When Hartmann and I bid for Contexts magazine, our proposal was long on vision but skimpy on details. I think our new spring issue is about the closest we've come to realizing that vision, presenting a broader, more diverse, and more engaged sociology and celebrating its contributions to the public good.
This issue features a lively print exchange based on culture editor Dave Grazian's bar room discussion of glam metal and guilty pleasures with (non-academic sociologist) Chuck Klosterman. Paul Hirsch and Dan Cornfeld offer a fine retrospective on (non-academic sociologist) Studs Terkel, with some amazing artwork from (non-academic sociologist) Harvey Pekar's graphic adaptation of Terkel's Working. We've also got a slate of strong features by academic sociologists like Doug Downey and Edward Walker, incisive culture reviews on reality TV, and a compelling original analysis of bestselling books in sociology, with a comment by Herb Gans himself.
Though we've started to make good on a bit of the vision in our proposal, we know that Contexts ain't there yet. And while contexts.org is attracting millions of eyeballs these days, our print publication is still speaking mainly to a few thousand academic sociologists. Those issues aside, I was dang pleased to peel the shrink wrap from this issue -- and I hope you like it too.