Cultural Studies

RECENT REVIEWS

It Was a Very Good Year

It Was a Very Good Year

THE IDEA OF FOCUSING on a single year for research, or for study, or in an attempt to make a year illustrative of a whole era is slightly bonkers, but at the same time it can be very useful as well as...

A Tale of Two ’Hoods: A Rap on Silver Lake

A Tale of Two ’Hoods: A Rap on Silver Lake

WHEN RUBÉN MARTÍNEZ submitted his essay “My Father’s House” to Dagoberto Gilb, author and publisher of the literary magazine Huizache, the two writers realized they shared some geography: the...

Is College Still Worth It?

Is College Still Worth It?

WHEN DID American universities switch from being a national glory to a national problem? One likely year is 2010, when total student debt became larger than total credit card debt, and the dam burst o...

On Risk and Personal Belief

On Risk and Personal Belief

Pestilence is in fact very common, but we find it hard to believe in a pestilence when it descends upon us. There have been as many plagues in the world as there have been wars, yet plagues and wars a...

A Truthy Critique of American Higher Ed

A Truthy Critique of American Higher Ed

WILLIAM DERESIEWICZ'S Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to a Meaningful Life was published on August 19 — just in time for the annual “crisis in American higher ...

Life, Prison, and the Pursuit of Happiness

Life, Prison, and the Pursuit of Happiness

ALICE GOFFMAN’S On the Run couldn’t be more aptly titled. In the Philadelphia suburb that is the focus of Goffman’s powerful sociological study, young Black men are “on the run” for real, an...

California’s Immaculate Conception

California’s Immaculate Conception

CALIFORNIA has been known as the end of America, where Manifest Density doubled back on itself. But long before Joan Didion declared it the place where we run out of continent, California had a histor...

Capitalizing on “The Body”

Capitalizing on “The Body”

BY NOW you’ve probably heard the news: Marx is back on trend. Thanks to the French economist Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century, even The New York Times’s Fashion & Sty...

Feminism and the "50 Shades" Hangover

Feminism and the "50 Shades" Hangover

SHOULDN'T WE ALL feel a little embarrassed about the fuss we made over 50 Shades of Grey? I don’t mean the book’s fans. I mean the anti-; the book’s critics; all of us who committed time and ene...

Going Up?

Going Up?

  ELEVATORS are commonplace. That’s the magic of them. Otis Elevator Company, the world’s most famous manufacturer of “vertical transport systems,” reputedly carries the equivalent o...

Culture Shock: The Problem of Juvenile Justice

Culture Shock: The Problem of Juvenile Justice

WHEN the Center for Investigative Reporting recently visited the Santa Cruz County Juvenile Hall — widely considered one of the best juvenile detention centers in the country — they found remarkab...

Romania: A Tale of Two Problems

Romania: A Tale of Two Problems

IN APRIL 2012 the mayor of Bucharest, Sorin Oprescu, unveiled a statue on the steps of the National Museum of Romanian History. It was the Roman emperor Trajan standing upright, crowned with a bowl cu...