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Entries Tagged as 'Sociology'

What Democracy Looks Like, Cont’d

November 21st, 2011 · 7 Comments

I’ll lay off Occupy and turn to the exponentially more objectionable treatment of them by authorities after this, but this is sort of what I was talking about in the previous post: Authorities removed protesters Saturday evening from an abandoned school in downtown Washington that had been entered by members or sympathizers of the Occupy […]

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Tags: Sociology

What Democracy Looks Like

November 16th, 2011 · 33 Comments

Almost everything about the execution of yesterday’s eviction of protesters from Zuccotti Park was an outrage, from the interference with reporters seeking to cover the event, to the needless destruction of protesters’ property, to Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s stunningly lawless disregard for a court order restraining the city. But on the underlying question of whether the […]

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Tags: Sociology

No Logo: Brands and Chains in the Age of Mobile Internet

October 6th, 2011 · 18 Comments

It’s no coincidence that the rise of the American chain restaurant coincides pretty neatly with the automobile’s shift from an aristocratic toy to a mass means of transportation.  As society grew more mobile, a novel problem arose: As you found yourself routinely passing through areas you didn’t know intimately, how could you know where to […]

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Tags: Art & Culture · Economics · Sociology · Tech and Tech Policy

Heisenberg, “Harmless Torture,” and Cyberbullying

September 25th, 2011 · 4 Comments

A typically insightful post from danah boyd examines why campaigns against “bullying” and, perhaps especially, “cyberbullying” so seldom manage to accomplish much. Part of the trouble, boyd argues, is that teens are reluctant to see themselves either as victims or aggressors, and therefore define as mere “drama” much behavior that adults are prone to class […]

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Tags: Moral Philosophy · Sociology

Quick Thoughts on Google Plus

July 1st, 2011 · 17 Comments

(1) One of my first thoughts upon getting my hands on an iPad was: “You know, once they get a camera in this thing and come up with a well-tailored group video chat client, this could really change the way people socialize.” At present, in-person, face-to-face socialization and digital communication with people not present are […]

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Tags: Art & Culture · Journalism & the Media · Privacy and Surveillance · Sociology · Tech and Tech Policy

The Range of Conspiracy Theories

May 9th, 2011 · 8 Comments

Our politics has gotten so crazy lately that we seem to have developed a standard form for designating conspiracy theories, just as we mechanically append -Gate to the scandal du jour: the “-er” suffix. You know, “Truther,” “Birther,” and now (for those who suspect Osama bin Laden may still be alive) “Deather.” I wonder whether […]

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Tags: Journalism & the Media · Sociology

Racism v. Sexism Redux

January 7th, 2011 · 12 Comments

In the comments to my recent post about differences between how we deal with charges of “racism” and “sexism,” several commenters suggested that the greater nuance I argue we show in dealing with the range of ways the latter manifests simply reflects the more persistent social acceptability of casual sexism. I think there’s probably something […]

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Tags: Sociology

On Ascriptions of Racism

December 31st, 2010 · 36 Comments

It’s a tedious exchange we’ve seen play out countless times before, and in the aftermath of Haley Barbour’s confused praise for the old white supremacist “Citizens’ Councils” we’re watching a slew of fresh iterations. The ideal form of it goes something like this: A: Wow, what conservative X said sure was racially offensive/ignorant/insensitive. B: Are […]

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Tags: Language and Literature · Sociology

Patriotism as Status Socialism (or, America: F**k Yeah!)

November 4th, 2010 · 42 Comments

Michael Kinsley unloads on “American exceptionalism”: The theory that Americans are better than everybody else is endorsed by an overwhelming majority of U.S. voters and approximately 100 percent of all U.S. politicians, although there is less and less evidence to support it. A recent Yahoo poll (and I resist the obvious joke here) found that […]

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Tags: Sociology

Who Determines Your Ethnic Identity?

November 4th, 2010 · 20 Comments

Chally at Feministe expresses outrage over a story from Australia about Tarran Betterridge, a light-skinned student of Wiradjuri and Caucasian parentage who was passed over for a job with a campaign to promote Aboriginal employment because she didn’t “look indigenous” enough. The grounds for finding this offensive are clear enough: How dare any “casual bystander” […]

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Tags: Sociology