By Jonathan Wynn Although it’s not a problem for every sociologist, accurately and affectively describing people in their settings is a challenge for ethnographers. We’re not particularly trained in writing, yet our credibility and reliability often rests upon crafting word-pictures...
By Karen Sternheimer In Philadelphia, an emergency room nurse named Barbara Mancini was arrested for providing her 93-year-old terminally ill father with a lethal dose of morphine. Her father was in hospice care, meaning that no further treatment was possible...
To me, learning about a scholar’s intellectual trajectory and philosophy is helpful for understanding the impetus for particular schools of thought. One of the pivotal moments for me during my grad school days was hearing Neil Fligstein‘s candid perspective about having to advocate for one’s research question, methods, and claims. In fact, he compared being […]
Although its catchy advertisement went viral, Goldiblox, the new toys encouraging girls’ interest in engineering, has been more discouraging than disruptive to some. Debbie Sterling, engineer and founder of Goldiblox, may have a refreshing aim - to increase girls’ interest in STEM by introducing them to engineering fundamentals at a young age – but why does the […]
Liberal Protestantism is a victim of its own success, according to the late Robert Bellah, a sociologist who specialized in religion. In a process that he calls “Protestantization,” liberal Protestant values have influenced secular humanism to the point that they are indistinguishable. This apparent victory is also a defeat, suggested Bellah. He argued that such […]
Back in the olden days when hair was long and loading times were even longer, you could more or less divide video games into two broad and not entirely discrete types. In one corner were the fast-paced action-oriented games. They looked...Show More Summary
Everybody get on the bench. Yes, that includes you, Ramirez. I know you have to use the bathroom, but you can hold it for a little while I talk – ok? Alright, this is about the comment policy. Ever since we started in 2006, our policy has been to let people say whatever they want. […]
As part of my bumper Christmas giveaway, I've uploaded another unpublished article. I submitted this to Historical Materialism, shortly before the London Olympics, but it was rejected on the basis that, ahem, it didn't contain any historical materialism. Which seems...
There is a new edition of the ippr's journal, Juncture, out, featuring various very interesting-looking pieces. I have an article in there, 'Recovering the Future: the reinvention of 'social law''. The proper link to the article is here, but I've...
This 1 minute commercial for Pantene, running in the Philippines, is getting a lot of praise. It does a powerful job of pointing out the way that women are disadvantaged in corporate contexts. The men and women in the ad are portrayed similarly, but the women are judged for the behavior while the men are […]
“The United States is one of few advanced nations where schools serving better-off children usually have more educational resources than those serving poor students,” writes Eduardo Porter for the New York Times. This is because a large percentage of funding for public education comes not from the federal government, but from the property taxes collected […]
Source: Robert Pereida Illustration. Have a scholar we should commemorate? Send us a cool pic and we will! Lisa Wade is a professor of sociology at Occidental College. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.
MP's shouldn't get a huge pay rise. And you don't need a hotline to each and every registered voter to know the overwhelming majority would agree. It's quite simple. A £66k salary is a great deal more than the majority of people will ever see in their pay packet. Show More Summary
Sociologists observe that cultures are centered around some people and not others such that members of some groups just seem like people and others are perceived as deviations from that presumed norm. Names are part of how we divide the world into the normals and the deviants. Illustrating this, the sketch comedy duo Key and […]
The joke about the woman who sued McDonald’s after spilling hot coffee in her lap has become a cultural lightening rod, mocked in sitcoms and used to argue in favor of reforming the law that guides civil lawsuits. In fact, the coffee was served 30 degrees higher than coffee made at home. When it spilled […]
Way back in 1978, Mark Fishman wrote an article titled “Crime Waves as Ideology.” It referred to the way in which TV news gets organized thematically in ways that make non-trends appear to be trends. Fishman pointed out that the news directors can unwittingly create media crime waves — sudden increases in the number of […]
When you play a video game, you're playing fast and loose with communism. Who knew? Well, Paul Mason did, for one. His piece, 'How computer games can help us overthrow capitalism' demonstrates how critiquing games can, as much as any...Show More Summary
"Mandela may or may not be forgotten, but he will certainly be distorted, starting now." As I write, the obituary portraits are being updated and given the requisite spin. For official politics it will be Saint Mandela, the liberal hero. Show More Summary
One of the more interesting questions in evaluation an individual’s academic performance is the “one hit wonder” issue. An academic, like any other producer of ideas, might have a single great achievement and produce little else in their career. And I don’t mean a big hit followed by a more modest stream of works. I […]
Your spouse will thank you for finishing up that PhD: From Black Power/Grad Skool Rulz