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The immigrant-crime connection

Claude Fischer, professor of sociology | July 23, 2015

Killing at the hands of an illegal alien spurs furious debate about closing borders and deporting the undocumented. It is the year before a presidential election and candidates denounce undocumented immigrants as the conveyors of Mexican violence into our country. When Robert J. Sampson, Harvard sociologist and criminologist, wrote about this news, he was not … Continue reading »

Tips for resilience in the face of horror

Jason Marsh, editor-in-chief, Greater Good Science Center | April 19, 2013

In December, in the wake of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, we created a list of resources for helping children cope with trauma. We had hoped that we would not have to feature that list again anytime soon. Sadly, a number of these resources are newly relevant after the explosions at the Boston Marathon, … Continue reading »

Four reminders of human strength and goodness after Sandy Hook

Jeremy Adam Smith, Editor, Greater Good Magazine | December 18, 2012

I first heard about the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Twitter. In the flood of reactions, one stood out to me. “The children were killed execution style,” tweeted one woman. “People are horrible.” Are people horrible? It’s a question we as a culture pose after every war and atrocity; it’s a question we … Continue reading »

Voting violence

Claude Fischer, professor of sociology | July 25, 2012

One of the simmering issues of the political summer is the court battle over voter identification laws in many Republican-governed states. Requirements that voters present photo IDs, such as drivers’ licenses, and other constraints, such as curtailing early voting, promise to reduce the number of poor, elderly, and minority voters in those states. One of … Continue reading »

Can’t believe it

Claude Fischer, professor of sociology | February 14, 2012

In the flurry of reviews – and comments on the reviews – of Stephen Pinker’s recent book, The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined, I spy a frequent complaint. (Here is my own analysis of Pinker, in the Boston Review.) The book’s central claim is that rates of killing, attacks, brutality, and … Continue reading »

Violence: New news, old news

Claude Fischer, professor of sociology | November 4, 2011

I look forward to reading Steven Pinker’s heralded new book on violence. Its message, that violence has sharply declined in human history, has been received with gasps of amazement – at least by The New York Times Book Review and by NPR. Pinker appears to have done a thorough job of summarizing the findings – … Continue reading »