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urban sociology puzzle and the public choice theory of police

A major theme of Goffman’s On the Run book/article is that the criminal justice system incapacitates Black men by entangling them with surveillance, leading many to become outlaws. This is in contrast to earlier work that claimed that police had abandoned, or had minimal involvement with, poor urban neighborhoods. So what’s the deal? Here’s one […]

Old Book, Old Line

August 31, 2014 Posted by Jay Livingston In the 1970s, it seemed that every undergraduate who had gone within twenty yards of Career Services was carrying a copy of What Color Is Your Parachute. I hadn’t seen anyone with the book in a long time, so I assumed that Parachute had long since fallen to earth and lay forgotten in some distant meadow. Show More Summary

Critiquing Doctor Who: Into the Dalek

That was a good episode. Thrills 'n' spills aplenty. Lovely. There were the introspective moments, where the Doctor pondered the morality that fires him. And, achieving almost the impossible, there's a bit of character development for Clara too. Show More Summary

This Month in SocImages (August 2014)

SocImages news: We rarely snark on SocImages but, when we do, we get quoted at New York Magazine. Our list of professors’ pet peeves really resonated, attracting 9,400+ likes and nearly 500 shares on Facebook.  Sociologist D’Lane Compton offered a thoughtful response, asking whether this type of list is more social bonding than useful pedagogy. New […]

open culture – a great web site

Open Culture is a great web site that archives all manner of free and out of copy right film, books, and television. The film section is itself a treasure of classic and modern film. For example, you can see every Tarkovsky film online. Netflix is cheap but Open Culture is free – and good for […]

Saturday Stat: New Orleans Weathers the Great Recession

Partly because the city had just begun to recovery from Hurricane Katrina when the Great Recession began, it suffered less job loss relative to its pre-recession state and GDP actually grew 3.9% between 2008 and 2011. No other southern metropolitan area cracked 2% in the same period. Charles Davidson, writing for EconSouth, offers the following […]

Saturday Interview: Howard Fuller

Howard "Howie" Fuller is a PCS activist from London. Among his sins are a penchant for comics and prog rock. He blogs at Howie's Corner and has proven so far resistant to Twitter's lure. - Why did you start blogging? I actually came to blogging by accident rather than design. Show More Summary

The Sociology of Time

By Sally Raskoff I just finished reading a book called Einstein’s Dreams. Author Alan Lightman, a theoretical physicist, muses over what Einstein’s dreams might have been when pondering different conceptions of time. The stories are informed by theoretical physics and...

dial F for fabio

Need a workshop speaker? I’m here to help out! I work for free if it’s local, and I work cheap if you pitch in for travel costs. Topics: Black Power/Black Studies – Student protest and the rise of ethnic studies The Antiwar movement after 9/11 – How did the peace movement fight war in the […]

When Countries Develop, Women Get Smarter Faster

We’ve known for a long time that economic, social, and public health conditions influence learning in ways that affect people’s abilities to perform well on memory and math tests. But until now, the impact that improving these conditions...Show More Summary

Why Clacton Matters for Labour

A very quick something bashed out for LabourList this morning and published here. In case you missed it... Make yourself a cuppa, pull up a comfy chair, and watch. Since Douglas Carswell’s surprise/no-surprise defection to UKIP yesterday and the forcing of a by-election in Clacton, there will be some in the party tempted to adopt this attitude. Show More Summary

Local Council By-Elections August 2014

Party Number of Candidates Total Vote % +/- July Average/ contest +/- July +/- Seats Conservative 9 2,528 27.1% -2.2% 281 -160 +1 Labour 8 2,551 27.4% +1.7% 319 -89 0 LibDem 7 1,732 18.6% +7.5% 247 -11 0 UKIP 7 1,685 18.1% +2.8% 241Show More Summary

“Tourist, Shame on You”: On Disaster Tourism

Flashback Friday. When tourists returned to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, there was a new site to see: disaster.  Suddenly — in addition to going on a Ghost Tour, visiting the Backstreet Cultural Museum, and lunching at Dooky Chase’s — one could see the devastation heaped upon the Lower Ninth Ward.  Buses full of strangers […]

From Our Archives: Hurricane Katrina

August 29th is the anniversary of the day that Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast and side-swiped New Orleans, breaching the levees.  These posts are from our archives: Was Hurricane Katrina a “Natural” Disaster? Profits Over People: The Human Cause of the Katrina Disaster An Iconic Image of Government Failure: Empty, Flooded School Buses Racism […]

How Harvard students are channeled into finance & consulting

Amy Binder has a really interesting new piece in the Washington Monthly on why so many grads of Harvard and Stanford go work for McKinsey or Goldman when they finish. Surprise (well, not really) — it’s organizational. Based on research she conducted with UCSD grad students Nick Bloom and Daniel Davis, she argues that elite schools […]

the complete failure of colin powell

One of the very first posts I ever wrote for orgtheory is an analysis of the Powell doctrine, which says, roughly, that you should only engage in war if you have over whelming political support and firepower. I thought the Powell doctrine was a mess from an organizational perspective: For an organizational theorist, there’s a […]

Douglas Carswell's Defection: High Stakes

I know it was wrong, but when Douglas Carswell announced his defection to UKIP and the forcing of a by-election in his Clacton constituency, I couldn't help but think "brilliant!". I imagine the prime minister was somewhat less chuffed. Show More Summary

Coasian Comparison

Josh Barro wrote a somewhat controversial op-ed in the NYT attempting to apply the Coase theorem to the negotiation between passengers on a plane about whether or not to recline their seats. Economist Greg Mankiw and political theorist Jim Johnson each posted a short reaction to the paper. See if you can spot the difference […]

New Orleans after Katrina: An Uneven Recovery

To mourn, commemorate, and celebrate the city of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.  Photographer Ted Jackson returned to the site of some of his most powerful photographs, re-taking them to reveal the progress, or lack of progress, of the past nine years. You can see them all at; I’ve pulled out three that speak […]

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