Sociology’s Robert Vargas on Gerrymandering and the Geography of Violence in Chicago

At a time when cases involving gerrymandering and redistricting are waiting to be heard by the Supreme Court, Robert Vargas, Neubauer Family Assistant Professor of Sociology and Director of the Violence, Law, and Politics Lab at the University of Chicago, warns that it isn’t enough to consider these types of issues from a top down perspective.

Sociology’s Xi Song: Studying Social Status Across Generations

Since the 2008 financial crisis, increased awareness of inequality has fueled public and political debate, with many questioning how to best gain traction on this complex issue, including its persistent influence on generations. To better understand this transmission of social status across time, Xi Song, Assistant Professor of Sociology, is studying social inequality from a multigenerational perspective.

Describing certain foods in a foreign language reduces aversion

Restaurateurs apparently know what they’re doing when they offer “escargot” on a menu rather than “snails.” New research shows that people are more willing to eat foods that they find disgusting if those foods are presented in a foreign language. That’s the conclusion of a recent set of studies co-authored by a UChicago postdoctoral scholar in psychology, which could help win acceptance for environmentally sustainable foods that many people are unwilling to try.

Sociologist Marco Garrido Calls for a Bottom-up Approach to Researching Populist Politics

By many accounts, Joseph Estrada had a lackluster record of helping the poor in the Philippines. The former president was ousted in 2001 and later convicted of plunder for stealing $80 million from the government. Nevertheless, the urban poor in Manila have continued to support the former film actor, who ran for president in 2010 after being pardoned. In an attempt to better understand the source of voters’ loyalty to Estrada, Marco Garrido, assistant professor in the Department of Sociology, conducted an ethnographic analysis of political beliefs in the Philippines. The study suggests new avenues that may be applicable to the study of populist politics worldwide, including the election of Donald Trump.