This website is an archive of work from the late Michael Kearl, who passed away in March 2015.

 Thirty years ago columnist Lewis Lapham made the following observation:
There no longer exists a theater of ideas in which artists or philosophers can perform the acts of the intellectual or moral imagination. In nineteenth-century England Charles Darwin could expect On The Origin of Species to be read by Charles Dickens as well as by Disraeli and the vicar in the shires who collected flies and water beetles. Dickens and Disraeli and the vicar could assume that Mr. Darwin might chance to read their own observations. But in the United States in 1979 what novelist can expect his work to be read by a biochemist, a Presidential candidate, or a director of corporations; what physicist can expect his work to be noticed, much less understood, in the New York literary salons? ("A Juggernaut of Words," Harper's Magazine, June 1979: pp. 12-13).
Conditions have hardly improved three decades later. Now in the supposed "Information Age" six out of ten American households do not purchase a single book and one-half of American adults do not read one. Forty-three years ago in  1965 when the Gallup Organization asked young people if they read a daily newspaper, 67 percent said yes; in 2006, according to the NORC General Social Survey, only 11 percent of those 18-24 answered affirmatively. And yet "they" say we are saturated with informational overload!

I am most interested in the potential of this cyberspace medium to inform and to generate discourse, to enhance information literacy, and to truly be a "theater of ideas." This site features commentary, data analyses (hey, we've become a "factoid" culture), occasional essays, as well as the requisite links, put together for courses taught by myself and my colleagues.  Additions and updates are made daily If you do give feedback on one of the message pads scattered across these pages and wish a reply, please include your e-mail address.

And now for some sites to stimulate the sociological imagination  
(or, at a minimum, prepare one for Sociology Jeopardy).

General sociological resources
Sociological theory
Data resources and some useful web tools
Methods and statistics
Guide to writing a research paper
Exercising the imagination: Subject-based Inquiries
Search engine for site--improved for the new millennium


Sociology of Death and Dying The premier tour.
The Times of Our Lives: Social Contours of the Fourth Dimension This path takes you just about everywhere, from circadian rhythms to the implications of historical ignorance.
A Sociological Social Psychology Another far-ranging tour, from the nature- nurture controversy to history's thumbprint on generations.
Marriage & Family Life On life's home base.
Social Gerontology We're in the midst of an aging revolution whose impacts will be felt for centuries to come.
Social Inequality Reflecting on the growing gap between America's haves and have-nots.
Gender & Society Have gender inequalities decreased or increased with social evolution?
Race & Ethnicity How well is the American melting pot dissolving inequalities between racial and ethnic groups?
Sociology of Knowledge To what extent are different types of knowledge socially constructed?
Demography Are social processes ultimately demographically determined?
In addition, here are several pages that I maintain for my colleagues (and for fun). Little personal expertise is claimed in these areas but these sites are too rich not to acknowledge. Occasional sociological analyses are included to illustrate further avenues of research.
Mass Media and Communication Studies
Political Science
Health Statistics & the Medical Establishment
Science & Technology
Art & Art History
Paranormal Sites (With your mind in mind)


Countdown 2001: Thoughts on Cultural Cynicism, the Fin-de-siecle, and the Ozone Hole

Confessions of a Philatelist

Thinking about the Presidential Election: The Bearing of the Day Candidates are Born

Lotto Mania

Credit Card Crazy

Reflections on the 45th Anniversary of the Television Remote Controller

eXTReMe Tracker
This sociological tour through cyberspace has received a number of acknowledgements, as have some of its separate paths. Click here for some of the reviews of this entire tour package.


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