Archive for December 2014

The sociology of christmas cards

In this 1971 article from Trans-action (now published as Society) Sheila K. Johnson reflects on the practice of sending and receiving christmas cards, arguing that it is an archetypical case of a phenomenon susceptible to sociological explanation: Anyone who has ever composed a Christmas card… Read More ›

The wisdom of sociology

Can Sociology be life changing? That’s what Sam Richards argues in this thought provoking TED talk which explores how the discipline can lead us to reimagine our circumstances and see those connections which we otherwise miss – it reveals hidden commonalities and… Read More ›

Cyber athletics

The US government now grants “athlete visas” to gamers and competitive gaming is shown on the ESPN channel. This fascinating New Yorker article explores the rise of the ‘cyber athlete’ – read it in full here: “It’s not a sport,”… Read More ›

The agency moment

This thoughtful New York Times column by David Brooks reflects on what he terms “the agency moment”: I’ve been thinking about moments of agency of this sort because often you see people who lack full agency. Sometimes you see lack… Read More ›

London in data maps

This great feature on the BBC News website collects 12 data maps which represent different characteristics of London. See the full feature here to explore the maps (the one embedded below shows commuter routes into London) A new collection of data maps of… Read More ›

Social Theory Re-Wired

We just discovered this interesting resource produced by Routledge: Social Theory Re-Wired. A rich collection of web-based materials—including interactive versions of key texts, open spaces to write and reflect on readings, biographical sketches of authors, and dozens of supplementary sources—that transports… Read More ›

Devouring your data

As someone who only a year ago was drowning in the mountains of interview transcripts that I was (stupidly) somewhat surprised to find that longitudinal qualitative interviewing had produced, this post by patter offering advice on ‘devouring your data’ really… Read More ›

Technology and Human Nature

In their Webcam, Daniel Miller and Jolynna Sinanan offer what they describe as a theory of attainment. While I’m not sure they’d accept my terminology, I read this as an attempt to theorise the causal powers of technology in relation to the causal powers of… Read More ›