Comparative Sociology and Social Change

Mary Brinton stands in front of a building on Harvard's Cambridge campus.

Gender Equity and Low Fertility in Postindustrial Societies

May 17, 2016

Progress towards gender equality was substantial on many fronts in the decades leading up to the 1990s. Since then, movement towards gender equality has slowed. The gender wage gap has narrowed at a slower pace in the past 20 years, and the same can be said for occupational sex segregation. Postindustrial societies show variation in these patterns and in the consequences that ensue.... Read more about Gender Equity and Low Fertility in Postindustrial Societies

Headshot of Bart Bonikowski, Assistant Professor of Sociology.

Populist Politics and Nationalist Beliefs in Contemporary Democracies

March 8, 2016

In recent months, populist politics appealing to deep-seated nationalist sentiments have risen to prominence in American public discourse. This trend has been primarily reflected in Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, but its echoes can also be found in the rhetoric of other Republican presidential candidates. Political scientists, journalists, and politicians have been caught off guard by this seemingly sudden shift in U.S. political discourse and its resonance with a large plurality of voters in the Republican primary. Yet, similar developments have been unfolding in European politics for over a decade, as evidenced by the rise of the radical right in France, the Netherlands, Greece, and many other EU countries.... Read more about Populist Politics and Nationalist Beliefs in Contemporary Democracies

Ya-Wen Lei

Ya-Wen Lei

Associate Professor of Sociology

On Leave for the 2021-2022 Academic Year

Research interests:  Political sociology, law and society, economic sociology, sociology of media and information technologies, sociology of work, labor and labor movements, science and technology studies, development, and Chinese studies

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Worlds of Worth: Cultural Processes of Inequality

Worlds of Worth: Cultural Processes of Inequality

January 22, 2015

On June 4 to 6, 2014, Michèle Lamont delivered the Adorno Lectures on the topic of Worlds of Worth: Cultural Processes of Inequality, at the Institut für Sozialforschung at the Johannes Wolfgang Goethe Universität in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. She will be conférencière invitée sur chaire d’Etat at the Collège de France in May 2015, where she will deliver these same lectures over four weeks. These lectures (in preparation for publication in German, French and English) offer an overview of her far-reaching research agenda.... Read more about Worlds of Worth: Cultural Processes of Inequality

Explaining Low Fertility in Postindustrial Societies

Explaining Low Fertility in Postindustrial Societies

August 16, 2014

Why are so many young people in certain regions of the postindustrial world delaying marriage and children, or not moving forward at all on either front?  Southern European and East Asian countries now universally have birth rates that are far below what is required to naturally replace their populations. This is leading to rapid population aging and the specter of lowered economic productivity. To unravel the reasons behind historically unprecedented low birth rates, Mary Brinton (Reischauer Institute Professor of Sociology) is leading a team of international collaborators in a five-country comparative study of gender equality and fertility.... Read more about Explaining Low Fertility in Postindustrial Societies

Women in War: new book by Jocelyn Viterna

Women in War: new book by Jocelyn Viterna

August 21, 2013

In the past several decades, women have joined insurgent armies in significant and surprising numbers. Why do women become guerrilla insurgents?  What experiences do they have in guerrilla armies?  And what happens to these women when the fighting ends? Women in War: The Micro-processes of Mobilization in El Salvador (Oxford Studies in Culture and Politics, 2013) by Associate Professor Jocelyn Viterna answers these questions...

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