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Consuming Home

By Karen Sternheimer Would you be excited to have a high-end brand of shower valve? Most of us probably wouldn’t know the brands of shower valves to be excited one way or the other. I certainly don’t. But when a...

“Trainwreck” and Taboo

July 30, 2015 Posted by Jay Livingston I saw “Trainwreck” last night. The 7:00 p.m. showing at the 68th Street AMC was full. Mabye people had come just to get out of the apartment and yet avoid the beastly heat, but they enjoyed the movie. Show More Summary

White American Male with a Weapon White American Male with a Weapon White American Male with a…

All attributed motivations are approximate. All crimes are alleged. All oppression is interconnected.   June 17, 2015: White American male with a weapon who believes in his own superiority kills in order to feel powerful. He kills nine black parishioners because black people are all the same to him and he needs to do what he needs to do […]

It’s Good, But Is It “Bestseller” Good?

In the literary world, New York Times Bestseller is a coveted and sought-after label. When that gold sticker is slapped on the cover of a book, authors and publishers alike are likely to be happy campers, and there are few surefire ways to create buzz about a particular work than Bestseller status. Brandeis sociology professor […]

the bio-complexity challenge to economics

Economics is fun to criticize, but hard to replace. Everybody thinks they can do better. How many times have you read an article lampooning the rational actor model or slamming the efficient markets hypothesis? Well, another research group has appeared that tries to offer a replacement. From New Scientist: Earlier this year, several dozen quiet […]

Dear Yvette Cooper

Dear Yvette, Re: Leadership of the Labour Party I read extracts of your interview with the Indy with some interest as, I think it's fair to say, your platform for Labour leadership is considered the 'lightest' among the contenders so far. Show More Summary

Illegal Immigration Does Not Increase Crime and May Reduce It

Killing at the hands of an illegal alien spurs furious debate about closing borders and deporting the undocumented. It is the year before a presidential election and candidates denounce undocumented immigrants as the conveyors of Mexican violence into our country. When Robert J. Sampson, Harvard sociologist and criminologist, wrote about this news, he was not […]

Mass Shootings – Definitions and Data

July 28, 2015 Posted by Jay Livingston A few days ago, I wrote to date, since Sandy Hook, the US has had seventy-five “mass shootings.” I now put that phrase in quotation marks because taken literally, it’s misleading. Here is the opening from a story in the New Orleans Times-Picayune (here) posted Sunday night. Show More Summary

3 in 5 Americans Have Earned Poverty-Level Incomes

For those of us fueling ourselves with the late-night pizza and discount wine that a graduate stipend affords us, the idea of spending at least a year or two on poverty-level incomes may not feel shocking. It may, however, be more common than we once thought. A new study by sociologists Thomas Hirschl and Mark […]

analyzing the democratic field, 2016

I recently discussed the GOP presidential field. It’s basically Team Bush/Nixon vs. the populists, with the fruit cake of the month. The Democratic field has evolved into a simplified version of the GOP field. It’s Team Clinton vs. the populists and no loonies need apply. Team Clinton got the nomination three times (1992, 1996, 2000) […]

Are Drag Queens Doing Girlface?

Organizers of Free Pride Glasgow, a Scottish gay pride parade, have “banned” drag queens from the event, citing concerns that men dressing up like women is offensive to transwomen. The LGBTQ community is afire about this, citing the long tradition of drag performances in gay communities and the role drag queens have played in the Gay […]

Relax, There Is No Labour Meltdown

Another day, another bout of mischief making. In today's Indy we learn that things aren't looking too rosy for Labour. In a specially commissioned poll, it "shows party is now even 'less electable' than under Ed Miliband. Blimey, that doesn't bode well for 2020. Show More Summary

megaprojects are a rip-off

I’ve always known that some city projects are simply bad deals, like sport stadiums. What I didn’t know is that there is new research showing that maga-projects of all types are a giant rip-off. Bent Flyvberg of Oxford discusses this finding a new Econ Talk podcast. What Flyvberg did was collect data on “mega-projects” – […]

Empowerment Zones, Heritage Tourism, and Gentrification in Harlem

By Teresa Irene Gonzales A recent article in the Guardian discusses the ongoing gentrification of Central Harlem. As I mentioned in a previous post, gentrification in the United States is not only about one ethnic or racial group replacing another...

Mass Shootings in the U.S.: What Makes So Many American Men Dangerous?

Following the recent mass shooting in Charleston, South Carolina on June 17th, 2015 – a racially motivated act of domestic terrorism – President Barack Obama delivered a sobering address to the American people. With a heavy heart, President Obama spoke the day following the attack, stating: At some point we as a country will have to reckon with […]

Bet on Obamacare, Cash in Big

July 26, 2015 Posted by Jay Livingston The standard conservative line on Obamacare was that it would be a disaster. They still insist that it’s a disaster, despite much evidence to the contrary. I wonder if they put their money where their scowling mouths were. Show More Summary

Body Shapes, a Handy Guide

By Gemma Correll. Visit her tumblr or buy stuff here. 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.

Jeremy Corbyn and Hard Left "Infiltration"

The press are not neutral arbiters when it comes to the Labour leadership contest. If they can use the debates between party members as a way of deepening divisions in the party, they will. At the forefront of these attempts is the so-called quality "paper of record" The Times, which of late is transforming itself into a straight propaganda sheet. Show More Summary

What I've Been Reading Recently

Nicking this idea off Mark Carrigan, here's what I've read these last few months. The Enigma of Capital by David Harvey The Cornish Trilogy by Robertson Davies Talcott Parsons: Theorist of Modernity by Roland Robertson and Bryan S Turner...Show More Summary

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