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Sociological Images


Trophy Scarves: Race, Gender, and the Woman-as-Prop Trope

Social inequality unapologetically laid bare.

Shelf Help


Shelf Help: New Book Reviews in 100 Words or Less

What you need to know about Bad Feminist, XL Love, and The Birth of Korean Cool.

But It's Just a Game


What’s in a Name? The Problem With Washington’s Football Team

A senior advisor to the National Congress of American Indians once threw an embarrassing themed party that involved headdresses. He regrets that costume now, but knows his experience is one many others can relate to.

Over the Speakers


Commercializing the Counterculture: How the Summer Music Festival Went Mainstream

With painted Volkswagen buses, talk of “free love,” and other reminders of the Woodstock era replaced by advertising and corporate sponsorships, hippie culture may be dying, but a new subculture—a sort of purgatory between hipster and hippie—is on the rise.

Sociological Images


Who Doesn’t Like Atheists?

The Pew Research Center asked Americans of varying religious affiliations how they felt about each other.

The Rest of the World


Our Fear of Immigrants

Why did a group of fourth graders rally in support of an undocumented classmate while the citizens of Murrieta, California, tried to stop immigrant children from entering their town?



New Evidence That Blacks Are Aging Faster Than Whites

A large study finds American blacks are, biologically, three years older than their white chronological counterparts.

The Rest of the World


Celebrating Independence: Scenes From 59 Days Around the World

While national identities are often used to separate people, a husband-and-wife Facebook photography project aims to build connections.

A Conversation With


The Academic of Comic Books

Kim O’Connor talks to Hillary Chute about comics as objects of criticism, the role of female cartoonists, and the art world’s evolving relationship with the form.

The Big Screen


‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ Makes a Great Argument for Sex

We could all learn a thing or two from our close cousin, the bonobo.



The Vintage People

The latest entry in a series on subculture in America.

We Read It


How I Became a Knausgaard Truther

Did companies in Norway institute Knausgaard-free days in response to the popularity of Karl Ove Knausgaard’s autobiographical novel My Struggle? It’s a question that led to a search for proof that something never happened.



Zombie-Infested Virtual World Reveals Our Ethical Blind Spots

Players of an online survival game expressed guilt for killing, but less so for non-lethal actions that would result in a character’s death.

Book Reviews


The Searchers: Amateur Web Sleuths Are Teaming Up to Solve Cold Cases Online

An old American obsession—the rogue detective’s urge to crack the case—finds a new outlet.

The Rest of the World


Spectators of the Orient: Kara Walker and a History of White Americans Gawking at Black and Brown Bodies

Many viewers of “Marvelous Sugar Baby” made it clear they were oblivious to the history of enslavement and abuse—in Walker’s art and this country—when they turned the installation into just another cheap form of entertainment. But that’s nothing new.

This Is Your Brain


Hand-Wringing Over Handwriting

It improves cognitive function and socialization. And it’s all but gone from our schools.



The Woman in Red Is Seen as a Threat by Other Women

New research confirms that the color red sends a signal of sexual availability.

We Read It


Why Do Men Dislike Erotica for Women So Much?

William Giraldi’s attempt to pan Fifty Shades of Grey is just the latest in a long line of hollow critiques dating back to Elinor Glyn and the genre’s origins.

Quick Studies


Which Colors Do You Smell?

Hazelnut smells like brown, unless you’re Malaysian Chinese.

In the Picture


In the Picture: Working Out in Ukraine, Cybernetics, and Hygienic Recommendations

In every issue, we fix our gaze on an everyday photograph and chase down facts about details in the frame.

The World Wide Web


Writing About Writing About Taylor Swift’s Writing

Everyone’s writing about Taylor Swift writing for the Wall Street Journal.

In the Classroom


Filling in the Blanks: The Thousands of Volunteers Who Grade Millions of AP Tests

It’s sort of like summer camp—just for highly educated adults.

We Read It


Block Quotes: Advice From Great Writers About Kicking Writer’s Block

A catalog of cures for writers in crisis.

The Rest of the World


The History of Dutch Soccer and Not Playing to Win

The most famous teams from the Netherlands were glorious failures—at least to outsiders. In a nation that often prized an ideal over tangible results, some might have to come to terms with a new team that’s two games away from the country’s first World Cup title.

Book Reviews


The Truman Show Delusion: Can Culture Make Us Crazy?

Two brothers—a philosopher and a doctor—attempt to explain the cultural roots of madness.

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Do Not Tell Your Kids That Eating Vegetables Will Make Them Stronger

Instead, hand them over in silence. Or, market them as the most delicious snack known to mankind.

The West’s Groundwater Is Being Sucked Dry

Scientists were stunned to discover just how much groundwater has been lost from beneath the Colorado River over the past 10 years.

How Wildlife Declines Are Leading to Slavery and Terrorism

As wildlife numbers dwindle, wildlife crimes are rising—and that's fueling a raft of heinous crimes committed against humans.

How a CEO’s Fiery Battle Speeches Can Shape Ethical Behavior

CEO war speech might inspire ethical decisions internally and unethical ones among competing companies.

Modern Technology Still Doesn’t Protect Americans From Deadly Landslides

No landslide monitoring or warning systems are being used to protect vulnerable communities.

The Big One

One in two full-time American fast-food workers' families are enrolled in public assistance programs, at a cost of $7 billion per year. July/August 2014

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