A weekly link round-up of sociological work – work by sociologists, referencing sociologists, or just of interest to sociologists. This scatterplot feature is co-produced with Mike Bader.
What a week.
Violence in America
- More guns will not make us safer.
- Hahrie Han explains that the NRA’s power is not just about money, it’s also about having dedicated, grassroots activists.
Race and Racism
- Silicon Valley is getting less racially diverse.
- Kelefa Sanneh writes in The New Yorker about the history and limits of “diversity”, with a focus on historical debates in the NYC Fire Department and contemporary concerns over race and college admissions.
- “How do you defy a power that insists on claiming you?” The Chronicle on Ta-Nehisi Coates’ relationship to academia and to White audiences.
- Black debtors are routed to Chapter 13 instead of Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and the costs it imposes are enormous.
- 600,000 people will apply for Section 8 housing vouchers in LA this year; only 20,000 will even make it to the waiting list.
- Regulators in Europe are taking on the gig economy.
- Weird: people seem to think college graduates are more likely to be unemployed than those with just high school degrees.
- JP Morgan paid some of its fines related to the financial crisis by forgiving mortgages it no longer owned.
- Manufacturing companies are not having that much trouble hiring skilled labor, suggesting the “skills gap” is a myth.
Sex and Gender
- In ads, men are more likely to be portrayed as working, smart, and funny, women as young and in the kitchen, with little change in the past 10 years. [Side note: are there any measures on which the gender revolution hasn’t stalled?]
- “to say that the speculum was not designed with patient comfort in mind would be an egregious understatement.” On redesigning the speculum with modern materials.
- “Young Americans are not fleeing the GOP.”
- Janet Xu and Matt Salganick report on a wonderful in-class experiment that asked students to diversify the political content in their FB feeds. It wasn’t hard to do, though their analysis also reminds us that 1) most FB content isn’t political, and 2) diversifying your feed won’t necessarily change your opinions.
- It’s not just Russian trolls: FB, Google, and Twitter directly advise political campaigns and how to take advantage of their platforms.
- Republican activists are less ideologically unified than Democrats – except when it comes to racism.
- We’ve been debating paying college athletes for more than 100 years. Now’s the time, but it almost surely won’t happen.
- “Only 34 percent of colleges met new student enrollment targets this year” (and other insights from surveying admissions directors, including the frequency with which applicants are denied based on social media data).
- WashU threatens international students with deportation if they support graduate student unionization, and it’s not the first university to do so.