Greetings from the Society Pages! This week we rounded up #TSPClassics about the election and voting and presented new research on the consequences of classroom mismatching for kids. We also feature a guest post that frames Qanon’s #savethechildren movement as a moral panic.
Happy Friday! This week we rounded-up research on food insecurity among students, highlighted our colleagues at the Gender Policy Report’s new issue on gender and guns, and celebrate the incredible accomplishments of our esteemed editor, Chris Uggen.
“Kudos to Chris” by Doug Hartmann. From a mention in this week’s judiciary committee confirmation hearings, to publishing a new Sentencing Project report, Doug reflects on the recent accomplishments of his co-editor.
Wow, what a week for my TSP co-publisher and partner in public engagement Chris Uggen!
It started on Tuesday at the Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Judge Barrett. There, Senator Durbin called out Barrett’s contrasting positions on gun rights relative to (racialized) felon disenfranchisement. The senator raised Uggen’s classic AJS article (with Angela Behrens & Jeff Manza) as well as his Sentencing Project report with former TSP board members Ryan Larson and Sarah Shannon (48 seconds into this clip).
Then, on Wednesday Professor Uggen and his research team—including University of Minnesota sociology major and McNair scholar Arleth Pulido-Nava—released a new national Sentencing Project report. I won’t attempt to document its contents here. However, if you listen to CBS national radio or read the New York Times, you may know a bit about it already. And here’s Uggen’s own initial gloss:
As a researcher I’ve tracked the flurry of legal changes to restore the vote in recent years, so I was disappointed to find that 5.2 million citizens remain disenfranchised — three quarters of whom live and work alongside us in our communities. Disenfranchisement amplifies the effects of racial disparities in law enforcement and the courts, diluting the political voices of communities of color. Re-enfranchising these citizens would reduce such disparities, extend democracy, respond to public sentiment, accord with international standards, enhance public safety, and put to rest the prospect and practice of bringing ‘unlawful voting’ charges against citizens in a democracy. We cannot take these extreme voting restrictions for granted or accept them as part of the ‘furniture in the room.’
As his longtime collaborator and current department chair, I questioned why Uggen wasn’t in the gold or silver spots, and considered asking our staff if we should look into their impact metrics and, perhaps, ask for a recount. But Chris, in his typical Minnesota fashion demurred, saying that the only thing he knows for sure is that he’s “overrated.” I know we’re not supposed to brag, Chris, but I doubt that. Keep up the great work—you are a leader and inspiration to us all.
We’re back! This week we share new research on how CPS assistance expands surveillance of marginalized families, and share a post fromThe Conversationon the limits of empathy for bridging political divides.
Welcome back! This week we feature two new installments each in our Wonderful/Wretched series on racial dynamics in the Twin Cities and in the podcast series, Give Theory A Chance. We also bring you pieces examining how men’s share of housework and childcare has changed since the pandemic and how English soccer teams have gotten involved in Black activism.
Welcome back! This week we bring you a new installment in our Wonderful/Wretched series on racial dynamics in the Twin Cities along with an analysis of the role social trust may play in combating the pandemic. We also feature an interview with Editor Doug Hartmann about athlete activism and the Black Lives Matter movement.
Estelle Brun - Research Assistant at the French Institute for International and Strategic Affairs (IRIS) on July 9, 2020
This interview originally appeared in the in July 2020 Sport and Geopolitics Program of the Geopolitical Sports Observatory.
THE SEPARATION BETWEEN SPORTS AND POLITICS?
American presidents have often been labeled as “Sport Presidents” (Green and Hartmann 2012), utilising sport to benefit their image and popularity.
IRIS: How can the myth of “sports and politics don’t mix” be explained?
DR HARTMANN: I think it starts from our idealised conception of both sports and politics, idealised in the sense of their stereotypical definitions and commonsense cultural conceptions. On the athletic front, we think of sport generally as a very pure, safe and even positive, unifying kind of space or social force. For some people, it’s not idealised but more just a matter of entertainment or distraction from other things. The biggest idea is that sport is supposed to be somehow special, separate and distinct from everything else in our regular social lives, and that we have to protect that. On the politics side, I think a lot of people, in the United States at least, think of politics as dirty, complicated and inherently contested and conflicted. You can see almost right away that these two don’t go together very well. And, in fact, much of this modern thing we now call sport was built around this distinction, the idea or ideology, the mythology of sport being sacred, progressive and safe from other things, explicitly in contrast to their idea of the dirty complicated politics of the real world; from its inception, the sporting establishment has wanted it to be sanitized or safe from that.
The reason we sometimes call it a myth is that, in reality, sport and politics are deeply, almost inherently and always intertwined. Often, we don’t recognize this because some of what we scholars would say is political isn’t constructed or understood as political by those who are doing the actual talk about sports and politics in society. Some of the best examples would be around nationalism and the use of flags and anthems in ceremonies that celebrate the nation-state in athletic arenas. While many participants just think of this as normal or typical and not particularly controversial (and thus not “political”), from an analytic point of view, this can be seen as a kind of politics, a politics of culture and symbolism used to celebrate and reinforce certain notions of nation and identity. Because so many people agree with the messages, or just take them for granted or even ignore them, it seems harmless or apolitical even though its political content and function are pretty overt when you think about it. And so there, I think, is kind of the root of the challenge—that, on the one hand, sports and politics are always intermingled in many ways that we often can’t see or aren’t aware of, but that we think they shouldn’t be both because of our conception of sport as a special place and politics as a problematic one.The root of the challenge is that, on the one hand, sports and politics are always intermingled in many ways that we often can’t see, but that we think they shouldn’t be because of our conception of sport as a special place and politics as a problematic one.
Hello, hello! This week we bring you a new installment in our Wonderful/Wretched series on racial dynamics in the Twin Cities along with sociological research exploring how social and genetic factors combine to influence educational attainment. We also share two #TSPClassics: the first rounds up research on abortion providers in the pre-Roe v. Wade era, while the second explores heterosexual attitudes towards same-sex relationships.
If you are a social scientist who also has ties to the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul but now lives elsewhere, we’d love to include your stories as a component of this collective action. Stories from White social scientists as well as from social scientists of color are welcome, as we aspire to document the full range of experiences of the racial dynamics of the Twin Cities. Please send your reflections to Walt Jacobs at firstname.lastname@example.org by July 10.
With the Supreme Court’s decision this week to strike down a Louisiana law restricting abortion, we bring back “Abortion Providers before Roe v. Wade,” a TROT by Allison Nobles that rounds up historical research on abortion providers before abortion was legal in the United States.
And, as Pride month draws to a close, we share “Acceptance vs. Advocacy of LGBTQ Rights” by Isabel Arriagada. This piece recalls a Los Angeles Times op-ed in which sociologist Amin Ghaziani explains that heterosexuals are often willing to extend ‘formal rights’ to gay couples, but they are less willing to demonstrate political engagement or material support.
Welcome Back! This week we bring you three new installments in our Wonderful/Wretched series on racial dynamics in the Twin Cities. We also share two #TSPClassics highlighting LGBTQ issues: one focuses on partnering in rural communities, while the other explores the rise in acceptance of same-sex sexuality worldwide.
If you are a social scientist who also has ties to the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul but now lives elsewhere, we’d love to include your stories as a component of this collective action. Stories from White social scientists as well as from social scientists of color are welcome, as we aspire to document the full range of experiences of the racial dynamics of the Twin Cities. Please send your reflections to Walt Jacobs at email@example.com.