In the Spotlight

Christopher Uggen
Distinguished McKnight Professor and Chair, Department of Sociology, University of Minnesota

Drawing on his wide-ranging research, a leading SSN sociologist argues that now is the time to revamp America’s troubled criminal justice system. 

John I. Gilderbloom
Professor of Urban Planning, University of Louisville
Gregory D. Squires
Professor of Sociology and Public Policy & Public Administration, George Washington University

A pair of SSN scholars delves into the mystery of why life expectancy differs from one urban neighborhood to the next.

After sweeping GOP victories in 2014, Obama’s presidency was left for dead. But the President has since moved forward – negotiating a major climate agreement with China, exempting millions of law-abiding immigrants from deportation, nixing tax break extensions tilted against working families, highlighting the problem of violent policing in minority communities, and announcing strong new cabinet nominees. SSN scholars weigh in on Obama’s initiatives and continuing leverage.

Ben Railton
Associate Professor of English Studies and Coordinator of American Studies, Fitchburg State University

From the time of the nation’s founding, America has been home to diverse peoples and cultures – including Moroccans, Filipinos, and Chinese along with Native Americans, Africans, and others. Bigotry, nativism, and xenophobia have long vied with mutual acceptance.

Ashley M. Howard
Assistant Professor of African American History, Loyola University New Orleans

What do the continuing protests in Ferguson, Missouri have in common with the 1960s uprisings in many U.S. cities? Howard looks to history to explore the roots of racial conflicts – and to suggest possible solutions.

Jeffrey M. Berry
John Richard Skuse Professor of Political Science, Tufts University
Sarah Sobieraj
Associate Professor of Sociology, Tufts University

Mockery, fear, and personal attacks dominate blogs, television, and radio talk shows – especially on the right – making politics confusing and unappealing to most Americans.

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