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“Muggles” and Stigma: Using Harry Potter to Teach Sociology

Professors of sociology often struggle to introduce sociological concepts in new and thought-provoking ways to their students. According to a recent article in Bowling Green Daily News, Professor Bertena Varney is tackling this issue in an unconventional way and using the Harry Potter series to engage her students with various sociological topics. In her “Inequality […]

Ten Years a Blog

September 20, 2016 Posted by Jay Livingston Many years ago, I saw Penn and Teller’s off-Broadway show in a small theater on West 43rd St. Before his fire-eating routine, Penn explained that it wasn’t a trick. It was more of a skill.Show More Summary

forrest stuart and the public good of ethnography

Forrest Stuart has a great piece in the latest issue of Chicago magazine, “Dispatches from the Rap Wars.”  You can read the whole thing here, and here’s a good pull quote: There are hundreds of gangs in Chicago these days, a splintering that occurred in the wake of the collapse of the traditional “supergangs” like […]

why blogs persist

A few months ago, we discussed the general shift from blogs to social media and anonymous boards. But a question remains: if that’s true, why bother with blogs at all? In fact, our evil twin blog surrendered and admitted defeat, while retreating into Facebook. Why continue? Answer: Only a blog does what a blog does […]

Momentum is Nothing Like Militant

Asked whether Momentum should be compared with Militant, the rapidly diminishing Owen Smith replied "Creating a big 'M' at the front of their name should give the game away." He went on to argue Momentum is a party within a party, an outfit organising around its priorities, personnel, and policies. Show More Summary

The 2016 Presidential Race and the Failed Art of Balance

Modern journalism is reliant on the idea of objectivity. Even when truth is elusive, if journalists write a balanced story, they can be said to have done a good job. But what if a story doesn’t have two sides? Sometimes journalists continue to write as if they do, as they did in regards to human […]

Social Norms and Social Change

By Sally Raskoff As students of sociology, we learn about social norms. Social norms are guidelines for expected behaviors, thus they set out our options for appropriate behavior. Bradley Wright’s blog post nicely describes a number of social norms operating...

sas programming

“How do you feel about programming in SAS?” “Here’s how I feel. When I program in SAS, I feel like I got my master’s degree in statistics in 1980 and I’ve been running the same basic analysis over and over again for my corporate bosses for the last twenty years. I then feel like it’s […]

The Myth of the Ineffective Opposition

Cast your mind back to just over a year ago. You will remember that awful general election result won by Tory scaremongering and lies. You may also recall the short interregnum in which Harriet Harman took on the mantle of acting leader,...Show More Summary

yma sumac, live from moscow

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

Space Marine for the Xbox 360

Modern games. They do things to me, man. Take your typical first or third person shoot or hack-a-thon, which pretty much is the established fare from the big studios. They either give me motion sickness, and so I can't play them for long. Show More Summary

The Philosophy of the Gun in Trumpland

September 17, 2016 Posted by Jay Livingston It seems odd for a politician to boast that many of his supporters are potential murderers, terrorists, and assassins. But then much about the Trump campaign is strange and odd. Trump acknowledges...Show More Summary

Saturday Interview: Tim Johnston

Tim Johnston is a Labour Party activist from London who, today, launches Heavy Metal Politics, just in time for the party conference season. You can follow his blog on Twitter here and Tim himself @timjohnston_89. You've made your mind up about the Labour leadership and are backing Jeremy Corbyn. Show More Summary

Mourning with Social Media

Social media continues to be a pioneer of new social trends and reshaping society through its ability to connect individuals across cultures and geographies. One of the latest trends involves the process of mourning through social media. Show More Summary

Blind people use brain’s visual cortex to help do maths

People who have been blind since birth use the same parts of the brain as everyone else to do arithmetic, but may get an extra boost from their visual cortex

Has Trust Gone Bust?

September 16, 2016 Posted by Jay Livingston David Brooks was preaching again this week. His Tuesday column (here) was a jeremiad on the ills that “an avalanche of distrust” is bringing to US society. (The phrase “avalanche of distrust” came probably from the headline writer, not Brooks. Show More Summary

Visions of utopia arrive in London from around the world

The city’s first design biennale explores the possibility of other, better ways of living. See 10 ideas from the exhibition that aim to shape our future

party in the street: let’s talk about vietnam

Earlier this week, I discussed Professor Amenta’s insanely generous review, “Raising the Bar for Scholarship on Protest and Politics,” which just came out in Contemporary Sociology. We’ve been discussing Amenta’s criticisms. On Tuesday, I discussed why it is useful to see the wars in Iraq an Afghanistan as part of a broader war on terror. […]

The Indolence of British Capitalism

The state is a committee for managing the common affairs of the bourgeoisie. That Marx was one sharp fella. For an insight 170 years old, it has proved remarkably durable. Except in one respect: states often fall short of enforcing these "common affairs" and instead are beholden to a clutch of favoured businesses and industries. Show More Summary

What to Do with All the Wild Horses?

Rumors are circulating that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has plans to euthanize 44,000 wild horses. The rumor is partly true. An advisory board has authorized the BLM to do so; they have yet to make a decision as to whether they will. Even the possibility of such a widespread cull, though, has understandably sparked outrage. […]

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