Michelle Alexander made a shocking claim in her 2010 book The New Jim Crow: In the wake of the civil rights era, she argues, criminal punishment has come to succeed slavery and legal discrimination as a powerful and comprehensive system of racial control in the United States. As a civil rights lawyer and law professor, Dr. Alexander assembled decades of social science evidence in building a strong and convincing case for her provocative claim. The book quickly became a best-seller, inspiring students, prisoners, policy makers, and readers from all walks of life. We spoke with Alexander about exposing—and pushing back against—carceral control, as well as spreading social science beyond academia.

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This episode we speak with G. William Domhoff. Domhoff is author of sociology bestseller, Who Rules America?, and is co-author, with recent Office Hours guest Richard L. Zweigenhaft, of The New CEOs. Today we’re talking with Domhoff about his most article, Pension Fund Capitalism or Wall Street Bonanza? A Critique of the Claim That Pension Funds Can Influence Corporations.

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This week we talk with Catherine Squires about her September 2012 article in American Quarterly, Coloring in the Bubble: Perspectives from Black-Oriented Media on the (Latest) Economic Disaster.

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This week we talk with Shehzad Nadeem, author of Dead Ringers: How Outsourcing is Changing the Way Indians Understand Themselves. We discuss what it’s like to work at a call center in India, what Indians think about outsourcing, and the social and cultural challenges faced by both labor and management in outsourcing firms.

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Our guest this episode is Katherine S. Newman, and our topic is her new book, The Accordion Family: Boomerang Kids, Anxious Parents, and the Private Toll of Global Competition. In the world’s wealthiest countries, an increasing number of adults in their twenties and thirties are moving back in with Mom and Dad. What’s driving this trend, and what are the consequences? Listen in to find out.

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This episode, we talk with Enid Logan about her book, “At This Defining Moment”: Barack Obama’s Presidential Candidacy and the New Politics of Race. Logan reflects back on race and gender in the 2008 campaign and also looks at how things have, and have not, changed for the current 2012 campaign.

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This episode we speak with Richard L. Zweigenhaft about his research, with G. William Domhoff, on diversity in the power elite and their new book, The New CEOs: Women, African American, Latino, and Asian American Leaders of Fortune 500 Companies. While Fortune 500 CEOs are still predominantly white males, a growing number of women and people of color have become CEOs in the past two decades. What has caused this increased diversity and what impact has it had? What does this tell us about gender, race, ethnicity, and class in American politics? Listen in to find out.

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This is a special edition of Office Hours: we’re cross-posting the first interview from the all new Contexts Podcast. In this interview, Jessica Streeter speaks with Henry H. Brownstein and Timothy M. Mulcahy, co-authors of the Winter 2012 Contexts feature, Home Cooking: Marketing Meth.

If you like Office Hours, you probably already love Contexts magazine and now you’ve got another great podcast to subscribe to with the Contexts Podcast. So head over to contexts.org to subscribe and while you’re there, check out the new Spring 2012 issue of Contexts!

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This episode we talk with Douglas Arnold, McKnight Presidential Professor of Mathematics at the University of Minnesota. Professor Arnold is active in the movement to boycott Elsevier for charging exorbitantly high prices, supporting measures such as SOPA, PIPA, and until last week, the Research Works Act, as well as for the publisher’s many ethical lapses. We discuss the start of the movement, the movement’s tactics, why this movement took hold in mathematics, in particular, and why those in other fields—such as the social sciences—should pay attention and join in.

Links discussed in the episode:

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This week we thought we’d dig back into the Office Hours archives a bit and revisit an interview we did with Theda Skocpol from 2009 on media, the Internet, and civic participation in the 2008 election. A few years later, we’reright in the middle of another election cycle and questions about the impact of traditional media and online social media are as pertinent as ever, so we thought it’d be a good time to think back to a time when a younger Barack Obama was striding into office with the promise of a new post-partisan era of American political engagement…

If you’re interested in what Skocpol has been up to in the time since this interview, check out her new book, The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism.

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