241 posts tagged with Sociology.
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You're blind baby. You're blind to the facts.

Miss Representation is a film by Jen Siebel Newsom about the images, representations and media constructions that shape American society in a harmful way for women. It explores the under-representation of women in positions of power and influence that result. Shorter trailer here. [more inside]
posted by cashman on Oct 5, 2011 - 18 comments

I really dig infectious diseases (much to the dismay of those dining with me).

How did hookworm infections slow the economy of the postbellum South? Do body mites play a role in diseases such as rosacea? Did fermenting seal flippers in Tupperware instead of traditional containers increase Native Alaskan botulism rates? Body Horrors is the blog of microbiologist Rebecca Kreston, who aims to explore the intersection of infectious diseases, the human body, public health and anthropology.
posted by emjaybee on Sep 24, 2011 - 36 comments

The news knows it

Culturomics, an emerging field of study that applies climate-modeling levels of supercomputing power towards predicting human behavior, using "computerized analysis of vast digital book archives, offering novel insights into the functioning of human society", has been tried with digital news archives. [more inside]
posted by nomisxid on Sep 7, 2011 - 12 comments

So on the bright side, the poor make for better company anyway

New research shows the Rich truly are different from you and me in one key respect: they feel less empathy (overview of the research here; unfortunately, a full report of the findings is only available behind various pay-walls). Previously, the same team of researchers found that members of the economic upper-class have a harder time recognizing others' emotions.
posted by saulgoodman on Aug 10, 2011 - 118 comments

Binary Agreement Model

Social consensus through the influence of committed minorities: We show how the prevailing majority opinion in a population can be rapidly reversed by a small fraction p of randomly distributed committed agents who consistently proselytize the opposing opinion and are immune to influence. Specifically, we show that when the committed fraction grows beyond a critical value pc ≈ 10%, there is a dramatic decrease in the time, Tc, taken for the entire population to adopt the committed opinion. [.pdf] [more inside]
posted by troll on Jul 26, 2011 - 56 comments

"The problem stems not from there being 'too much' casual sex on campus but from the overall dissatisfaction with sex on campus and the lack of alternatives."

So suddenly, everyone was talking about hookup culture, and they wanted to know: "What is this thing? What is it?" And they were afraid that somehow college was some alcohol-fueled Bacchanalian orgy.
The Promise and Perils of Hookup Culture: a talk by sociologist Lisa Wade (previously).
posted by NoraReed on Jun 22, 2011 - 46 comments

The Victims

Going Straight: My Ex-Gay Friend Also: Living the Good Lie: Therapists Who Help People Stay in the Closet. (Both links NYT, via)
posted by zarq on Jun 17, 2011 - 90 comments

"Sex selection defies culture, nationality and creed."

"Over the past few decades, 160 million women have vanished from East and South Asia — or, to be more accurate, they were never born at all. Throughout the region, the practice of sex selection — prenatal sex screening followed by selective termination of pregnancies — has yielded a generation packed with boys. From a normal level of 105 boys to 100 girls, the ratio has shifted to 120, 150, and, in some cases, nearly 200 boys born for every 100 girls. In some countries, like South Korea, ratios spiked and are now returning to normal. But sex selection is on the rise in Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East." American journalist Mara Hvistendahl's new book: "Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys Over Girls, and the Consequences of a World Full of Men," examines and tries to predict the actual and potential effects of unequal sex ratios on men, women and the social economies of the affected regions, including the recent spike in sex trafficking and bride-buying across Asia. More. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jun 10, 2011 - 65 comments

Why Can’t More Poor People Escape Poverty?

Psychologists are now theorizing that humans have a depletable reservoir of self-control, and that this is why poor people remain poor.
posted by reenum on Jun 6, 2011 - 118 comments

The Empire Is Dead, Long Live the Empire!

The Age of Imperialism is over, but its impact remains, leaving behind a long-lasting legacy through cultural norms. Comparing individuals on opposite sides of the long-gone Habsburg Empire border within five countries, it shows that firms and people living in what used to be the empire have higher trust in courts and police.
posted by -->NMN.80.418 on Jun 3, 2011 - 21 comments

Anger and anxiety

Anger, Politics and the Wisdom of Uncertainty - "If there's somebody or even some institution to blame, it turns out people are much more likely to get angry... anger tends to inspire individuals to engage in more political activities than they would otherwise... Without someone to blame, respondents mostly just grow fearful and anxious... A particular danger of anger seems to be closed-mindedness. Research finds that when citizens get angry, they close themselves off to alternative views and redouble their sense of conviction in their existing views. Fear and anxiety, on the other hand, seem to promote openness to alternative viewpoints and a willingness to compromise." (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on May 18, 2011 - 18 comments

What is the meaning of the assassination of OBL?

Guy Rundle teases out the meanings of the bin Laden assassination, in contrast to the Eichmann trial.
posted by wilful on May 5, 2011 - 93 comments

Germany is never so happy as when she is pregnant with war.

"In the course of researching my book The Emotional Life of Nations, I discovered that just before and during wars the nation was regularly depicted as a Dangerous Woman. I collected thousands of magazine covers and political cartoons before wars to see if there were any visual patterns that could predict the moods that led to war, and routinely found images of dangerous, bloodthirsty women."

Sociologist, political psychologist, and founder of The Institute for Psychohistory (no not that one) Lloyd deMause has written eight books and 90 articles on the link between warfare and parenting practices. With thousands of references to psychological and anthropological studies, deMause makes the case that outbursts of nationalist violence are reenactments of childhood experiences common to large groups.

His book The Origins of War In Child Abuse is available as a ten-part, free audiobook; read by Stefan Molyneux. [more inside]
posted by clarknova on May 3, 2011 - 151 comments

The State of White America

In a lecture entitled The State of White America Charles Murray, a W. H. Brady Scholar of the American Enterprise Institute and co-author of the controversial The Bell Curve, details the thesis of his upcoming book Coming Apart: Over the last half century, the United States has developed a new lower class and a new upper class that are different in kind from anything America has ever known. The second contention of the book is that the divergence of America into these separate classes, if it continues, will end what has made America America. [more inside]
posted by ob1quixote on Apr 12, 2011 - 76 comments

"Serial monogamy" and "domino dads"

A University of Michigan study has found that 1 in 5 American women have had children by several different men. Time Magazine dubs the phenomenon "domino dads". The study is the first of its kind to survey Americans from all walks of life, and it finds that the practice can be found across economic classes. But is its publication putting an unfair spotlight on black women?
posted by shii on Apr 5, 2011 - 63 comments

Get your Ph.D. in EDMCs

Dancecult: Journal of Electronic Music Dance Culture is the first peer-reviewed scholarly journal for promulgating interdisciplinary research concerning all aspects of electronic dance music culture. [more inside]
posted by Unicorn on the cob on Mar 23, 2011 - 16 comments

Dumb men commercials

Stupid Man Commercials. Why?
posted by - on Mar 23, 2011 - 172 comments

Is academic sociology lost inside its own theoretical bubble?

Real Men Find Real Utopias Historian reviews new book by bigshot sociologist Erik Olin Wright and gives it a thorough drubbing. Wishes sociology could be like it used to be, with more history and better English. Via ALDaily.
posted by Philosopher's Beard on Jan 21, 2011 - 34 comments

Culture of Poverty Makes a Comeback

Indeed, the comeback of the culture of poverty, albeit in new rhetorical guise, signifies a reversion to the status quo ante: to the discourses and concomitant policy agenda that existed before the black protest movement forced the nation to confront its collective guilt and responsibility for two centuries of slavery and a century of Jim Crow—racism that pervaded all major institutions of our society, North and South. Such momentous issues are brushed away as a new generation of sociologists delves into deliberately myopic examinations of a small sphere where culture makes some measurable difference—to prove that “culture matters.”
Stephen Steinberg on culture and poverty
posted by AceRock on Jan 19, 2011 - 25 comments

We used to get 김치 on the corner....

In the 1960's, 70's and 80's, urban decay and high crime rates caused retail chain supermarkets to flee New York City. (google books link) Korean immigrants filled the gap with corner grocery stores. For nearly two decades they were ubiquitous -- symbols of the group's ongoing quest to achieve the American Dream. But 30 years later, Where Did The Korean Greengrocers Go? [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jan 18, 2011 - 19 comments

Feel like nobody really cares whether you live or die these days? Well, you might be on to something...

The Empathy Deficit: "A recent study finds a decline in empathy among young people in the U.S." In fact, the report concludes "empathy levels have been declining over the past 30 years." Podcast on this topic here.
posted by saulgoodman on Dec 29, 2010 - 110 comments

"Social Science That Matters."

The Society Pages is a collection of blogs based around sociology. Some have been mentioned here before, and they cover a range of topics within sociology such as sexuality, crime and race.
posted by lauratheexplorer on Oct 14, 2010 - 6 comments

Cost of Murder

A team of researchers at Iowa State University has found that a murder costs more than $17.25 Million to society. [via]
posted by AceRock on Oct 11, 2010 - 64 comments


If Men Could Menstruate. [more inside]
posted by lauratheexplorer on Sep 26, 2010 - 161 comments

Art Without Asking

"Trespass: A History Of Uncommissioned Urban Art," a lovely looking guide to street art activations published by Taschen and soon to be released on the masses. [more inside]
posted by artof.mulata on Sep 20, 2010 - 17 comments

Mooing Vuitton in the verdant fields of a mall.

"What was lost in the realm of economic exchange is reclaimed in the realm of cultural/semiotic performance. Branding also identifies the product relative to the chain of signifiers constituting its brand “family,” in the same way that ranchers brand livestock with the sign of their ranch." [via]
posted by nickrussell on Sep 15, 2010 - 11 comments


Tony Washington, an NFL prospect, has a black mark on his record. At the age of 16, he was convicted of incest for sleeping with his then 15 year old sister, and forced to register as a sex offender. Washington feels this is the reason he is being ostracized by the NFL.
posted by reenum on Aug 27, 2010 - 122 comments

What Is It About 20-Somethings?

Twenty-somethings today don't quite fit the definition of adolescence or adulthood. This has thrown the human development gurus for a loop. [more inside]
posted by reenum on Aug 18, 2010 - 136 comments

You Dirty Chicken Plucker

Howard Bloom: Exercising the Animals in the Brain [more inside]
posted by nola on Aug 9, 2010 - 25 comments

The Numbers

The amazingly detailed origin myth of The Numbers, the largest South African prison gangs. Jonny Steinberg details the three largest gangs' (tenuously) shared myth, which accounts for their strangely symbiotic relationships by dictating who may steal, who may rape, and who may judge. [more inside]
posted by pollex on Aug 5, 2010 - 35 comments

Ernest Gellner: An Intellectual Biography

The Rehabilitation of Ernest Gellner - It is easy to imagine why Ernest Gellner would be one of the universally known figures in Anglophone intellectual life. A polymath whose work ranged across anthropology, history, philosophy, and sociology, his mind wrestled with an encyclopedia's worth of nagging questions about nationalism, modernity, civil society, imperialism, Islam, psychoanalysis, ethics and epistemology ... All of this, to repeat, should explain Gellner's monumental prominence – except for the fact that he has no such prominence. (via mr) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jul 25, 2010 - 7 comments

Four Economic Benchmarks We Need Now

With capitalism in crisis, can it be sustained or is it altogether outdated? As Umair Haque asks though, perhaps a better question is: "are organizations and markets making decisions that help make people, communities, and society better off in the long run, by allocating their scarce resources to the most productive uses?" [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jul 13, 2010 - 15 comments

Virtual Archaeology: Active Worlds Turns 15

Fifteen years ago this week, programmer Ron Britvich launched version 1.0 of Active Worlds. Started as an autonomous project of Worlds, Inc. (a spinoff of educational gamesmaker Knowledge Adventure), Active Worlds was one of the first and most ambitious attempts to create a 3D virtual community on the web. Built on the architecture of Britvich's Worlds Chat beta, Active Worlds debuted in the form of Alphaworld, a sunny green infinite plane open to public building. In its opening years Alphaworld experienced a land rush of construction, resulting in an anarchic starfish sprawl larger than the state of California. A sister company, Circle of Fire, was soon founded to craft additional themed hubs, and once individual ownership of worlds became possible the AW community spawned a veritable universe of hundreds of worlds. Although the company has seen its ups and downs since those heady times and its fortunes have slowly dwindled, the Active Worlds platform survives to this day. Look inside for a simple guide on how to log in to the (free) service, rundowns of the best worlds, links to essays analyzing the program's legacy, and other content summing up its venerable community. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Jul 4, 2010 - 18 comments

Nature / Nurture / Talent

Vanessa Mae Nicholson is one of Britain’s most successful young musicians. A classical violinist and former child prodigy who self-describes her crossover style as "violin techno-acoustic fusion," her fans praise her modern creativity and frenetic, lightning-fast riffs. But is her talent learned or genetic? Documentary from BBC1 in 2008: Vanessa Mae - The Making of Me: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jun 21, 2010 - 18 comments

Study: Lesbian Parents Raise Better-Behaved Kids

A nearly 25-year study has concluded that children raised in lesbian households were psychologically well-adjusted and had fewer behavioral problems than their peers. Results were published this month in Pediatrics: the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics. (Abstract. Free PDF. Scribd). [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jun 7, 2010 - 98 comments

"Homer, I won your respect, and all I had to do was save your life. Now, if every gay man could just do the same, you'd be set."

Americans' Acceptance of Gay Relations Crosses 50% Threshold - To try to figure out why, NYT columnist Charles M. Blow taps sociologist Dr. Michael Kimmel and Professor Ritch Savin-Williams, who offer three hypotheses as to what may have lead to the surprising changes and what remains of the gender disparity in attitudes. [more inside]
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Jun 4, 2010 - 88 comments

Religion and America's Academic Scientists

Science vs. Religion: a new book, Science and Religion: What Scientists Really Think by Rice University sociologist Elaine Ecklund, discusses the results of her detailed study of 1,646 scientists at top American research universities. Among her findings: ~36% of those surveyed not only believe in God but also practice a form of closeted, often non-traditional faith. They worry about how their peers would react to learning about their religious views. Interview with the author from the Center for Inquiry's Point of Inquiry podcast. Also, here's a webcast from an author discussion forum held at Rice University on April 7th. [more inside]
posted by zarq on May 30, 2010 - 89 comments

planning a revolution? contribute to greater net good by doing better

Moving beyond GDP for an information-based society - If indeed[1,2] "A 'Quantum Leap' in Governance" is needed[3] then, as part of the solution,[4] we might start looking past GDP[5,6] and perhaps more toward "betterness instead of business, pursue awesomeness instead of innovation — and maximize good, instead of quarterly profits..." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on May 16, 2010 - 29 comments

New Math

A family in Atlanta sold their house and donated half the proceeds to villagers in Ghana.
posted by reenum on May 6, 2010 - 72 comments

R for the Rest of Us

R is powerful, but tricky. RKWard is an UI that make R user friendly or, at least, make it more similar to SPSS or Stata. Screenshots!
posted by - on Apr 29, 2010 - 25 comments

The Woman Who Just Might Save the Planet and Our Pocketbooks

What if our economy was not built on competition? Nobel Prize winner Elinor Ostrom talks about her work on cooperation in economics. [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Apr 11, 2010 - 32 comments

Eros Kapital

This recent academic article [PDF] by Catherine Hakim presents "a new theory of erotic capital as a fourth personal asset, an important addition to economic, cultural, and social capital," and proposes "a new agenda for sociological (and feminist) research and theory." Here's a stripped-down magazine version. The theory is controversial and thought-provoking, sure, and there are counter-arguments. The Financial Times notes the obvious: If eroticism is indeed a kind of capital, then there is a market in it. Meanwhile, newspapers get yet another reason to print pictures of sexy people. [All links are SFW]
posted by chavenet on Apr 6, 2010 - 45 comments

"One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one's work is terribly important."

Stress: Our collective mood - "there seems to be a correlation between stress and lack of holidays. More important, however, is whether a relationship exists between either and economic performance. The data is equivocal. On average Americans put in an extra two hours a week compared with UK workers. Yet both countries had almost identical crises, while lazier nations fared considerably better." also btw: Why Women Don't Want Macho Men (cf. A Theory for Why Latvian Women are Beautiful) & Study Shows People In Power Make Better Liars (The psychology of power or The Duke and Dirty Harry)
posted by kliuless on Mar 27, 2010 - 21 comments

Whence Altruism?

A new study suggests that humanity's sense of fair play and kindness towards strangers is determined by culture, not genetics. Speculation: the finding may be directly related to the rise of religion in human history, as well as more complex economies. (Via). [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 22, 2010 - 49 comments

The "Still-Face" Experiment

The "Still Face" Paradigm (YT video) designed by Dr. Edward Tronick of Harvard and Childrens Hospital’s Child Development Unit, is an experiment which shows us how a 1-year old child will react to a suddenly unresponsive parent. It allows us to understand how a caregiver's interactions and emotional state can influence many aspects of an infant's social and emotional development. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 15, 2010 - 22 comments

A new kind of civil disobedience?

Boston College sociology professor Lisa Dodson does research on poverty, public policy, and low-income work and family life. Recently her research took a different turn, as she discovered through interviews with U.S. managers in charge of low-income workers that some of them feel "(a) sense of unfairness (...) as a supervisor, making enough to live comfortably while overseeing workers who couldn’t feed their families on the money they earned. That inequality, he told her, tainted his job, making him feel complicit in an unfair system that paid hard workers too little to cover basic needs." Professor Dobson talks about this phenomenon, and how it plays out in that some managers undermine the system, in interviews in the Boston Globe and on public radio. [more inside]
posted by Harald74 on Mar 2, 2010 - 35 comments


How a New Jobless Era Will Transform America
The Great Recession may be over, but this era of high joblessness is probably just beginning. Before it ends, it will likely change the life course and character of a generation of young adults. It will leave an indelible imprint on many blue-collar men. It could cripple marriage as an institution in many communities. It may already be plunging many inner cities into a despair not seen for decades. Ultimately, it is likely to warp our politics, our culture, and the character of our society for years to come. (via rw)
posted by kliuless on Feb 11, 2010 - 84 comments

Jared Diamond on Haiti

Jared Diamond on the unique cultural and geological challenges Haiti has faced since its colonial days. Diamond shows how these reasons have caused the nation to fare considerably poorer than its neighbor, The Dominican Republic. [more inside]
posted by reenum on Jan 28, 2010 - 35 comments

(glowing) prairie voles illuminate the human condition

Prairie voles have many vasopressin receptors in the reward centres of their brains. It seems as though these are wired up in a way that causes the animal to take pleasure from monogamy. (previously 1|2)
posted by kliuless on Jan 9, 2010 - 20 comments

If you wouldn't like living that way (in the lowest status slot in the pecking order), you're doing it wrong.

Metafilter's Own Charlie Stross asks the question; " You, and a quarter of a million other folks, have embarked on a 1000-year voyage aboard a hollowed-out asteroid. What sort of governance and society do you think would be most comfortable, not to mention likely to survive the trip without civil war, famine, and reigns of terror?" engrossing commentary follows. (via)
posted by The Whelk on Dec 11, 2009 - 156 comments

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