gets fact-checked by Sasha Issenberg, who finds that Brooks appears to have invented some of his red-state reporting. ... Brooks acknowledges that all he does is present his readers with the familiar and ask them to recognize it. Why, then, has his particular brand of stereotype-peddling met with such success?
From April 2004. Via Brad DeLong
posted by russilwvong
on Jun 28, 2006 -
Watch political ideologies emerge and shift over hundreds of years.
ANIMATE is an amazing Java app that lets you track graphically
the ideological position of all the representatives to the US Congress, European Parliament, or the UN over every roll call vote in history. The really interesting part is that the application uses DW-NOMINATE data that maps the ideology of representatives
, and is pretty good at predicting voting patterns. Voteworld
is a related Java application that is a little less dramatic, but allows you to really dig into the data (to access DW-NOMINATE data in Voteworld, click the little orange sphere icon in the application).
On the US side:"There are two major lessons to take away from ANIMATE. First, over time, you see less and less motion of individual legislators, particularly after the Civil War. This shows the stabilization of the American political system. Second, after the Civil War you will see the major party clusters growing further apart until the turn of the century, then come together and overlap, and beginning in the 1970s draw apart again. That is, throughout most of the twentieth century, political divisions blurred but in the last quarter one sees the polarization of American politics."
posted by blahblahblah
on May 31, 2006 -
Last September, a Category 5 hurricane battered the small island of Cuba with 160-mile-per-hour winds. More than 1.5 million Cubans were evacuated to higher ground ahead of the storm. Although the hurricane destroyed 20,000 houses, no one died. What is Cuban President Fidel Castro's secret? According to Dr. Nelson Valdes, a sociology professor at the University of New Mexico, and specialist in Latin America, "the whole civil defense is embedded in the community to begin with. People know ahead of time where they are to go. Cuba's leaders go on TV and take charge," said Valdes... "Merely sticking people in a stadium is unthinkable.. Shelters all have medical personnel, from the neighborhood. They have family doctors in Cuba, who evacuate together with the neighborhood, and already know, for example, who needs insulin." They also evacuate animals and veterinarians, TV sets and refrigerators, "so that people aren't reluctant to leave because people might steal their stuff," Valdes observed.
The Two Americas
. See also A Nation's Castaways
, 'To Me, It Just Seems Like Black People Are Marked'
& White Man's Burden
posted by y2karl
on Sep 4, 2005 -
Remember the Twixters
? Now meet the Yeppies
: Young, Experimenting Perfection Seekers1,2,3
. "Another survey, another invented tag for a group of young people. This survey was for eBay, carried out by Kate Fox, a social anthropologist at the Social Issues Research Centre. It argues that young people are now shopping around and experimenting to find, as she puts it, 'the perfect job, the ideal relationship and the most fulfilling lifestyle.'"
- as noted
by World Wide Words
. [See also: this Venn diagram
.] Will researchers ever tire of all this name-calling, though? If they really want to RTFM about this particular generation, they should just watch Wonderfalls
posted by Lush
on Aug 19, 2005 -
EMBO's report on Time and Aging (free access) contains an essay
wherein the author, Karin Knorr Cetina, from the University of Konstanz, Germany, argues that death and aging used to be major issues that defined what it means to be human and helped us find our place in society by showing us the limits of what is possible to achieve as a human. With the advances in science, particularly biological advances in slowing aging
and technological advances in extending human function
, we no longer accept our fate. Instead of accepting that we all grow old and die so we should take our place in society, with the expectation that if we contribute, society will take care of us, too, we now have promises being made by science that death and aging are no longer inevitable. Where are we headed, then? If we can no longer find our place by finding the limits of achievement and accepting our place within them, how do we work as a collective?
posted by Mr. Gunn
on Jul 25, 2005 -
Is a "virtual" Philly even better than the real thing?
Well, GeoSim Systems
thinks so. Except for the aroma of freshly-grilled cheesesteak, at least. Their "Virtual Philadelphia" is the most detailed urban imaging system I've seen yet, and you can read about the monumental process of turning photographic images (taken from both aircraft and street-level) into this incredible rendering in a February 17 NY Times article
(reg req). And - as expected - Google wants to get in on the action and do the same thing
in San Francisco. via BB
posted by luriete
on Jun 10, 2005 -
An evolutionary basis for altruism. These findings suggest that true altruism, far from being a maladaptation, may be the key to our species' success by providing the social glue that allowed our ancestors to form strong, resilient groups.
Sharing isn't just caring, it's surviving.
posted by schroedinger
on Mar 21, 2005 -
The Law of Jante
) was codified by the Danish-born novelist Aksel Sandemose
while he was living in Norway. The Law
comprises ten 'commandments', and describes an unspoken code of conformity
that Sandemose felt as a stifling inhibitive influence in the town where he grew up. Later commentators have used the term more generally to refer to the anti-individualist tendencies that have traditionally pervaded Scandinavian culture, and to denote 'the dark side of egalitarianism'. Of course, the Law needn't be interpreted
in such a negative light, and egalitarianism has its good side too, the difficult question being: do the benefits of equality make it worthwhile suffering
the strictures of Janteloven?
posted by misteraitch
on Oct 27, 2004 -
Bush Like Me: Ten weeks undercover in the grass roots of the Republican Party: As a professional misanthrope, I believe that if you are going to hate a person, you ought to do it properly. You should go and live in his shoes for a while and see at the end of it how much you hate yourself.
This was what I was doing down in Florida. The real challenge wasn't just trying to understand these Republicans. It was to become the best Republican I could be.
posted by GriffX
on Oct 15, 2004 -
exists because astrosociology is not yet a widely recognized subfield of sociology, and therefore it can benefit from a centralized approach. It is intended to serve as a catalyst for the growth of astrosociology from a general state of nonexistence.
As a little known sociologist fights his lonely
quixotic battle to introduce a new sociology subfield
, some who are stuck in their earthbound paradigm object
posted by found missing
on Jul 29, 2004 -
Defining Deviancy Down
In 1993, one of our greatest statesmen, Sen. Daniel P. Moynihan
(D- N.Y.) published one of the most important pieces of social theory entitled "Defining Deviancy Down
." Moynihan started from Emile Durkheim
's proposition that there is a limit to the amount of deviant behavior any community can "afford to recognize" (called the "Durkheim Constant"). As the amount of deviancy increases, the community has to adjust its standards so that conduct once thought deviant is no longer deemed so. Consequently, if we are not vigilant about enforcing them, our standards would be constantly devolving in order to normalize rampant deviancy. Shortly after Moynihan's article, Charles Krauthammer
offered his now-famous response
to Moynihan's article in which he argued that the corollary is that society can also "define deviancy up."
Moynihan's theory has been applied to movies
, dress codes
, sexual indiscretions
, corporate behavior
, and possibly even to webpages
. One might feel compelled to ask, "Do standards even mean anything
?" Today, the debate still rages about where we ought to be defeatist
about the devolution of standards, or whether we can right the boat
by establishing base principles and fight
to raise standards up.
posted by Seth
on Jun 16, 2004 -
If you've ever wondered what to do with all of your old vacation photos and slides, wonder no more. A fellow named Charles Cushman bequeathed his collection of over 14,000 slides and photos taken over a period of three decades, from 1938 to 1969, to Indiana Univiersity. IU has decided to create an amazing digital archive of his photos as a history project
The photos are nothing special in themselves. He took countless pictures of things he and his wife saw as they took driving tours across the United States, mostly near their home in Chicago and in the West. They are no different than and no better than anybody else's amateur photos. But, as the director of the project points out, without realizing it, Cushman captured an America already beginning to disappear in the middle of the 20th century, and did so by documenting its disappearance unwittingly over a thirty-year period. I lightly perused the slide show of 120 images
and the photos are indeed both banal and compelling all at the same time. A very nicely done site with a lot of rich material.
(via The Cartoonist
posted by briank
on Nov 12, 2003 -
what do you call your circle of friends?
Two years ago, Ethan Watters wrote an article
in the NY Times Sunday Magazine, covering the current phenomenon amongst adults who are marrying late, waiting for the 'right one', and using an extended social circle to fill the need for intimacy and emotional support that has been traditionally provided by a marriage. He has expanded the topic into a book
covering groups of friends that have the characteristics of 'an urban tribe' bound by a shared culture of inside jokes, origin myths and communal rituals. Does this apply to your social set? Do you have a Yahoogroup
or a Friendster
bulletin board that is used to plan movie nights, pubcrawls or group vacations? Does introducing a new romantic partner
to your friends feel more stressful than introducing them to your family? Conversely, do you need a chart
to track who has dated whom, who has slept with whom, and who has had more than their fair share of drunken hookups? Or is this all one man's conflated introspection of his extended bachelorship?
posted by bl1nk
on Oct 9, 2003 -
How To: By You
is a "sociological project is about the study of knowledge among human society and how it can differ and change." Topics range from how to cook the perfect grilled cheese sandwich
to catching fish
, with seemingly no limit to the possibilities. Got a question for the unwashed masses? Or maybe you have the ultimate martini recipe. Show off your intuition.
posted by mb01
on Sep 21, 2003 -
War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning
The AC130 video thread yesterday got me interested in this book
. The author - a veteran New York Times war correspondent - argues that, to many people, war provides a purpose for living; allowing individuals to rise above regular life and participate in a noble cause. He discusses nationalism, the wartime silencing of intellectuals and artists, the ways in which even a supposedly skeptical press glorifies the battlefield and other universal features of war, arguing not for pacifism but for responsibility and humility on the part of those who wage war.
posted by Zombie
on Dec 18, 2002 -
The Ladder Theory...
a theory of adult male/female interaction. While some may find this a bit offensive, it is quite interesting. It includes rating systems, attraction breakdowns, scenarios, consequences, and manifestations.
posted by darian
on Nov 20, 2002 -
: the first in a New York Times
series on class in the United States. Princeton economics professor Paul Krugman declares the death of the middle class, pointing out disparities between the rich and the poor, examining efforts to cover up class makeup with quantile data, and probing the transformation of corporate executive ethics and influence. Even Glenn Reynolds
is taken to task for his Sweden-Mississippi per capita GDP comparison. Krugman's sources
are on the slim side, but the question must be asked: Are we living in a new Gilded Age? And, if so, how can citizens and government work to change things?
posted by ed
on Oct 20, 2002 -
Mike Males, Ph.D.,
professor of Sociology at UC Santa Cruz, author and pro-youth advocate, thinks kids are getting a bad rap these days. He is very fond of pointing out
that poverty and grown-ups are the biggest threats to teens today. His latest book, "Kids and Guns", is available for free online (HTML version
on his homepage, PDF version
at Common Courage Press). He even knocks
the drug policy reform movement for making the same "save the children" diatribes as their opponents. His site isn't exactly the prettiest thing I've ever seen, but I haven't been so engrossed by something on the web in a long, long time.
posted by botono9
on Oct 13, 2002 -
There are a number of culture-specific disorders
, such as genital retraction
or the old hag's sleep paralysis
These disorders are, maybe, too mixed up in "exotifying The Other" (as they say in the ivory tower), but maybe most interesting is the inclusion of anorexia. Some evidence seems support this idea -- after 3 yrs of TV in Fiji, a rise in eating disorders was reported
. Are these disorders caused
by culture? And/or are the people afflicted expressing an underlying problem in a culturally specific way?
posted by malphigian
on Jan 6, 2002 -
Astrologer Defends PhD Thesis in Sociology at the Sorbonne
Elizabeth Teissier, astrology columnist and PhD candidate, successfully defended her dissertation in sociology, entitled "The Epistemological Situation of Astrology in Relation to the Ambivalent Fascination/Rejection of Postmodern Societies."Over the last few weeks, fueled by fresh revelations — like Ms. Teissier's having referred to Max Weber, one of sociology's founders, as a "pragmatic Taurus" — the debate has only gathered steam, pitting sociologists who insist that the case concerns a thesis that fails to meet minimum academic standards against those who argue that
the real target isn't Ms. Teissier but a maverick strain of sociology that has failed to win establishment approval.
I don't know which is funnier, that there were fresh revelations, or that there's a pro-astrology strain of maverick sociology. This is also hilarious.
posted by rschram
on Jul 6, 2001 -
The young men and women
of America's future elite work their laptops to the bone, rarely question authority, and happily accept their positions at the top of the heap as part of the natural order of life. What's your experince?
posted by semmi
on Apr 22, 2001 -