• The Other Story about Unaccompanied Immigrant Minors

    In the past few months, major U.S. media networks have (rightfully) expended considerable coverage to the unaccompanied immigrant minors (UIMs) crisis at the southwest border. The recent focus concerned the implementation of the Department of Justice's short-lived "zero-tolerance policy."1 In short, the policy required the absolute criminalization of migrants attempting to enter the U.S. at the southwest border without requisite travel documents or for not crossing the border at a designated port of entry (POE). Additionally, it allowed for state sanctioned family separations of migrants entering the U.S. with their children. The parents were taken to immigration detention centers while the…

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  • Experiencing the Other at CARNE y ARENA

    An art installation in the H Street NE corridor is giving District of Columbia area residents a virtual reality experience of the treacherous journey that refugees and migrants embark upon when entering the U.S. Housed in a former church, CARNE y ARENA (Virtually present, Physically invisible)“explores the human condition of immigrants and refugees,” according to creator and Academy Award winning-director, Alejandro G. Iñárritu. Based on true accounts of Central American and Mexican refugees and migrants, CARNE y ARENA uses virtual reality technology to “break the dictatorship of the frame—within which things are just observed—and claim the space to allow the visitor…

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  • The Challenge of Reentry in a Free Society: Prospects for a New Crime Commission

    On the heels of the 50th anniversary of the President’s Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice, and the publication of the report, The Challenge of Crime in a Free Society, we are once again revisiting the need for a new crime commission in the 21st century. Appointed by President Lyndon B. Johnson, this commission is also known as the Johnson Crime Commission and the goal of its work in 1965 was to “examine every facet of crime and law enforcement in America” (U.S. President’s Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice 1967). In response to…

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  • Building an Age-Inclusive District

    Over the past year and a half, we have participated in an ongoing, community-based research project to understand the experience of aging in the District of Columbia with a particular focus on older adults. This experience has introduced us to many community members, leaders and activists who are working to strengthen our community, foster systemic change, and help the District become a more age-inclusive city. Here we offer a brief overview of how one organization is using findings from this inquiry to advance a city-wide initiative aimed at making the District an easier place for all to grow older. The…

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  • Ask the Sociologist: Authority and Obedience

    Dear Sociologist, Using the Milgram experiment, can you analyze group members’ compliance to authority? Sincerely, Concerned about Compliance*   Dear Concerned about Compliance, While Stanley Milgram’s experiments do not definitively explain all of the complexities of obedience to authority, especially in a group setting, his research does offer insight into how power dynamics may influence a person’s actions. Milgram, a social psychologist, discovered that the presence of an authority figure could, in some cases, cause individuals to act in contrast to their own morals. To get a better understanding of how authority can influence people’s actions, it is important to…

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About The Sociologist

The Sociologist is the mouthpiece of the District of Columbia Sociological Society (DCSS). The Sociologist began as a newsletter for members of DCSS. Beginning in 2014, we transformed the newsletter into a periodic magazine of public sociology for a general audience. The Sociologist is an open-access publication and is supported by DCSS and George Mason University’s Department of Sociology and Anthropology. Our aim is to continue to foster our project as a meeting place for all sociologists in the Washington, D.C. area. The Sociologist is issued periodically to coincide with our public events. Send us the sociology of your neighborhood, where you learn and work, or your playground.