Living in the past!

A vegetarian, I can’t blame tryptophan. Thus, it must be some sort of “tater-drunk hangover”—or a strong desire not to step on Chris’s excellent post from yesterday—that brings this Friday Roundup on a Saturday. Let’s all just pretend it’s yesterday and enjoy what The Society Pages offered up in a cornucopia (Smörgåsbord?) of social science goodness this week.

The Editors’ Desk:

Guest Post: Foreign Aid to Local NGOs—Good Intentions, Bad Policy,” by Kendra Dupuy, James Ron, and Aseem Prakash for In which political scientists consider the local-level involvement of international NGOs.

Design Time,” by Chris Uggen. In which our editor notes that inspiration needn’t be plagiarism (just don’t claim you wrote “Don’t Stop Believin'”).

Citings & Sightings:

Half a Million Held Back,” by Letta Page. In which U of M research explores the timing and geographic distribution of grade school “retentions.”

September and October Media Awards for Measured Social Science,” by Hollie Nyseth Brehm. In which we continue to catch up with belated awards, drawing attention to excellent pieces from the Wall Street Journal (looking at the “missing prisoner” problem in survey research) and TIME’s online Health and Family section (which wondered why a presidential candidate would link single moms to gun violence).

Miracles,” by Hollie Nyseth Brehm. In which Christmas miracles are real for a growing number of Americans of all religious (or non-religious) inclinations.

Teaching TSP:

American Immigration,” by Hollie Nyseth Brehm. In which a TSP roundtable and a PBS quiz on immigration are employed to get students grappling with immigration’s complexities.


The latest issue of Contexts (the American Sociological Association’s public outreach journal) is now available, and many of its pieces are online. Here are a few to whet your appetite for the full issue.

A Few from the Community Pages:

  • Graphic Sociology. In two related posts, Laura Noren first looks at the evolution of stem and leaf diagrams, then considers—and discards them—as she works to refine the best way to present information on email patterns. Our favorite part, though, is her hidden advice for writers, which jibes so well with Chris Uggen’s thoughts above.
  • Sociological Images. Everyone gets excited for Soc Images’ archives posts, and this week brought us two: Thanksgiving and Black Friday. But that’s not all the trusty team cooked up: Jay Livingston wondered what Durkheim would think of the Macy’s parade, while Lisa Wade took over the Internet with a cross-posted piece on the surprising gender politics of doll houses and the provocative “Colonial Circus,” on the augmented bodies of “giraffe-necked women.” As always, if you click through, be prepared for hours of distracting, fascinating reading.
  • Public Criminology. In two short pieces this week, Michelle Inderbitzen first paused to give thanks, then to wonder about a judge’s intention in sentencing a teen to, umm, ten years of church.
  • Cyborgology. They might be cyborgs. Seriously, how else to explain the consistent output of serious think-pieces, coupled with the glory of David Banks’ secret birthday GIFt party? Click on over to learn about “Bio-Paleo Machines” and Fringe Festival favorite “R.U.X.” Happy birthday, @da_banks.