Sociology

Idleness as Flourishing

It is hard work to write a book, so there is unavoidable irony in fashioning a volume on the value of being idle. There is a paradox, too: to praise idleness is to suggest that there is some point to ...

Jewish Fragility

When I receive appeals from Jewish organizations exhorting me to fight antisemitism—which, they claim, is on the rise here and abroad—I tend to toss them away. During many periods of time, and in ...

Birth of a Queer Parent

By virtue of their youth, trans and queer kids offer something new. Coming out today is less exclusively a narrative of young adulthood or middle age, and increasingly an experience of childhood or ...

Ending the Anthropocene

One might think that the patent anthropocentrism of the concept of “Anthropocene” would suffice to invite a clear opposition, and, yet ...

What Was Public Housing?

Any debate about American public housing will eventually have to reckon with Chicago. More specifically, it will have to reckon with that city’s wrecked projects. Those closest to the issue have ...

Our Drugs, Ourselves

Is the term “drugs” still meaningful? Many of us would confess to being at least mildly dependent on some substance, be it single-origin coffee or Sancerre, antidepressants or anti-inflammatories ...

More Nurture, Less Nature?

What if genes weren’t the perfect blueprint we’ve been led to believe they are? What if your body was constantly being shaped by its environment? What if your children’s ...

American Perceptions of Class

When, in 1906, the German sociologist Werner Sombart quipped that in America, “all socialist utopias came to nothing on roast beef and apple pie,” he offered a ...

Idleness as Flourishing

It is hard work to write a book, so there is unavoidable irony in fashioning a volume on the value of being idle. There is a paradox, too: to praise idleness is to suggest that there is some point to ...

Stadium Arts

On the way into Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium during this year’s World Cup, spectators found FIFA’s flagship Fan Shop in an unlikely spot: at the feet of a monumental statue to Lenin. The irony was ...

Let Us Now See Climate Change

How can we learn to see climate change around us? What would it really look like for climate change to come into our homes and lives? It used to be that climate ...

Privacy Cultures

In “USS Callister,” a much-discussed episode of Black Mirror, a reticent computer programmer collects DNA around his office from discarded objects like lollipops and coffee cups. He uses that DNA to ...