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50+ chapters of grad skool advice goodness: Grad Skool Rulz ($4.44 – cheap!!!!)
A theory book you can understand!!! Theory for the Working Sociologist (discount code: ROJAS – 30% off!!)
The rise of Black Studies:  From Black Power to Black Studies 
Did Obama tank the antiwar movement? Party in the Street
Read Contexts Magazine– It’s Awesome!!!!

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Written by fabiorojas

December 16, 2018 at 5:02 am

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book spotlight: the coddling of the american mind by lukianoff and haidt

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coddling

Disclaimer: I’m a member of Heterodox Academy and I spoke with Jonathan about the book while it was being written. I am totally biased but don’t blow out of proportion!

The Coddling of the American Mind is a book about two things. The first might be called the “rise of sensitive people.” That is, people now seem to be a bit on the fragile side. Say something awkward on Twitter and you might have thousands of people mocking you. Or say something about race or gender in a class, and people will get on your case. In my business, the Trustees of your university might go on a rant if you are on the wrong side of the discussion on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

Surprisingly, the book is also a self-help book. This is because Haidt and Lukianoff ascribe the rise of sensitive people to the counter-productive ways of thinking. For example, the rise of sensitive people is enabled by the belief that life is a never-ending battle between good and evil people. In such a world, every perceived slight is interpreted as deep wound.

This is consistent with Haidt’s long standing interest in how basic psychological insights can be used to improve our personal and collective lives. In The Happiness Hypothesis, Haidt wasn’t just interested in reporting on recent happiness research. Rather, he lays things out in ways that might help a person make better decisions.*

I think Lukianoff and Haidt are doing something similar. The “outrage culture” they criticize can be ameliorated with some sensible habits of mind. For example, it would be wise to stop seeing the whole world as a zero-sum struggle. Another sensible  suggestion is that people try to keep things in perspective. Even if someone was offensive, say, with a racially tinged joke, we don’t need to jump to the conclusion that they want the worst.

Sociologists might particularly like the section on moral panics. If it is true that we are indulging in habits of mind that amplify anger and distrust, we might be more susceptible to moral panics. That is Lukanioff and Haidt’s analysis of campus speaker controversies. If it is true that college students have been raised in an environment where outrage is normal and fear of conflict is ever present, we shouldn’t be surprised that college students react hysterically to people who say unpopular things, or represent a political party they don’t agree with. The analysis is interesting and sociologists will appreciate it’s Durkheimian flavor.

There’s a lot more to say about this book. There are discussions of parenting styles, trigger warnings, and more. But I’ll end with this. This is a very nice way to understand one important trend in our collective culture and it reads very well. So check it out!

*For example, Haidt discusses research showing that people over estimate how much big homes make them happy and under estimate how commuting to work every day can be miserable. So, if that’s true, most people should live closer to work and accept smaller homes.

++++++++

BUY THESE BOOKS!!
50+ chapters of grad skool advice goodness: Grad Skool Rulz ($4.44 – cheap!!!!)
A theory book you can understand!!! Theory for the Working Sociologist (discount code: ROJAS – 30% off!!)
The rise of Black Studies:  From Black Power to Black Studies 
Did Obama tank the antiwar movement? Party in the Street
Read Contexts Magazine– It’s Awesome!!!!

Written by fabiorojas

December 14, 2018 at 5:01 am

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open borders in national media

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For your perusal, I have compiled articles and op-eds about open borders published in national media:

  1. The Atlantic reviews the open borders movement.
  2. Alex Tabarrok discusses open borders in an op-ed in The Atlantic.
  3. Jeffrey Miron defended open borders in USA Today.
  4. Bryan Caplan defended open borders in Time Magazine.
  5. Nathan Smith defended open borders in Foreign Affairs.
  6. Vox has an interview with me on open borders.
  7. Vox has an earlier overview on open borders here.

Feel free to post in the comments more links to open borders coverage in the media.

++++++++

BUY THESE BOOKS!!
50+ chapters of grad skool advice goodness: Grad Skool Rulz ($4.44 – cheap!!!!)
A theory book you can understand!!! Theory for the Working Sociologist (discount code: ROJAS – 30% off!!)
The rise of Black Studies:  From Black Power to Black Studies 
Did Obama tank the antiwar movement? Party in the Street
Read Contexts Magazine– It’s Awesome!!!!

 

Written by fabiorojas

December 12, 2018 at 5:01 am

Posted in uncategorized

theory for the working sociologist: publication history

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This month, I will delve into Theory for the Working Sociologist. This week, I’ll get into the publication history and review process. Later this month, I will get into how the text plays out in undergraduate and graduate classes.

This first post is about the publication history of the book. I think this is important to talk about because the book publication process is often opaque. Also, as you will see, it was a bit frustrating, so this is part of the “talking cure.”

How did it start? About ten years ago, I wrote a very short blog post called “All of Sociology in Four E-Z Steps.” The idea was simple. If I wanted to explain in very simple terms what sociology was all about, I would write a short blog post. Result? Over 8,000 clicks in one day. I was flabbergasted.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by fabiorojas

December 10, 2018 at 5:58 am

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autechre/chiastic slide

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++++++++

BUY THESE BOOKS!!
50+ chapters of grad skool advice goodness: Grad Skool Rulz ($4.44 – cheap!!!!)
A theory book you can understand!!! Theory for the Working Sociologist (discount code: ROJAS – 30% off!!)
The rise of Black Studies:  From Black Power to Black Studies 
Did Obama tank the antiwar movement? Party in the Street
Read Contexts Magazine– It’s Awesome!!!!

Written by fabiorojas

December 9, 2018 at 5:01 am

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teaser for contexts fall 2018 and it’s like totally and literally good

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Contexts-Fall-2018-Cover-HR-231x0-c-default@2x

In a little while, you will get your paper copies of Contexts Fall 2018 and it will rock. I guarantee it. You may ask, “Sir Editor, how hard will it rock?” It has an interview with Viet Nguyen, author of the Pulitzer Prize winning novel, The Sympathizer. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. This is our first themed issue on Asian America and we’ve got sweet, sweet stuff for you. While it travels in the mail, check out the website for the interview and other tasty morsels. Soon, we’ll put it all online – free for 30 days!!!

++++++++

BUY THESE BOOKS!!
50+ chapters of grad skool advice goodness: Grad Skool Rulz ($4.44 – cheap!!!!)
A theory book you can understand!!! Theory for the Working Sociologist (discount code: ROJAS – 30% off!!)
The rise of Black Studies:  From Black Power to Black Studies 
Did Obama tank the antiwar movement? Party in the Street
Read Contexts Magazine– It’s Awesome!!!!

 

Written by fabiorojas

December 6, 2018 at 5:06 am

Posted in uncategorized

free speech norms can protect people on the left *and* right

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I always find it a bit saddening when academics on the left criticize or reject calls for campus free speech and promote “hate speech” codes. Academics need free speech because what is true may not be popular. Furthermore, faculty protections and norms around free speech were often developed to protect folks on the left, like Civil Rights era activists and pro-labor professors.

Here we are again. Professor Marc Lamont Hill of Temple University is being investigated for “hate speech.” Apparently, Hill said that we wanted a Palestine from “river to sea.” Yes, I completely recognize that the subject of Israel and Palestine is highly contentious and that he’s been accused of inciting violence. But that is exactly why speech needs protection. Hill is hired to be a professor, which entails a responsibility to seek truth as he see fits. And that will include contentious topics. That is why free speech is needed.

Let this be a lesson to people on any side of the political spectrum. Once you make exceptions to the norms around protected speech, your enemies will one day use them against your side. Maybe the folks who wrote the “hate speech” code at Temple did not have this outcome in mind, but it happened.

++++++++

BUY THESE BOOKS!!
50+ chapters of grad skool advice goodness: Grad Skool Rulz ($4.44 – cheap!!!!)
A theory book you can understand!!! Theory for the Working Sociologist (discount code: ROJAS – 30% off!!)
The rise of Black Studies:  From Black Power to Black Studies 
Did Obama tank the antiwar movement? Party in the Street
Read Contexts Magazine– It’s Awesome!!!!

Written by fabiorojas

December 4, 2018 at 5:03 am

Posted in uncategorized