In this episode, Dr. Abigail C. Saguy joins us to talk about her excellent new book What’s Wrong with Fat? Abigail is an Associate Professor of Sociology and Gender Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles and the Chair of the ASA Section on the Sociology of the Body and Embodiment. We discuss the difficulty of talking about fatness, the way being fat is framed as a problem, the potential for removing the stigma, and what can be learned from coverage of Chris Christie’s lap band surgery.

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In this episode, we talk with Holly Thorpe about her excellent book Snowboarding Bodies in Theory and Practice. We discuss the use of theory to study physical practice, the rapid growth of the sport, gender relations, marketing, the snowboarding body, and writing about sports for different audiences.

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This episode we talk with Natan Sznaider about the Holocaust, memory, and human rights. He is the author of Jewish Memory and the Cosmopolitan Order and The Compassionate Temperament. We discuss his work on the relationship between modernity, capitalism, and the development compassion.

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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 talk with Colin Jerolmack about his new book, The Global Pigeon. We discuss the social meaning attached to animals, how nature shapes our lives, efforts to control the wild, and the professionalization of pigeon racing.

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This episode we talk with Jessica Holden Sherwood about her book, Wealth, Whiteness, and the Matrix of Privilege: The View from the Country Club. We learn about how country clubs work, the various mechanisms of exclusion utilized by members, and how this relates to larger discourses of privilege.

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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 are joined by David J. Leonard, professor of Critical Culture, Gender, & Race Studies at Washington State University and author of After Artest: The NBA and the Assault on Blackness. We discuss the significance of Jason Collins’s article in Sports Illustrated announcing that he is gay, the media’s reaction to him coming out, and sport as a site key site for the performance of gender and sexuality.

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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 episode we talk with Shai Dromi about his recent article, Penny for your Thoughts: Beggars and the Exercise of Morality in Daily Life. Dromi argues that past studies of the city have mischaracterized interactions between people passing by and people asking for money due to the focus on risk, fear, and crime. Instead, for many people in Shai’s study, homeless people’s requests for money provided a dimension of moral reflection to the urban landscape.

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