Archive for February, 2011

The Precariat

February 28, 2011 by and tagged , , ,

Or precarized proletariat (link to video… do watch the entire thing, it is well worth 10 minutes of your time). And if you think this is limited to low-incomes, think again: “Western Europeans and Americans are about to suffer a profound shock. For the past 30 years governments have explained that, while they can no […]

Posted in Labor, Precarization, Public Policy | 7 Comments »

Public Policy as Individual Disciplining v. Systemic Change

February 28, 2011 by and tagged , , , ,

In this article, French magazine Rue89 goes over the various policies Western governments are trying out to reduce their levels of obesity: Quatre stratégies d’Etat pour nous mettre au régime | Rue89 via kwout As the article notes, there are roughly four approaches to dealing with obesity: 1. Prevention. This involves campaign encouraging people to […]

Posted in Consumerism, Corporatism, Health, Public Policy | No Comments »

The Myth of Individualism – Illustrated

February 27, 2011 by and tagged , ,

It is kinda flattering when brilliant people follow you on Twitter (and I’m more than happy to follow back). Case in point, Brandon offers a most effective demonstration of the myth of individualism: More great stuff over at Theory Drawn.

Posted in Ideologies, Social Interaction, Socialization | 4 Comments »

The Dramatic Visual Du Jour

February 27, 2011 by and tagged , ,

Via Sociological Images, try and see how long you will last. Will you last a month starting with $1,000… sounds easy, right? SPENT via kwout It is a very neat tool to make students understand what the “poverty trap” is and how a lot of constraints and degradations are invisible to anyone who is not […]

Posted in Poverty, Sociology | No Comments »

Slavery – The Dark Underbelly of Economic Success

February 26, 2011 by and tagged

I have blogged before about modern slavery. I have my students work on this topic in my Social Problems class and most of them cannot believe that slavery is still so widespread despite being illegal everywhere. There are several reasons why. First, sometimes, institutions of global governance (such as the IMF, the World Bank and […]

Posted in Slavery | No Comments »

Talcott Parsons – When The Personal Is Sociological

February 26, 2011 by and tagged , , ,

As I have mentioned before, I am currently reading Stephanie Coontz’s A Strange Stirring: The Feminine Mystique and American Women at the Dawn of the 1960s. I will have a full review when I am done but, for now, I wanted to note the enormous role played by the social and behavioral sciences in pushing […]

Posted in Gender, Patriarchy, Sexism, Sociology | Comments Off

Stephanie Coontz on The Colbert Report

February 24, 2011 by and tagged , , ,

Stephanie Coontz is my all-time favorite sociologist of marriages and families (a topic that normally bores me to tears). Her book, Marriage: A History, is by far the most insightful I know on this subject (and top of the famous The Way We Never Were, and The Way We Really Are. Her most recent book, […]

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

More From Olivier Roy on Middle East Protests

February 22, 2011 by and tagged

And this time, it’s in English! In this one, Roy emphasizes how these protests are not “Muslim protests” as Western media and officials mistakenly read them. A snippet: “The process of change will undoubtedly be long and chaotic, but one thing is certain: the age of Arab-Muslim exceptionalism is over. Recent events point to profound […]

Posted in Social Movements | No Comments »

The Visuals Du Jour – It’s a Plutocracy, We Just Live in It

February 22, 2011 by and tagged ,

This has been making the rounds and it is quite amazing, even though not surprising: Over time: Who is not paying their fair share? The Big Delusion (or maybe false consciousness, which is the only way this blatantly unfair system can persist):

Posted in Social Inequalities, Social Stratification | 2 Comments »

Music Break – Raï Edition

February 21, 2011 by

It’s only fitting after a post on the Arab world to have some music from there as well. So, 1… 2… 3… Soleils is the 1999 concert where three rai artists – Khaled, Faudel and Rachid Taha – got together and gave awesome performances. And if I remember correctly, for a while, Khaled could not […]

Posted in Music | No Comments »

Olivier Roy on Middle East Social Movements

February 21, 2011 by and tagged

If you read only one person on the social movements all over the Middle East, then you should read Olivier Roy, who has been writing about political Islam since the 1990s. In this Rue 89 interview, he offers of a recap of what has been happening and the nature of these social movements. I provide […]

Posted in Social Movements | No Comments »

Book Review – Class Acts

February 20, 2011 by and tagged , , , , , , ,

Rachel Sherman‘s Class Acts – Service and Inequality in Luxury Hotels represents the best of sociology of labor, occupations and organizations all rolled up in one participant observation study, back by solid sociological concepts and theories. It is a highly readable book, all peppered with interesting anecdotes combined with sociological analysis. It is indubitably a […]

Posted in Book Reviews, Dramaturgy, Identity, Labor, Social Inequalities, Social Research, Social Stratification, Social Theory, Sociology | No Comments »

The Visual Du Jour – Workers of The World… Unite!

February 20, 2011 by and tagged ,


Posted in Labor, Social Movements | No Comments »

The Visual Du Jour – Facebook v. Twitter Demographics

February 19, 2011 by and tagged , , ,

A very nice graphic via Patrick Lafferty: Quite a bit of similarities in demographics. Of course, Twitter users update their status more often because that is the point of the whole thing, hence more mobile users as it is easier to do update Twitter on mobiles than to update one’s status in Facebook. I would […]

Posted in Culture, Media, Networks, Social Capital | No Comments »

Global Class Warfare: It’s ON

February 19, 2011 by and tagged , , , , , , , ,

One would have to be living in a cave to not notice that things are grumbling: protest movements in the Middle East, where Tunisia and Egypt were the spark that also lit things up in other MENA countries. But there are also protests in the UK against tax-dodging corporations and in the US against union-busting […]

Posted in Corporatism, Globalization, Ideologies, Labor, Power, Precarization, Public Policy, Social Inequalities, Social Movements, Social Stratification, Transnational Capitalist Class | No Comments »

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