by Susan Starr Sered, co-author of Can’t Catch a Break: Gender, Jail, Drugs, and the Limits of Personal Responsibility


We continue to spend time with some of the women described in Can’t Catch a Break and as we do we learn more about their lives – both the challenges they face and the strategies they use to address those challenges. It is important for us to convey to readers that these women are not “objects of inquiry” but real human beings who, like all of us, change their attitudes and their circumstances over periods of years, months and even days.

In order to help readers keep up with the women, we have created a blog in which we post updates about the women featured in the book. Some posts include the women’s responses to what we wrote in the book. Some posts narrate the big changes: deaths, births, marriages. And some posts tie the women’s experiences into current news headlines. This blog — intended for a broad audience — will be of particular use for professors as a pedagogical tool. Through the blog, students will gain a clearer understanding of the research process, have opportunities to comment on posts, and be able to ask us questions that arise in their reading — including questions they’d like us to ask the women of Can’t Catch a Break.

This free resource is designed to enhance the use of the book in courses and to help keep students engaged. The URL for our blog is

Es6YWOS0_400x400Susan Starr Sered is Professor of Sociology and Senior Researcher at the Center for Women’s Health and Human Rights at Suffolk University in Boston. She is the author of Uninsured in America: Life and Death in the Land of Opportunity.