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Archive for August, 2012

Squeezing and Diverging

August 27, 2012 by and tagged , ,

That would be the conclusion from the new Pew Research Center Report on the middle class in the United States, which contains a ton of nifty graphs for those of us who will be teaching social stratification soon. First, a summary video: And below follow my favorite graphs. Over time changes in income and wealth: [...]

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

Public Sociology You Can Believe In!

August 27, 2012 by and tagged ,

You know sociology has achieved something when the president of the ASA gets “quoted” in The Onion: ““What’s fascinating is that these things, which will be spoken against all sense of contemporary decency and rational judgment, will not be the rantings of degenerates or imbeciles,” said Erik Olin Wright, president of the American Sociological Association. [...]

Posted in Humor, Sociology | No Comments »

Book Review – A Sociology of Gifted Children

August 25, 2012 by and tagged , , ,

What attracted me to Wilfried Lignier‘s book, La Petite Noblesse de L’Intelligence – Une Sociologie des Enfants Surdoués (“The Little Nobility of Intelligence – A Sociology of Gifted Children”)  is that it seemed to do what sociology does best: debunk commonsense notions and examine the social production of accepted ideas and practices. I was not [...]

Posted in Book Reviews, Education, Socialization, Sociology | No Comments »

Harvey Sacks – First SocBlogger?

August 22, 2012 by and tagged

This seems an absurd question since the man died long before the concept of blogging and the technology to support the practice ever emerged. However, I would propose that Harvey Sack’s massive Lectures on Conversation volume (one volume in paperback, two volumes in hard cover) are basically blogging materials. Now, of course, the content of [...]

Posted in Sociology | No Comments »

Music Break – Muse

August 21, 2012 by and tagged

With a single from their upcoming new album. “Madness” does not sound like a Muse song at all, so, I am reserving judgement until I get to listen to the whole album:

Posted in Music | No Comments »

What Makes Offensive Offensive

August 20, 2012 by and tagged

A few days ago, a commenter was kind enough to send me an article and asked for my perspective. The commenter noted that  she found the premise of the article offensive and asked me what I thought. So, I read the article (here) and apparently, a lot of people found it offensive. The premise is [...]

Posted in Sociology | No Comments »

Death By A Thousand Buzzwords

August 16, 2012 by and tagged ,

So, my workplace has three convocation days before the beginning of the term. Or, as I call them, “three days of doing nothing useful” where most of us would like it much better to be finalizing our preparations for the classes we will meet on Monday. During these days, we get exposed, courtesy of our [...]

Posted in Corporatism, Education | 1 Comment »

The Visual Du Jour – Stealth Conflicts

August 11, 2012 by and tagged , ,

Stealth conflict is, of course, a concept borrowed from Virgil Hawkins, denoting conflicts that are by and large ignored by Western media for a variety of reasons (as opposed to chosen conflicts). As a result, a stealth conflict, when it is not completely ignored, is often treated as impossible to explain, based on ancestral tribal [...]

Posted in Mass Violence, New Wars, Stealth Conflicts | No Comments »

The Visual Du Jour – Getting Rid of TOC

August 9, 2012 by and tagged

In more ways than one, but in this case, it is organized crime. The UNODC has put out some new materials and videos on organized crime as part of a larger campaign against criminal organizations (no, not the banks!): And one nifty chart on counterfeit goods:

Posted in Organized Crime | No Comments »

Book Review – Networked

August 8, 2012 by and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

With Networked: The New Social Operating System, Lee Rainie and Barry Wellman offer a very readable introduction to networks and their social consequences. This is a book that aims to reach a larger audience beyond academic walls. So, even though it extensively relies on research (quite a lot from Pew, unsurprisingly), it is not a tedious read at all [...]

Posted in Book Reviews, Culture, Globalization, Identity, Labor, Networks, Organizational Sociology, Privacy, Public Policy, Social Capital, Social Change, Social Institutions, Social Interaction, Social Research, Socialization, Sociology, Surveillance Society, Technology | No Comments »

The Visual Du Jour – Perception

August 7, 2012 by and tagged

Meaning is not an objective property but the result of socially-shaped perceptions:

Posted in Sociology | No Comments »

Book Review – Divergent

August 7, 2012 by and tagged , ,

As part of my never-ending quest to find some YA science-fiction to use in my introduction to sociology class (I currently use the Hunger Games), and based on a student recommendation, I read Veronica Roth’s Divergent, the first volume of a trilogy. I am trying to anticipate the time where Hunger Games’s shelf life will [...]

Posted in Book Reviews, Science-fiction, Sociology | 1 Comment »

Book Review – The Outsourced Self

August 1, 2012 by and tagged , , , , , , ,

I have long been a fan of Arlie Hochschild’s work ever since I read The Second Shift. I think she has been one of the most readable professional sociologists, combining great insights on gender, labor and family dynamics. Her book co-authored and co-edited with Barbara Ehrenreich, Global Woman, is a brilliant piece of work delineating [...]

Posted in Book Reviews, Commodification, Culture, Globalization, Labor, Social Change, Social Structure, Sociology | No Comments »