Author, accomplished sociologist Jay MacLeod visits Western

Jay MacLeod giving a talk to a room full of students

Author, accomplished sociologist Jay MacLeod visits Western

Olivia Reinhardt
Photo by Apr 23, 2019

On Feb. 27 from 7:05 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. in Kelley Hall, 70 people gathered around Jay MacLeod, a sociologist and author of “Ain’t No Makin’ It: Aspirations and Attainment in a Low-Income Neighborhood” and “Minds Stayed on Freedom: The Civil Rights Struggle in the Rural South, an Oral History” for his talk titled “Sociology, Spirituality, and the Struggle for Justice: A Personal Pilgrimage."

In his talk, MacLeod covered topics such as his inspiration for becoming a sociologist, who the high schoolers in his most famous study were and what they believed in, and what became of them as time went on. He also made a point to suggest what may be the root of social inequality and how religion has guided his beliefs. For 30 minutes, those in attendance were welcomed to ask questions about MacLeod, his work and his beliefs, after which the talk ended. 

“Poverty is a scandal to god,” MacLeod said. “We need to work through our sin—not just on an individual level, but corporate, too.” 

Story by freshman Pete Rivera.