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book symposium on the emergence of organizations and markets

At the ASA meetings last August I was lucky to participate in an authors-meet-critics session for John Padgett’s and Woody Powell’s new book, The Emergence of Organizations and Markets. That vibrant session has now been published as a book symposium in the political sociology section newsletter, which you can download here.  My comments are a […]

Becker in Paris

January 5, 2015 Posted by Jay Livingston You know what the real problem with Bourdieu was? The real problem with Bourdieu was that he was a schmuck – power-hungry and mean in spirit and obsessed with career. Now that I’ve got your attention... Show More Summary

party in the street: the main idea

For the last eleven years, my friend Michael Heaney and I have conducted a longitudinal study of the American antiwar movement. Starting at the 2004 Republican National Convention protests in New York City, we have been interviewing activists, going to their meetings, and observing their direct actions in order to understand the genesis and evolution […]

Benefits: Too Fat to Work

Those lovely folks over at Daily Express TV have hit on a relatively untapped vein of hate. Marry together your idea of the undeserving poor sponging off the hardworking tax payer with fat people and you have the perfect scapegoat: someone who cannot work because they are obese. Show More Summary

A Korean Hallyu Threatens American Cultural Dominance

To many Americans, globalization may mean Americanization but, in China, globalization is Koreanization. This is the impact of Hallyu (the Korean word for “Korean wave”), which began in 1997. Hallyu began with Korean television dramas and today extends throughout Chinese life: k-drama, k-pop, movies, fashion, food, and beauty.  It is argued to be the only […]

how the financial crisis and obamacare improved student loans

Student debt is in the news a lot these days. It currently stands at $1.2 trillion in the U.S., having surpassed credit card debt in 2010. The Occupy movement pushed the issue onto the front pages with its call for debt forgiveness, and since then loans have bounced in and out of the news under […]

computational sociology: from industry’s side

We discussed the tools computational sociologists should know and what soc departments should do. Now, we discuss what industry might do profitably engage with the field: Hire sociologists: Seriously. Ask yourself this – how many times have you seen engineers and computer scientists come up with some cool graph using big data that really doesn’t […]

Neal Lawson and the "Wrong Voters"

Sorry to get snoring boring about Tony Blair once more, but I have to say a few words about the silly phrasing Neal Lawson used while penning a New Year's message to the former Labour leader. The first rule of polemic is not to hand your opponent a shield that can parry your blows, and that is exactly what Neal did. Show More Summary

The Wisdom of Crowds vs. The Smart Money - Again

January 4, 2015 Posted by Jay Livingston Several posts in this blog have looked at the “wisdom of crowds” in football betting. In brief, the wisdom of crowds idea asserts that the collective opinions of the many are more accurate than the opinions of a few experts. Show More Summary

Just For Fun: The Trouble with p

In statistics, a little star next to a coefficient generally means that the result is statistically significant at the p<.05 level. In English, this means that there is only a 1 in 20 chance that the finding just popped up by pure random chance. In sociology, that’s generally considered good enough to conclude that the finding is “real.” If […]

New Blogs January 2015

A new year and the plugging service for new(ish) left, radical, and labour movement blogs resumes. 1. 999 Call for the NHS (Unaligned) (Twitter) 2. @clkh_ Charlotte Hall (Labour) (Twitter) 3. Clarity News (Unaligned) (Twitter) 4. Occasionally Called (Unaligned) (Twitter) 5. Show More Summary


Gerry, we miss you. + A Grover cameo. 50+ chapters of grad skool advice goodness: Grad Skool Rulz ($1!!!!)/From Black Power/Party in the Street!!

Chart of the Week: 1,500 Estimates Suggest a Higher Minimum Wage Will Have No Effect on Jobs

One of the arguments against an increase in the minimum wage is that it will lead to higher unemployment.  One can make theoretical arguments for and against this proposition.  And, of course, the income gains from an increase in the minimum wage are likely to produce overall benefits for both low wage workers and the […]

Names Ending in N

January 3, 2015 Posted by Jay Livingston A post at FiveThirtyEight (here), by Nate Silver and Allison McCann, has the title, “How to Tell Someone’s Age When All You Know Is Her Name.” But if the person in question is a male, you might...Show More Summary

The Legacy of Video Game Music

Reading the music press, artists are forever banging on about the influence of this or that musician and how their roads to music-making came via raids on parents' vinyl collections. No one will admit to the uncool commonplace of having folks who listened to CDs or, even worse, matured on a diet of Now That's What I Call Music. Show More Summary

Police, Protests, Police Protests, and Legitimacy

January 2, 2015 Posted by Jay Livingston Steve Anderson, the police chief of Nashville deserves some kind of an award.The city of Nashville had protests about the shootings in Ferguson and elsewhere. The police department respected the rights of the demonstrators. Show More Summary

Cancer is Social

Cancer is the best death, apparently. As a medical practitioner and former editor of the British Medical Journal, one supposes Dr Richard Smith knows what he's talking about. His argument is almost philosophical, making the case that...Show More Summary

Why You Should Shut Up When Poor People Buy New Nikes

Flashback Friday. When it comes to forming an opinion on poverty, some Americans just can’t seem to understand why poor people can’t just stop being poor. One of the things that gets harped on is the idea that poor people spend money on frivolous things; somehow some people believe that, if the poor just gave up their cell phone and Nikes, […]

Tony Bloody Blair, Again

Like a grinning whack-a-mole, Tony Bloody Blair has popped up again with his ever-so-helpful pearls of wisdom. The groove hasn't changed for 20 years. Centre ground, blah blah, too leftwing blah, don't scare business. Someone pass me a mallet. Show More Summary

Fear, Travel, and Anomie

By Sally Raskoff Sociologists explore the ways in which societies experience and produce fear. Frank Furedi and Barry Glassner both wrote books with nearly similar titles in the late 1990s on the culture of fear. Within the Everyday Sociology Blog,...

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