About BJS

The Berkeley Journal of Sociology is run by a collective of graduate students from the UC Berkeley Department of Sociology. It seeks to contribute to the “history of the present” by publishing critical sociological perspectives on current social, economic, political, and environmental issues.

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Viral Justice grows out of my contention that viruses are not our ultimate foe. In the same way that COVID-19 kills, so too ableism, racism, sexism, classism, and colonialism work to eliminate unwanted people. Ours is a eugenicist society: from the funding of school districts to the triaging of patients, “privilege” is a euphemism for […]

The fact that social media data are public, are known to be public, and sell themselves partly on their public nature has allowed anyone with a purpose —e.g., academic researchers, government agencies, and private firms— to access and collect data, confronting few, if any, formal ethical challenges. Regulations differ between social media platforms and across […]

2023 marks the 50th anniversary of mass incarceration in the United States. This period also saw wide-ranging laws and regulations that diminish the rights and privileges for those convicted of crimes – including the right to vote. More than 19 million people in the United States have felony convictions triggering civil sanctions, which often includes […]

Matthew Clair is a pathbreaking sociologist whose research broadly investigates how cultural meanings within our institutions reflect, reproduce, and challenge inequality and injustice. We first got to know Matt as a professor in an undergraduate sociology theory course at Stanford (for Janna) and as a scholar in law and society (for Tiffany). Through this serendipitous […]

In 2014, a group of 200 to 300 people gathered to block three buses delivering unaccompanied children from Central America that was on its way to a local border patrol station. Protestors held American flags and signs that read “Stop illegal immigration” and repeatedly shouted, “Send them back!” Immigration officials eventually turned the buses around […]

Excerpt reprinted with permission from Black in White Space: The Enduring Impact of Color in Everyday Life by Elijah Anderson. Published by the University of Chicago Press. Copyright 2021. All rights reserved. I was born in the South on what used to be a plantation. My grandmother, a sort of village doctor who never accepted […]