Category Archives: Chapter 10

A Picture of the Sociology Society at City College in New York

On February 14, 1949, Jackie Robinson spoke to the Sociology Society at City College in New York.  It was 31 months after he became the first African American player in modern professional baseball and in the same year that he … Continue reading

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The Significance of Touch

We live in a language-centered culture and so it is no surprise that the methods we use to investigate our social relations focus largely on language. From survey methods to life histories, from content analysis to conversation analysis, we seek … Continue reading

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Cities, Nature, and Mental Health

Is a walk in the woods good for you?  It used to be a part of everyday life for people all over the world, but as civilization has progressed and people mostly live in urban areas, contact with nature has … Continue reading

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Trash the Focus of Anthropological Research in New York

New York University anthropologist Robin Nagle has found “a gold mine for garbage pickers.” New York’s Department of Sanitation collects almost 3.5 million tons of trash each year. The contents range from discarded photos of a divorced spouse and bottles … Continue reading

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Affective Realism?

Is seeing believing?  It’s natural to feel that when we observe events, or conduct lengthy interviews to learn what people saw or heard, we’re learning about the social world as it “really is.”  But recent experiments by psychologists demonstrate a … Continue reading

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Does Anonymity Change Behavior?

Do you use Yik Yak?  Do you wish everyone did?  This new social media app allows people in a small area–like students in college–post messages without being identified in any way.  It has resulted in some very offensive “yaks,” including … Continue reading

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Can We Save (More) Babies?

800 cities and towns have adopted a home visiting program for young mothers in an ambitious effort to reduce infant mortality in the U.S.  Although home visiting programs have been used for more than a century, their popularity increased dramatically … Continue reading

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Movie “Facts” … or Fantasy?

Movies based on true stories often gain a wide audience.  Selma.  American Sniper. The Theory of Everything.  The Imitation Game.  I think you could call each of them a great movie.  But how accurate are they? Research by psychologists has … Continue reading

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Messaging and Emotions

Our social relations are increasingly mediated with technology.  Does this distort our ability to relate to others?  Consider using text messages to communicate.  This truncated form of communication most leaves emotion out of the picture and so makes it difficult … Continue reading

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Facelessness and Social Research

Is “the world of faces” dissonant from “the world without faces”?  This question is posed in a New York Times article on the social problem created by our ability to communicate directly with others through social media without actually seeing … Continue reading

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