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Chart of the Week: The Breadth of European Colonization

This is a map of the countries Europe colonized, controlled, or influenced between 1500 and 1960. The purple is Europe. The orange countries are ones never under European rule. Almost the entire rest of the map — all the green, blue, and yellow — were dominated by Europe to some extent. “Influenced” is pretty much a euphemism and often not […]

Saturday Interview: Joy Garner

Joy Garner is is a Labour councillor representing Burslem Park ward on Stoke-on-Trent City Council. She is the cabinet member for housing, neighbourhoods, and communities. Joy was also Labour's candidate in Staffordshire for the Police and Crime Commissioner elections back in 2012. Show More Summary

From Anti-Capitalism to Little Englandism

I'm not an avid follower of Paul Kingsnorth's work, but I do remember his One No, Many Yeses. This was a contribution - some may say cash-in - to the burgeoning library on the internationalist, anti-capitalist, and fashionably networky movement of sundry NGOs, anarchists and occasional Trots of the early part of the last decade. Show More Summary

Where Do Young People Get Knowledge About the Clitoris?

Flashback Friday. The D.C. Council’s Committee on Health released a report after surveying high school students about sex education. One of their questions was about the source of sexual health information. The pie chart below shows that students name, in order, their parents or guardians, health workers, teachers, friends, and boyfriends or girlfriends as the […]

rational choice bleg

Question for the weekend: I am searching for an example of a theory or empirical work that combines rational choice theory with some other style of social theory. A few candidates: Analytical Marxism Michael Chwe’s theory of ritual and interaction A friend recommended Anthony Giddens’ structuration, as it has goal oriented actors who behave in […]

Gloworm - Carry Me Home

How did this not make my top 100 90s dance tunes? I'm at a loss to explain myself, so to remedy the omission five years after the event, here it is. Hey, it beats blogging about Danny Alexander's alternative budget.

Why is the World so Screwed Up?

By Peter Kaufman The title of this post may seem like a rhetorical question but I am actually quite earnest in asking it. Each day, we hear about countless instances of greed, hatred, violence, and destruction, and all of the...

Industry’s Influence on Trade Policy

President Obama continues to press for a form of fast track approval to ensure Congressional support for two major trade agreements: the Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership Agreement (with 11 other countries) and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Agreement (with the entire European Union). Show More Summary

have an organizational paper on higher ed? send it my way

The organizational sociology of higher education is having a moment. Elizabeth Armstrong and Johanna Massé have written about it recently (and even more recently here), Michael Kirst and Mitchell Stevens have a new volume out on theShow More Summary

how to judge a phd program

When people look at PhD programs, they usually base their judgment on the fame of its scholars or the placement of graduates. Fair enough, but any seasoned social scientist will tell you that is a very imperfect way to judge an institution. Why? Performance is often related to resources. In other words, you should expect […]

George Osborne's Core Vote Budget

I don't know where this idea originates from but apparently, at least among Conservative Party circles, George Osborne is considered something of a political genius. Then again, among his people Michael Gove is thought of as an "intellectual". Show More Summary

Beyond Bossy or Brilliant: Gender Bias in Student Evaluations

Not surprisingly, the new interactive chart Gendered Language in Teacher Reviews has been the subject of a lot of conversation among sociologists, especially those of us who study gender. For example, it reminded C.J. of an ongoing conversation she and a former Colorado College colleague repeatedly had about teaching evaluations. Comparing his evaluations to C.J.’s, he […]

situationist archive

From Public Collectors: This collection grew out of a fortuitous encounter with Guy Debord, the leader of the Internationale Situationniste. Oneday in late 2001, as I recall it, I stumbled upon a small volume with a most intriguing title: La Société du Spectacle(the Society of the Spectacle). The front cover, which featured a yellowed map […]

Ain't I a Lefty?

Late to the party, but like I care. Tim Lott wrote about being castigated as a lefty because he doesn't toe the party line on a number of issues. This sees him denounced, defamed, and condemned to the Lubyanka. Well, he did admit he quite liked Spiked. Show More Summary

Irish Dance and the Evolution of Race

“No. We’re Italian. We don’t Irish dance,” said Kristi Corcione’s mother in 1973. The proscription wouldn’t last a generation. Today her daughter trains for the World Irish Dance Championships Irish dance has left Ireland and the ethnic communities in which it used to be quietly practiced. Show More Summary

how much publicity work should book authors do?

Hi orgheads, A colleague emailed me to ask whether I thought hiring a PR specialist would be helpful for getting the word out about a forthcoming university press book. While a university press will send books to venues at the author’s request and place ads in academic venues like the Chronicle of Higher Ed, the […]

the fabio test, or how to judge “social theory”

I am often asked, why do I relentlessly criticize obscure theory yet find a place in my heart for Foucault? The answer is simple. I judge rhetoric separately than intellectual content. I think it is possible, and often helpful, to separate how an idea is discussed from the idea itself. How do I do it? […]

Is Labour Doomed?

Tucked away in a barely-publicised corner of The Telegraph's web edition is this piece forecasting Labour's possible extinction. There isn't much to the article, the paper quotes Jon Cruddas (who else?) speculating about the possibility of Labour's death before moving on to attack Ed Miliband's pledge to introduce compulsory profit-sharing schemes. Show More Summary

Children, Chores, and the Gender Pay Gap at Home

Girls do more chores than boys and are less likely to get an allowance in exchange for their work. When they do, they are paid less. Research projects on children’s time use find that boys do 43 to 46 minutes of housework for every hour that girls do. When asked to list the chores they do, girls list 42 […]

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