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Archive for July, 2010

Fans of Science-Fiction Should Rejoice

July 31, 2010 by and tagged ,

I have already mentioned repeatedly that I am a huge fan of science-fiction, which I see as not separate from sociology. Said it before, say it again: good science-fiction is good sociology. So, it seems to me that fans of science-fiction should rejoice because there have recently been quite a few good scifi movies (in [...]

Posted in Movies, Science-fiction | 7 Comments »

The Visual Du Jour – Why Everyone Hates Corporate America Right Now

July 28, 2010 by and tagged ,

Well… It should not rocket science for the administration or Congress to figure it out. So, the only conclusion is that this is how they want thing to be. The closing act of the shock doctrine. The triumph of neoliberalism.

Posted in Economy, Labor | No Comments »

Labor: Over- and Under-Compensated, Unrelated to Performance

July 28, 2010 by and tagged , , ,

Two items seem to me to be related. First, on Le Monde’s financial blog, Demystifier La Finance, George Ugeux reviews the compensation of American CEOs over the past ten years and notes the absence of correlation between compensation (astronomical) and performance (variable, from very profitable in the case of Steve Jobs, to abysmal in the [...]

Posted in Economy, Labor, Social Inequalities, Social Stratification, Sociology | No Comments »

In Which The WSJ Discovers The Sapir-Whorf Thesis

July 27, 2010 by and tagged ,

Without mentioning it: “Do the languages we speak shape the way we think? Do they merely express thoughts, or do the structures in languages (without our knowledge or consent) shape the very thoughts we wish to express?” And no Wittgenstein mentioned either, or all the work done by a lot of people on this very [...]

Posted in Culture, Media | 3 Comments »

The Dimensions of Patriarchal Control, Explained in Three Steps

July 27, 2010 by and tagged , , ,

One of the things I tend to emphasize in my patriarchy posts is the idea that patriarchy is about control of women’s bodies at different levels of society and culture. There are multiple dimensions of patriarchal control at work on a global basis. Despite the cultural differences, it is a global pattern. For instance, patriarchal [...]

Posted in Gender, Patriarchy, Sexism, Sociology | No Comments »

Quote of the Day – Peter Levine

July 26, 2010 by and tagged

On things he appreciates and/or loves: “Structure. Agency is for psychologists, economists, and suckers. Give me structure any day.” A-freakin’-men!

Posted in Sociology | 3 Comments »

The F!@# You Conception of Control – Broadband Edition

July 26, 2010 by and tagged ,

In totally unsurprising news… “Britons are not getting the broadband services they are being sold, suggests a government report. Ofcom’s analysis of broadband speeds in the UK shows that, for some services, 97% of consumers do not get the advertised speed. It also shows a growing gap between the claims ISPs make for broadband and [...]

Posted in Economic Sociology, Technology | No Comments »

Book Review – Bad Sports

July 25, 2010 by and tagged , , , , , , ,

I confess to knowing next to nothing about Americans’ favorite sports, football, basketball and baseball but I had heard of Dave Zirin thanks to the Grumpy Sociologist. I had read a few columns from him and enjoyed his writing. So, I decided to read Bad Sports – How Owners Are Ruining The Games We Love. [...]

Posted in Book Reviews, Corporatism, Economy, Labor, Social Inequalities, Social Privilege, Social Stratification, Sports | 1 Comment »

New Wars Uncovered – The Afghan War Logs

July 25, 2010 by and tagged

I am not done going through this but it is a must-read: the leaked Afghan War Logs, leaked to the Guardian, The New York Times and Der Spiegel by Wikileaks. Beyond a detailed account of how war is waged in Afghanistan, they perfectly illustrate the logics of new wars. In the Guardian: Afghanistan: The war [...]

Posted in New Wars | No Comments »

The Patriarchy Continuum – Breast Ironing in Cameroon

July 24, 2010 by and tagged , ,

(Via Atheist Media Blog) And yes, it is patriarchal practice even when i involves only women. It is part of all these cultural practices one finds in many parts of the world where bodily modification and mutilations are used to “protect” (i.e. control) women from sex and pregnancy. This is very similar to FGM. One [...]

Posted in Gender, Patriarchy, Sexism | No Comments »

Women In Refrigerators

July 24, 2010 by and tagged , ,

This is a pattern I had not noticed but now, I see it in A LOT of movies (even Up) but isn’t it mostly an American phenomenon? “10 years ago, comic writer Gail Simone coined the phrase “women in refrigerators” to draw attention to the number of wives and girlfriends that die to aid male [...]

Posted in Gender, Movies | No Comments »

The Visual Du Jour – Global food System

July 22, 2010 by and tagged , ,

Scary and unsustainable… who came up with something like this. Don’t tell me it’s an effective and efficient way of organizing a system:

Posted in Economy, Globalization | No Comments »

Extreme Masculinity, Extreme Religion, Extreme Violence

July 21, 2010 by and tagged , , , ,

I recognize I’m stepping on The Grumpy Sociologist‘s turf, but I found this connection between extreme masculinity, extreme religion and extreme violence both unsurprising and horrifying: “One of the most astonishing religious stories on the web at the moment comes from Mexico, where a particularly brutal and feared drug gang, La Familia Michoacana, has been [...]

Posted in Gender, Mass Violence, Organized Crime, Patriarchy, Religious Fundamentalism | 4 Comments »

Erik Olin Wright on Real Utopias – Part 2

July 20, 2010 by and tagged , ,

Picking up from where he left off in the first part of the interview, Erik Olin Wright, in this second part, focuses more on social transformations per se. More specifically, he distinguishes between three types of social transformations: Ruptural transformations – “smash the capitalist state” – are radical departures through political confrontation such as revolutionary [...]

Posted in Social Change, Social Theory, Sociology | No Comments »

Ignoring Sociological Research Makes for Bad and Ineffective Policy

July 20, 2010 by and tagged , ,

Here is another example that makes my blood boil: when newspapers suddenly discover something that sociological has long established. Here are a few notes I jotted down during an ASA plenary session in 2008: “Bottom line: the current immigration situation is absurd: the backlog at the INS, the stupid wall, the militarization of the border, [...]

Posted in Migration, Public Policy, Sociology | No Comments »

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