Frontiers - Society

  • August 2014

    Defying the Odds

    Political Science's Devesh Kapur examines Dalit entrepreneurs.

    In recent years, and especially since the 2008 economic crisis, capitalism has been under siege in the West for its structural role in increasing income, and, even more so, wealth inequality. But indicators of income or wealth as measures of inequality are inadequate in societies where social inequalities—servility, humiliation, lack of self-respect—are important.

  • August 2014

    The Science of Ethics

    Doctoral student Justin Landy studies stressful decision-making scenarios.

    Consider this dilemma: A pandemic of a new and virulent influenza is sweeping the United States, and there is a scarcity of the only antiviral agent that can save lives. You are a physician in an emergency room with a single dose of this drug, and are evaluating three patients: a 35-year-old, a 10-year-old, and an infant. All are acutely ill, but you can administer the drug to only one.

  • August 2014

    Common Tongues

    Associate Professor of Linguistics Julie Legate examines language structures.

    While foreign languages can seem bafflingly different from English on the surface, Julie Legate, Associate Professor of Linguistics, says seemingly divergent languages have more in common than we think. Discovering the commonalities, though, often requires a close examination of the way meaning is structured in each language.

  • July 2014

    Survey Says...

    Undergraduates look under the hood of democracy in the new Penn Program for Opinion Research and Election Studies.

    From opinions of the Hobby Lobby decision to top contenders in the 2016 presidential race, we’re peppered daily by poll results, many produced by biased sources. Citizens may be jaded, confused, or just exhausted by all the information, but Associate Professor of Political Science John Lapinski argues that polling plays a vital role in democracy. 

  • July 2014

    Eye in the Sky (VIDEO)

    Art and Archaeology of the Mediterranean World doctoral candidate Lucas Stephens uses an advanced aerial photography system to map an ancient city.

    When Lucas Stephens needed assistance in surveying the Gordion archeological site in central Turkey, he turned to a revolutionary technological ally: the Phantom 2 Vision + Quadcopter.

  • April 2014

    Russia and Ukraine: Answers and Questions (Video)

    A faculty panel discusses events in Ukraine and some possible futures.

    The situation in Ukraine is seen as the most urgent crisis in the world today, reminding some of the lead up to World War II. What got us here? And is there a way out? Faculty from Penn Arts and Sciences convened Understanding the Crisis in Ukraine: A Faculty Roundtable to look at the events in eastern Europe from a variety of vantage points. Here are some of the topics covered:

  • April 2014

    Statutes of Limitation

    Sociology graduate student Alexander Jerneck examines the fiscal roots of corporate law.

    Forming a corporation represents the pinnacle of entrepreneurship. But in the late 19th century, American corporate law as we know it was only just beginning to take shape. 

  • April 2014

    Celebrating 20 Years at the Katz Center

    The worldwide hub of advanced Judaic studies looks back—and forward.

    On May 1, scholars at the Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies will gather to celebrate and reflect on two decades of Jewish learning at the highest level. The occasion is David Ruderman’s retirement as the Ella Darivoff Director of the center, but Taking Note: 20 Years of Scholars and Scholarship at the Herbert D.

  • March 2014

    Q and A: Pope Francis’ First Year

    Associate Professor of Sociology Melissa Wilde discusses the Pontiff's impact one year after his election.

    March 13, 2014 marked the first anniversary of Pope Francis’ election. Many consider the 266th Pontiff’s style of communication and messaging a marked contrast to recent Popes. We sat down with Associate Professor of Sociology Melissa Wilde to discuss his impact thus far.

    Click the links below for audio:

  • March 2014

    An Ultrasafe Ultrasound

    Sonya Davey, C'14, wants to end sex-selective abortion. One of her solutions is already getting attention here and in India.

    In 2012, India was named the worst nation for women in a poll conducted by TrustLaw about the world’s top economies. College senior Sonya Davey, who has been traveling to India since she was eight to visit family and do volunteer work, knows just how wide the gender gap is. “I was working with a lot of women and children, and saw how women weren’t treated equally to men,” she says.