Foundations of Modern Social Theory

Auguste Comte, Émile Durkheim, Karl Marx and Max Weber By Dr. Iván Szelényi / 09.03.2008 Professor Emeritus of Sociology Yale University Introduction: An Interdisciplinary Approach I am going to introduce you to some of the Founding Fathers–I’m afraid they are all fathers right, no mothers among them; I will tell you why not–of modern social[…]

Adult Adoption – The Secret to Preserving Centuries-Old Japanese Family Businesses

01.10.2016 Japan has one of the highest adoption rates in the world, with over 80,000 legal adoptions recorded every year. Yet when it comes to adopting children, the Asian country is lagging way behind most developed countries. That’s because around 98% of Japanese adoptees are bright young men in their 20s and 30s. At the[…]

Clothes for Spirits: Opening and Closing the Cosmos in Brazilian Umbanda

Gira em terreiro de Umbanda / Photo by Bruno Gonzalez, Creative Commons By Dr. Diana Espírito Santo Professor of Anthropology Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile 6:8 (2016) Abstract In this article I argue for alternative models to understanding the relationship of spirit cosmologies to their social surround. In my ethnography, I show that fluidity and[…]

The Sociology of the Anti-Vaccination Movement

By Dr. Zuleyka Zevallos / 02.28.2016 Any time there is an article about vaccine initiatives, a segment of the public begin to shout about government conspiracies and their perception of nefarious science. What is behind the anti-vaxxer movement? I start by discussing the scientific evidence about the fraud that inspired the anti-vaxxer movement before providing a broad[…]

Sociology – Its History, Theoretical Perspectives, and Purpose

Sociologists study how society affects people and how people affect society. How does being in a crowd affect people’s behaviour? (Photo courtesy of PDerek Hatfield/wikimedia commons) By Dr. William Little / 2014 Assistant Teaching Professor of Sociology University of Victoria Introduction to Sociology Concerts, sports games, and political rallies can have very large crowds. When[…]

Empire of Things

Illustration by Paige Clark By Jeremy Runnalls / 09.22.2016 Denunciations of modern consumer culture have become a staple of the modern environmental movement, the product of an insatiable and corrupting need for more that is driving the planet beyond its limits. On the other side lies the neoliberal view that individual choice is an inherent[…]

The Science of Human Goodness

By Jeremy Adam Smith / 10.09.2016 What makes a ‘Good’ Person? “Goodness” doesn’t seem like a very scientific concept. It sounds downright squishy to many people, and thus unworthy of study. But you can count acts of goodness — and all science begins with counting. It’s the counting that has started to change our understanding[…]

15 Ways to Create a More Beautiful World

Selection from “One World” by Pranab Basak By Sofo Archon / 09.12.2016 Simple Ways You can Contribute to the Wellbeing of the Planet Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.” ~ Margaret Mead We people like to say that we are civilised, but the truth couldn’t be[…]

Louisiana’s ‘Cajun Navy’ Shines Light on Growing Value of Boat Rescuers

An airboat driver rescues residents in Ascension Parish, Louisiana, where the ‘Cajun Navy’ of volunteers aided relief efforts. Jonathan Bachman/Reuters   By Dr. Tricia Wachtendorf and Dr. James Kendra / 08.22.2016 Wachtendorf – Associate Professor of Sociology, Director of Disaster Research Center Kendra – Professor of Public Policy & Administration University of Delaware As we[…]

Dance as a Tool for Unity

By Tanja Taljaard / 08.14.2016 Building a Community Through Dancing Together It has been said that dancing is integral to the experience of being human. Like speech, it’s a way of expressing and communicating with others. The benefits of dancing are endless. Not only does it make you smarter, happier and healthier; dancing in synchrony[…]

Goodbye to the Barbershop?

Nationwide, barbershops are on the decline. / Shutterstock By Dr. Kristen Barber / 08.07.2016 Assistant Professor of Sociology Southern Illinois University With their red, white and blue striped poles, dark Naugahyde chairs and straight razor shaves, barbershops hold a special place in American culture. But numbers show that barbershops are dwindling. According to census data,[…]

How Twitter Gives Scientists a Window in Human Happiness and Health

Each tweet that relays an emotion, opinion, or idea joins millions of others. “Globe” via Shutterstock By Dr. Lewis Mitchell / 07.13.2016 Lecturer in Applied Mathematics University of Adelaide Since its public launch 10 years ago, Twitter has been used as a social networking platform among friends, an instant-messaging service for smartphone users, and a[…]