A weekly link round-up of sociological work – work by sociologists, referencing sociologists, or just of interest to sociologists. This week’s links include multiple sources covering the Case-Deaton mortality debate, and the LGBTQ Census question decision.
Good Reporting on Null Findings
- The “Ferguson effect” is not a thing. Featuring research by several sociologists.
- Birth order does not affect personality. Featuring a great example of reporting on null findings and small effect sizes.
Racism and Politics
- Explicitly racist attitudes are holding steady among Republicans and dropping somewhat among Democrats, leading to bigger gaps.
- The right has long trafficked in scientific racism. Including this amazing line:
Murray and Herrnstein’s book, The Bell Curve, was published in 1994, generating immediate controversy for its arguments that IQ was heritable, to a significant degree, and unchangeable to that extent; that it was correlated to both race and to negative social behaviors; and that social policy should take those correlations into account. Stuffed full of charts and equations, the book was, according to Murray, “social science pornography.”
With that description, he had intended to underscore that the book was teeming with data and regression tables. But given that most pornography is an expression of the fantasy life of white men, it was more on the nose than Murray knew.
- Natasha Warikoo explains her research on the different “diversity bargains” in the US vs UK.
- Rural doesn’t equal white.
- Dafina-Lazarus Stewart argues that colleges need to dump the diversity rhetoric in favor of a discourse of inclusion. Interesting, especially because many colleges have been combining the two in various offices and plans. The piece opens with a useful reminder about our misleading narrative of the recent 2016 election:
What I have not yet seen in these electoral postmortems seeking to diagnose how working-class white people in the United States seemingly voted against their own economic interests leading to the election of Donald J. Trump is: 1) an acknowledgment by higher education scholars that it was as much the vote of college-educated, middle-class white men and women that informed this presidential election’s outcomes (see here), and 2) that reality is a result of the decision of historically white colleges and universities to engage a politics of appeasement instead of a true liberal education.
The Geography of Inequality
- Has economic activity become more geographically concentrated? Maybe not.
- Inequality is rising between companies, not just between people.
- There are five million people who work as drivers, what will happen to them in the driverless future?
- ProPublica and its partners investigate the failures of state tax breaks and subsidies to lure jobs into upstate New York (list of all stories available here).
- “The only thing truly “public” about charters, is that taxpayers foot the bill.” On the misleading image of “public charters” in AZ, whose success relies largely on screening out the neediest students.
- Kate Starbird “used to be a techno-utopian”, then she started tracing the circulation of “false flag” conspiracies about mass shootings.
- danah boyd argues that Google and Facebook can’t solve the fake news problem,
What’s Up With White People Dying So Much?
- Auerbach and Gelman: “Stop saying white mortality is rising.”
- Lagged selection bias and the ideological drive to find what’s the matter with Kansas.
- Noah Smith responds. Note the points of agreement, including this very important one: “Don’t make dual y-axis graphs.”
What’s Up With the Census Not Asking About LGBT Orientation?
- Vox explains that there’s no mandate for LGBT data collection in the Census because no other laws require that data for their enforcement.
- Leading demographer of sexuality Gary Gates argues that while the presidential administration is trying to end data collection about sexuality, the Census is a bad example.
- The Census clarifies and responds, basically saying what Vox said.
Various and Sundry
- “Equality feminism is crap.”
- Bureaucratic protests against Trump’s wall from the (not so) Deep State, featuring sociologist April Linton and fennec foxes.
- An amazing, in-depth look at Canada’s Syrian refugee integration program at the end of its first year. Heart-wrenching, and not just for this line:
That afternoon, her mind was on forms, checks and her to-do list. But she knew that her little group of grandmothers, retirees and book club friends was swimming against a global surge of skepticism, even hatred, toward immigrants and refugees. The president of the superpower to the south was moving to block Syrians and cut back its refugee program.
See you all next week!