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.
Science, Knowledge, and Technology
- The Scholarly Kitchen interviews Melinda Baldwin about the surprisingly recent, and political, history of peer review.
- Publication bias, outcome reporting bias, spin, and citation bias work together to systematically distort the research literature on the (in)efficacy of new medical treatments.
- The Boston Review interviews Merve Emre about her new book on the strange history of the Myers-Briggs test.
Race and Racism
- Vermont’s only Black woman state representative resigned after years of racist harassments and threats.
- “Ironically, language deployed by academics and administrators of good will — terms like “diversity” and “inclusion” — can slow progress, Zambrana writes: “We may not be witnessing much progress at all but rather experiencing the power that language has to create illusions of progress.””
- “The small size of the Native American population relative to other demographic groups increases the cost of maintaining reliable data and creates privacy issues. As a result, government reports have failed to publish data and frequently insert an asterisk as a place holder—a practice so common that American Indians and Alaska Natives are often referred to as the “Asterisk Nation.””
Sex, Gender, and Sexism
- “I want my son to have that same freedom and flexibility when it comes to gender. Because it’s great to teach girls to speak up, play soccer, and love science and math and technology. But if we don’t teach boys to be gentle, to play house, and love reading and writing and art, we run the risk of further devaluing femininity and further reifying the kind of toxic masculinity that is damaging to both boys and girls.” Jess Calarco on parenting in a sexist state.
- “medical professionals act as though the pain is not the real problem, but rather women’s reporting of that pain” Amanda Stayton and Bridget Keown look at the Golden Girls and chronic fatigue syndrome.
History and Future of Capitalism
- Kimberly Adams summarizes Caitlin Rosenthal’s book on the calculative management and accounting practices of slave plantation owners.
- New research in development economics suggests that we can do better than “just giving money to poor people.”
- “This is a striking illustration of the fallacy of technological determinism. Under different political and economic conditions, information and communications technology could already be providing us with the leisured life envisioned by futurists of the 1950s and 1960s. Instead, it has become a tool for keeping us tethered to the office on a 24/7/365 basis.“