sunday morning sociology, catterplot edition

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In case you needed another reason to switch to R. Source.

Time for our second edition of Sunday Morning Sociology! This is a weekly link round-up of sociological work – by sociologists, referencing sociologists, or just of interest to sociologists. It’s been a particularly rich week for long reads (or else I’ve been particularly avoiding other tasks), so I’m going to break up the links into a few categories to make them a bit more readable. Let me know what you’d most like to see in this space!

Medical Sociology, STS, and Expertise

Historical Perspectives on Race

Sex and Gender

Take, for instance, that presumption — apparently supported by science — that men are more enthusiastic risk-takers than women. … ‘Although women routinely take risks, these often seem to slip under the research radar. For example, with divorce rates hovering close to 50 percent, being the one to quit or scale back your job when children arrive is a significant economic risk. Going on a date can end in sexual assault. Leaving a marriage is financially, socially and emotionally risky. In the United States, being pregnant is about 20 times more likely to result in death than is a sky dive.’

Masculinity, Sexism and the New(?) Right

Higher (and Lower) Ed

The Present Political Moment

The Quantification of Everything

See you all next Sunday! And let me know what you think of this format, and if you see anything worth adding to next week’s list.

 

making voter pie

This post is co-authored by Daniel Laurison and Dan Hirschman.

There has been a compelling pie chart circulating on Facebook and Twitter, showing the percentage who voted for Trump or Clinton, or who didn’t vote, or weren’t eligible. (Dan even went so far as to include the image in this past week’s Sunday Morning Sociology link round-up, contributing to that circulation.) The problem is … well, there are a couple problems. First of all, the chart mostly circulated without an associated story or link, just some vague source info that couldn’t be traced back to any explanation of what the pie chart really meant. The closest to the original we could easily find was this, where the chart is reproduced (as below) with no contextual information.

2016electionpie

But the second, related, problem was bigger, and was driving both of us nuts: the mystery of the denominator. The image shows that only about 41% of Americans voted, but turnout estimates we’d seen said 55% – 60% of eligible voters voted. More surprisingly, it showed that nearly 29% of Americans weren’t eligible to vote. We know felon disenfranchisement is a problem (see Uggen et al’s work here), and of course that there are immigrants in the US who aren’t citizens. But those two populations aren’t anywhere near a third or even a quarter of the US.

totaluspoppie
Total US Population’s Eligibility and Participation in the 2016 Presidential Election. Sources here

We both guessed that that 28.6% must include kids, but usually we don’t think of children as “ineligible” to vote in the same way that disenfranchised felons are. So we didn’t think the chart was right – or at least we were sure it was confusing – and so we made our own. The file with sources and links to those sources is available here.

Continue reading “making voter pie”

sunday morning sociology, first edition!

2016electionpie

I’m a huge fan of the history of medicine blog Nursing Clio. They have amazing posts on everything that fits under the broad umbrella of gender, history, and medicine, all packaged under a clever name. One of my favorite features of the blog is a weekly post called “Sunday Morning Medicine” that rounds-up interesting tidbits from around the internet. It’s nice because it helps bring together related content that might otherwise go missed by the relevant audience; it’s not just posts from other history blogs, or interviews with history professors, but bits like this oral history of the Oregon Trail video game published by Vice. So, my goal is to start something similar here. Just a simple curated list of interesting links somehow relevant to sociology, including but not limited to work by sociologists or explicitly recognizing sociological research. The content should have been circulating this week, but not necessarily written this week. Here’s this week’s collection:

If you have suggestions for next week’s round-up, leave a comment, or reach me on twitter.

some concrete ways to respond to the executive order banning refugees

Yesterday was International Holocaust Remembrance Day. 70 years ago on January 27th, Auschwitz was liberated. I was thinking about this as I was walking home from work. I walk past Brown University’s Hillel on my walk. Yesterday, there was an armed police officer standing guard outside the entrance. I’ve never seen that before. I don’t know for sure if the cop was standing guard because Holocaust Remembrance Day is a day that anti-semites would target Jews with violence, but I’m guessing that’s the case. Probably the most effective memorial I saw was this twitter account which read out the names of Jewish refugees who were denied entry into the United States in 1939 and were forced to return to Europe, where they were killed.

My name is Regina Blumenstein. The US turned me away at the border in 1939. I was murdered in Auschwitz

blumenstein

— St. Louis Manifest (@Stl_Manifest) January 28, 2017

Yesterday was also the day that President Trump signed an executive order banning refugees from entering the United States, including those who have been completely vetted. The order further bans entry or re-entry to 500,000 visa-holders and green card holders (legal, permanent residents!) from seven majority-Muslim nations on the flimsy pretext of “9/11!” (none of the 9/11 attackers were from those seven nations). Finally, as if that all wasn’t bad enough, the order establishes a religious tests for future refugees. Trump has explicitly stated this was aimed to help Christians. Vox has a useful breakdown of what the order does here. Duck of Minerva has a more pointed take here: “Trump to Omran: Die, Kid.” The order may well be illegal under the 1965 Immigration Act and CAIR is filing a suit challenging it on constitutional, religious freedom grounds. The International Refugee Assistance Project has filed suit specifically on behalf of two refugees who were en route when the order was signed and who were denied admission to the US.

To recap: on Holocaust Remembrance Day, the President ordered a ban on refugees based on religion. This is exactly as bad as it sounds. What can we do about it? Below are a few of my immediate thoughts. Please post your own ideas and plans in the comments.

Continue reading “some concrete ways to respond to the executive order banning refugees”

2017 junior theorists symposium cfp

[It’s that time of year again! Submit to quite possibly the longest-running, yet still hippest, ASA pre-conference! – DH]

CALL FOR ABSTRACTS
2017 Junior Theorists Symposium
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
August 11, 2017

We invite submissions of extended abstracts for the 11th Junior Theorists Symposium (JTS), to be held in Montreal, Quebec, Canada on August 11th, 2017, the day before the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association (ASA). The JTS is a one-day conference featuring the work of up-and-coming sociologists, sponsored in part by the Theory Section of the ASA. Since 2005, the conference has brought together early career-stage sociologists who engage in theoretical work, broadly defined.

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here we go again: biological and sociological responses to the latest sex difference op-ed

The following is a guest post by Jeff Lockhart. 

Two weeks ago, the LA Times ran an Op-Ed by Debra W. Soh on “The Futility of Gender-Neutral Parenting.” The central claim is old and fundamentally conservative: differences between men and women are biological truth, not to be meddled with by free will or society. Sex differences are facts to be accepted, not questioned or altered (two things feminists have always done). The op-ed circulated widely and was picked up by other outlets, including a New York Magazine piece titled “Yes, Biology Helps Explain Why Boys and Girls Play Differently.” Throw out your oatmeal baby room paint and desegregated toy isles.

girl-or-boy-toy.png

Continue reading “here we go again: biological and sociological responses to the latest sex difference op-ed”

for “innovative” firms, policy influence isn’t limited to lobbying and donations

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Left: FDR signs the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933. Right: Clinton signs the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999 which largely repealed Glass-Steagall. Source: NYT.

Sociologists, political scientists, and the public at large have long been concerned with the political influence of large corporations. For the past few decades, most research on corporate political influence has focused on a narrow set of obviously political behaviors: lobbying and campaign donations.

Scholars have learned a great deal about why firms donate, the value of those donations, and how lobbying efforts shape the content of policy. And yet, focusing on these narrow aspects of overt political behavior seems to only scratch the surface of the policy influence of large corporations.

In a new paper, sociologist Russell Funk and I argue that scholars must attend to how firms use seemingly non-political, market actions to change the content and meaning of the law. These nonmarket effects of market actions are complements and substitutes to more direct political action.

When firms can’t get what they want through the policy process, sometimes they can get it by engaging in a form of economic “politics by other means.” Through innovation or creative implementations, firms can change the interpretation and consequences of the law without the passage of any new legislation.

Continue reading “for “innovative” firms, policy influence isn’t limited to lobbying and donations”