Culture Briefing


What is the Meaning Behind These Categories?

These categories are intended to orient you to the substance of the article and to communicate our framework for understanding the endowments that constitute civic life. This “human ecology” model is at the core of the Thriving Cities Project, a research initiative of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture.

Busted: America's Poverty Myths


Gladstone explores the myths around poverty in America, highlighting the systemic nature of poverty and the public assumptions of how people become and stay poor.

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How Homeownership Became the Engine of American Inequality

The New York Times Magazine

Matthew Desmond, Pulitzer Prize recipient for his book Evicted, takes on the question of housing and inequality directly in this featured piece.

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America Is Still the Future

New York Magazine

British-born writer Andrew Sullivan offers one immigrant’s perspective on what it means to be (and to become) an American.

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Immigrant Mother in Denver Takes Refuge as Risk of Deportation Looms

The New York Times

Jeanette Vizguerra—a mother, immigration advocate, and former small-business owner—is currently seeking sanctuary in a Denver church.

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I'm an Iraqi who risked my life for America. Trump’s visa ban puts my family in grave danger.


How a displaced Iraqi who worked with the U.S. Army experienced the recent immigration restriction.

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It’s Working Out Very Nicely


NPR investigates the rollout of the recent immigration order, and how it affected hopeful immigrants around the world.

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Untangling the Immigration Debate

The New Yorker

Sanneh steps back from the daily polls to provide a judicious and straightforward distillation of the basic arguments around immigration policy in the United States.

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Vetting the Executive Order

First Things

A detailed and helpful explanation of the executive order by an international human rights lawyer, introduced by a conservative Catholic professor of jurisprudence.

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It’s Not Foreigners Who are Plotting Here: What the Data Really Show


A former FBI employee examines official Justice Department records listing all counterterrorism subjects arrested or charged in the last two years.

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The Bail Trap

The New York Times Magazine

“As bail has evolved in America, it has become less and less a tool for keeping people out of jail, and more and more a trap door for those who cannot afford to pay it.”

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When Freedom Isn’t Free

The Marshall Project

A closer look at the $14 billion industry that helps accused offenders refinance bail charges they can’t meet—at substantial long-term cost.

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How Prison Debt Ensnares Offenders

The Atlantic

For those who are convicted and serve time, court-imposed financial woes often long outlast jail sentences.

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The Long-Term Costs of Fining Juvenile Offenders

The New Yorker

Court-imposed fines and fees can trap even the very youngest criminal offenders in cycles of poverty and crime.

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