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dear sociology: go learn some behavioral genetics

An article in Nature Genetics presents a new meta-analysis of twin studies: Despite a century of research on complex traits in humans, the relative importance and specific nature of the influences of genes and environment on human traits remain controversial. We report a meta-analysis of twin correlations and reported variance components for 17,804 traits from […]

The Melanie Baddeley "Affair"

Meet Melanie Baddeley. She is one of two councillors elected from Stoke-on-Trent's Abbey Hulton ward. She, along with a representative from UKIP, was returned by the local elections that took place three weeks ago. Melanie has been a councillor before, representing Abbey Green (as was) between 2008 and 2011. Show More Summary

Don Draper and the Pursuit of Loneliness

Mr. Draper, I don’t know what it is you really believe in but I do know what it feels like to be out of place, to be disconnected, to see the whole world laid out in front of you the way other people live it. There’s something about you that tells me you know it […]

american sniper: a conservative movie that is more than a conservative movie

When American Sniper was released, there was a lot of debate about the message of the film. Here is my view. American Sniper is definitely a conservative film, but it is a conservative film that situates itself in a larger conversation. So what counts as a “conservative film?” There are lots of ways you could […]

Ridge Racer 6 for the Xbox 360

I love my racing games. Yet, as long-time readers know, I'm not so keen on modern games. By 'modern' I mean the era inaugurated from around 2000 onwards with the coming of the Playstation2, and it's "competition" from Microsoft and Nintendo. Show More Summary

You’ve Graduated! Now What?

By Peter Kaufman In the beginning of the spring semester, I asked students in my senior seminar class to write down one word that describes how they are feeling about graduating and then to share those words with the class....

The Politics of Facial Hair

Recently we ran a graph showing the evolution of facial hair trends starting in 1842. It showed that about 90% of men wore facial hair in the late 1800s, but it was a trend that would slowly die. By 1972, when the research was published, almost as many were clean shaven. So, why did facial hair […]

john nash: 1928-2015

The mathematician John Nash recently died as the result of an taxi accident in New Jersey. His importance as a scientist is based mainly on a very productive period in his early 20s before he was crippled by the onset of mental illness. His two main scientific contributions are the discovery of the Nash equilibrium […]

The Strange Return of the Political Party

In the aftermath of the general election, this little gem from the BBC caught my eye. It reported on the seemingly counter-intuitive view that political parties, particularly if they lose, often experience a surge in membership. TheShow More Summary

Don Draper and The Pursuit of Loneliness

May 26, 2015 Posted by Jay Livingston Mr. Draper, I don’t know what it is you really believe in but I do know what it feels like to be out of place, to be disconnected, to see the whole world laid out in front of you the way other people live it. Show More Summary

The Unbearable Daintiness of Women Who Eat with Men

A substantial body of literature suggests that women change what they eat when they eat with men. Specifically, women opt for smaller amounts and lower-calorie foods associated with femininity. So, some scholars argue that women change what they eat to appear more feminine when dining with male companions. For my senior thesis, I explored whether women […]

After ISIS storms Palmyra, race is on to log global heritage

Ancient buildings are sitting ducks in war. But efforts are growing to preserve them digitally in case disaster strikes, says Emma Cunliffe

protest matters, but it’s complicated

Over at Aeon Magazine, I have a short article on the question of whether protest works. Discussion of Gamson ’75 and more. A short clip: Protest seems to be most effective when it is coupled with two things. First, there often needs to be an organized side of the movement. Movements succeed when some leader, […]

What Class War Looks Like

Cartoon by Tony Auth for the Philadelphia Inquirer, featured at The Santa Cruz Comic News. 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.

Dear Liz Kendall

Dear Liz, Re: Leadership of the Labour Party I noted the other day that leadership contests are that rare occasion when MPs and ordinary members are frank about the personalities and policies at the top of the party. Some also over egg the pudding and go for outright abuse. Show More Summary


50+ chapters of grad skool advice goodness: Grad Skool Rulz ($2!!!!)/From Black Power/Party in the Street

Reversing a 100 Year Trend, Men are Staying in the Workforce Longer

In response to company pensions, employer age limits, shifts in the economy, and the initiation of social security, men have increasingly enjoyed a little 20th century social invention called “retirement.” In 1860, more than 80% of men age 70 to 74 worked, but by around 2000, that number had dropped to below 20%. As of the 2000s, […]

Stoke Politics After the Election

The good people of Stoke-on-Trent didn't take my advice. Sigh. If only more people listened to what I had to say, a lot of bother could be avoided. But on the day our party got a thumping, Stokies gave local Labour a kicking too. Rather...Show More Summary

Privilege (Twice!), Class, and Collectivism

May 22, 2015 Posted by Jay Livingston Privilege is the title of Shamus Khan’s 2011 study of St. Paul’s, an elite New England prep school where he had been a student. The difference between the new elite and the old is the differenceShow More Summary

The Fractal Nature of the Gender Binary: Or Blue vs. Turquoise

Flashback Friday. A reader named Judith B. wrote in confounded by the copy describing the watch pictured above. It began: Don’t be fooled by the girly blue and white face on this multifunction Pro Spirit® digital sports watch. It’s more than a match for any tough guy’s watch… “Girly blue and white?” she asked. “Huh?” I think […]

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