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How Not to Interpret Data ...

... Or why Harry Cole is an idiot. Here's a graph of mentions per minute on Twitter from the lovely folks at Digital Contact. As you can see from the word, mentions by David Cameron far outstrip those of Ed Miliband. This leads Harry...Show More Summary

Nepal earthquake: Can we make nations more disaster resilient?

After the destruction in Nepal, it's natural to wonder how to improve earthquake preparedness. People are the key, says Alex Densmore

Biological baloney: The flaw in US anti-gay marriage arguments

US states defending same-sex marriage bans say the ability to procreate naturally dictates wedding rights. This is irrational, says William Saletan

This Month in SocImages (April 2015)

SocImages in the News: I’m now officially a “professorette” (thanks Rush Limbaugh!), so I’d appreciate it if we did high kicks together whenever we cross paths. There’s Research on That! does an anatomy of Limbaugh’s comment, discussing research showing that women are more likely than men to face challenges to their legitimacy. New York Magazine covered […]

social movements conference at notre dame

If you are in the Chicago/Michigan/Northern Indiana area, then you should probably go to this weekend’s social movement conference at Notre Dame. Friday will be sessions by young scholars and Saturday will be a lecture by Sidney Tarrow, who will receive a lifetime achievement award. Check it out! 50+ chapters of grad skool advice goodness: Grad […]


A Frost/Nixon for our age? No, but the media reaction to Russell Brand's encounter with Ed Miliband is out of all proportion to what was said. The actual content of the interview is pretty innocuous, at least from the standpoint of grizzled lefties and hardened politicos. Show More Summary

does deliberation demobilize?

The end result of all of these little steps to empowerment is, unfortunately, not a long journey to social justice, but a tightening spiral of resignation and retreat from public life to our increasingly demanding domestic worlds. (p. 26, DIY Democracy) Recently, I was the featured speaker at the Kettering Foundation’s April Dayton Days Meeting. […]

Of Microbrews and Methodists

  Here in Minneapolis, the frozen but lively home of the University of Minnesota and TSP, you can’t throw a rock without hitting a microbrewery. That’s true for most of the northern U.S., but as discussed in the Atlantic, “the nine states with the fewest breweries are all in the South.” What’s the difference? One […]

David Brooks – The Great Resource

April 29, 2015 Posted by Jay Livingston What would I do without David Brooks?One of the exercises I always assign asks students to find an opinion piece – an op-ed, a letter to the editor – and to reduce its central point to a testable hypothesis about the relation between variables. Show More Summary

Trans Teen Takes on the DMV, Wins Right to Wear Makeup

Sociologists are interested in studying how our institutions are not neutral, but reflect social norms in ways that tend to reproduce the status quo. A great example happened recently in South Carolina. In this case, the institution is the Department of Motor Vehicles, the norm is that boys and men don’t wear makeup, and the case […]

the risk sex game paper – impact on current research

Yesterday, I described a paper written by Kirby Schroeder and my self on infection networks. Yesterday’s post addresses the professional lessons I learned. Today, I want to talk about the impact of the paper on current work. For a long time, the paper, literally, got zero citations in peer reviewed journals. Then, the citations increased […]

SWP Statement on the IS List

Here's a blast from the past. 20 years back when the Internet was a shiny new thing for some and a rumour for others, there was a rumpus over online goings ons. Long forgotten now, the International Socialist List was established toShow More Summary

Sociologists Becoming “The Marrying Type”?

  Most people think of sociology as marriage-neutral, or even anti-marriage because the institution has been linked to patriarchy, heteronormativity, domestic abuse, and a general suppression of women’s rights; however, the field has seen a shift toward a pro-marriage point of view (see, for instance, scholars like Andrew Cherlin). In the Boston Globe, Philip Cohen […]

The no-drone zone: How to stop UAVs spying on us from above

From politicians to celebrities, there are plenty of people who want to stop drones watching their every move. Now they have ways of doing so

Racism Kills: New Data on Stress and Mortality

African Americans are less healthy than their white counterparts. There are lots of causes for this: food deserts, lack of access to healthcare, an absence of recreational opportunities in low income neighborhoods, and more. Arguably,...Show More Summary

Extreme Inequality: Workers vs.CEOs

By Peter Kaufman Imagine you work full-time as a customer service representative at a call center for one of the giant telecommunication companies. Your job is to help customers deal with a whole array of problems they may have with...

the risky sex game paper – professional lessons

My first ever journal publication was an article called “A Game Theoretic Model of Sexually Transmitted Disease Epidemics.” It appeared in the journal Rationality and Society in 2002. As the title suggests, the goal of the paper is to model network diffusion using agents that play games with each other. Specifically, let’s assume people want […]

Scottish Labour, Again

You're in a secure military facility and there's an intercontinental ballistic missile, inbound. The anti-missile batteries have fired and missed. Electronic counter measures cannot dissuade it from its course. You glance helplesslyShow More Summary

The Social Norms of Facial Hair

    Chin-Strap, Fu Man Chu, Burt Reynolds, or Full Marx. National competitions honor it. Hockey players grow it. Dress codes may moderate it, and now finally, sociologists weigh in on it. We’re talking beards. In early April, a men’s fashion article in The Guardian explored the historical significance of beards, describing, for example, how […]

UK people happy to cut energy use, but wary of smart meters

A UK survey of more than 2400 people reveals that those who are most worried about electricity bills are least likely to want smart meters

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