Lisa Wade, Ph.D.
Dr. Lisa Wade is a cultural critic and sociologist based in Los Angeles, California. She holds a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and an M.A. in human sexuality from New York University. She is currently an Assistant Professor at Occidental College, where she teaches courses in gender, race, and sexuality.
Lisa’s research involves the intersection of inequality and the body. Widely published in well-regarded journals, her publications discuss gender and sexuality (including “hook up culture”), genital cutting (“ours” and “theirs”), the practice of journalism, and the tension between feminism and multiculturalism.
Lisa enjoys the occasional opportunity to give public lectures on her work. She also frequently serves as an expert source for journalists writing for outlets such as the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, CNN, ABC News, the Baltimore Sun, Bitch, the Chicago Tribune, CNN, the Columbus Dispatch, the Guardian, Ms., and the San Francisco Chronicle,.
Finally, Lisa is also the founder and editor, as well of an author of the most widely read sociology blog on the web, Sociological Images. Presenting brief discussions of compelling and timely imagery that span the breadth of sociological inquiry, the site encourages all kinds of people to exercise and develop their sociological imagination. Sociological Images posts are frequently re-posted at Jezebel, Ms., Racialicious, and other sites, as well as routinely used as a source by a wide range of news organizations.
In a 2007 national survey, 40% of children adopted by Americans, both domestically and internationally, were of a different race than their adoptive parents (source). Transracial adoptions are very common. But who adopts who? If you ask Google Images, white families adopt non-white children. Six of the images below appear to feature white parents with children of color:
One of our Pinterest boards collects images that reveal that men are the “neutral” sex in contemporary Western cultures. This means that (1) the image that pops up in our minds when we say “person” or “human” or “worker” is usually implicitly male, (2) non-sexed representations of people are usually assumed to be male (e.g., cartoon animals appear female to us unless we slap on eyelashes and lipstick), (3) items for sale often get marketed as either “item” or “women’s item” (e.g., “deodorant” and “women’s deodorant”), and (4) men and male bodies get to stand in for humanity (e.g., in scientific research).
When Adam Lanza walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School, he was carrying a Bushmaster .223 caliber Remington semiautomatic. This is the frightening weapon he used to take the lives of 27 people:
The refrain — “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” — does an injustice to the complicated homotechnocultural phenomenon that we call a massacre.
Title IX, an amendment to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, stated that “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance...” Passed on this day in 1972, this policy meant that schools and colleges receiving federal funding could not legally give preference to men. Instead, they had to allocate their resources to men and women in proportion to their interest and enrollment.
Publicizing the release of the 1940 U.S. Census data, LIFE magazine released photographs of Census enumerators collecting data from household members. Yep, Census enumerators. For almost 200 years, the U.S. government counted people and recorded information about them in person, by sending out a representative to evaluate them directly.
A great story at the New York Times reveals how the evolving science of marketing is creating its own set of challengers for advertisers. Target, like many companies, tracks its customers purchases and uses the data to send packets of coupons tailored to individuals and households. In this way, they tempt us into the store by offering us deals on things they know we want.
Recent research has unearthed the interesting finding that most Americans dislike atheists. In fact, they strongly dislike atheists.
The United States is unusual among developed countries in guaranteeing exactly zero weeks of paid time-off from work upon the birth or adoption of a child. Japan offers 14 weeks of paid job-protected leave, the U.K. offers 18, Denmark 28, Norway 52, and Sweden offers 68 (yes, that’s over a year of paid time-off to take care of a new child).