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Baltimore Ballet

May 5, 2015 Posted by Jay Livingston onDavid Brooks is worse than I thought.When I first read his column about Baltimore,“The Nature of Povery” (here), I thought he was just singing the same personal-responsibility-and-family anthem so beloved of conservatives everywhere. Show More Summary

orgtheory puzzle: steve jobs 1 vs. steve jobs 2

There is one part of the Apple story that has always puzzled me: what was the difference between Steve Jobs pre-NeXT and post-NeXT? For those who aren’t Appleologists, Steve Jobs was booted from Apple in 1985. He ran a company called NeXT and founded Pixar. NeXT flopped but Pixar succeeded. About ten years later, in […]

how to live a good life, the social science answer

This week, I will spend quite a bit of time discussing a book called The Triumphs of Experience by George Vaillant. I’ve written briefly about the book before, but I didn’t appreciate the magnitude of the book until I assigned it for a class. Roughly speaking, the book follows a cohort of college men from […]

The Sociology of Social Movement Traditions

Last Tuesday took me back to my old stomping ground at Keele University. The occasion was the inaugural professorial lecture for Brian Doherty, who was my supervisor during the trials and tribulations of the jolly old PhD. Our shared interests were the sociology of social movements, and in particular the process of activist commitment. Show More Summary

When “Intensive Mothering” Meets Special Needs

I am excited to see that sociologist Linda Blum has come out with a new book, Raising Generation Rx: Mothering Kids with Invisible Disabilities in an Age of Inequality. Here’s a post from the archive highlighting some of her important and powerful findings. In an article titled Mother-Blame in the Prozac Nation, sociologist Linda Blum describes the lives […]

Making Sense of the EdStone

When you didn't think the election could get weirder, it takes an even more bizarre turn - and it's the red team that are at the centre of it. In case you've been doing something positive with your Sunday, such as knocking on doors, the media blizzard surrounding Labour's latest stunt may have passed you by. Show More Summary

Disappointment in Women’s Real Faces

Most women in the U.S. go to considerable lengths to consistently protect the majority of men from their unmasked faces (it’s a “disguise,” remember?). Comedian Amy Schumer wonders what might happen if men saw the real us… Lisa Wade is a professor of sociology at Occidental College and the co-author of Gender: Ideas, Interactions, Institutions. You can follow her […]

just because i like bjork

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

Six Decades of Increasing Partisanship in the U.S. House of Representatives

It sure seems like U.S. Democrats and Republicans are less likely to cooperate than they have been in the past and now, thanks to geographer Clio Andris and her colleagues, we can see that it’s true. They plotted six decades of voting in the House of Representatives, noting the likelihood that their vote will cross party […]

Edmund Burke on Rioting

May 2, 2015 Posted by Jay Livingston We adjust our thoughts about rioting and looting to make those thoughts and perceptions at home with our overall ideology. That was the point of yesterday’s quote from Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense under George W. Show More Summary

why i miss communism

A remarkable chart made the rounds last week.  It shows that the evolution of American incomes over the course of the 20th century happened in two very distinct phases.  The first phase, which lasted from 1940 to approximately 1973, saw the real incomes of the lower 90% of American wage earners increase steadily while the average income of the […]

Local Council By-Elections April 2015

Party Number of Candidates Total Vote % +/- Mar Average/ contest +/- Mar +/- Seats Conservative 3 477 18.2% -2.9% 159 -381 -1 Labour 2 960 36.7% +1.0% 480 -564 +1 LibDem 1 393 15.0% +13.4% 393 +336 +1 UKIP 2 358 13.7% +8.1% 179 - 203...Show More Summary

Ideology Happens

April 29, 2015 Posted by Jay Livingston Looting and violence are indefensible. The people who commit such acts are nothing more than criminals who lack basic morality. Lacking any restraint, unable to restrain their impulses and for civilized ties, they create a Hobbesian nightmare for everyone in the area. Show More Summary

Milibae: The Movie

Hands down this is the best and most absurd thing I've seen this election. Is it fan made? Is it something spawned by the press department? Who can say, except whoever authored it knows the internet and knows how fandoms work. At seven pm from this day forward - until election night anyway - the aims is to get #MilibaeTheMovie trending. Show More Summary

I asked FBI to validate forensic hair analysis – they couldn't

He's the man who got the FBI to admit that hair analysis was flawed evidence, and now campaigner Peter Neufeld says there's a bigger problem to tackle

Sociologists Begin to Talk Baltimore

  As the nation’s gaze is set on Baltimore, sociologists have begun to talk to the press about the massive peaceful protests, outbreaks of rioting and violence, and media depictions of the city as it mourns the death of Freddie Gray (as of today, Friday, May 1, ruled a homicide and under investigation). Much of […]

The Geography of a Restaurant Menu

Flashback Friday. I’ve posted about the use of apparent discounts as a marketing tool and about the rise of the shopping cart. Since I’m on a little marketing-related posting trend, I figured I might as well post about restaurant menus. New York Magazine recently provided an analysis of menus and how things such as placement, […]

Ed Miliband and Minority Government

What did you think of last night's grilling of the main party leaders? As much as I detest Dave and his Nick Clegg mini-me, I think they performed creditably by the criteria one judges media appearances. The Prime Minister was polished and a little bit sweaty, but his question dodging body swerves saw him through the half hour. Show More Summary

Five Most Read Posts in April

The most popular posts last month were: 1. The Far Left and the 2015 UK General Election 2. The Socialist Party's Erratic Marxism 3. Green Party Candidates at the 2015 UK General Election 4. On Weaponising Ed Miliband 5. Notes on Nicola Sturgeon What a month. Show More Summary

signaling theory and credentialing theory in sociology

A loyal reader asks me to comment on a recent exchange between Econlog’s Bryan Caplan and economics journalist Noah Smith. Specifically, Noah Smith attacks Bryan for his strong defense of the signaling model of education. The theory asserts that the main reason that education correlates with income is that is a signal of intelligence and […]

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