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Whether You Call It “Protest” or “Rioting” May Depend on Your Race

On average, white and black Americans have different ideas as to what’s behind the recent unrest in Ferguson and Baltimore. A Wall Street Journal/NBC poll of 508 adults found that nearly two-thirds of African Americans felt that theShow More Summary

Don Draper Meets the Chicago School

May 20, 2015 Posted by Jay Livingston In the next-to-last episode of “Mad Men,” Don Draper has walked out of an important meeting at work and driven to Wisconsin searching for a waitress he had a brief affair with. Not finding her, he now continues to Kansas and Oklahoma. Show More Summary

junior theorists symposium 2015

As usual, the Junior Theorists Symposium has an amazing line up. Day before the ASA. Check it out! Junior Theorists Symposium University of Chicago Social Sciences Room 122 August 21, 2015 8:30 – 9:00 | Coffee and Bagels 9:00 – 10:50 | Race and Gender Clayton Childress (University of Toronto) – “Cultures of Inequality: […]

If David Miliband Had Won ...

The polls were with Labour. The feedback on the doorstep was very encouraging. It looked like all the naysayers and the problems of the previous five years had been put to bed. Until that exit poll flashed up on the nation's TV screens. Show More Summary

organizations and the politics of “good” work

Fellow guest blogger Ellen Berrey asked in a previous post how “powerful, elite organizations” can “lessen inequality” or “advance broad progressive causes like social justice.” As someone who has studied the progressive consultantsShow More Summary

the push for diversity

My new book, The Enigma of Diversity: The Language of Race and the Limits of Racial Justice (University of Chicago Press), is officially out today. Yay! The book is about diversity—that word, diversity—the organizational politics that coalesce around it, and the implications for the struggle for racial justice. I’m going to paste some excerpts here […]

The Persistence of White Supremacy

  In February, PBS’s Independent Lens series aired “American Denial,” a documentary examining the powerful unconscious biases around race and class that still shape racial dynamics in the United States. The film largely focuses on Swedish economist Gunnar Myrdal’s 1944 book An American Dilemma: The Negro Problem and Modern Democracy, comparing his findings about race […]

The Relative Importance of Poverty to Catholicism

At the New York Times, Ross Douthat has called out liberals who think, and declare, that churches today are more focused on “culture war” issues like abortion and homosexuality than on poverty. Ridiculous, says Douthat. Religious organizations spend only “a few hundred million dollars” on pro-life causes and “traditional marriage” but tens of billions on charities, […]

commentary on social problems (the journal)

I recently reviewed a paper for Social Problems. The decision letter noted that they accept 8% of papers. That is roughly in the ball park of ASR, AJS and other journals. On the Facebook page, I asked if Social Problems is so competitive, then why doesn’t it get the same profile or respect as ASR/AJS […]

Notes on the Labour Leadership Contest

There's one thing to be said for political leadership contests. It's the one time politicians are honest about each other. It's also an occasion for an airing of views, of setting one's stall out in public about the strategies and policies that are likely to capture the imagination, and get party and country out of the holes they're in. Show More Summary

Higher Black Mortality and the Outcome of Elections

Black people in the U.S. vote overwhelmingly Democratic. They also have, compared to Whites, much higher rates of infant mortality and lower life expectancy. Since dead people have lower rates of voting, that higher mortality rate might affect who gets elected. What would happen if Blacks and Whites had equal rates of staying alive? The […]

Do Liberals Fail the Churches?

May 18, 2015 Posted by Jay Livingston Ross Douthat calls out liberals who think, and declare, that churches today are more focused on “culture war” issues like abortion and homosexuality than on poverty. Ridiculous, says Douthat. Religious...Show More Summary

learning how to teach – are you a North Korea, Japan, Madagascar, or the US?

One of the most time-consuming (but big-impact) responsibilities of an academic is teaching.  However, graduate school training for teaching can vary.  At some institutions, an academic-in-training may teach his/her own course right away.  This trial by fire approach can be all-consuming for the first course preps. Show More Summary

A Super Sweet Quince Economy

By Teresa Irene Gonzales Growing up in Chicago, there were parts of the city that we’d go to to buy certain products. If we needed shoes or clothing, we’d walk or take the bus over to Maxwell Street to shop...

Snow White and the Seven Trolls

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.

Why Labour Lost: A Scottish Perspective

I certainly don't agree with all of what is said here. For instance, it assumes much of the English and Welsh political landscape is similar to Scotland. The piece below, however, contains some very uncomfortable truths for all Labour people. Show More Summary

gettin’ my alt.folk on

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

Eurovision Preview 2015

Eerily like the front runners for Labour's leadership, none of this year's contestants in the Eurovision Song Contest particularly grab me. Even the genius inclusion of Australia as a 60th anniversary one-off has not flattered my discerning, world-weary ear. Show More Summary

The Grave’s a Fine and Private Place, But None There Vote in the Political Race

May 16, 2015 Posted by Jay Livingston Black people in the US vote overwhelmingly Democratic. They also have, compared to Whites, much higher rates of infant mortality and lower life expectancy. Since dead people have lower rates of voting, that higher mortality rate might affect who gets elected. Show More Summary

Dividing Legitimate from Illegitimate Violence

Flashback Friday. Sociologist Max Weber argued that the nation-state can be defined by its monopoly on violence. For most of us, most of the time, violence exercised by the state is assumed to be legitimate (unless shown otherwise). For example, police walk around with guns and can shoot you legally. Soldiers kill as part of […]

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