In this episode we speak to Emily Bazelon. Emily is former senior editor at Slate, a New York Times Magazine staff writer, and the Truman Capote Fellow for Creative Writing and Law at Yale Law School. We asked Emily to join us today as she is one of the most visible translators and disseminators of social science research.
This episode also marks a milestone, as it is the 100th episode of Office Hours. Sarah Lageson and I, Kyle Green, have enjoyed producing and hosting the podcast for the past few years and we are now passing it on to the new graduate editorial board at the society pages.
We will however be directing our efforts towards a new podcast on research methods in practice called Give Methods a Chance, find us at thesocietypages.org/methods .
Today we are joined by Belinda Wheaton. Belinda is a Principle Research Fellow in Sport and Leisure Cultures at the University of Brighton, UK. Belinda has published extensively on informal sports including articles, multiple edited volumes, and the recently published The Cultural Politics of Lifestyle Sports. We discuss why lifestyle sports are worthy of academic interest, race and California surf culture, and acts of political resistance.
In this episode, guest host Richie LeDonne speaks with Peter McGraw, a marketing and psychology professor at the University of Colorado Boulder, and journalist Joel Warner on their new book, The Humor Code. We talk about their travels around the world in search of what makes things funny, how comedians create humor, and how laughs are used to cope with tragedy and wield political power.
Three sociologists, an anthropologist and a political scientist walk into a bar…and the result is a new book on the state, and emerging new forms, of civic participation in contemporary America. While we seem to be living an age marked by political apathy and growing distrust for government and political institutions, there also seems to be a growing set of opportunities for Americans to “get involved” and “make a difference” in society. From new forms of grass roots activism, to the increasing importance that social media plays in organizing political movements, the ways Americans participate in social change have dramatically evolved even while pessimism toward politics has reached new historical lows.
In the new book The Civic Imagination a group of ethnographers provide a detailed, account of how civically active Americans understand, talk and act on their different visions for social change. Reporting on the ways that organizers envision their impacts on society, but also how they feel they have innovated new forms of participating, this multi-site ethnography challenges assertions that we live in a political age driven American apathy. At the same time, this book reminds us of the limitations, if not blinders, of these new forms of political involvement, particularly revolving issues of inequality. So before you download that new Social Justice mobile app, or organize your next Occupy event at the public library, take a listen to our interview with the authors of the Civic Imagination: Making a Difference in American Political Life