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high status policy research is often not the best policy research

At Overcoming Bias, Robin Hanson observes that his fellow economists don’t always focus on the policies that have broad consensus, are easy to understand, and easy to implement. He uses the example of road pricing: Heavy traffic is a problem every economist in the world knows how to solve: price road access, and charge high […]

feedback for ASA on their website, deadline Sept. 30

Here’s your chance to give feedback to the American Sociological Association (ASA) about their website.  Temple University sociologist Matt Wray is requesting feedback from faculty and grad students: Along with Annette Lareau, Past President of ASA, I am heading up a task force on social media. As part of that enterprise, we are trying to […]

Fashion as a Inescapable Institution

One of the more difficult sociological concepts to explain is the social institution.  When sociologists talk about institutions they don’t mean hospitals or churches or any of the concrete organizations that easily come to mind, they mean something much bigger and more difficult to pin down.  They  mean institutionalized ways of doing things or, as I’ve defined […]

Ebola and the Construction of Fear

By Karen Sternheimer No doubt you have heard about the deadly Ebola outbreak in West Africa, which received heightened attention in the news after three Americans working as missionaries in Liberia contracted the virus. The first two, diagnosed in mid-August,...

ed walker discusses astroturfing on c-span

Recently, former guest blogger Ed Walker appeared on C-Span to discuss his new book, Grassroots for Hire. The interview is very nice in that Ed discusses the main points of his books and answers questions from viewers. For previous posts from Ed, click here. 50+ chapters of grad skool advice goodness: Grad Skool Rulz/From Black Power 

A New Constitutional Settlement for England

We could well be days away from ending the 307 year old union between Scotland, and England and Wales. This penny has finally dropped with establishment politics. They have looked into the abyss and are terrified that irrelevance could be staring right back at them. Show More Summary

Sunday Fun: Social Theorists on a Tree Falling in the Forest…

By Stacy, who blogs at Lisa Wade is a professor of sociology at Occidental College and the co-author of Gender: Ideas, Interactions, Institutions. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

our new v.j. – michael mauskapf

Chris Thile: MacArthur Grant Recipient and Mandolinist Extraordinaire – Live Recording of Chris Thile and Edgar Meyer in the Rocky Mountains. New orgtheory feature! Our Director of Musical Programming has invited Michael Mauskapf to be an occasional v.j. In order to mix things up, Michael will provide us with a carefully hand picked selection of […]

The Significance of Eric Prydz's Call On Me

It wasn't one of my favourite dance songs of the 00s, but thanks to its video Eric Prydz's Call On Me is probably the best remembered, if not notorious video of that decade. And yes, believe it or not it's ten years to the day since its official release. Show More Summary

Saturday Stat: The Average Prisoner is Visited Only Twice

Prisoners who can maintain ties to people on the outside tend to do better — both while they’re incarcerated and after they’re released. A new Crime and Delinquency article by Joshua Cochran, Daniel Mears, and William Bales, however, shows relatively low rates of visitation. The study was based on a cohort of prisoners admitted into and released […]

Saturday Interview: Catriona Grant

Catriona Grant is an activist from Edinburgh who has been active in Trotskyist and women's movements. Presently a social worker, Cat is also campaigning for a Yes vote in the Scottish referendum. You can follow her on Twitter here. - Do you regularly read blogs? If so, which ones? Not really, I probably read your blog the most regularly. Show More Summary

movement organizational structure and policy change

A loyal orghead asked me about research that links a social movement’s organizational structure to policy outcomes. I didn’t have a great answer, so I am asking the readers for references on this issue. I did offer, though, suggestions on texts that deal with with movement organizations and their structure and the relationship to outcomes […]

The Trammps - Disco Inferno

Lazy. So here's a cut from my top 100 songs of the 70s. Let's disco!

How Do We Decipher Sex in Daily Life?

Flashback Friday. In Michael Kimmel’s sociology of gender textbook, The Gendered Society, he offers us the following two pictures and asks us to decide, based on our gut-level reactions, whether the two individuals pictured are male or female: If you are like most people, you find, perhaps to your own bewilderment, that the first individual […]

sabbatical advice?

Orgheads: I am going to take a sabbatical in the 2015-16 academic year. On the Facebook group, I asked for input and got one good suggestion. Here, I widen the query. What advice would you give to someone planning a sabbatical? Good places to go?  Do’s and don’ts? Other ideas? 50+ chapters of grad skool […]

Oscar Pistorius Trial: Verdict and Reception

Another dead woman. Another instance of her killer escaping justice. Over the coming days there will be much more written about how Oscar Pistorius shot to death his partner, Reeva Steenkamp, particularly how in this open and shut case the celebrity millionaire athlete got away with it. Show More Summary

“Man Up, Ladies!” … But Not Too Much

In order to be successful in many parts of labor market, women must exhibit traits that are typically considered “masculine.” The title of a fashion article in Glamour magazine hints at — okay, blatantly states — this reality: Man Up, Ladies! That whole menswear separates look is so hot right now. (Suits, layers, plaids, you […]

that’s (not) interesting!

So I’m teaching a graduate class this semester that’s got sort of a logic-of-qualitative-inquiry thing going. One of the pieces we just read was Murray Davis’s “That’s Interesting!” I imagine many of you know the article (it’s come up several times before on orgtheory), but for those who don’t, Davis attempts to taxonomize what makes […]

Gender and Sexual Assaults on Campus

By Sally Raskoff As we go back to school, there has been a lot of talk about preventing sexual assault on campus. This is not a new problem. In fact, I wrote a blog about rape and sexual assault two...

the politics of college admissions at Berkeley and Cal Tech

A few days ago, we got into a fruitful discussion of college admissions. Steven Pinker wrote a widely discussed article condemning the Ivy League for using non-academic criteria in admissions. I concurred with the basic point, but noted that it is all for naught because Pinker doesn’t discuss why college admissions is set up the […]

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