Time for our second edition of Sunday Morning Sociology! This is a weekly link round-up of sociological work – by sociologists, referencing sociologists, or just of interest to sociologists. It’s been a particularly rich week for long reads (or else I’ve been particularly avoiding other tasks), so I’m going to break up the links into a few categories to make them a bit more readable. Let me know what you’d most like to see in this space!
Medical Sociology, STS, and Expertise
- “When Evidence Says No, but Doctors Say Yes.” An incredible story about evidence, professions, incentives, inequality, and more.
- Economists behaving badly? “Big Pharma Quietly Enlists Leading Professors to Justify $1,000-Per-Day Drugs.”
- “How not to screw up your economic expertise: lessons from the Kennedy tax cut grandmaster, Walter Heller.”
Historical Perspectives on Race
- “Trying to separate racism from economic anxiety can obscure more than it reveals.” Leah Boustan on the history of white flight.
- Black newspapers rank US presidents a bit differently, e.g. Wilson drops from top 5 to bottom of the pack.
- “The Failure of Race-Blind Economic Policy.”
Sex and Gender
- Elizabeth Tippett draws on soc of law and orgs to explain Uber’s dismissive treatment of sexism and sexual harassment.
- The NYT reviews Cordelia Fine’s new book on how science still gets sex and gender wrong. Best quote:
Take, for instance, that presumption — apparently supported by science — that men are more enthusiastic risk-takers than women. … ‘Although women routinely take risks, these often seem to slip under the research radar. For example, with divorce rates hovering close to 50 percent, being the one to quit or scale back your job when children arrive is a significant economic risk. Going on a date can end in sexual assault. Leaving a marriage is financially, socially and emotionally risky. In the United States, being pregnant is about 20 times more likely to result in death than is a sky dive.’
Masculinity, Sexism and the New(?) Right
- Trump’s locker-room talk sounds more like actual locker rooms than we’d like to think, even at Amherst.
- “What is 4chan exactly? And how did a website about anime become the avant garde of the far right?” A long and fascinating read. Belle Waring’s important critical take on the end bit’s misplaced blame is here.
Higher (and Lower) Ed
- How Colleges Lost Billions to Hedge Funds in 2016.
- Tressie MC explains how for-profit colleges feed on inequality.
The Present Political Moment
- The “Deep State” may help make sense of Turkey, but it’s the wrong conceptual tool for understanding bureaucratic resistance in the US.
- “Our 18th-century Constitution lacks provisions necessary to slow down a would-be autocrat bent on the slow dismantling of the republic.”
The Quantification of Everything
- The Economist has started a new “white working-class men” indicator.
- At-risk students are funneled into horrible charters, then the charters cover up their high dropout rate by claiming they enter adult education programs. An account as depressing as it is unsurprising.
See you all next Sunday! And let me know what you think of this format, and if you see anything worth adding to next week’s list.