This episode we talk about a recent paper about happiness (via Graphic Sociology) and whether or not happiness studies actually tell us anything about happiness. After that, we follow-up on an argument Chris made last episode about “being cool” as a cause of human social behavior.

The sound is a little rough this week as three out of the four of us were actually in the same room for a change, which is actually harder to record than four people in four different cities using Skype.

Download Improv 27!

Two topics this week:

First, Arturo jumps off from a recent New Books in Sociology episode to ask whether or not sociology is too set in making repetitive and uncreative arguments.

Second, Chris takes us on a tour through the Billboard Hot 100 and the Top 200, with a stop at the Grammy Album of the Year, partially in response to this article on Hysteria and pop music.

Note: Jon accidentally posted the link to last episode when initially creating this post. If you got the wrong file, please redownload now. Sorry!

Download The Hot 26!

Two segments this week:

First, Chris gives a shout out to Sociological Images for their post on Push Up Bikini Tops at Abercrombie Kids, which inspires a discussion about gender and childhood culture.

Second, a discussion about Ebooks, Amazon, DRM, and the fate of public knowledge.


Download Improv 25.

Because Arturo is obsessed with Glenn Beck, conversation begins there, but quickly moves to government shutdowns, the way economists approach social problems, and we return to last episode’s discussion about education.

Links from this episode:

Download Episode Twenty Four.

Podcasting and procrastination, nuclear power and scientific knowledge, the problem with high schools, and the situation in Libya. Links:

23! Jump!

We start off talking about Charlie Sheen and celebrity (yeah, sorry), and then transition into a discussion about the iPad and music, and technology and qualitative data analysis. We thought we were done then, but we kept on talking about the sad state of rock music today and then NPR versus the right wing. We decided to keep the whole thing.

Links from the episode:

Download Episode 22!

Our first episode recorded in 2011 finds Jesse in Iraq once again and our minds on protest and revolution. Enjoy!

Miscellaneous links discussed:

This podcast is now old enough to drink. Download episode 21!

Remember that big stink over anthropology and science in December? We invited anthropologist Eric Plemons back on the show to talk about science, anthropology, and sociology. We had a fun, lively, & at times heated discussion about the topic. Unfortunately, we were a bit slow with the editing and some time has now passed since this was exactly front page news, but we say science is always in season on the Sociology Improv.

Get the Big Two Ohhhhh!

This episode, we talk about Black Friday mania, Girl Talk, John Stewart, and Wikileaks.

Follow along at home:

Download our 19th attempt at Improvisational Sociology.

On October 27, Jeremy Freese taped a laptop to his face and Skyped into the Soc Improv for a discussion of the NRC rankings. After Jeremy left, we solved the culture of poverty. Or something like that.

Unfortunately, due to a freak editing accident, this episode is just now being posted. Sorry, Jeremy. (And sorry, Christopher Newport.)

Links discussed in this episode:

Better late than never: Improv #18!