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Academic Insights for the Thinking World


The meaning of “terrorism”

Anyone who saw the terror on the faces of the people fleeing the attacks in Paris last week will agree that terrorism is the right word to describe the barbaric suicide bombings and the shooting of civilians that awful Friday night. The term terrorism, though once rare, has become tragically common in the twenty-first century.

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9780198744429 Fernandez-Armesto_Foot_in_the_River

“Challenging change” – extract from A Foot in the River

We are a weird species. Like other species, we have a culture. But by comparison with other species, we are strangely unstable: human cultures self-transform, diverge, and multiply with bewildering speed. They vary, radically and rapidly, from time to time and place to place. And the way we live – our manners, morals, habits, experiences, relationships, technology, values – seems to be changing at an ever accelerating pace. The effects can be dislocating, baffling, sometimes terrifying. Why is this?

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Journal of Consumer Research

Consumer reactions to attractive service providers

Imagine that you are going to buy a health care product. You see a highly attractive salesperson. What would be your reaction? Would you feel very happy? Would you spend more time interacting with the salesperson and be more likely to buy his/her products?

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9780199272334 oso

Cars – are they a species?

The Edwardian seer and futurologist, H. G. Wells, wondered whether aircrafts would ever be used commercially. He did the calculations and found that, yes, an airplane could be built and, yes, it would fly, but he proclaimed this would never be commercial.

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Police shootings and the black community

In a recent Huffington Post piece entitled “Police Shootings Are About Class as Well as Race,” Jesse Jackson argued that the issue of police violence specifically, and an unjust and excessive criminal justice system in general, are disproportionately experienced by the poor, irrespective of race.

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17585368 gerontologyseriesb

Grandparents Day: A reading list

On Sunday September 13, the United States will celebrate National Grandparents’ Day. This annual holiday, held on the first Sunday after Labor Day, celebrates our grandmothers and grandfathers. Marian McQuade, grandmother to 43 and great-grandmother of 15, is widely credited with founding the holiday.

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Take down the wall: a Q&A with Michael Dear

We asked Michael Dear to describe his day-to-day experiences of borderland communities. Most of my travel time is devoted to listening to people, observing, and trusting to serendipity. People on both sides of the border are generally helpful and friendly. Once I got lost in fog on my way to the mouth of the Rio Grande at the Gulf of Mexico, and pair of Mexican cops offered me a ride along the beach in their truck. And they came back later to pick me up!

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some men

Learning from Chris Norton over three decades—Part III

Flash forward to 2010. I was now a tenured full professor. I was working with two young male Ph.D. students who in some ways reminded me of myself thirty years earlier—inspired by feminism, wanting to have an impact on the world. Both Tal Peretz and Max Greenberg had, as undergrads, gotten involved in campus-based violence prevention work with men.

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some men

Learning from Chris Norton over three decades—Part II

In my 1980 interview with Chris Norton, he spoke of the tensions of being a pro-feminist man, of struggling with how to integrate his commitments to feminism with his daily life as a carpenter, where he worked with men who didn’t always share those commitments. He spoke of Men Against Sexist Violence’s (MASV) internal discussions of sexism and pornography, and of his own complicated relationship to feminism and other progressive politics.

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some men

Learning from Chris Norton over three decades—Part I

The guy at the front of the room was saying stuff I’d never heard a man say before, especially to a room full of young college guys. Through my basketball-player-eyes, I sized him up to be at least 6’5” with the broad shoulders of a power forward

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Preparing for ASA 2015

This year’s American Sociological Association Annual Meeting takes place in Chicago, and our Sociology team is gearing up. The 110th Annual Meeting will bring together over 6,000 sociologists nationwide for four days of lectures, sessions, and networking with some of the top figures in the field. This year’s theme is “Sexualities in the Social World”

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Age-friendly community initiatives: coming to a neighborhood near you?

The saying that “It takes a village” is well known when recognizing the role of communities in promoting children’s health and human development. At the same time, there is a growing worldwide movement drawing attention to how much communities matter for people of other ages—especially adults confronting the challenges of later life. Efforts to make communities better places for older adults (and potentially for people of all ages) reflect a growing field of research, policy, and practice called “age-friendly community initiatives” (AFCIs).

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Social Work Research

Does homeownership strengthen or loosen the marriage knot?

Picture a snapshot of the American Dream. Chances are, this calls to mind a house and a family. Perhaps the most enduring institutions in American society, homeownership and marriage have shaped the economic fortunes of families in the United States since the country’s origin. So what is the relationship between the two?

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Oxford Bibliographies in Sociology

Death is not the end: The rise and rise of Pierre Bourdieu in US sociology

Pierre Bourdieu would have turned 85 on 1 August 2015. Thirteen years after his death, the French sociologist remains one of the leading social scientists in the world. His work has been translated into dozens of languages (Sapiro & Bustamante 2009), and he is one of the most cited social theorists worldwide, ahead of major thinkers like Jurgen Habermas, Anthony Giddens, or Irving Goffman (Santoro 2008).

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