Discover a new way to find and share stories you'll love… Learn about Reading Desk

All Blogs / Academics / Sociology / Popular


what do 1st-year grad students need to know?

I’m back from ASA and engaging in a little just-in-time production of syllabi. (For anyone who’s wondering, I did take notes on the “future of orgs” panel and will write those up, but want to run them by the presenters before I post them.) As grad director, I get to run the proseminar for first-year […]

Marriage and the Market: How Economic Inequality and Gender Equality Shape Marriage Trends

In a recent New York Times oped, Stephanie Coontz cites a plethora of sociologists in her discussion of the tug-of-war between gender equality and economic inequality over current marriage trends in America. In her piece, Coontz argues that families have become more egalitarian and stable due to increased gender equality, with women increasingly gaining equal […]

Cops vs. Man With Knife

August 21, 2014 Posted by Jay Livingston Despite the cellphone video of two police officers killing Kajieme Powell, there is some dispute as to what happened. (See this account in The Atlantic.) Was Powell threatening them; did he hold...Show More Summary

durkheim viva voce

I just attended the American Sociological Association Meetings in San Francisco, and while there my friend Marion Fourcade told me about a remarkable little piece of sociological history. It’s an audio recording of Émile Durkheim delivering a talk. Emile Durkheim recorded in 1911 in Bologna. I had no idea such a thing existed. The recording […]

Peach Panties and a New Pinterest Board: Sexy What!?

@zeyneparsel and Stephanie S. both sent in a link to a new craze in China: peach panties.  I totally made the craze part up — I have no idea about that – but the peach panties are real and there is a patent pending. I thought they were a great excuse to make a new Pinterest board […]

What to do with British IS Fighters?

The execution of James Foley by a British-accented Islamic State fighter is utterly sickening. The murder of non-combatants is a war crime, but for ISIS, ISIL or whatever this bunch of barbaric thugs are calling themselves today, killing for mere propaganda underscores their nature as the world's most socially regressive movement. Show More Summary

Bathing Suit Fashion and the Project of Gender

I came across this ad for bathing suits from the 1920s and was struck by how similar the men’s and women’s suits were designed.  Hers might have some extra coverage up top and feature a tight skirt over shorts instead of just shorts but, compared to what you see on beaches today, they are essentially the same bathing suit. […]

Capitalism and Social Movement Theory

You don't have to be steeped in social theory to realise that the kind of society we live in is bound to have a huge impact on the things that happen in that society. And yet social movement scholarship these last 20 years has acted as if this law of sociological gravity does not apply. Show More Summary

OKCupid Experiments on Its Users, Makes Us Hate Ourselves

In the aftermath of the revelation that Facebook has been manipulating our emotions – the one that prompted Jenny Davis to write a post titled Newsflash: Facebook Has Always Been Manipulating Your Emotions – the folks at OkCupid admitted that they been doing it, too. I’ll let you debate the ethics. Here’s what Christian Rudder and […]

The Social Significance of Ian Botham's Penis

Ho, ho, ho, now we know why they call him "Beefy". Yes, regardless of all the horrors scarring the world there's nothing quite like a celebrity dick pic to set social media a-flapping. When Ian Botham tweeted a picture purportedly to be his "old man" this morning, Twitter had one of its periodic meltdowns. Show More Summary

Who Are Habitats For? Electrified Nature in Zoo Exhibits

What do you see? While it hasn’t always been the case, most well-funded zoos today feature pleasant-enough looking habitats for their animals.  They are typically species-appropriate, roomy enough to look less-than-totally miserable, and include trees and shrubs and other such natural features that make them attractive. Show More Summary

Misogyny at the Morning Star?

Rory MacKinnon, a journalist at the Morning Star for the last three years has resigned from the paper. This comes after facing disciplinary action for pursuing the case of Caroline Leneghan. Readers and left-watchers may recall thatShow More Summary

Sunday Fun: The Best Thesis Defense…

…is a good offense. Congratulations to all the August thesis and dissertation defenders out there! And thanks to xkcd for the ongoing higher ed humor. 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.

does organizational sociology have a future? the answer at 10:30 tomorrow

Ah, ASA. So full of sociologists. What more can one say. But, for those of you who are here in San Francisco, here’s one last plug for tomorrow’s OOW session, “Does Organizational Sociology Have a Future?” Featuring Howard Aldrich, Lis Clemens, Harland Prechel, Martin Ruef, and Ezra Zuckerman. Plus I hear a rumor Dick Scott and […]

Saturday Stat: The Invention of the “Illegal Immigrant”

Citing the immigration scholar, Francesca Pizzutelli, Fabio Rojas explains that the phrase “illegal immigrant” wasn’t a part of the English language before the 1930s.  More often, people used the phrase “irregular immigrant.”   Instead of an evaluative term, it was a descriptive one referring to people who moved around and often crossed borders for work. Rojas points […]

What Does It Mean to be Authentically Cajun?

Flashback Friday. The term “Cajun” refers to a group of people who settled in Southern Louisiana after being exiled from Acadia (now Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island) in the mid 1700s.  For a very long time, being Cajun meant living, humbly, off the land and bayou (small-scale agriculture, hunting, fishing, and trapping).  […]

A Note on the TERF Wars

It is a truth universally acknowledged that the fire of radical politics burns fiercest when fuelled by the polemic of other radicals. Nowhere is this truer than the ruinous, ceaseless battle between transwomen and activists who've come to be known (pejoratively) as trans-exclusionary radical feminists. Show More Summary

#IfTheyGunnedMeDown Attacks Portrayals of Black Men Killed by Police

This has been a hard week.  Another young, unarmed black man was killed by police. The Root added Michael Brown’s face to a slideshow of such incidents, started after a black man named Eric Garner died after being put in a chokehold by officers less than one month ago.  This week’s guilty verdict in the trial of […]

Frederick Douglass’s Agitation

August 14, 2014 Posted by Jay Livingston I hate to see a good word fade and get folded into another word that doesn’t mean quite the same thing.A Twitter link yesterday took me to a sociology blog whose post consisted entirely of a quotation from Frederick Douglass. Show More Summary

Copyright © 2011 Regator, LLC