Grandmothers on the World Stage

Edmon de Haro's depiction of Clinton's age advantage.
Edmon de Haro’s depiction of Clinton’s age advantage.


Why Age May Be Hillary’s Secret Weapon” is the cover tease for a provocative little piece in the new issue of The Atlantic (June 2015) on women, aging, culture, and power in contemporary society. The piece starts by pondering why, in an evolutionary context, female humans live so long and what role(s) postmenopausal women fulfill for the species. This science-y context sets the stage for an essentially sociological attempt to explain why “people of both sexes may feel more comfortable with ambitious older women than with ambitious younger ones.”

The bulk of the article reviews a body of social scientific research on the biases women face in the workplace and society at large, and how some of these constraints may be mitigated as women get older and, especially, become grandmothers. The larger implication is that candidate Clinton and others are actively “playing the granny card” in positioning their public images against other stereotypes about women in positions of authority and power.

A lot of the work comes out of psychology (especially the experimental stuff) but some sociological contributions find their way in  as well. Indeed, there is a quote from Stanford sociologist Shelley Correll, and even an in-print reference to the American Journal of Sociology! And the overarching conclusion or claim is more positive, more progressive than what usually comes out of such research: “…the current cohort of female eminences grises may herald an era when aging, for women, ceases to be an enemy, and even becomes a friend.”

The main problem is that I’m not exactly sure if there really is a new generation of powerful women turning age to their advantage. Is this a real phenomenon or social trend? Certainly, Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren are making headlines in United States politics, and Angela Merkel as German Chancellor is historic. And I’m happy to see Janet Yellen and Christine Lagarde in positions of economic leadership (as Chair of Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors and Head of the International Monetary Fund, respectively). But who else are we talking about? Does four or five or even a dozen or two dozen such women—gratifying as that might be in and of itself—really constitute a cultural transformation? Even The Atlantic admits the sample size is small. It could well be that we are drawing some pretty big conclusions and implications out of some developments that are quite recent and fairly limited.

Perhaps I shouldn’t nitpick an article that is doing the honorable work of promoting and assessing the rise of women’s status and power in society and bringing social science research to bear on issues of public interest and significance. I am fully on-board with both aims. Still, the sociologist in me can’t help but want to know whether we are talking about real social shifts and trends or just some exceptional—albeit exciting—individual-level developments. The answer to that question has some very real implications for how we use the research and the meaning and significance we draw from all of this.

The Society Pages’ Roundup: May 12, 2015



Since last we met…

The Editors’ Desk:

Tie Day: R.I.P. Professor Gusfield,” by Doug Hartmann. Doug remembers Joseph R. Gusfield, author of Symbolic Crusade and The Culture of Public Problems.

Research on a Potato Chip Budget,” by Chris Uggen and Doug Hartmann. TSP’s co-editors on the devastating effects of HR1806, the proposed reauthorization bill funding the National Science Foundation, which would strip 45% of the funding for social, behavioral, and economic sciences.

Office Hours Podcast:

Joyce Bell on Social Work and the Black Power Movement,” with Matt Gunther. Bell’s work demonstrates the resources and tensions that radical social movements bring to civil society.

There’s Research on That!:

Election 2016: Let the Sexism Begin!” by Caty Taborda and Sarah Catherine Billups, with research from Caroline Heldman, Lisa Wade, Susan J. Carroll, Stephanie Olson, Kathleen Dlan, Jennifer L. Lawless, Kathryn Pearson, Sheri Kunovich, and Pamela Paxton.

When Women Lead,” by Caty Taborda and Sarah Catherine Billups, with research from Erin I. Demaiter, Tracy L. Adams, and Alexandra Kalev.

Advanced Placement Testing Season,” by Amy August, with research from Grace Kao, Jennifer S. Thompson, Daniel G. Solorzano, Armida Ornelas, Joshu Klugman, Thurston Domina, Joshua Saldana, Saul Geiser, Veronica Santelices, and Wayne Au.

May Day Part I: The U.S. and Inequality,” by Erik Kojola, with research from ChangHwan Kim, Arthur Sakamoto, Bruce Western, Jake Rosenfeld, Winfried Koeniger, Marco Leonardi, and Luca Nunzjata.

May Day Part II: Global Labor,” by Erik Kojola, with research from Tamara Kay, Jamie K. McCallum, Gay W. Seidman, Jill Louise Esbenshade, Janice Ruth Fine, Ching Kwan Lee, Biju Matthew, Ruth Milkman, and Ed Ott.

May Day Part III: Social and Political Movements,” by Erik Kojola, with research from Wolfgang Rudig, Georgios Karyotis, Ruth Milkman, Penny Lewis, Stephanie Luce, Cesar Guzman-Concha, and Ernesto Castaneda.

The Time Trials of Good Parents,” by Anne Kaduk, with research from Melissa Milkie, Kei Nomaguchi, Kathleen Denny, Amy Hsin, Christina Felfe, Ann Meier, Kelly Musick, Sharon Hays, Annette Lareau, Karen Christopher, Liana Fox, Wen-Jui Han, Christopher Ruhm, and Jane Waldfogel.

Citings & Sightings:

Sociologists Begin to Talk Baltimore,” by Caty Taborda. As Baltimore ruled Freddie Gray’s death a homicide, Taborda took a quick look at sociologists’ engaged in media conversations.

Of Microbrews and Methodists,” by Neeraj Rajasekar. If Smokey and the Bandit had been made in 2015, apparently they would have been high-tailing it through the Bible Belt with a truck full of craft beers.

Sociologists Becoming ‘The Marrying Type’?” by Sarah Catherine Billups. Since ’50s-style marriage is long-since gone, it makes sense that scholarly outlooks on the institution are evolving.

The Social Norms of Facial Hair,” by Caty Taborda. It may not be popular with politicians (see the Scholars Strategy Network below), but facial hair is nowhere near neutral.

Reading List:

Held Back,” by Neeraj Rajasekar. Megan Andrew on the scarring effects of being held back in grade school.

Drinking and Dating as Serious Business: Post-Recession Performances of Global Masculinity,” by Lisa Gulya. Kimberly Hoang’s new research on Vietnam’s hostess bars as sites of global gender and racial hierarchies.

Teaching TSP:

Active Learning Exercise: There’s Research on That!” by Evan Stewart. The editor of the #TROT! blog on TSP, Stewart explains how students and professors alike can benefit from a simple writing exercise aimed at identifying an issue and the best relevant research.

Give Methods a Chance Podcast:

Andrew Billings on Quantitative Content Analysis,” with Kyle Green. “Coding for sarcasm can be really tricky.”

Council on Contemporary Families:

Sexual Assault on Campus,” by Elizabeth Armstrong and Jamie Budnick.

Scholars Strategy Network:

Why Beards and Mustaches Are Rare for Modern American Politicians,” by Rebekah Herrick.

Why Universal and Life-long Higher Education Is the Next Stage in Advancing the Social Contract,” by Patrick Blessinger.

Varieties of Civic Engagement in Contemporary America,” by Paul Lichterman.

A Few From the Community Pages:

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Tie Day: R.I.P. Professor Gusfield

For Gusfield
For Gusfield: ending the semester right.


When I first started as a college professor, my father,  a play-by-the-rules parochial school teacher and administrator his entire working life, always wanted to know if I wore a tie. It was for him, I think, a symbol of the status and decorum expected of a professional educator, especially one working in our institutions of higher learning. Yesterday, the final day of classes for Spring 2015, I wore a tie. But it was not for my father. It was for one of my graduate school teachers, Joseph Gusfield, who passed away this term in California.

Professor Gusfield was perhaps best known in academia for his first book, Symbolic Crusade, a study that argues that the American Temperance movement was less about moral or even social norms than about a traditional Protestant elite trying to impose and reassert its social status in a rapidly changing nation. For my part (as I’ve written about previously), I find his 1981 book on drinking-driving, The Culture of Public Problems, his best, an under-appreciated classic in both content and style. In it, Gusfield used a range of rhetorical styles (there is a chapter that reads scientific journal articles as an exercise in rhetoric, while another depicts legal studies as actual plays) and types of qualitative and quantitative research to deconstruct conventional understandings of drinking-driving. His primary accomplishment is to show how our usual focus on drinking-driving as the moral failing of individual citizens distracts from  the institutional and structural problems of traffic and transportation, leisure-time use, urban design, ambiguities in the law, the power of corporate marketing, and the inherent dangers of driving itself are so very much a part of the “problem” as well.

Gusfield was a great icon in sociology and iconoclast of a professor. I have neither met nor read any other sociologist who was a better, more convincing, or more consistent advocate for sociology as irony than he. With razor sharp intellect and uncompromising belief in sociological information and insight, he embodied, for me, what was so unique and distinctive and intellectually powerful about symbolic interactionism, dramaturgical theory, and California sociology.

Why, then, the tie?

It goes back to the final meeting of the last seminar Gusfield taught at the University of California, San Diego. Somewhat out of character, it seemed, Professor Gusfield wore a tie. “I always wear a tie on the last day of class,” he said. Why? “Because you’ve got to remind everyone who is boss.”

It was a bit jarring to hear from this famously iconoclastic ’60s sociologist who studied social movements, discussed counter-cultures, and always seemed to reject the conventional wisdom. To my recollection, Gusfield went on to explain that in our easy-going, post-1960s, democratic culture—especially in Southern California where many professors wore shorts and t-shirts just like the students—it was easy to forget that we are not all equals, that we all have different roles and responsibilities in the classroom and in society. Though I was surprised at the time, I have long appreciated that non-ironic sociological lesson.

Research on a Potato Chip Budget

Last week, our former university president Mark Yudof quipped that “Americans spend more on potato chips than research – maybe they like the flavor better.” We haven’t checked Mr. Yudof’s math, but his points are well-taken. First, research budgets have been lean, particularly in the social sciences. Second, our research sometimes unearths truths that our leaders and citizens may find distasteful, particularly in the social sciences.

The Society Pages is built on the belief that social scientific information, analysis, and perspective is vital and necessary for policy makers, the general public, and the continued health and betterment of society. Yet producing this knowledge and insight requires some degree of resources and support. Today, one of the key U.S. sources of financial support for that work —the National Science Foundation—is currently under scrutiny and attack.

On April 15, House Science Committee Chairman Lamar Smith introduced the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2015 (H.R. 1806), the authorization bill for the National Science Foundation (NSF). This bill, a variation of which was floated last year as well, would impose a devastating 45% cut on the Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences Directorate–effectively eliminating grant funding for sociology and the other social sciences. NSF review panels have generally done a terrific job identifying important research ideas to fund. Unfortunately, they must often reject a great number of equally important research ideas for lack of funds. A 45 percent cut would indeed be devastating.

Apart from our capacity to fund needed research, the Law & Society Association explains how the proposed bill could diminish the role of scientific experts and increase the role of political actors in setting scientific priorities. If you are a member of the American Sociological Association or another social science association, you probably already received a message encouraging you to contact your local Congressperson (and university officials) to reiterate the harm that this bill would do to core social scientific research and analysis. And if you just want to know more about the details of these proposed cuts, the Consortium of Social Science Association’s analysis is a good place to start.

If you like what we do on The Society Pages, please consider acting on behalf of social science research more generally. Having a potato-chip budget has been tough enough. We shouldn’t leave social science researchers with the crumbs in the bottom of the bag.

TSP’s Sociology Roundup: April 23, 2015



This week, Cyborgology reported from the #TtW15 conference (that’s “Theorizing the Web 2015″ for those not down with the hashtags), while we all wished Max Weber and Emile Durkheim happy birthdays, celebrated the Riot Grrrl movement, and considered guns, privacy, and presidential politics. Dive on in!

There’s Research on That!

Lil’ Ladies and the Gendering of Legitimacy,” by Caty Taborda and Anne Kaduk. When Rush Limbaugh calls Sociological ImagesLisa Wade (a tenured professor and, ironically, the author, with Myra Marx Ferree, of Gender) a “professorette,” he’s devaluing her expertise by referencing her gender. Same goes for the many “info babes” and “anchorettes” he spots on the evening news.

Drought and Social Division,” by Evan Stewart and Rebecca Farnum. Looking at natural resource politics, distribution, contention, and solutions as California curtails water use with research from Viviana A. ZelizerDaniel JaffeeNicole Harari, and Riley E. Dunlap and Richard York.

Give Methods a Chance Podcast:

Helen B. Morrow on a Tripartite Methodological Design and Collaborative Research,” with Kyle Green. “Psychology thinks about contact as direct, face-to-face contact. But often in sociology and political science, we are thinking about contact as a broader and more macro level.”

Keith N. Hampton on Visual Content Analysis of Urban Space,” with Sarah Lageson“We can hang out in a public space for months, or maybe even a year, but doing that for two or three decades is simply impossible. So, for any large scale, longitudinal study of urban public spaces, I think this is probably the only method that is available to us.”

Citings and Sightings:

‘Culture of Poverty’ a Poor Explanation for Racial Disparities,” by Neeraj Rajasekar. University of Maryland sociologist Philip N. Cohen tells Vox that academics are leaving Moynihan’s argument behind because it simply doesn’t hold up.

Unstable Sexual Identities Could Increase Risk of Adolescent Depression,” by Caty TabordaBethany Everett tells The Economic Times “There is a certain amount of stigma attached to sexual fluidity that may impact mental health during this developmental period.”

Safety Nets and Success: America’s Culture of Risk-Taking,” by Sarah Catherine Billups. In a TIME roundtable, Zulema Valdez, sociologist and author of The New Entrepreneurs: How Race, Class, and Gender Shape American Enterprise, says American risk-taking comes from the common belief that the U.S. is a land of opportunity.

Sweden Sees Progress in New Pronoun,” by Amy AugustLann Hornscheidt, a professor of Scandinavian languages and gender studies, believes hen, the new, non-gendered Swedish pronoun, really will help fight sexism and gender biases.

Cuban American Political Shifts Could Spell Trouble for GOP,” by Caty Taborda. Sociologist Guillermo Grenier says American-born Cubans have broadened their political horizons.

Scholars Strategy Network:

Why U.S. States Vary in the Rights and Protections They Offer to Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Residents,” by Rebekah Herrick.

The Impact of Family Obligations on Women’s Willingness to Seek Election to and Serve in U.S. Legislatures,” by Rachel Silbermann.

Council on Contemporary Families:

America’s Fragmented Child Care and Early Education System,” by Sara Gable.

‘Daddy’s Home!’ Increasing Men’s Use of Paternity Leave,” Ankita Patnaik.

A Few from the Community Pages:

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TSP’s Weekly Soc Roundup: April 10, 2015



As always, we’ve got a little something for everyone… dive in!


Can We Race Together? An Autopsy,” by Ellen Berrey. Starbucks’ Race Together program sure seemed to unite people, but not necessarily around the need to abandon social constructions of race.

The Reading List:

Caught in the Culture Wars’ Crossfire,” by Jack Delehanty.

There’s Research on That!

Rights and Rights: Religion at Work,” by Jacqui Frost and Evan Stewart. “Restoring Religious Freedom Acts” affect the rights and freedoms of more than business owners and LGBTQ customers. Frost and Stewart look to scholars Amy Adamczyk and Cassady PittPenny Edgell, Joseph Gerteis, and Douglas Hartmann (hey! We know that guy!); András TilcsikMichael Wallace, Bradley R. E. Wright, and Allen Hyde; and Bradley R. E. Wright, Michael Wallace, John Bailey, and Allen Hyde.

Citings & Sightings:

XXX’d Out: What if Porn Disappeared,” by Sarah Catherine Billups. Sociologist Chauntelle Tibbals, author of the forthcoming book Exposure: A Sociologist Explores Sex, Society and Adult Entertainmenton why shutting down mainstream porn would harm performers.

Parenting: QT Better than OT,” by Sarah Catherine BillupsMelissa Milkie and Kei Nomaguchi share the findings of their recent study with the Washington Post: “I could literally show you 20 charts, and 19 of them would show no relationship between the amount of parents’ time and children’s outcomes… Nada. Zippo,” says Milkie.

Spitting and Suspicion,” by Sarah Catherine Billups. On the racialization of low-level crimes in a large midwestern city (hey! We know that city!) with Nancy Heitzeg and community consultant William W. Smith IV.

Toking While Black,” by Neeraj Rajasekar. Sociologist Pamela E. Oliver on the larger patterns that have resulted in disproportionate drug arrests of African Americans even in states with legalized marijuana.

For Gay Black Men, Negative Stereotypes May Have One Positive Consequence,” by Caty Taborda. When David Pedulla‘s research team sent out resumes for identical job candidates and descriptions of jobs they were perfect for, but manipulated whether their hobbies suggested they were gay, gay black men won out. Why?

An Eye-Clopening Workforce Trend,” by Sarah Catherine Billups. As small-staff shops move to having the same workers open and close the store, wociologist Gerhard Bosch tells the New York Times about the European Union’s required 11-hour rest period between shifts.

Money Talks,” by Jack Delehanty. New apps for payments and money transfers are nice and easy, but the record of your spending might say more about you than you’d like.

Give Methods a Chance Podcast:

Keith N. Hampton on Visual Content Analysis of Urban Space,” with Kyle Green:

“I think the biggest strength is that this is truly the only way to do a longitudinal study of public space. We can hang out in a public space for months, or maybe even a year, but doing that for two or three decades is simply impossible. So, for any large scale, longitudinal study of urban public spaces, I think this is probably the only method that is available to us.”

Daniel Sui on the Methodological Advantages and Limitations of Big Data,” with Sarah Shannon:

“In terms of the applications of big data, it is limited by only your imagination. That is why big data has attracted interest by industry, government agencies all over the world, and, of course, academics and scholarly researchers.”

The Editors’ Desk:

Holy Week, Hoops, and Hoosier State Law,” by Doug Hartmann. Last week, the eyes of the nation were on Indiana for two reasons: the contentious “Restoring Religious Freedom Act” and the NCAA Men’s March Madness basketball tournament. Turns out, that’s not such a surprising cross-over (even if Wal-Mart and NASCAR’s calls for repeal of the law may have been).

Scholars’ Strategy Network:

How Educational Opportunities Can Help Disabled Americans Break out of Low-Wage Occupational Ghettos,” by David Pettinicchio.

Why Historically Black Colleges and Universities Remain Vital in U.S. Higher Education,” by C. Rob Shorette II.

Council on Contemporary Families:

“‘Daddy’s Home!’ Increasing Men’s use of Paternity Leave,” by Ankita Patnaik.

A Few from the Community Pages:

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Holy Week, Hoops, and Hoosier State Law



What to feature on the home page this week? How about some research on religion and society, since Passover and Easter are coming up? Or perhaps we should do something on LGBTQ discrimination, given the law that just got passed in Indiana (and a similar one Arkansas’s governor unexpectedly rejected). But maybe those stories are better framed sociologically in terms of protests and social movements, given all of the controversy that has surrounded it. Or does this actually require a religious analysis? After all, the legislation was called “The Restoring Religious Freedom Act.” Maybe, instead of playing our usual “Debbie Downer” role, we should just have some fun and find a piece on the Final Four, March Madness, and the whole spectacle of sport in modern society. (Though, truthfully, talking about college basketball as “spectacle” already feels like falling into familiar habits.)

If only we had a piece that brought all this together in one fell swoop. If only we had a piece that could connect the various dots of religion, rights and freedoms, LGBTQ discrimination, public policy and political protest, and mass-mediated, spectacle sports. And, can we get that before the high holidays are over?

Actually, in a way we have such a piece, or at least the building blocks for one. I’m referring to the drama that is being played out right in front of us this very week in Indiana as Governor Mike Pence, under heavy pressure from those calling for the NCAA to pull its headquarters (if not the Final Four itself) out of the state, scrambles to “fix” the legislation his legislature just approved. What a story! Here we see religion and sexuality come right up against each other, how the Constitutional “rights” of some are balanced (or not) against the Constitutional “freedoms” of others. Here we can observe how institutional power plays out against political protest and passionate social movements, as well as try to ferret out where the mass media and corporate interests with such stakes in March’s Madness will come down. Here we can watch as that seemingly fun, apolitical realm of sport suddenly gets pulled into a very high profile, very controversial, very political debate. And it is all happening during one of the most sacred weeks of the year. (I was talking about the religious folks when I first wrote that but I guess I shouldn’t leave the sports fans out–especially since I count myself, for better or worse, as a member of both of these passionate communities.) It’s almost too good to be true–from a sociological, home page-type point of view.

Of course, we don’t really have that story—or should I say that analysis—yet. If you are working on that and have something to share, please send it along. Sociological analysis doesn’t just write itself. In the meantime, let me share two smaller pieces that might help provide some frame and context.

One is a “TROT!” (There’s Research on That!) piece pulling together some great sociological research on the squishiness (that’s our technical term) of laws regarding religious freedom and the rights of refusal–that is, legal attempts to codify which forms of discrimination on the basis of race, religion, or sexual orientation are allowed; whose rights and freedoms are inscribed and institutionalized; and the problems with trying to enforce these laws and statutes in actual social life. So, while nearly half of all U.S. states have religious freedom and right of refusal laws on the books, most also include codicils specifying that businesses cannot discriminate on the basis of race, religion, or sexual orientation. How Indiana and Arkansas’s laws will—or will not—open the door for business owners and others to close theirs, refusing service to LGBTQ-identified citizens, should be interesting and the research compiled in this piece should help you understand the complexities and perhaps even anticipate how the drama will unfold.

Second, I’d like to direct you to the white paper Kyle Green and yours truly wrote for the TSP politics volume a little while back: “Sport and Politics: Strange, Secret Bedfellows.” The way in which politics and sport are colliding in Indiana right now is nothing new or novel. Too often when we are watching sports we don’t even see the politics being played out right in front of us. And too many of us are too quick to cynically dismiss struggles in the politic realm as mere games that don’t matter anymore. This stuff matters, no matter what side you are on or which team you are rooting for.

TSP’s Weekly Soc Roundup: March 28, 2015


As TSP sends its crew off to Kansas City for the Midwest Sociological Science meetings, things keep buzzing along at HQ! Here’s what we’ve been up to:

The Reading List:

Rating Your Corporate Peers,” by Erik Kojola. Amanda Sharkey and Patricia Bromley investigate certification programs’ influence on corporate social and environmental responsibility in the American Sociological Review.

There’s Research on That!

The Politics of Peeing,” by Caty Taborda. Research from Suzanne Kessler, Wendy McKenna, Laurel Westbrook, Kristen Schilt, Betsy LucalSheila Cavanagh, and Tey Meadow paints a picture of gender binaries and public space—and, as SocImages puts it, who goes where.

47 Senators: Cultural Performance and Politics,” by Jack Delehanty. Why an open letter to Iran isn’t really about Iran, with research by Jeffrey C. AlexanderJonathan WyrtzenCraig Calhoun, and Rhys H. Williams.

The Editors’ Desk:

Our Hero,” by Doug Hartmann. The New Yorker’s Adam Gopnik is still a champion of sociology.

Give Methods a Chance Podcast:

Dale C. Spencer on Observant Participation and Becoming a Mixed Martial Artist,” with Kyle Green. “When you are an observant participant, you are at stake. You have a vested interest in succeeding. But the reality of the matter is, you are also open, very clearly, to fail in that world.”

Citings & Sightings:

Sigma Alpha Epsilon: A Symptom of a Larger, Older Problem,” by Neeraj Rajasekar. The Washington Post looks to research by UConn sociologist Matthew Hughey on southern fraternity chapters and the problem with revering “tradition”.

Retiring with Your Parents,” by Anne Kaduk. Phyllis Moen tells the New York Times about a new phenomenon: dual-generation retirees.

For Successful Kids, It’s Family Stability Over Family Structure,” by Sarah Catherine Billups. Sociologists Jamie Seabrook and William Avison’s Canadian family research proves provocative.

Scholars Strategy Network:

Why Historically Black Colleges and Universities Remain Vital in U.S. Higher Education,” by C. Rob Shorette II.

Council on Contemporary Families:

Moynihan’s Half Century: Have We Gone to Hell in a Handbasket?” by Philip N. Cohen, Heidi Hartmann, Jeffrey Hayes, and Chandra Childers.

A Few from the Community Pages:

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Our Hero

Adam Gopnik is at it again. This time our favorite writer from The New Yorker uses recent public debates about poverty and foreign policy to talk about that oh-so-sociological concept of norms. Gopnick tells us how norms differ from laws: “a law is something that exacts an announced cost for being broken. A norm is something that is so much a part of the social landscape that you wouldn’t think, really, that anyone could break it.” He tells us why these informal rules matter so much to social life (they constitute the unwritten, daily spirit and practice social order requires and law tries to systematize and impose), how they are enforced (like anything else “by bribes and threats and clear punishments” in actual communities and social contexts), and what can happen when they are eroded or violated (basically, all hell can break loose). The underlying irony in the piece is that those “Republican moralists” whom Gopnick says are breaking some of our most sacred political norms are cut from the same cloth as those who claim normative collapses are at the root of poverty and inequality in the United States. But Gopnik doesn’t really dwell on the politics. Rather, he seems mostly to want to edify us all about the meaning and import of norms in human life. He’s the journalist playing sociology professor, and doing a pretty darn good job of it.

TSP’s Weekly Roundup: March 20, 2015


Welcome, spring! Here’s some fresh soc to start the season off right.

Office Hours Podcast:

Victor Rios on Policing Black and Latino Boys,” with Sarah Shannon. A TSP-alum, Shannon talks with Rios about his award-winning book Punished.

The Editors’ Desk:

Education & Society,” by Chris Uggen. Welcoming TSP’s newest Community Page, under the direction of Rob Warren.

Midwest Sociological Society Meetings: Register Now!” An update from MSS president Doug Hartmann on the meetings, which will feature Dalton Conley and Lisa Wade.

There’s Research on That!

Joke’s on You: The Italy/ISIS Twitter Exchange,” by Sarah Catherine Billups. With research from Christie Davies, Elise Kramer, Karen Parkhill, and more.

Race and the Classroom,” by Neeraj Rajasekar. With research from Sylvia Hurtado, Josh Packard, Lisa M. Nunn, and more.

How Hate Crimes Count,” by Evan Stewart, Jack Delehanty, Ryan Larson, and Stephen Suh. With research from Ryan King, Jack Glaser, Louise Cainkar, and more.

The Reading List:

Misdemeanors as a Form of Social Control,” by Ryan Larson. New work from Issa Kohler-Hausmann.

Egalitarian Dreams, Unequal Marriages,” by Anne Kaduk. Research from David S. Pedulla and Sarah Thebaud.

Talking Trash: High Status Explanations for Watching Low Brow TV,” by Sarah Catherine BillupsCharles Allan McCoy and Roscoe Scarborough in Poetics.

Give Methods a Chance Podcast:

Matthew Hughey on His Tripartite Methodological Approach to Understanding Film,” with Kyle Green. TSP alum Green interviews UConn’s Hughey.

Citings & Sightings:

Subsidizing the Suburban Commute,” by Neeraj Rajasekar. Alexandra Murphy on why social programs must extend to transportation.

Old Dogs, New Tricks,” by Sarah Catherine BillupsChristine Whelan on SMART goal-setting.

“‘Treat Yo’Self’ to Some Sociology,” by Caty Taborda. Comic and actor Aziz Ansari teams up with sociologist Eric Klinenberg. The rest is… a new book!

D8TR Dilemma: Millennials ‘Just Talking’, ‘Hanging Out’,” by Sarah Catherine BillupsKathy Hull on the new terminology of budding relationships.

Unsurprising Stats: Hollywood Lacks Diversity,” by Caty Taborda. UCLA’s Darnell Hunt and Ana-Christina Ramon see hope for diversity in new entertainment production platforms like Netflix.

Scholars Strategy Network:

Financial Reforms Alone Cannot Reduce Household Debts for Americans Facing Low Wages and Insecure Jobs,” by Sara M. Bernardo.

The Harm Done by Media Coverage of Political Disputes about Public Health Measures,” by Erika Fowler and Sarah Gollust.

Council on Contemporary Families:

An Analysis of New Census Data on Family Structure, Education, and Income,” by Shannon Cavanagh.

A Few from the Community Pages:

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The Last Roundup!