Divisions & Units - Social Sciences

Students in 'la diaspora' take Puerto Rico relief efforts into own hands

November 7, 2017
On Saturday, L&S undergraduate Pablo Paredes will pack five suitcases full of 340 pounds of supplies — everything from solar kits and water filters to mosquito netting and cortisone cream — and check them on a flight to Puerto Rico. Once he arrives, he’ll load the suitcases into his uncle’s beat-up car and drive them into the mountains along winding roads to Casa Pueblo, a community-based relief organization in Adjuntas dedicated to supporting victims of Hurricane Maria.

Berkeley economist leads petition drive to fight pervasive misogyny

October 31, 2017
A senior thesis by a UC Berkeley student raised eyebrows recently when the New York Times shared her findings that a popular website for those posting and seeking jobs in economics was rife with sexist and crude terminology. And Alice Wu’s work continues to reverberate, following word last week that more than 1,000 economics professors, lecturers and graduate student instructors across the country who teach economics signed a petition urging the American Economic Association (AEA) to institute a fact-based and moderated wiki to provide up-to-the-minute job market information.

Everything you need to know about sleep, but are too tired to ask

October 17, 2017
Ask neuroscientist Matthew Walker, author of the new book, Why We Sleep, about the downside of pulling an all-nighter, and he’ll rattle off a list of ill effects that range from memory loss and a compromised immune system to junk food cravings and wild mood swings.

Sociologist Neil Smelser, campus leader and Free Speech Movement diplomat, dies at 87

October 12, 2017
Neil Smelser, a distinguished sociologist and higher education leader who navigated the swells of student uprisings during the exhilarating and tumultuous 1960s, died peacefully on Oct. 2 at his home in Berkeley. He was 87.

Three L&S alumni win MacArthur 'genius' awards

October 11, 2017
Three L&S alumni are among the 24 amazing Americans revealed today as winners of the coveted MacArthur “genius” award. Writer Viet Than Nguyen and opera director Yuval Sharon are both alumni of the Department of English, and conceptual artist Trevor Paglen has a BA in Religious Studies and a Ph.D. in Geography.

Parole violations, not new crimes, help drive prison's revolving door

October 3, 2017
Failing a drug test, associating with felons and other technical parole violations are among the key drivers of prison’s “revolving door,” according to new UC Berkeley research.

Fox squirrels use 'chunking' to organize their favorite nuts

September 12, 2017
Like trick-or-treaters sorting their Halloween candy haul, fox squirrels apparently organize their stashes of nuts by variety, quality and possibly even preference, according to new UC Berkeley research.

Emoji fans take heart: Scientists pinpoint 27 states of emotion

September 6, 2017

A new UC Berkeley study challenges a long-held assumption in psychology that most human emotions fall within the universal categories of happiness, sadness, anger, surprise, fear and disgust.

Berkeley scientists link more education to better cognitive functioning later in life

August 28, 2017

Higher levels of education are tied to later ages of peak cognitive functioning, according to new research published today in the journal PLoS One.

Feeling bad about feeling bad can make you feel worse

August 10, 2017
Pressure to feel upbeat can make you feel downbeat, while embracing your darker moods can actually make you feel better in the long run, according to new UC Berkeley research.