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Snowflakes and the beauty of the meme

Flashback Friday. The image above is a photograph of a snowflake taken in the late 1800s by Wilson Bentley. Bentley, a 19-year-old farmer in Vermont, was the first person to ever photograph snowflakes. From the Guardian: Bentley’s obsession with snow crystals began when he received a microscope for his 15th birthday. He became spellbound by […]

Ideology in The Great British Bake Off

It caters for all tastes. The smells appeal to some and turn others off. It can and is served up overcooked and underdone. What's baking in the oven? Ideology. In a Britain-shaped tin. For the first time last night, the residents ofShow More Summary

Eviction and inequality in America

In the 5-minute lecture below, the Harvard sociologist and MacArthur “Genius Grant” winner, Matthew Desmond, discusses the role of eviction in exacerbating poverty. He studied Milwaukee, a city that sees 1 out of every 14 renter-occupied households in its urban centers evicted every year. The system is biased in favor of landlords, even negligent ones, and the […]

Polls Produce, Rather Than Simply Reflect, Trends in Religious Identification

Public opinion polling in America dates back to the 1930s, and religious beliefs and behaviors have always been topics of interest. However, polls do not produce perfect measurements and their results can both shape and misrepresent the reality of public beliefs and behaviors. Religion Dispatches recently interviewed sociologist Robert Wuthnow about his new book Inventing […]

some thoughts on institutional logics, in three parts

Last week I was finishing up a volume introduction and it prompted me to catch up on the last couple of years of the institutional logics literature. This gave me some thoughts, and now I can’t sleep, so I’m putting them out there. This is long so it’s broken into three parts. The first two […]

Water and the Tragedy of Extra Credit

By Jonathan Wynn This summer, entering the fourth year of drought conditions in California, ordinary residents followed Governor Jerry Brown’s call to cut their water usage by a quarter. All cities met their water conservation targets. The Los Angeles Times,...

sorry, you can’t replicate economics either

From the econ blogs this week, a paper by Chang and Li about whether you can replicate econ papers. Take a guess at what the answer is before you read the abstract: Is Economics Research Replicable? Sixty Published Papers from Thirteen Journals Say “Usually Not”, by Andrew C. Chang and Phillip Li, Finance and Economics […]

How Do You Know If You’re Really a Conservative?

October 7, 2015 Posted by Jay Livingston Are Conservative Republicans a breed apart? And are they getting even farther apart? A recent Pew survey compared attitudes a year ago and last month on the subject of abortion. The 2015 survey...Show More Summary

Dave's Speech: It's Just Words

Some journalists are incredibly gullible. On the basis of his rhetoric, Dan Hodges tweeted "Could someone on the Left tell me which part of David Cameron's speech I'm meant to disagree with." How about Dave's outright porkie concerning...Show More Summary

Over-conforming to Masculinity? Don’t Shoot.

Following yet another mass shooting, social scientists and the American community at large are engaging in some familiar conversations. While some folks are looking at mental illness as a trigger to violence and others are asking for gun laws that would put restrictions on gun ownership, sociologist Tristan Bridges wants to draw some focus on […]

Fat shaming. It’s a thing.

According to Nicole Arbout’s youtube video “Dear Fat People,” fat people deserve to be ridiculed and treated poorly. The comedian mocks obese people and accuses them of being lazy, smelly, self-destructive, and a burden to the health care system and those around them.  Fat people, she also suggests, cause heartache and embarrassment to their loved ones […]

two films and one tv show against modern art

I. Morley Safer ran a follow up to his infamous 1993 piece that slammed contemporary art as a sham. This time around, the piece was a dud. It rehashed the same ground but with less oomph. As usual, Safer wondered whether this piece or that piece was art and seemed flummoxed by the prices. Given […]

Britain First and Cynicism

A documentary about Britain's First virtual fascist group, Britain First? Why ever not. With UKIP commanding four million votes at the general election, the press stuffed with xenophobic bullshit as per, and the woman who would leadShow More Summary

The Influential Yet Forgotten Filipino DJ’s Of The Bay Area

Long Beach State assistant professor of sociology and hip hop journalist Oliver Wang “remixed” his dissertation on the cultural phenomenon of predominantly Filipino Bay-Area mobile DJs of the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s into the book Legions of Boom: Filipino American Mobile DJ Crews in the San Francisco Bay Area. Wang discussed the particular social and cultural context […]

Sex Diaries: Gigolos

The selling of sex isn't usually regarded the stuff of light-hearted film making. That is, unless, it's men doing the selling. To women. And this was the topic of last night's Sex Diaries, a series of pieces by Charlie Russell exploring...Show More Summary

Ryan Adams v. Taylor Swift: Who wore it better?

Musician Ryan Adams recently released an album cover. A cover, that is, of an entire album written and performed by Taylor Swift. Both albums are titled 1989. via Critical praise for Adams’ version was immediate, turning quickly to a comparison of the two. At There’s Research on That!, Jacqui Frost explained that there was… …a […]

The Country with the Most Gender Equality in the World

By Peter Kaufman I recently visited the most gender equal country in the world. Can you guess what it is? It is known as the land of fire and ice, its economy relies heavily on fish and tourism, and its...

my deep burning hatred of letters of recommendation

Econjeff mentions my long standing critique of letters of recommendation (LoRs). Here, I describe my personal experience with them and then I restate the massive empirical research showing that LoRs are worthless. Personal experience: In graduate school, I had enormous difficulty extracting three letters from faculty. For example, during my first year, when I was […]

George Osborne's Stalinist Move

Is the loss of Lord Adonis from the Labour side of the Lords really a coup for George Osborne? Not really. A tsunami failed to erupt from the impact point in the cross benches, sweeping away the shiny new works of our equally shiny new leadership. Show More Summary

American gun laws and the tragedy of the false negative

This video was making the rounds last spring. The video maker wants to make two points: 1. Cops are racist. They are respectful of the White guy carrying the AR-15. The Black guy gets less comfortable treatment. 2. The police treatment of the White guy is the proper way for police to deal with someone […]

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