The Missing Feminist Revolution in Sociology: Functionalist Co-optation

"In the United States the sociological study of gender originated in functionalist family sociology and has been deeply shaped by the concepts developed by Talcott Parsons. [...] Early on, contemporary feminists recognized the influence and limitations of functionalism as a framework for understanding gender. Several of the founding works of the contemporary women's movement criticized Parsons... Continue Reading →

“One Day I’m Going to be Really Successful”: The Social Class Politics of Videos Made for the “It Gets Better” Anti-Gay Bullying Project

“The individualism built into IGB [It Gets Better] and the lack of structural critique makes problematic social class narratives particularly likely. Social class is fundamental to IGB because one of the primary ways in the US for LGBT people to document how they have improved their lives is through extensive descriptions of personal and financial... Continue Reading →

Social production of moral invisibility

“So far we have tried to reconstruct the social mechanism of ‘overcoming the animal pity’; a social production of conduct contrary to innate moral inhibitions, capable of transforming individuals who are not ‘moral degenerates’ in any of the ‘normal’ senses, into murderers or conscious collaborators in the murdering process. The experience of the Holocaust brings... Continue Reading →

Unmasking Racism: Halloween Costuming and Engagement of the Racial Other

“Significantly, the goal of Halloween humor and play is often achieved at the expense of a target, for example, an individual or group that is mocked. While a costume may represent an ultimately aggressive judgment about its target, the joking nature of this practice makes acceptable the sharing of information, which in its unadulterated form... Continue Reading →

The Positive Method in its Application to Social Phenomena

“For Comte, what distinguishes the scientific spirit is its steady subordination of imagination to observation, of reason to “facts.” … In Comte’s view, prediction, or “prevision” as he calls it, will facilitate social control, a primary and even exclusive aim of his positive doctrine. In those terms, “to predict in order to control,” becomes a... Continue Reading →

From Ferguson to France

"The events in Ferguson reveal how victim status in the U.S. is often skewed by race and ethnicity. For example, the New York Times described Michael Brown as a criminal and “no angel” when writing about his death. Similar reports emphasized how Brown had barely graduated high school, enjoyed rap music, and had traces of marijuana in his system when he died. We... Continue Reading →

Carrying Guns, Contesting Genders

"I was nervous about adequately concealing my pistol that morning and carrying it into public space, but as a researcher, I was even more curious about what it was like to carry a gun on an everyday basis. Would it feel different to grab a cup of coffee knowing that I was armed with a... Continue Reading →

The Advent of Positive Philosophy

  “[Augste] Comte [pictured above] had great confidence in the ascendancy of the positive doctrine. Its “perfect logical coherence” and its social function assured success, because this doctrine “will impart a homogeneous and rational character to the desultory politics of our day, and it will...establish a general harmony in the entire system of social ideas…”... Continue Reading →

All the Good Stuff that Cannot be Measured

Yanis Varoufakis talks about the neoclassical economic tradition and its (futile and detrimental) attempt to quantify non-quantifiable phenomena. Such a debate has been raging on in the social sciences for quite some time, and continues today. Theodor Adorno and critical theory offers a important theoretical contribution to this debate (though such a rejection of the imperative... Continue Reading →

The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism

"The Puritan wanted to work in a calling; we are forced to do so. For when asceticism was carried out of monastic cells into everyday life, and began to dominate worldly morality, it did its part in building the tremendous cosmos of the modern economic order. This order is now bound to the technical and... Continue Reading →

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