This week we talk with Dan Winchester co-author of a feature piece in the 2010 fall edition of Contexts, on the sociological study of morality– aptly called The good, the bad and the social.” In the interview we first talk to Dan about how a sociology of morality can contribute to recent neurological and biological studies on the topic. We also discuss how sociologists since Durkheim to Goffman have long considered morality as a crucial mechanism to how societies and communities form and stick together. In closing we discuss how sociologist go about studying such controversial issue and how, and if, sociologist can really suspend their own believes about what is right and wrong to objectively study how morals are constructed and followed.
So stick and around and listen to this podcast–it’s the right thing to do.
This week, we talk with Jeremy Freese about sociology and genetics. Topics include: why sociology and behavioral genetics need one another, why sociologists have been too hesitant to participate in interdisciplinary research, and how the complexities of gene-environment interdependence are stretching our imaginations as scientists and changing the way we think about causation.
If you like what you hear in this episode, this interview is part of an ongoing series on genetics, health, and sociology here at Office Hours. Past guests include Allan Horwitz, Peter Conrad, and Thomas Bouchard, with more on the way!
This episode we take a break from talking to all of these sociologists and talk to a psychologist instead: Thomas Bouchard, Director of the Minnesota Center for Twin and Adoption Research. Bouchard is a strong advocate of bridging the biological and social sciences (ahem, behavioral sciences), and is a strong critic of sociology’s traditional failure to participate in this effort. Given the recent AJS Special Issue on genetics and social structure, as well as our Summer 2009 feature on the topic, we thought it’d be fun to share some of this work with Bouchard and sit down to hear his thoughts on genetics, science and the relationship between psychology and sociology.