Blog Profile / Sociological Images

Filed Under:Academics / Sociology
Posts on Regator:2893
Posts / Week:8.3
Archived Since:February 15, 2009

Blog Post Archive

Snowflakes and the beauty of the meme

Flashback Friday. The image above is a photograph of a snowflake taken in the late 1800s by Wilson Bentley. Bentley, a 19-year-old farmer in Vermont, was the first person to ever photograph snowflakes. From the Guardian: Bentley’s obsession with snow crystals began when he received a microscope for his 15th birthday. He became spellbound by […]

Eviction and inequality in America

In the 5-minute lecture below, the Harvard sociologist and MacArthur “Genius Grant” winner, Matthew Desmond, discusses the role of eviction in exacerbating poverty. He studied Milwaukee, a city that sees 1 out of every 14 renter-occupied households in its urban centers evicted every year. The system is biased in favor of landlords, even negligent ones, and the […]

Fat shaming. It’s a thing.

According to Nicole Arbout’s youtube video “Dear Fat People,” fat people deserve to be ridiculed and treated poorly. The comedian mocks obese people and accuses them of being lazy, smelly, self-destructive, and a burden to the health care system and those around them.  Fat people, she also suggests, cause heartache and embarrassment to their loved ones […]

Ryan Adams v. Taylor Swift: Who wore it better?

Musician Ryan Adams recently released an album cover. A cover, that is, of an entire album written and performed by Taylor Swift. Both albums are titled 1989. via Critical praise for Adams’ version was immediate, turning quickly to a comparison of the two. At There’s Research on That!, Jacqui Frost explained that there was… …a […]

American gun laws and the tragedy of the false negative

This video was making the rounds last spring. The video maker wants to make two points: 1. Cops are racist. They are respectful of the White guy carrying the AR-15. The Black guy gets less comfortable treatment. 2. The police treatment of the White guy is the proper way for police to deal with someone […]

The US Census and the social construction of race

Flashback Friday. Social and biological scientists agree that race and ethnicity are social constructions, not biological categories.  The US government, nonetheless, has an official position on what categories are “real.”  You can find them on the Census (source): These categories, however real they may seem, are actually the product of a long process. Over time, […]

What, if anything, do Catholics have in common?

One of the major contributions of political scientist Benedict Anderson is the idea of an “imagined community”: a large group of people connected not through interaction, but by the idea that they are part of a meaningful group. In his book on the idea, he wrote: It is imagined because the members of even the smallest […]

This Month in SocImages (September 2015)

SocImages News: Apparently this was the month of finding out that SocImages is quoted in awesome places! Thanks to a friend, I learned that a post is quoted in the current edition of Our Bodies, Ourselves. Um, amazing! And I also stumbled across a generous endorsement of the site in Kate Harding’s fantastic new book […]

What happens when women planning abortions view ultrasounds?

Health care providers who perform abortions routinely use ultrasound scans to confirm their patients’ pregnancies, check for multiple gestations, and determine the stage of the pregnancies. But it is far from standard – and not at all medically necessary – for women about to have abortions to view their ultrasounds. Ultrasound viewing by patients has […]

What is a world in which commercials make you cry?

Grab the tissues: In his book named after the idea, sociologist Stjepan Meštrovi? describes contemporary Western societies as postemotional. By invoking the prefix “post,” he doesn’t mean to suggest that we no longer have any emotions at all, but that we have become numb to our emotions, so much so that we may not feel them […]

Talking about love and marriage

Flashback Friday. In her fantastic book, Talk of Love (2001), Ann Swidler investigates how people use cultural narratives to make sense of their marriages. She describes the “romantic” version of love with which we are all familiar.  In this model, two people fall deeply in love at first sight and live forever and ever in […]

Unemployment can change your race

In the 6-minute video below, Stanford sociologist Aliya Saperstein discusses her research showing that the perception of other peoples’ race is shaped by what we know about them. She uses data collected through a series of in-personShow More Summary

Serena Williams responds to the “Smile!” treatment

Serena Williams, the winner of 21 Grand Slam titles and arguably the greatest living female athlete, was understandably exhausted after defeating her sister and best friend Venus Williams in the U.S. Open earlier this week. So she wasn’t having it when, during a post-match press conference on Tuesday, a reporter had the gall to ask […]

Incomes continue to stagnate and decline

The Federal Reserve has announced that it is holding off on an interest rate hike; the last time it raised rates was in 2006.  The reason for the lack of action: the Federal Reserve believes the economy remains fragile and, since inflation remains low, it doesn’t want to do anything that might bring the expansion […]

Why one might want to Use the “Oxford Comma”

The “Oxford comma” is the one placed before an “and” in a list of three or more. It’s the subject of an embittered battle among grammar-lovers. You can make up your own mind. Sometimes it’s correct to use it; sometimes it’s more fun no to. Posted at Mental Floss, made by Arika Okrent, who wrote a book […]

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and the social control of mothers

Flashback Friday. The term “fetal alcohol syndrome” (FAS) refers to a group of problems that include mental retardation,  growth problems, abnormal facial features, and other birth defects.  The disorder affects children whose mothers drank large amounts of alcohol during pregnancy. Right? Well, not exactly. It turns out that only about 5% of alcoholic women give […]

Sociologist Michael Kimmel on why everyone needs feminism

In a brand new 15min TED talk, the eminent masculinities scholar Michael Kimmel argues that feminism is in everyone’s best interest. After discussing the robust research on the benefits of gender equality, he concludes: Gender equality is in the interest of countries, of companies, and of men, and their children and their partners… [It is] is […]

Eviction and inequality in America

In the 5-minute lecture below, Harvard sociologist Matthew Desmond discusses the role of eviction in exacerbating poverty. He studied Milwaukee, a city that sees 1 out of every 14 renter-occupied households in its urban centers evicted every year. The system is biased in favor of landlords, even negligent ones, and the resulting evictions have short- and long-term […]

Netflix responds to criticism, changes its sexist description of Pocahontas

From an angry tweet to an actual change. On September 1st I objected to the description of the Disney movie Pocahontas at Netflix. It read: An American Indian woman is supposed to marry the village’s best warrior, but she years for something more — and soon meets Capt. John Smith. I argued that, among other […]

#AylanKurdi, #RefugeesWelcome, and the public as dangerous giants

On September 2, the photograph of 3-year-old Aylan Kurdi lying face down on a Turkish beach circulated internationally on social media. Amid discussions of whether or not it was ethical to post, tweet, and share such a heart-wrenching image, The New York Times rightly noted that the powerful image has spurred international public attention to […]

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