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Archive for the ‘culture’ Category

open culture – a great web site

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Open Culture is a great web site that archives all manner of free and out of copy right film, books, and television. The film section is itself a treasure of classic and modern film. For example, you can see every Tarkovsky film online. Netflix is cheap but Open Culture is free – and good for you!

50+ chapters of grad skool advice goodness: Grad Skool Rulz/From Black Power

Written by fabiorojas

August 31, 2014 at 12:01 am

our blog’s new mission statement

50+ chapters of grad skool advice goodness: Grad Skool Rulz/From Black Power

Written by fabiorojas

August 10, 2014 at 12:01 am

Posted in culture, fabio, Institutions

my favorite weird al video of the week

50+ chapters of grad skool advice goodness: Grad Skool Rulz/From Black Power

Written by fabiorojas

August 3, 2014 at 12:01 am

fiona rae discusses her art

50+ chapters of grad skool advice goodness: Grad Skool Rulz/From Black Power

Written by fabiorojas

August 2, 2014 at 12:01 am

the creationism museum: lessons for social movement theory

This summer, Casey Oberlin finished her Ph.D. and she will soon join the sociology faculty of Grinnell College. Her dissertation is a fascinating study of the Creationism Museum in Kentucky. It’s hard to do proper service to such a rich work, but I’d like to summarize some key points for students of social movements and organizations.

Roughly speaking, one branch of the creationist movement has decided to drop conventional politics and instead spend their resources on a museum. This is an interesting issue – why would a museum be viewed as a viable movement strategy? A few key points from Casey’s work:

  • This is an example of “bypassing” where movements decide that electoral politics is limited.
  • This is an example of trying to encourage cultural change.
  • This is a leveraging of existing academic and intellectual structures. They don’t reject science and academia, they dispute one specific issue (evolution).
  • This is an example of factionalism and organizational learning, where current creationists have decided to break off and do it differently because of previous movement failure.

There is much, much more. A nuanced work.

50+ chapters of grad skool advice goodness: Grad Skool Rulz/From Black Power

Written by fabiorojas

August 1, 2014 at 1:01 am

museums vs. neo-institutional theory

In this post, I’ll revive an argument that I raised in the journal Museum & Society. In an article co-authored with Nick Rowland (a former guest on this blog), we argued that it is unwise to use museums as an exemplar of institutional theory. According to the traditional view, museums are these completely malleable things that bend to the will of the institutional environment.

Instead, we argue that there is a technical core to museums that often asserts itself. For example, contemporary art often requires large spaces to installations. Museums that wish to preserve their art must have technology for controlling temperature and humidity. Modern museums also have systems for managing accounts, tracking attendance, and other tasks. We don’t argue that institutionalism is wrong, but that museums are not the “cultural dupes” that appear in the literature. Even cultural organizations have technical cores that must be integrated with their social environments.

50+ chapters of grad skool advice goodness: Grad Skool Rulz/From Black Power

Written by fabiorojas

July 31, 2014 at 12:01 am

Posted in culture, fabio, nonprofit

the rock and roll museum sucks, big time

I recently visited Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. It’s not a terribly good museum, even though it covers a topic, rock and roll, which is very exciting. In this post, I’ll try to figure out what goes wrong.

It always helps to start with a discussion of what museums do. In general, they (a) entertain, (b) educate/inform/indoctrinate, and (c) act as an archive or research center. It’s pretty clear that the R&R Museum isn’t scholarly, so we have to think about how the museum tries to entertain or engage the audience, or tell the audience something.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by fabiorojas

July 30, 2014 at 12:01 am

Posted in culture, fabio, nonprofit

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