Society

Society: Understanding Human Nature and Behavior

Mad About Media

Alice Marwick learned how to code when she was 11 and began working in the tech industry at 19. After the dot-com bubble burst, she realized she could combine her passion for technology with her love for social science in a graduate program. Now, the UNC communications professor researches disinformation and privacy, two of the most pressing issues in the world of media ethics.

Setting a Field Alight

With support from UNC student researchers, Benjamin Mason Meier has finalized a first-of-its-kind textbook integrating human rights policy into public health education — a guiding light to aid the next generation of researchers.

A Seat at the Table

State legislatures drive decisions about public education, social welfare, taxation, and infrastructure, so diverse representation within them matters. About 24 percent of North Carolina state legislators are women, 22 percent are Black, and zero are Latino — numbers that, if increased, could drastically change the way we make decisions that impact such groups, according to UNC political scientist Christopher Clark.

A Growing Divide

After the 2016 U.S. presidential race, America seemed more divided than ever. But the 2020 election has proven to be even more polarizing. UNC researchers are studying why this divide seems to be growing, analyzing polarization from a psychological and historical perspective.

Tackling COVID-19

As one of the first research facilities in the U.S. to receive a COVID-19 sample and begin testing for potential therapies, UNC’s response to the threat of the coronavirus was immediate and remains unyielding. While some of our researchers have been studying coronaviruses for years, many others have pivoted the focus of their research, refitted their labs, and are working collaboratively to better execute a holistic response to the pandemic.

Terence Johnson

Terence Johnson is a PhD student in the UNC School of Social Work and a student assistant in the Department of Social Medicine within the UNC School of Medicine. He researches how to create equity within the criminal justice system.

William Sturkey

William Sturkey is an associate professor in the Department of History within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences and a recipient of the 2020 Hettleman Award for Artistic and Scholarly Achievement. He studies the history of race in the American South, with a focus on working-class, marginalized peoples. His book “Hattiesburg” is a biracial history of the Jim Crow era in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, which played a central role in the Civil Rights Movement.

Andrea Bohlman

Andrea Bohlman is an associate professor in the Department of Music within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences and a recipient of the 2020 Hettleman Award for Artistic and Scholarly Achievement. She explores the diverse music that permeates past and present cultures and why people use music during political movements.

Margarett McBride

Margarett McBride is a PhD student in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences. Her research focuses on how neighborhood contexts shape parenting and youth well-being in Black families.  

Helping the Hardest Hit

While the novel coronavirus has affected us all, it has drastically changed the lives of specific groups of people, from rural populations to long-term care residents to communities of color. Startling statistics among these groups have pushed UNC researchers from a variety of disciplines into action.