OwlTail

Cover image of New Books in Sociology
(21)

Rank #59 in Social Sciences category

Science
Social Sciences

New Books in Sociology

Updated 21 days ago

Rank #59 in Social Sciences category

Science
Social Sciences
Read more

Interviews with Sociologists about their New Books

Read more

Interviews with Sociologists about their New Books

iTunes Ratings

21 Ratings
Average Ratings
16
1
0
2
2

Interesting topics and guests

By HanaBones - Dec 11 2019
Read more
I love all the NBN podcasts, they are so interesting and informative. However sometimes the audio from the guests is hard to hear/understand... but everything else about these podcasts is great. So happy I found them!

Informative, Fascinating, and Oh So Social!

By Katie Joy B. - Dec 04 2018
Read more
All of the amazing NBn hosts, along with their fascinating guests, do a phenomenal job at providing an in-depth look into the latest Sociology publications without giving away too much! The wide variety of topics they cover and the engaging way in which they do so had me hooked from the very first listen. Thanks for putting out such an enjoyable show guys - keep up the great work!

iTunes Ratings

21 Ratings
Average Ratings
16
1
0
2
2

Interesting topics and guests

By HanaBones - Dec 11 2019
Read more
I love all the NBN podcasts, they are so interesting and informative. However sometimes the audio from the guests is hard to hear/understand... but everything else about these podcasts is great. So happy I found them!

Informative, Fascinating, and Oh So Social!

By Katie Joy B. - Dec 04 2018
Read more
All of the amazing NBn hosts, along with their fascinating guests, do a phenomenal job at providing an in-depth look into the latest Sociology publications without giving away too much! The wide variety of topics they cover and the engaging way in which they do so had me hooked from the very first listen. Thanks for putting out such an enjoyable show guys - keep up the great work!

Best weekly hand curated episodes for learning

Cover image of New Books in Sociology

New Books in Sociology

Latest release on Jan 14, 2021

Best weekly hand curated episodes for learning

The Best Episodes Ranked Using User Listens

Updated by OwlTail 21 days ago

Rank #1: Brett Frischmann and Evan Selinger, "Re-Engineering Humanity" (Cambridge UP, 2018)

Podcast cover
Read more

Every day, new warnings emerge about artificial intelligence rebelling against us. All the while, a more immediate dilemma flies under the radar. Have forces been unleashed that are thrusting humanity down an ill-advised path, one that's increasingly making us behave like simple machines? In Re-Engineering Humanity (Cambridge University Press, 2018), Brett Frischmann and Evan Selinger examine what's happening to our lives as society embraces big data, predictive analytics, and smart environments. They explain how the goal of designing programmable worlds goes hand in hand with engineering predictable and programmable people. Detailing new frameworks, provocative case studies, and mind-blowing thought experiments, Frischmann and Selinger reveal hidden connections between fitness trackers, electronic contracts, social media platforms, robotic companions, fake news, autonomous cars, and more. This powerful analysis should be read by anyone interested in understanding exactly how technology threatens the future of our society, and what we can do now to build something better.

John Danaher is a lecturer the National University of Ireland, Galway. He is also the host of the wonderful podcast Philosophical Disquisitions. You can find it here on Apple Podcasts.

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Jan 23 2020

1hr 29mins

Play

Rank #2: Margot Finn, "Discriminating Taste: How Class Anxiety Created the American Food Revolution" (Rutgers UP, 2017)

Podcast cover
Read more

You eat what you are and are what you eat, right? There is an increasing number of Americans who pay great attention to the food they eat, buy organic vegetables, drink fine wines, and seek out exotic cuisine. The affordability of food across the class spectrum have become more accessible. The masses, however, still lack other forms of capital (social, cultural, and culinary) necessary to fully understand and enjoy the delights of its consumption. Further, people also seek to differentiate themselves from being labeled as an unrefined eater (e.g., the common person who lives on junk food), the food snob, a gourmet, and possibly even a foodie.

In her new book Discriminating Taste: How Class Anxiety Created the American Food Revolution (Rutgers University Press, 2017), Dr. Margot Finn argues that the rise of gourmet, ethnic, diet, and organic foods must be understood in tandem with the economy. She offers an illuminating historical perspective on current trends in the production and consumption of food. Finn also presents a parallel with the Guilded Age as a time of class division and when gourmet dinners, international cuisines, slimming diets, and pure foods became fads.

Throughout her research, Finn identifies the key ways that “good food” has become conflated with high-brow culture. She considers how class serves as a false form for social stratification in culinary consumption. Finn particularly focuses on how taste hierarchies provide a false consciousness for middle-class professionals who tend to fetishize cultural commodities. The author provides a provocative exploration into the ideology of contemporary food culture. This piece teaches us to challenge the maxim that humans are what they eat.

Michael O. Johnston is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at William Penn University. He is currently conducting research on the placemaking associated with the development of farmers’ market.

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Dec 21 2018

53mins

Play

Similar Podcasts

New Books in Philosophy

New Books in Anthropology

New Books in Political Science

New Books in Gender Studies

SAGE Sociology

New Books in Critical Theory

New Books in Intellectual History

New Books in Psychology

New Books in Science, Technology, and Society

New Books in History

New Books in Psychoanalysis

New Books Network

New Books in Middle Eastern Studies

New Books in World Affairs

New Books in Public Policy

Rank #3: Theda Skocpol, "Upending American Politics" (Oxford UP, 2020)

Podcast cover
Read more

Since 2008, the Tea Party and the Resistance have caused some major shake-ups for the Republican and Democratic parties. The changes fall outside the scope of traditional party politics, and outside the realm of traditional social science research. To better understand what’s going on Theda Skocpol, the Victor S. Thomas Professor of Government and Strategy at Harvard and Director of the Scholars Strategy Network, convened a group of researchers to study the people and organizations and at the heart of these grassroots movements.

Skocpol joins us this week to discuss their findings and the new book (co-edited with Caroline Tervo) Upending American Politics: Polarizing Parties, Ideological Elites, and Citizen Activists from the Tea Party to the Anti-Trump Resistance (Oxford University Press, 2020). Her work in particular focuses on the Tea Party and includes interviews with Tea Party members across the country. We also discuss the Resistance and whether these oppositional forces to the party in power are likely to continue after November’s election.

Jenna Spinelle is a journalism instructor at Penn State, host of the Democracy Works podcast, produced by Penn State’s McCourtney Institute for Democracy.

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Mar 11 2020

45mins

Play

Rank #4: Lorenzo Zamponi, “Social Movements, Memory and Media: Narrative in Action in the Italian and Spanish Student Movements” (Palgrave, 2018)

Podcast cover
Read more

How do social movements remember the past? How do collective memories affect their current strategic choices? In his book Social Movements, Memory and Media: Narrative in Action in the Italian and Spanish Student Movements (Palgrave, 2018), Lorenzo Zamponi provides an answer to these questions by analyzing the representations of specific episodes related to the Italian and Spanish student movements of the 1960s and 1970s, and the recollection of those events by current student activists.


By bridging the disciplines of memory studies and social movement studies, Lorenzo makes a significant contribution to our understanding of how cultural factors shape political action. Collective memories can serve as a way of legitimation and mobilization to social movements, but they can also limit their strategic choices by imposing certain past identities and contentious repertoires.


Researchers from all disciplines interested in the intersect between memory and social movement studies are encouraged to answer to the Call for Papers for a special issue to be published in Mobilization, edited by the author.

Felipe G. Santos is a PhD candidate at the Central European University and Visiting Research Fellow at the University of California Irvine. His research is focused on how activists care for each other and how care practices within social movements mobilize and radicalize heavily aggrieved collectives.

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Sep 25 2018

36mins

Play

Most Popular Podcasts

The Joe Rogan Experience

TED Talks Daily

The Tim Ferriss Show

The Daily

Stuff You Should Know

Oprah's SuperSoul Conversations

Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard

Rank #5: Sujatha Gidla, “Ants among Elephants: An Untouchable Family and the Making of Modern India” (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2017)

Podcast cover
Read more

In her searing book Ants among Elephants: An Untouchable Family and the Making of Modern India (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2017), Sujatha Gidla traces her family’s history over four generations in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh. From their conversion into Christianity by Canadian missionaries and her grandfather’s stint in the British army; her uncle Satyamurthy’s rise as a revolutionary poet, labor organizer and eventual founder of the Maoist People’s War Group (PWG) and her mother Manjula’s struggles raising three children in the face of everyday caste discrimination, to her own involvement with the PWG’s radical student wing that ended with brief imprisonment, it is the impossibility of transcending caste even in “modern” India that she circles back to. She writes, “Your life is your caste, your caste is your life.” Her book has been reviewed to critical acclaim in the New York Times, BBC, and Slate among others. Gidla lives in New York City and works as a subway conductor for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.


Madhuri Karak is a Ph.D. candidate in cultural anthropology at The Graduate Center, City University of New York. Her dissertation, titled “Part-time Insurgents, Civil War and Extractive Capital in an Adivasi Frontier,” explores processes of statemaking in the bauxite-rich mountains of southern Odisha, India. She tweets @madhurikarak and more of work can be found here.

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Nov 26 2017

40mins

Play

Rank #6: Virginia Eubanks, "Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor" (St. Martin's, 2018)

Podcast cover
Read more

The State of Indiana denies one million applications for healthcare, foodstamps and cash benefits in three years―because a new computer system interprets any mistake as “failure to cooperate.” In Los Angeles, an algorithm calculates the comparative vulnerability of tens of thousands of homeless people in order to prioritize them for an inadequate pool of housing resources. In Pittsburgh, a child welfare agency uses a statistical model to try to predict which children might be future victims of abuse or neglect.

Since the dawn of the digital age, decision-making in finance, employment, politics, health and human services has undergone revolutionary change. Today, automated systems―rather than humans―control which neighborhoods get policed, which families attain needed resources, and who is investigated for fraud. While we all live under this new regime of data, the most invasive and punitive systems are aimed at the poor.

In Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor (St. Martin's, 2018)Virginia Eubanks systematically investigates the impacts of data mining, policy algorithms, and predictive risk models on poor and working-class people in America. The book is full of heart-wrenching and eye-opening stories, from a woman in Indiana whose benefits are literally cut off as she lays dying to a family in Pennsylvania in daily fear of losing their daughter because they fit a certain statistical profile.

The U.S. has always used its most cutting-edge science and technology to contain, investigate, discipline and punish the destitute. Like the county poorhouse and scientific charity before them, digital tracking and automated decision-making hide poverty from the middle-class public and give the nation the ethical distance it needs to make inhumane choices: which families get food and which starve, who has housing and who remains homeless, and which families are broken up by the state. In the process, they weaken democracy and betray our most cherished national values.

This deeply researched and passionate book could not be more timely.

John Danaher is a lecturer the National University of Ireland, Galway. He is also the host of the wonderful podcast Philosophical Disquisitions. You can find it here on Apple Podcasts.

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Feb 20 2020

1hr 22mins

Play

Rank #7: Jatin Dua, "Captured at Sea: Piracy and Protection in the Indian Ocean" (U California Press, 2019)

Podcast cover
Read more

Captured at Sea: Piracy and Protection in the Indian Ocean (University of California Press, 2019) is a pirate story of a different kind. Based on years of ethnographic fieldwork in Somalia, the UK and other parts of Africa and the Middle East, Jatin Dua describes a tale that is not often told: how piracy works in the everyday lives of those involved in its grip. Professor Dua’s book draws from interviews and participant observation with pirates, merchants who were seized by pirates, merchants who supply pirates, insurance brokers who indemnify pirates’ victims and many others who are involved in the intimate, social and entirely real world of modern-day piracy in the Red and Arabian Seas.

Jeffrey Bristol is a PhD candidate in Anthropology at Boston University and a practicing attorney.

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Apr 01 2020

59mins

Play

Rank #8: Sarah Halpern-Meekin, "Social Poverty: Low-Income Parents and the Struggle for Family and Community Ties" (NYU Press, 2019)

Podcast cover
Read more

Does a person’s well-being go well beyond how much money they have in their bank account? In Social Poverty: Low-Income Parents and the Struggle for Family and Community Ties (NYU Press, 2019), Dr. Sarah Halpern-Meekin provides an in-depth picture of the social ties among low-income, unmarried parents, highlighting their often-ignored forms of hardship. Drawing from in-depth interviews with 31 couples who participated in a government-sponsored relationship education program called Family Expectations, Dr. Halpern-Meekin brings necessary attention to the relational and emotional dimensions of socioeconomic disadvantage.

Halpern-Meekin takes an unconventional approach by focusing on social poverty as more than just a derivative of economic poverty, having its own condition, which also perpetuates poverty. In Social Poverty, Halpern-Meekin sheds light on the fundamental place of core socioemotional needs in the lives of humans. The author highlights a new direction for policy and poverty research that can enrich scholars’ understanding of disadvantaged families around the nation.

Michael O. Johnston, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at William Penn University. He is currently conducting research on student outlook on classroom technology.

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Jul 26 2019

44mins

Play

Rank #9: Sean R. Gallagher, “The Future of University Credentials: New Developments at the Intersection of Higher Education and Hiring” (Harvard Education Press, 2016)

Podcast cover
Read more

The Future of University Credentials: New Developments at the Intersection of Higher Education and Hiring (Harvard Education Press, 2016) offers a thorough and urgently needed overview of the burgeoning world of university degrees and credentials. At a time of heightened attention to how universities and colleges are preparing young people for the working world, questions about the meaning and value of university credentials have become especially prominent. Sean R. Gallagher, EdD, guides us through this fast-changing terrain, providing much-needed context, details, and insights.


The book casts a wide net, focusing on traditional higher education degrees and on the myriad certificates and other postsecondary awards that universities and other institutions now issue. He describes the entire ecosystem of credentials, including universities and colleges, employers, government agencies, policy makers and influencers—and, not least, the students whose futures are profoundly affected by these certifications. And he looks intently at where university credentials might be headed, as educational institutions seek to best serve students and employers in a rapidly changing world.


Hoover Harris, editor of Degree or Not Degree?, holds a PhD in English Literature and writes and speaks about trends in higher education. He can be reached by email at hooverharris@icloud.co or on Twitter @degreenot.

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

May 14 2018

35mins

Play

Rank #10: Christopher D. Bader, "Fear Itself: The Causes and Consequences of Fear in America" (NYU Press, 2020)

Podcast cover
Read more

From moral panics about immigration and gun control to anxiety about terrorism and natural disasters, Americans live in a culture of fear. While fear is typically discussed in emotional or poetic terms—as the opposite of courage, or as an obstacle to be overcome—it nevertheless has very real consequences in everyday life. Persistent fear negatively effects individuals’ decision-making abilities and causes anxiety, depression, and poor physical health. Further, fear harms communities and society by corroding social trust and civic engagement. Yet politicians often effectively leverage fears to garner votes and companies routinely market unnecessary products that promise protection from imagined or exaggerated harms.

Drawing on five years of data from the Chapman Survey of American Fears—which canvasses a random, national sample of adults about a broad range of fears—Fear Itself: The Causes and Consequences of Fear in America (NYU Press, 2020), offers new insights into what people are afraid of and how fear affects their lives. The authors--Christopher Bader and his colleagues-- also draw on participant observation with Doomsday preppers and conspiracy theorists to provide fascinating narratives about subcultures of fear. Fear Itself is a novel, wide-ranging study of the social consequences of fear, ultimately suggesting that there is good reason to be afraid of fear itself.

In this interview, Bader and I discuss Americans’ greatest fears, conspiracies, preppers, and fear of crime. We then discuss how xenophobia and the media perpetuate fear. Lastly, Dr. Bader reviews the consequences of fear and how to ameliorate some of the negative effects of fear and how people can best manage their fears. I recommend this book for students, professors, and anyone else interested in crime and deviance, religion, collective behavior, and the social components of fear.

Krystina Millar is a PhD student in the Department of Sociology at Indiana University. Her research interests include gender, sociology of the body, and sexuality. You can find her on Twitter at @KrystinaMillar.

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Apr 22 2020

54mins

Play

Rank #11: Abigail De Kosnik and Keith P. Feldman, "#Identity: Hashtagging Race, Gender, Sexuality, and Nation" (U Michigan Press, 2019)

Podcast cover
Read more

In the new book #Identity: Hashtagging Race, Gender, Sexuality, and Nation (University of Michigan Press, 2019), Abigail De Kosnik and Keith Feldman bring together a broad array of chapters that dive into multiple perspectives on social media engagement, especially around hashtag activism and the ways that individuals think about and interact with others via Twitter in regard to social movements and political involvement. As the authors note, “#identity is among the first scholarly books to address the positive and negative effects of Twitter on our contemporary world.” This text came out of The Color of New Media working group at the University of California at Berkeley and the contributors come from a variety of academic backgrounds and disciplines, making this a particularly interdisciplinary approach to considering and understanding a wide variety of social movements, social engagement, political discourse, and active use of hashtagging and Twitter. The chapters include examinations of the global use of Twitter in India and Africa; the rise of and then subsequent response/backlash to black Twitter; and the way that Twitter has been used to target minoritarian groups who have established connections and communities via Twitter and social media. This is a fascinating and diverse book, bringing together different voices, studies, and analysis, all examining how Twitter and #hashtagging has grown up, evolved, and essentially provided a platform for political rhetoric, engagement, and also silencing. #identity will appeal to scholars in many different disciplines including sociology, political science, media studies, gender and women’s studies, Queer studies, postcolonial studies, African-American Studies, American Studies, global studies, and more.

This book is available open access here.

Lilly J. Goren is Professor of Political Science at Carroll University in Waukesha, WI.

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Jun 05 2019

1hr 1min

Play

Rank #12: Richard S. Marken and Timothy A. Carey, “Controlling People” (Australian Academic Press, 2015)

Podcast cover
Read more

The word “control”, with its seemingly instantaneous mental associations with forms of top-down oppression, is one that makes even some cyberneticians nervous and is often downplayed in contemporary descriptions of the field.   Perhaps this is one reason why William Powers’ fundamentally cybernetic Perceptual Control Theory, or PCT, has, in recent decades, continued its substantial development outside the disciplinary boundaries of cybernetics proper.  But, in fact, PCT stands as one of the most robust and fully developed strands of the cybernetic legacy which, through its impact on psychology via the development of PCT grounded Method of Levels therapy, has had a tangible influence on a mainstream field; not something that can be claimed by all that many developments in cybernetics since its heyday in the 1950’s.    Richard S. Marken and Timothy A. Carey cut right to the heart of the nervous-making matter with the title of their 2015 book, Controlling People: The Paradoxical Nature of Being Human from Australian Academic Press.  In my conversation with co-author, Richard S. Marken, we get comfortable with the notion that, as Powers put it, “behaviour is the control of perception” and that controlling is, quite simply, what we do all day, every day; from being able to sit upright in a chair without collapsing, to completing our every day tasks at work, to maintaining our sense of ourselves as the kind of people we would most like to be.  The good news, delivered by Carey and Marken in clear, highly accessible prose for the general reader, is that, if we take the time to understand the hierarchically nested control systems of which our psyches are comprised and bring their operation into our conscious awareness, we can take great strides in avoiding those facets of control that bring us into uncomfortable and, at times, destructive conflict with others and with ourselves.

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

May 04 2018

1hr 11mins

Play

Rank #13: Eliot Borenstein, "Plots Against Russia: Conspiracy and Fantasy after Socialism" (Cornell UP, 2019)

Podcast cover
Read more

Since the demise of the Soviet Union in 1991, conspiratorial thinking has taken deep root in contemporary Russia, moving from the margins to the forefront of cultural, historical, and political discourse and fueled by centuries-long prejudices and new paranoias. In his characteristically witty, irreverent style, Eliot Borenstein (Professor of Russian & Slavic Studies, Collegiate Professor in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Acting Chair of East Asian Studies, and Senior Academic Convenor for the Global Network at New York University), draws on popular fiction, television, internet, public political pronouncements, religious literature, and other materials to trace the origins, history, and modern manifestations of Russian konspirologiia in Plots Against Russia: Conspiracy and Fantasy after Socialism (Cornell University Press, 2019). We discuss popular conspiracy theories such as the Harvard Project and the Dulles Plan, why and how conspiratorial thinking has flourished in post-Soviet Russia, the dynamics of paranoia and melodrama and the roles of anti-Semitism and homophobia in framing and shaping conspiracy theories, the construct of Russophobia as a key element in nationalist ideology, and the influence of the changing U.S.-Russia relationship on konspirologiia in recent years.

Diana Dukhanova is Visiting Assistant Professor of Russian at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA. Her work focuses on religion and sexuality in Russian cultural history, and she is currently working on a monograph about Russian religious philosopher Vasily Rozanov. Diana tweets about contemporary events in the Russian religious landscape at https://twitter.com/RussRLGNWatch.

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Apr 16 2019

52mins

Play

Rank #14: Kelsy Burke, “Christians Under Covers: Evangelicals and Sexual Pleasure on the Internet” (U California Press, 2016)

Podcast cover
Read more

How do we conceptualize religious conservatives and their relationship with sex? And how do Christians use digital media for sexual knowledge and pleasure? In her new book, Christians Under Covers: Evangelicals and Sexual Pleasure on the Internet (University of California Press, 2016), Kelsy Burke tackles these issues and more. Using “virtual ethnography” consisting of analysis of website content and interviews with website users online, Burke explores the ways in which evangelicals maintain commitment to God while expressing and learning about themselves sexually online. This book uses a feminist and queer perspective to understand this population and many of sociology’s great topics, including power, inequality, and gender. Respondents tend to think about themselves in terms of what Burke refers to as marital exceptionalism – that if these conversations and acts are taking place within a heterosexual marriage, then they are okay. She compares and contrasts men and women’s experiences on these websites, finding that women focus more on sexual awakening and how sexual pleasure ties to their emotional and spiritual lives, while men focus more on the practical aspects of issues they are questioning. Most evangelicals see their sexual experiences as tied to God and rest in their faith for understanding.


This book will be of interest to gender and religion scholars, but Burke provides really clear and accessible explanations early on in the book which makes the book marketable to a wide audience. This text would be useful in a Sociology of Religion or a Sociology of Gender class regarding religion, graduate level.

Sarah E. Patterson is a postdoc at the University of Western Ontario. You can tweet her at @spattersearch.

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Jul 17 2018

41mins

Play

Rank #15: John Mingers, “Systems Thinking, Critical Realism and Philosophy: A Confluence of Ideas” (Routledge, 2014(

Podcast cover
Read more

In the fields of systems and cybernetics, such movements as Soft Systems Methodology and Second-Order Cybernetics have undermined the objective realist view from nowhere at the core of scientific practice. Instead, they foreground a constructivist view of knowledge insisting that human consciousness has no direct access to any possible external reality and, thus, when considering social systems, ontological questions need to be put aside in favor of strictly epistemological ones. In the view of John Mingers, this epistemological turn has done much good through its pluralistic approach to truth claims but has, to some degree, overcorrected in its rejection of naive realism and left the rationalization of particular interventions into social systems in a state of unproductive paralysis. In his book, Systems Thinking, Critical Realism and Philosophy: A Confluence of Ideas (Routledge, 2014), Mingers offers an integration of the work of critical realist philosopher Roy Bhaskar as a corrective to this state of affairs. Mingers thoroughly detailed and rigorously argued book offers systems thinkers and cyberneticians a potential way out of an epistemological cul de sac which is surprisingly compatible with such canonical thinkers in the field as Peter Checkland and Humberto Maturana and opens the door to new kinds of differential ontology and methodological pluralism that could help move this fields forward in significantly productive ways.

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Jan 22 2018

1hr 4mins

Play

Rank #16: Lisa Wade, “American Hookup: The New Culture of Sex on Campus” (Norton, 2017)

Podcast cover
Read more

“Hookup” has become a buzzword, a misleading concept for students, parents and educators alike–one that confuses more than explains the nuances of this complex and pervasive trend. In American Hookup: The New Culture of Sex on Campus (W. W. Norton, 2017), Lisa Wade analyzes its cultural roots: the evolution of courtship, our unrealized feminist revolution, America’s new business model of higher education, and the increasingly tenuous economic futures faced by young people. The hookup came to dominate college campuses in this context, but the trouble extends beyond hooking up to the culture itself. It rewards students who endorse and embrace meaningless sex, while ostracizing those who don’t. And there is no escaping it. It permeates not just dorm rooms and frat houses, but dining halls, quads, Facebook and Instagram feeds, and even classrooms. It is now part of the quintessential college experience, necessary for forming and maintaining friendships, and it often determines social status, whether students opt in or out.


By including students’ own perspectives and experiences through their college years and beyond, Wade presents a personal and compelling portrait of hookup culture, exploring how it affects a diverse range of students and what it says about the changing face of dating and sex in Tinder-era America. By the end of their senior year, even the most enthusiastic supporters of hookup culture wanted to feel more in hookups and to hurt or be hurt less, to abide by their own standards of attraction, and to opt out of a culture of sexual competition that leaves very few winners and too many losers. Wade challenges readers to envision new sexual cultures, ones that are more equal, more pleasurable, more respectful, kinder, and safer. Wade’s takeaway is for educators, parents, and students alike, asking not “How can we go back?” but “Where do we go from here?” College campuses have always been and should be a place of cultural revolution, and there’s no better place to re-imagine hookup culture and transform American culture in the process.

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Apr 06 2017

45mins

Play

Rank #17: Alex Colas et al., "Food, Politics, and Society Social Theory and the Modern Food System" (U California Press, 2018)

Podcast cover
Read more

The consumption of food and drink is much more than what we put in our mouth. Food and drink have been a focal point of modern social theory since the inception of agrarian capitalism and the industrial revolution. The origins of food and drink are rather complex. The construction of food and drink as authentic to a specific region is even more complex. Join us for a discussion with Alex Colas, Jason Edwards, Jane Levi, and Sami Zubaida about their book Food, Politics, and Society Social Theory and the Modern Food System(University of California Press, 2018). Together we will learn more about the history and sociology of how various ideas and practices shape human understanding and organization of the production, processing, preparation, serving, and consumption of food and drink in modern society. The authors divide this book into twelve chapters and draw on a wide range of historical and empirical illustrations to provide a concise, informed, and accessible survey of the interaction between social theory as well as food and drink. They provide a perfect interview for a wide range of discipline as long been a focal point of modern social theory.

Michael O. Johnston is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at William Penn University. He is currently conducting research on the placemaking associated with the development of farmers’ market.

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Mar 20 2019

47mins

Play

Rank #18: John N. Singer, "Race, Sports, and Education: Improving Opportunities and Outcomes for Black Male College Athletes" (Harvard Ed Press, 2019)

Podcast cover
Read more

College sport is a multi-billion dollar industry. The men and women who lead the teams in the most important conferences often make millions of dollars between their coaching salaries and endorsement deals. But what about the athletes themselves? Most get a “free ride” (tuition, food and board), but is that sufficient?

Given that the majority of the athletes in the major sports (read that to be football and men’s basketball) are African American, what type of recompense are they getting for their toil and sweat on the gridiron and the hardcourt? Since the overwhelming majority of these men do not make it to the NFL or the NBA, are they benefiting from being student-athletes, or are they being taken advantage of by schools and universities that make money off of their efforts and provide little in return?

It is important questions such as these that John N. Singer addresses in his book, Race, Sports, and Education: Improving Opportunities and Outcomes for Black Male College Athletes (Harvard Education Press, 2019). By interviewing athletes, Singer gets to the heart of the debate about the value (or not) of collegiate athletics. Many of the subjects interviewed did benefit, but they relate how the machinery of college athletics still continues to exploit its principal workers: African American young men. Singer’s work opens the door to the voices of such individuals, and they have much to say about the current (sorry) state of things, and how the athletes themselves can work (with concerned faculty and administrators) to bring about change.

Jorge Iber is a professor of history at Texas Tech University.

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Jan 10 2020

59mins

Play

Rank #19: Mythri Jegathesan, "Tea and Solidarity: Tamil Women and Work in Postwar Sri Lanka" (U Washington Press, 2019)

Podcast cover
Read more

In recent years, commodity chain analysis – the scholarly effort to piece together the production and consumption ends of various commodities – has really taken off. For goods ranging from cotton to coffee & tobacco to tea, scholars have brought cultivators and laborers into the same frame as factory workers, retailers, taste-makers, and consumers. At first glance, Mythri Jegathesan’s new book Tea & Solidarity: Tamil Women & Work in Postwar Sri Lanka (University of Washington Press, 2019) appears like yet another contribution to a burgeoning literature on the politics of tea’s supply chain.

But the book, in fact, is so much more. Based on the author’s rich fieldwork conducted amongst Hill Country Tamil women living on tea plantations, the book uses feminist and decolonial methods to tell the long story of marginalization and struggle in a war-torn Sri Lanka. Hill Country Tamil women trace their descent from indentured coolies brought to Ceylon from southern India; as such, their stories have long been narrated largely as stories of victimization, of structural violence, landlessness, and dispossession. Challenging these conventional narratives, this book aims to recenter Tamil women’s long struggle for dignity on and off tea plantations by paying attention to the aspirations and labors with which they demand recognition for their work, make homes in the wake of dispossession, and desire better futures than those currently on offer. With clear, heartfelt prose, methodological imaginativeness, and careful attention to intersecting axes of power and distinction, this book not only makes essential contributions to the fields of anthropology and gender studies but also to scholars interested in South Asia, decoloniality, and ethical research methods.

Aparna Gopalan is a Ph.D. Candidate in Social Anthropology at Harvard University studying the reproduction of inequality through development projects in rural western India.

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

May 05 2020

55mins

Play

Rank #20: Jieun Baek, "North Korea's Hidden Revolution: How the Information Underground Is Transforming a Closed Society" (Yale UP, 2016)

Podcast cover
Read more

With recent events having raised hopes that significant change may be afoot in North Korea, it is important to remember that DPRK society has in fact been undergoing steady transformation for a considerable period of time. Among the most important dimensions of this are the changes that have occurred in the kind of information North Koreans have access to, and this is the subject of Jieun Baek's excellent North Korea's Hidden Revolution: How the Information Underground Is Transforming a Closed Society (Yale University Press, 2016).

Based on interviews with North Koreans who have settled in the South, Baek shows how everything from television programs to foreign affairs coverage and fashion has made its way into the country from the outside world. DPRK citizens today live in a much more informationally open society than the all-too-common ‘hermit kingdom’ label would imply. As well as getting a rich sense of the very personal stories that often underlie the movement of information, goods and cash into the country, we also come from Baek's work to understand the elaborate networks of smugglers, traders and intermediaries who facilitate its passage. Appreciating all of the complexity around North Korea's involvement in global flows, and how the Pyongyang government is responding to this, will surely be crucial whatever course this state and its people take over the coming months and years.

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Feb 12 2019

1hr 3mins

Play