Frontiers - Society

  • 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.

  • November 2015

    Q&A: The European Refugee Crisis (Video)

    Three Penn Arts and Sciences professors share their thoughts.

    According to the BBC, more than 500,000 migrants have made their way across the Mediterranean to Europe in 2015, sparking a crisis as countries struggle to cope with the influx and creating division in the European Union over the best way to resettle people.

  • November 2015

    History in Context

    Tukufu Zuberi, Lasry Family Professor of Race Relations, examines African independence movements.

    The difference between having a passing familiarity with front-page news and truly comprehending world events comes down to a single word: context.

  • October 2015

    Penn Program Focuses on Debating Religion and Politics

    A University of Pennsylvania research program has gathered together leading scholars and advocates representing strongly opposing views on today's most contentious church-state issues, not to forge a consensus, but to model how to disagree without being disagreeable, while identifying any unexpected common ground.

  • September 2015

    Moving Forward at Fels

    Nelson Lim, new Fels Executive Director, brings his national think-tank experience to Penn.

    Fels Institute of Government’s new Executive Director Nelson Lim comes at a time of big change for the institute—and that is not an accident.

  • September 2015

    The Pope in Philadelphia

    Melissa Wilde, Associate Professor of Sociology, discusses the Philadelphia papal visit.

    On September 26 Pope Francis will visit Philadelphia to host the World Meeting of Families, an intercultural celebration of family life that takes place every three years in a different international venue.

  • August 2015

    Friends Don’t Let Friends Have Bad Credit

    Economics Ph.D. candidate Yanhao Wei is researching the concept of "social credit scoring."

    Would you be willing to give up a friend to get a loan? A new approach to calculating credit ratings might put that question on the table.

  • August 2015

    A 10-Year Covenant to Serve: Penn’s Fox Leadership Program in Post-Katrina New Orleans (Video)

    The 2005 fall semester had just begun when Marc Morial, C’80, the former mayor of New Orleans, traveled to Penn’s campus. One month earlier Hurricane Katrina had devastated his city, resulting in over 1,500 deaths and more than $100 billion in total damages. He had come with a request and a challenge: Don’t forget New Orleans.