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Labour vs The Militant Tendency

The past really is a foreign country. Can you imagine if the BBC or ITV ponied up to Labour Party conference and asked to transmit a live debate between Progress and the Campaign for Labour Party Democracy? It's unthinkable. Yet, in 1982 something similar did happen. Show More Summary

Capitalism, Profit, and “Instructions for Use”

Flashback Friday. When companies offer instructions as to how much of their product to use, what do you think drives their decisions as to what advice to give? Theory 1:  They give the best advice. Theory 2:  They give reasonably good advice, erring on the side of you using more product versus less. I’m with […]

Dads in Ads: Are Times Changing?

Sociologists have known for a while now that even though women are more integrated in the workplace, men are not as integrated at home. This disparity places extra constraints on women’s time, which Arlie Hochschild calls the “second shift.” During the second shift, women have an obligation to spend their time off caring for their […]

Using and Abusing Refute

There were many things in The Telegraph's behaviour over yesterday's resignation of Peter Oborne I find annoying, but none so more irritating than a moment in their press release. The offender is highlighted in italics: Like any other business, we never comment on individual commercial relationships, but our policy is absolutely clear. Show More Summary

Globalization: Is the World Getting Smaller or Larger?

By Peter Kaufman When I first started teaching, there was one phrase I told myself I would never use in class: “When I was your age...” As I am now undeniably in the category of “middle age,”...

Spending on Fat Tuesday and Ash Wednesday

Today is the first day of the Christian season of Lent, a period of voluntary self-denial that is the excuse for the indulgence of Mardi Gras. Last year a credit card processing company traced spending in New Orleans on both Fat Tuesday and Ash Wednesday. They found a spike in the days leading up to the big day […]

Peter Oborne and the Crisis of Conservatism

Good on Peter Oborne. Good on him for telling the Barclay Brothers to stick their job. Regular paid writing gigs are hard to come by for journos, so to spurn what is one of the cushiest jobs on Fleet Street for a matter of principle shows him to be a writer with value and integrity, however much regular readers and me disagree with Oborne's politics. Show More Summary

Self-Segregation in San Francisco Schools

School segregation has been the topic of social science research and public debate for decades. Still, the average person may think than in the post-Civil Rights era, when the law explicitly forbids racial discrimination, school segregation is an issue of the past. In fact, sociologists of education point to changes in demographics, living arrangements, and […]

From Our Archives: Mardi Gras

Happy Fat Tuesday to all our friends in New Orleans! Don’t do anything we wouldn’t do! If you’re not in the middle of the revelry, enjoy these Mardi Gras posts from previous years: The Baby Dolls of Mardi Gras (pictured) The Order of Myths: Race and Mardi Gras in Mobile Where Mardi Gras Beads Come From […]

Why Are There So Many Mardi Gras Parades?

The first Mardi Gras parade wound its way through New Orleans in 1856, over 150 years ago. Today there are, by my count, sixty-eight official Mardi Gras parades in New Orleans and the vicinity. No doubt there are many more informal groups. Each is a private organization, typically still called krewes, wholly funded by its members. In […]

lost mexican codex now online

Hyperallergic reports that a very valuable Mexican manuscript, the Codex Mendoza, is now available free online. In addition to using the Codex Mendoza’s website, you can download the iPhone app for viewing. Recommended for pre-Columbian culture junkies. 50+ chapters of grad skool advice goodness: Grad Skool Rulz ($2!!!!)/From Black Power/Party in the Street!!   

Tetris for the Nintendo Game Boy

There are some important milestones in video gaming. Like literature, music, and film gaming has its seminal moments. Want counts are their brilliance, their originality and ingenuity, their impact on what came after, and whether they helped shift hardware units attached to them. Show More Summary

Working for the Long Weekend

Who doesn’t love a four (or five!) day weekend? An extra day or two away from the desk means more time for leisure activities and to disengage from work. But Scott Schieman, sociology professor at University of Toronto, warns that consistently short work weeks may not help work-life balance in the long run. In an interview […]

The Flambeaux: A History of Race, Gender, and Fire on Mardi Gras

New Orleans has been celebrating Mardi Gras since the 1730s, but it took a hundred years before we began to see street processions. The first processions included carriages and maskers on horseback. The first floats appeared in 1856 with the formation of the first Mardi Gras krewe: the Mistick Krewe of Comus. Enslaved and free […]

party in the street: discussion at popular resistance

My friend and co-author Michael Heaney has a post about our work at Popular Resistance, a web site dedicated to contemporary activism. A key quote: So what would genuine independence from a political party look like for a social movement?  My view is that independence means choosing allies regardless of their partisan affiliation.  An independent […]

My Sweet Old Et Al.

February 15, 2015 Posted by Jay Livingsto n Some fashions trickle down through the social class lattice. It’s as though people look to those just above them to see what they’re wearing or what names they’re giving their kids. I see the same process with some words, though the crucial dimension is not wealth but apparent intelligence or education. Show More Summary

Putin's Brinkmanship

The guns aren't entirely silent, but it appears that the ceasefire in East Ukraine is mostly holding. In a conflict that has claimed at least 5,000 lives and threatened to consume even more, the deal struck in Minsk between the Merkel/Hollande-backed...Show More Summary

Sunday Fun: Sociological Demotivations

Your mother wonders why you like studying something so depressing. And rightly so. See more at Contexts. 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.

toumani diabate and the beauty of the west african kora

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

The Sociology of Tory Stupidity

It's been a bad week for the Tories. This is supposed to be the month they pull ahead and seal the general election deal. Fat chance. The HSBC tax dodging scandal, the £15,000/head black and white Tory fundraiser, the facing down ofShow More Summary

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