Blog Profile / Sociological Images

Filed Under:Academics / Sociology
Posts on Regator:2982
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Archived Since:February 15, 2009

Blog Post Archive

Covergirl’s Star Wars collection: They never had a chance, really

So, Star Wars is out with a new movie and instead of pretending female fans don’t exist, Disney has decided to license the Star Wars brand to Covergirl. A reader named David, intrigued, sent in a two-page ad from Cosmopolitan for analysis. What I find interesting about this ad campaign — or, more accurately — boring, is its invitation to women […]

Anorexia Mirabilis: Fasting in Victorian England and modern India

Flashback Friday. Joan Jacob Brumberg’s fantastic book, Fasting Girls: The History of Anorexia Nervosa, is an excellent example of the benefits of sociologically-inspired history.  Brumberg begins by explaining that girls who starved themselves have been recorded in many historical epochs, but the way in which societies have made sense of that starvation has varied. Today […]

Where do we learn whom we should perceive negatively?

We often think that as long as a white person doesn’t fly the Confederate flag, use the n-word, or show up to a white supremacist rally that they aren’t racist. However, researchers at Harvard and the Ohio State University, among others, have shown that even whites who don’t endorse racist beliefs tend to be biased against non-whites. This bias, though, is implicit: […]

A deep dive into the experience of homophobia

It can be quite difficult to describe what it feels like to be a member of a group that is widely disparaged or hated. I mean really describe it in a way that other people who are not part of that group can understand. It is powerful when it can be done and even more powerful when […]

Protecting (white) women in the bathroom: A history

With interest, I have been watching the resistance to the right of trans people to choose public restrooms based on their identity instead of their biology at birth. Though there is no evidence that allowing trans people to use the bathroom of their choice will put anyone in danger, one of the arguments against doing so is that women […]

What the 1% wants from our politicians

The 1% in America have an out-sized influence on the political process. What policies do they support? And do their priorities differ from those of less wealthy Americans? Political scientist Benjamin Page and two colleagues wanted to find out, so they started trying to set up interviews with the richest of the rich. This, they noted, was really quite […]

Labiaplasty rates linked to censorship of “untidy” labia

Flashback Friday. Labiaplasty, a plastic surgery in which the labia is reshaped, is on the rise in many Western countries. Usually this means trimming the labia so that it is less “obtrusive” and social pressure, especially from increased exposure to pornography, is blamed for the rise. For reference, see our post on the natural range […]

Disobedience or civil disobedience: Who decides when breaking rules is good?

When it comes to rule-breakers and rule enforcers, which side you are on seens to depend on the rule-breaker and the rule. National Review had a predictable response to the video of a school officer throwing a seated girl to the floor. [Editor’s note: Video added to original. Watch with caution; disturbing imagery] Most of the […]

Is Barbie a feminist now?

Barbie has never exactly been a feminist icon, but last week Mattel was celebrated for a new advertising campaign that some say empowers young girls. In the “Imagine the Possibilities” commercial, the viewer sees young girls in professional settings — a science museum, a veterinary office, a soccer field — where they lead adults as if they are the ones […]

Man buns as cultural appropriation

Singer-songwriter Hozier played “guess the man buns” on VH1, and Buzzfeed facetiously claimed they had “Scientific Proof That All Celebrity Men are Hotter with Man Buns.” Brad Pitt, Chris Hemsworth, and David Beckham have all sported the man bun. And no, I’m not talking about their glutes. Men are pulling their hair back behind their […]

The trouble with American views of female genital cutting

In 1994, a US immigration judge lifted an order to deport a woman named Lydia Oluloro. Deportation would have forced her to either leave her five- and six-year-old children in America with an abusive father or take them with her to Nigeria. There, they would have been at risk of a genital cutting practice called […]

This Month in SocImages (October 2015)

SocImages News: I’m so happy to announce a new partnership with Mental Floss! They will be featuring select posts from SocImages and bringing the sociological imagination to an even wider audience! Fabulous! Our first post is here. You like!  Here are our most appreciated posts this month: 114 years young: Lightbulbs before planned obsolescence (1,700+ likes) […]

“Man” vs. “girl,” Halloween edition

The practice of pairing the word “men” (which refers to adults) with “girls” (which does not) reinforces a gender hierarchy by mapping it onto age.  Jason S. discovered an example of this tendency at Halloween Adventure (East Village, NYC) and snapped a picture to send in: Sara P. found another example, this time from iparty.  The […]

Non-heteronormativity in couples Halloween costumes

In 2012, I wrote about the heteronormativity in the couples Halloween costume category at Party City. Now, it’s 2015 and Party City has changed. I counted all 103 costume sets, dividing them into whether they featured a heterosexual couple, a man-man couple, a woman-woman couple, or were ambiguous. Among them, 74 were aimed at heterosexuals, 12 were […]

Halloween as an alcoholiday

Research on college student alcohol consumption shows that they drink significantly more when they link their drinking to a reason to celebrate. Halloween is one of the many “alcoholidays” that occur throughout the school year. Psychologist...Show More Summary

Pregnant women’s bodies resist giving birth on Halloween

“Future research is needed to identify the process,” write the authors, but it appears that pregnant women have some control over when they give birth. A study of birth incidence on Halloween and Valentine’s Day, by public health scholar Becca Levy and colleagues, showed that spontaneous births dipped on the former and rose on the latter. […]

Toward a sociology of living death

Daniel Drezner once wrote about how international relations scholars would react to a zombie epidemic. Aside from the sheer fun of talking about something as silly as zombies, it had much the same illuminating satiric purpose as “how many X does it take to screw in a lightbulb” jokes. If you have even a cursory familiarity […]

SocImages’ annual “Sexy What!?” Halloween post

Sometimes the sexy goes too far. These are some of those times. Sexy pizza rat (Yandy): Sexy Cecil the Lion (Yandy): Sexy Donald Trump (Yandy): Sexy Rosie the Riveter (Party City): Sexy Frankenstein (Yandy): Sexy infant (Yandy): Sexy Charlie Brown (Yandy): For more Sexy What!?, see our past posts featuring Sexy Chinese Take-Out, Sexy Yoda, and Sexy […]

From the Archives: Halloween

It’s that time of year again!  Enjoy our collection of Halloween posts from years past or visit our Halloween-themed Pinterest page. Just For Fun Sociologist Joel Best wishes you a happy and safe Halloween! A Hallowmeme costume: Women laughing with salad Fun and fear: The great equalizer Breast cancer-themed sexy leopard-ish costume ’cause why? Mocking the sexy […]

Understanding mass incarceration

In the 2.5 minute Atlantic video below, sociologist Bruce Western discusses the problem of mass incarceration. The practice, he says, isn’t just about locking up lots of people — almost 700/100,000; more than any other nation on earth — but incarcerating groups of people in concentrated ways, namely Latino and especially Black men. This devastating to communities, […]

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