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.
Race and Racism
- National Geographic hired a historian of photography to explore and report on National Geographic’s own racist history.
- Victor Ray writes in the Washington Post about how the National Geographic’s laudable, but incomplete, attempt to reconcile with its racist past and present downplays the extent of contemporary racial inequality.
- U Wisconsin – Stevens Point is planning to cut 13 entire disciplines, including sociology.
- Niall Ferguson organized a 2-day “Applied History” conference featuring 30 White Men, and no one else.
- University of Arizona tracked students using their ID cards to predict who would drop out.
- The NIH took funding from the alcoholic beverage industry for a study that the institute thought would show that moderate alcohol consumption improves health.
- A big new meta-analysis suggests anti-depressants have a mildly positive effect, but we still have limited data on some of the most common use cases like long-term use for mild depression.
The Politics of Tech
- The New Yorker does a deep dive into Reddit’s attempt to grapple with conspiracy theories and radicalization.
- The Klan was bipartisan, but modern myths about the Klan’s influence at the 1924 Democratic Convention were spread by the right, and amplified by search algorithms and social media.
- “What keeps people glued to YouTube? Its algorithm seems to have concluded that people are drawn to content that is more extreme than what they started with — or to incendiary content in general.” Zeynep Tufekci in the NYT.
- “In the standard shibboleth, the best antidote to bad speech is more speech. What Putin’s Russia and Xi’s China have discovered is that the best antidote to more speech is bad speech.” Henry Farrell uses the occasion of being muted by Jonathan Chait to reflect on our need for new ways of thinking about free speech, good speech, and bad speech in the modern attention economy.
- “Holding everything else constant, from job title to industry to location, female and minority applicants were much less likely to report receiving an employee referral than their white male counterparts. More specifically, white women were 12% less likely to receive a referral, men of color were 26% less likely and women of color were 35% less likely.”
- “‘Shareholders and management get the monetary rewards, and ‘meaning’ and ‘excitement’ are consolation prizes that go to workers,’ said Caitlin Petre, an assistant professor of media studies at Rutgers University” on the Gamification of Pay.