Frontiers - Society

  • October 2011

    Troubled Paradise

    Anthropologist Deborah Thomas examines the history of violence in Jamaica.

    The clear turquoise waters and sweet reggae melodies that grace Jamaica Tourist Board commercials tend to dominate the United States’ image of the Caribbean nation.

  • September 2011

    Tracking Change

    Ksenia Gorbenko analyzes media and its effect on social movements.

    Successful social movements, in hindsight, are almost always defined by the underdog—the disenfranchised overcoming the odds to secure new freedoms. Whether it’s the liberation movement led by Gandhi or the U.S. Civil Rights movement, all have one thing in common: the harnessing of the media, in some form, to aid in their cause.

  • July 2011

    On the Mend

    Beth Linker describes the impact of rehabilitation services during World War I.

    The toll of war is often measured in fatalities. But immediately following that count is almost always the number of soldiers who have been injured—those in dire need of care after suffering a trauma on the field of battle.

  • June 2011

    Courting Politics

    Political scientist Rogers Smith discusses some of the key cases the U.S. Supreme Court tackled during its 2010-2011 term.

    On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down, on First Amendment grounds, an Arizona campaign finance law and a California law that barred the sale of violent video games to children.

  • May 2011

    Brothers in Arms

    Video: Emerson Brooking investigates the similarities between ancient and modern military tactics.

    For many, the day-to-day U.S. military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan are difficult to relate to.

  • April 2011

    Deconstructing Caste

    Penn's Center for the Advanced Study of India helms breakthrough study of socioeconomics among India's Dalit caste.

    Penn's Center for the Advanced Study of India (CASI) is funding and designing the largest non-government study of economic gains made by India's Dalit caste. Dalits comprise about one-sixth of the country's population and historically have been at the bottom of the complex social hierarchy that constitutes the caste system.

  • April 2011

    Class and the Halls of Ivy

    Graduate student Elizabeth Lee studies socioeconomic inequality in higher education.

    During her years working in the financial aid office of an elite university, sociology doctoral student Elizabeth Lee was struck by the discrepancy between her daily dealings with students and their own experiences at school.

  • March 2011

    Lessons From Chernobyl

    Adriana Petryna says the decades-old disaster may prove invaluable in responding to Japan's Fukushima nuclear power plant accident.

    Media coverage of the accident at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan has overshadowed the destruction caused by the devastating earthquake and resulting tsunami. Though there have been many nuclear plant accidents in the past half-century, only a select few have garnered the kind of international attention Japan's current one has.

  • March 2011

    Labor Unions: American Tradition or Outmoded System?

    Thomas Sugrue discusses planned legislation to strip collective bargaining and other rights from union workers.

    Labor unions, since before the New Deal, have been held up as a quintessential American right. They seek to protect wages, benefits and other workers' rights, especially in the public sector and at big corporations.

  • January 2011

    Style in the Dawn of Civilization

    Graduate student Aubrey Baadsgaard studies the role of fashion in ancient Mesopotamia.

    The frenzy caused by New York Fashion Week and red-carpet style at the Oscars may give the impression that contemporary society is particularly clothes-obsessed, but the research of Aubrey Baadsgaard, an anthropology doctoral student at Penn, shows that the concept of fashion is as old as human history itself.