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.
Organizations and Inequality
- Cosmetology schools leave their students in deep debt – and the for-profit schools themselves fight to prevent reforms that would create competition or lower costs, such as community colleges opening public programs.
- “We need to learn from how inefficiency is rewarded and how that rewarding is a mechanism for reproducing hierarchies: it is about who does what; about who is saved from doing what. In academic career terms, efficiency can be understood as a penalty: you are slowed down by what you are asked to pick up.” Sara Ahmed on “strategic inefficiency.”
- “franchise contracts function in part to reduce the bargaining position of both franchisees and workers, allowing franchisors to extract more labor effort from a low-wage workforce, reducing unit labor costs, and raising profits for the franchisors.”
- “In Anderson’s view, the way forward was to shift from distributive equality to what she called relational, or democratic, equality: meeting as equals, regardless of where you were coming from or going to.” The New Yorker profiles philosopher Elizabeth Anderson.
Technology, Nature, and Inequality
- The NYT has a deep dive into Facebook’s ad-hoc content moderation system, including terrifying examples of Facebook failing to enforce its own standards about hate speech and equally terrifying examples of Facebook enforcing overbroad restrictions on classes of speech (in part due to misunderstandings of local laws, context, or language).
- Ibram Kendi explores the connections between denials of climate change and denials of racism.
- What rights does an elephant have? What rights should an elephant have? A new lawsuit tests the limits of personhood.