Penn Program on Opinion Research and Election Studies (PORES), they can be in the classroom in the morning and in New York using what they’ve learned that evening.

  • March 2016

    Race, State, and Marginalized Populations

    Michael Hanchard, professor of Africana studies, examines marginalized populations.

    While preparing to teach a graduate course, Michael Hanchard happened upon an obscure citation of a series of lectures entitled “Comparative Politics.” It became the impetus for his forthcoming book The Spectre of Race in Comparative Politics, which seeks to shine a light on the role of racial hierarchy in modern politics.

  • March 2016

    Supreme Impasse (Q and A)

    Rogers Smith, Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Associate Dean for the Social Sciences, discusses the politics surrounding the Supreme Court nomination.

    In February Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia passed away, leading to contention in the Senate over the nomination of a new justice. With Republicans arguing that President Barack Obama should defer to the next president and Democrats anxious for a like-minded appointee, the stakes couldn’t be higher for the future of the country’s highest court.

  • February 2016

    “We Are Who We Say We Are”

    During Black History Month, we talk with Mary Frances Berry, Geraldine R. Segal Professor of American Social Thought, about how one mixed-race family negotiated history.

    Louis Antoine Snaer had an American life. His grandfather had come west from Europe in the late 1700s. He himself was a Union soldier during the U.S. Civil War, earning a battlefield promotion and a medal. After the war Snaer returned home to New Orleans, where he was elected to office. He later moved his family to California, looking for better opportunities.

  • February 2016

    The Sociology of the Zoo

    David Grazian, an associate professor of sociology, provides a behind-the-scenes look at the American zoo.

    When David Grazian began to make weekend visits to the Philadelphia Zoo with his young son, he didn’t imagine that he would one day find himself on the other side of the exhibits mucking out cages, presenting boa constrictors and lizards to zoo visitors, and preparing meals of beef soaked in cow’s blood for wildcats.

  • February 2016

    Presidential Primary Season: What We've Learned and What to Expect (Video)

    A panel of professors from the Department of Political Science discuss voting behavior and the nuances of the election process.

    In a recent panel, four professors from the Department of Political Science discussed the results of the primaries thus far in the presidential race, and what the outcomes might mean for the race moving forward. The professors provided diverse perspectives on factors that influence voting, including race, gender, and religion.

  • January 2016

    Redefining Affirmative Action

    A. Rahman Ford examines affirmative action policies on a global scale—while fighting for his health at home.

    This past December the U.S. Supreme Court began debating Fisher v. University of Texas, in which a white college applicant who was denied admission sued, accusing the university of having an affirmative action policy that gives preference to racial minorities.

  • January 2016

    Want to Be More Mindful? Check Your Phone.

    John Tresch, associate professor of history and sociology of science, looks at how mindfulness apps connect—and disconnect—with their Buddhist roots.

    From Fitbit to RescueTime to Weight Watchers—whatever your New Year’s resolution this year, there’s probably an app to help you along. John Tresch, an associate professor of history and sociology of science, recently wrote about another tech frontier: mindfulness apps to help you relax and meditate. One of these, Headspace, even calls itself “the first gym membership for the mind.”

  • December 2015

    You Say You Want a Revolution. Then What?

    Teece fellow Doğa Kerestecioğlu, a Ph.D. candidate in sociology, is studying how national revolutions turn into national governments.

    Say you’re a revolutionary who has just overthrown the despotic leader of your nation. You feel good—but you can’t relax just yet. “People don’t know what happens next,” says sociology graduate student Doğa Kerestecioğlu.