Julian Sanchez header image 4

photos by Lara Shipley

Entries Tagged as 'Sociology'

On Ascriptions of Racism

December 31st, 2010 · 37 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 […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Language and Literature · Sociology

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

November 4th, 2010 · 43 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 […]

[Read more →]

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” […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Sociology

The Boundaries of Science

June 7th, 2010 · 24 Comments

Quondam colleague John Timmer at Ars Technica writes up a recent study on how people cling to cherished beliefs in the face of countervailing scientific evidence.  The conclusion—they fall back on the idea that the question is somehow outside the domain of science—seems plausible enough, and it’s certainly not hard to think of bogus moves […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Science · Sociology

Asking and Guessing

May 10th, 2010 · 9 Comments

Amber Taylor links to a column on “ask cultures” and “guess cultures,” playing with a notion that seems to have debuted in a 2007 comment on Metafilter: In some families, you grow up with the expectation that it’s OK to ask for anything at all, but you gotta realize you might get no for an […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Language and Literature · Sociology

Frum & Greenwald on Epistemic Closure

May 6th, 2010 · 10 Comments

They’re both a little sick of the term—and believe me, at this point, I empathize—but this is as good a summary of what I was trying to talk about as I’ve seen. The whole discussion is pretty interesting and on point. Greenwald is right, incidentally, that technology hasn’t cloistered partisans—research shows online news consumers are […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Journalism & the Media · Sociology

A Coda on Closure

April 22nd, 2010 · 132 Comments

Over the past couple of weeks, a pair of posts I wrote about what I dubbed “epistemic closure” on the right kicked off a surprisingly broad set of conversations and debates—mostly, I suspect, because it slapped a name on a phenomenon that a lot of people already recognized, and which many conservatives were themselves feeling […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Journalism & the Media · Sociology

Vegetarians of the World, Unite! You Have Nothing to Lose But Your GVP!

April 7th, 2010 · 41 Comments

Anyone who’s been a vegetarian for any length of time nodded along in recognition with Ezra Klein’s post about the dreaded Grilled Vegetable Platter, or GVP.  It’s usually encountered at big group events where one or two proper dishes have been assembled, with the GVP tacked on as an afterthought for the vegetarians, who (it’s […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Sociology

Epistemic Closure, Technology, and the End of Distance

April 7th, 2010 · 125 Comments

I’ve written a bit lately about what I see as a systematic trend toward “epistemic closure” in the modern conservative movement. As commenters have been quick to point out, of course, groupthink and confirmation bias are cognitive failings that we’re all susceptible to as human beings, and scarcely the exclusive province of the right. I […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Journalism & the Media · Sociology

Wow.

October 14th, 2009 · 17 Comments

Via Spencer and Lindsay Beyerstein, apparently Double-X has hired some kind of sociopath as a “friendship advice” columnist. And by “sociopath,” I mean the sort of person who thinks that it’s too much to ask that putative friends (a) not ditch another friend who mysteriously vanishes in a state of obvious distress on a night […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Sociology