This episode we talk with Shai Dromi about his recent article, Penny for your Thoughts: Beggars and the Exercise of Morality in Daily Life. Dromi argues that past studies of the city have mischaracterized interactions between people passing by and people asking for money due to the focus on risk, fear, and crime. Instead, for many people in Shai’s study, homeless people’s requests for money provided a dimension of moral reflection to the urban landscape.
In this episode, we have a conversation with William Alexander. He is slightly different type of social theorist than we normally have on the podcast. Will teaches in the English Department at the Minnesota College of Arts and Design and last November he won the prestigious national book award for his first novel Goblin Secrets and the Earphones Award for narrating his book. Today Will is joining us to discuss the powers and politics of fantasy, and the relationship between fiction and the social world.
This week we continue our investigation into the world of online politics by talking with Mary Joyce about digital activism. We discuss what qualifies as digital activism, the value of research that focuses on the big picture, and the relationship between these new technologies and more traditional forms of social organizing.
This week we talk with Gabriella Coleman about her current research on Anonymous and her recently published book, Coding Freedom: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Hacking, which you can download for free under a Creative Commons license. We discuss the rise of Anonymous, how to research a web-based collective whose members hide their identity, the art of “trolling”, and the political significance of the group.
The Society Pages’ Community Page Cyborgology has also written a review of Coding Freedom, which can be read here.