The so-called “success sequence” naively assumes that escaping poverty is as simple as a couple of personal choices. Further, for some stigmatized ethnic groups, carefully following the success sequence fails to yield the promised benefits.

Photo by Clay Banks, courtesy of Unsplash

About 15 years ago, the sociologist Marline Pearson and the historian Barbara Dafoe Whitehead came up with some simple advice about how to reduce poverty and social inequality: “Just do it!”

Wait! That was Nike’s advice — about footwear. But Pearson and Whitehead’s advice was equally simple — and equally…

For nearly a century, Democrats have grown the U.S. economy more than Republicans have. But in today’s highly partisan world, some Republican leaders are happy to tank the economy, knowing Biden will be blamed.

Photo by the author.

The U.S. mid-term Congressional elections are less than a year away. If the recent gubernatorial elections in Virginia and New Jersey are any sign of what is to come in high-profile U.S. elections, you can expect the Republicans to take back both chambers of Congress in 2022. Taking back the…

Both photos by Gayatri Malhotra, courtesy of Unsplash.

Very soon, a U.S. Supreme Court that has been heavily stacked by Republican leaders will make some very important rulings about abortion rights in the United States. Given the conservative make-up of the Supreme Court, it is possible that we will see a major change in the legal status of…

Right now I am writing a book, arguing that despite all the racism, inequality, and suffering that still plague the world, there is hope for the future

Image courtesy of Rhonda Pelham (family photo)

October 3, 2021

Dearest Mother:

It is now early October of 2021, and so in about six weeks, you will be 79 — or you would have been. I say “would have been” because you have now been gone for some 23 and a half years. It has been long enough since you died that…

Images adapted from U.S. Library of Congress (left) and photo by Arturo Rey (right), courtesy of Unsplash

Not long ago, it felt like life was returning to normal. By late May of 2021, half of all Americans had been at least partially vaccinated against COVID-19, and the Biden administration’s push to make several safe and highly effective vaccines widely available looked like a stunning success. …

Brett Pelham

Brett is a social psychologist at Montgomery College, MD. Brett studies health, gender, culture, religion, identity, and stereotypes.

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