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Archive for the ‘culture’ Category

computational ethnography

An important frontier in sociology is computational ethnography – the application of textual analysis, topic modelling, and related techniques to the data generated through ethnographic observation (e.g., field notes and interview transcripts). I got this idea when I saw a really great post-doc present a paper at ASA where historical materials were analyzed using topic modelling techniques, such as LDA.

Let me motivate this with a simple example. Let’s say I am a school ethnographer and I make a claim about how pupils perceive teachers. Typically, the ethnographer would offer an example from his or her field notes that illustrates the perceptions of the teacher. Then, someone would ask, “is this a typical observation?” and then the ethnographer would say, “yes, trust me.”

We no longer have to do that. Since ethnographers produce text, one can use topic models to map out themes or words that tend to appear in field notes and interview transcripts. Then, all block quotes from fields notes and transcripts can be compared to the entire corpus produced during field work. Not only would it attest to the commonality of a topic, but also how it is embedded in a larger network of discourse and meaning.

Cultural sociology, the future is here.

50+ chapters of grad skool advice goodness: Grad Skool Rulz ($1!!!!)/From Black Power/Party in the Street!! 

Written by fabiorojas

January 20, 2015 at 12:01 am

dragonfly

Gerry, we miss you. + A Grover cameo.

50+ chapters of grad skool advice goodness: Grad Skool Rulz ($1!!!!)/From Black Power/Party in the Street!!

Written by fabiorojas

January 4, 2015 at 12:11 am

Posted in culture, fabio

jazz in sillhouette

There’s never enough Sun Ra.

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

 

Written by fabiorojas

December 21, 2014 at 12:01 am

Posted in culture, fabio

i wish western civ was taught this way

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

Written by fabiorojas

December 14, 2014 at 12:04 am

indie rock band economics

A recent alternative press article discusses the dismal economics of independent rock bands. As you can imagine, it’s bad:

In an interesting display of transparency, indie musical duo Pomplamoose wrote a detailed article, describing what it took financially to go on a 28-day tour.

To sum it up, the band made $135,983 in revenue and incurred $147,802 in expenses. So they lost $11,819. Ouch.

The economic issue is that bands have high costs and small audiences. But if you want a real chance at success, you’ll almost certainly need to expand the audience. So tours for starting bands are a form of investment. Additionally, there’s consumption. In the bigger scheme of life, a few thousand bucks is a small price to pay to be a rock god for a while.

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

 

Written by fabiorojas

December 11, 2014 at 12:01 am

Posted in culture, economics, fabio

ka-ching kitty!

Psych experiments show that we tend to overvalue objects that we possess – according to a coffee mug experiment, we would be willing to sell one that we have at a certain price, but others would not be willing to pay that same price.   What happens when the object is a non-human family member?

When negotiating the sale of their home, one Australian family was willing to give up their cat Tiffany to the new homeowners for $140,000 (about $120K in US dollars). Some readers of the article announcing this exchange felt their pets were priceless, while others pointed out that cats are territorial and may not tolerate moves.

The real estate agent is especially happy about his commission, presumably

The real estate agent is especially happy about his commission, presumably

Don’t expect some cats to reciprocate your affectionate feelings – according to one medical examiner, cats will consume your lips and other edibles should you expire in your home. Sweet dreams, kitty owners.

Written by katherinechen

October 22, 2014 at 2:57 pm

the hidden gem that is NPR’s tiny desk concerts

“… Oh, and her English cackle.” via guest DJ M&M.

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

Written by fabiorojas

October 12, 2014 at 12:14 am

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