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U.S. Army Releases Racially Biased Hairstyle Regulations

Sgt. Jasmine Jacobs of the National Guard in Georgia has always plaited her hair into two twists around her head. She has been in the military for six years and has worn her hair natural (meaning no chemical treatments [perms] or hair extensions [weaves]) for four of those years. But according to the new hair-grooming […]

show me the benjamins!!!

I am not well read in Benjamin’s ouevre, but I’ve always been semi-impressed. Moments of brilliance, but I couldn’t quite wrap my head around the big contribution. Well, Walter Laquer makes the argument that Benjamin is an over-rated thing. From the Mosaic: Yes, his ideas (as in his best-known essay, “The Work of Art in […]

Review of “The Nature of Race”, Ann Morning (2011)

I just finished reading Ann Morning’s The Nature of Race. It’s excellent. Morning shows, through analysis of high school textbooks, interviews with scientists (biologists and anthropologists), and interviews with undergraduates, that racial essentialism is still the dominant mode of understanding race. Show More Summary

Umpires and Expectation Bias

Here’s Matt Holliday. It’s strike three and it was three bad calls. Holliday’s body language speaks clearly, and his reaction is understandable. The pitch was wide, even wider than the first two pitches, both of which the umpire miscalled as strikes.   Here’s the data: The PITCHf/x technology that makes this graphic possible, whatever its […]

orgtheory is back!!!

George Washington vs. Kim Jong-Un by Aaron Needham In case you were wondering, George Washington represents American positivist sociology and Jong-un represents critical realists, post-modernists, and the other counter-positivists forces. Show More Summary

Why Spitting Image Won't Be Coming Back

Ah, Spitting Image. It was a reet larf. Norman Tebbit. The Chicken Song. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turds. For large numbers of young(ish) people of a certain vintage, Spitting Image was our first exposure to satire and alternative comedy....Show More Summary

The End of Society as We Know It (or, as they knew it)

April 5, 2014 Posted by Jay Livingston In the unit on social class, I sometimes show an excerpt from the 2001 PBS show “People Like Us: Social Class in America.” Here’s a brief clip.One semester, it dawned on me that for some of the words and images in this 35-second excerpt, my students haven’t a clue. Show More Summary

An Optimistic Read of the Sexist Snickers Ad

Advertisements echo with many reverberations and overtones. Different people hear different things, and with all the multiple meanings, it’s not always clear which is most important. This week Lisa Wade posted this Snickers ad from Australia. Its intended message of course is “Buy Snickers.” But its other message is more controversial, and Lisa and many of […]

To Cohabitate or Not to Cohabitate

Many romantic couples who live together without being married do so out of wariness about the high divorce rate. Cohabiting, for these couples, can be a “trial” relationship period in which they decide their compatibility before marrying. Show More Summary

Walter Benjamin's Theses on Writing

Lazy night again. So this is borrowed from here. THE WRITER’S TECHNIQUE IN THIRTEEN THESES 1. Anyone intending to embark on a major work should be lenient with himself and, having completed a stint, deny himself nothing that will not prejudice the next. Show More Summary

upcoming asa oow session: does organizational sociology have a future?

This semester, I agreed to teach a PhD-level course on organizational theory when I realized that fewer and fewer colleagues who are trained in organizational research remain in sociology departments.  Apparently, I am not the only organizational researcher who is wondering about the implications of the de-centralization of organizational sociology. Show More Summary

Using Racial Stereotypes to Gender a Laundry Product

Flashback Friday. Behold: one of my favorite things on SocImages.  This pair of Italian commercials are for a do-it-yourself fabric dye.  First, commercial #1 (no Italian needed): Message: “Coloured is better” or black men are physically and sexually superior to white men. BUT WAIT!  Wait till you see the twist in commercial #2! When the […]

The State of the Dinner

By Teja Pristavec Sociology Graduate Student, Rutgers University This February, President Obama sat down for dinner with his visiting French colleague, President François Hollande. In the company of the First Lady, other government officials, and some celebrities, the men enjoyed...

Chicago’s Disappearing Middle Class

By now most readers are likely familiar with the idea that the American middle class is shrinking.  Most income and wealth gains over the past 40 or so years have gone to the richest Americans, while poverty is spreading and getting deeper.  As a result, the percent of Americans who can reasonably claim to be […]

On Laundry

Best paper I've seen since attending a research seminar on the materiality and meaning of mantelpieces. This from the November edition of the International Journal of Cultural Studies. Hanging out at home: Laundry as a thread and texture...Show More Summary

Is Sugar a Diet Aid? The Answer Depends on the Decade

Last week NPR reported that scientists now trace some of the rise of American obesity to the fear of fat.  Beginning in the 1970s, nutritionists began warning Americans to consume less fat.  This initiated the “low fat” and “fat free” crazes that still linger. Yet, it now seems that people who followed the advice of […]

What is Len McCluskey Trying to Achieve?

Every so often Len McCluskey fires off an article or press release saying that if Labour isn't left enough, then there will be x, y, z consequences where union funding is concerned. This time, if Labour doesn't break from austerity and doesn't win next year, then Unite might be off. Show More Summary

Snickers and the Last Laugh

April 1, 2014 Posted by Jay Livingston Advertisements echo with many reverberations and overtones. Different people hear different things, and with all the multiple meanings, it’s not always clear which is most important. Lisa Wade posted this Snickers ad from Australia at Sociological images (here). Show More Summary

Farewell Frankie Knuckles

I was hoping it was a cruel April Fool's joke when I saw it on Twitter this morning. Unfortunately, no. I am gutted that Frankie Knuckles - a man weighing in at just 59 years of age - has been cruelly snatched away. For the non-dance...Show More Summary

Trust in Intelligence

Trust is something that can be difficult to give to others. It must be carefully cultivated and protected. But what is behind someone’s ability to trust? New research has found that survey participants that showed high intelligence levels were also more likely to trust other. The research, lead by sociologist Noah Carl of the University […]

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