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  1. Anger, Profanity, and Hatred

    Protest posters as a flexible, class-free mechanism of expression.
  2. Puerto Rico’s Politics of Exclusion

    Bianca Gonzales-Sobrino on post-Maria restructuring, from electricity to conceptions of citizenship.
  3. Activism and the Academy

    Cornel West wears many hats: He is a professor (currently Professor of the Practice of Public Philosophy at Harvard University), author (of 20 books), film actor (including The Matrix Reloaded), artist (three spoken word albums), and activist (more on this below). And this summer, we celebrate the 25th anniversary of West’s influential book Race Matters. Sociologist Janice McCabe sat down with West in Cambridge to talk about activism and the academy. Here are some highlights from their discussion, edited for length and clarity.

  4. Featured Essay: The Contributions of Charles Tilly to the Social Sciences

    Evaluating Charles Tilly’s contributions to the social sciences is not an easy task: “Chuck Tilly was a master of sociological thinking and methodology,” wrote two of his former students when he passed away ten years ago; “But he was sufficiently concerned about getting to the heart and dynamics of questions and topics that he never permitted the blinkers of disciplinary orthodoxy to stand in his way” (Michelson and Wellman 2008).
  5. What is Critical Realism? And Why Should You Care?

    Critical realism (CR) is a philosophical system developed by the Indo-British philosopher, Roy Bhaskar, in collaboration with a number of British social theorists, including Margaret Archer, Mervyn Hartwig, Tony Lawson, Alan Norrie, and Andrew Sayer. It has a journal, a book series, an association, an annual meeting and, in short, all the usual trappings of an intellectual movement. The movement is centered in the UK but has followers throughout Europe, Asia, the Americas, and the Antipodes.

  6. Why Liberals and Atheists Are More Intelligent

    The origin of values and preferences is an unresolved theoretical question in behavioral and social sciences.

  7. Reservation Lands as a Protective Social Factor: An Analysis of Psychological Distress among Two American Indian Tribes

    The unique physical, cultural, and ecological location of U.S. American Indian reservations simultaneously presents risks for mental health and offers sources of resilience to Native peoples. Using survey data from two American Indian tribes, we explore whether the length of one’s life spent on a reservation is associated with lower odds of psychological distress. In both tribes, we find that individuals who live a vast majority of their lives on the reservation have lower odds of psychological distress than individuals who spent portions of their life off or near the reservation.
  8. The Social Sources of Geopolitical Power: French and British Diplomacy and the Politics of Interstate Recognition, 1689 to 1789

    Why did France influence the geopolitical system of eighteenth-century Europe more effectively than did Britain? Explanations pointing to states’ military and economic power are unable to explain this outcome. I argue that durable geopolitical influence depends on states’ symbolic capacities to secure recognition from competitor states, in addition to their coercive and economic capacities. And I show that states are liable to secure recognition to the extent that their agents embody social dispositions congruent with those of competitor agents.
  9. When the Marae Moves into the City: Being Māori in Urban Palmerston North

    Through processes of colonization, many indigenous peoples have become absorbed into settler societies and new ways of existing within urban environments. Settler society economic, legal, and social structures have facilitated this absorption by recasting indigenous selves in ways that reflect the cultural values of settler populations. Urban enclaves populated and textured by indigenous groups such as Māori (indigenous people of New Zealand) can be approached as sites of existential resistance to the imposition of colonial ways of seeing and understanding the self.

  10. Making Jerusalem “Cooler”: Creative Script, Youth Flight, and Diversity

    The creative city approach, already one of the most popular urban development models in recent years, continues to spread to new destinations. When urban scholars explain how ideas become canon, including the particular case of the creative city approach, they usually focus on political‐economic mechanisms, the role of global elite networks, and the interests of local economic growth coalitions.