I was watching a movie where a scene included an academic lecturing on her work. The event was a black tie affair and there was an open bar at the lecture. I suddenly realized that this is common in movies and I've actually been to something like that in real life. Why? [more inside]
I'm looking for academic-level writing on the ways that cities that are built on islands or peninsulas, or in geographically isolated areas, develop and behave differently from cities that are more easily and fully connected to other cities. This would be about the mindset and attitudes and not about urban planning or infrastructure. I'm thinking these may be anthropological or sociological studies. They may even just be a thought pieces or essays. I could swear I saw one that talked about Manhattan and Charleston, but I can't find it.
I am interested in articles that try to analyze and explain the conflict between the hard and soft sciences. In my casual web surfing I have come across e.g. highly-trained scientists who yet express a deep disdain for fields as open-ended and far-ranging as sociology, feminism, queer theory, postmodernism, and so on, sometimes even economics, psychology. I find such attitudes hard to comprehend, and even disturbing since my educational background is in the applied sciences. Which are the important works that have been done to better understand this ongoing social/intellectual gap, and that are presented in a readable manner for a non-expert?
OK... I'm probably going to mangle this question, because I'm not a sociologist or anthropologist, or remotely knowledgeable in those fields. So, I'm probably using all my terms incorrectly. But, long story short - it's been my experience that most behaviors that laypeople, in casual conversation, call "human nature" are really just cultural phenomena. In other words - a behavior that someone from the United States thinks is "human nature" might be completely absent in another culture or society. It that's true - then it's not really "human behavior" at all. So - my question - is the tendency for kids in grade school to form cliques "human nature" - or a phenomena that's specific to certain (e.g., our) cultures? [more inside]
Why does Mircea Eliade get short shrift in Robert N. Bellah's Religion in Human Evolution? [more inside]
Looking to find either the author's name or his article. [more inside]
I read (and failed to bookmark) an article or blog post a week or two ago that drew parallels between the idea of "corporate personhood" and the "quantify everything, optimize your own happiness" ethos shared by many young people today. Basically the gist of it was that many people were emulating corporate "persons" rather than real people as role models. Can you help me find it?
Is there a cultural dynamic to groupthink? [more inside]
I'm looking for data on public opinion varying across countries, particularly from folks who claim the same affiliation-- say, "progressive", or "socialist"-- but turn out to believe different things depending on the country they're living in. [more inside]
Looking for books that revisit a person or groups of people at different points in their lives, a la the "Up" series by Michael Apted. [more inside]
In order to prepare a competitive examination, I've got to delve deep into North American counterculture history. What should I read ? [more inside]
Which gay characters in mainstream films have been played by gay actors? [more inside]
I used to enjoy a podcast titled "Josh in Japan" produced by an ordinary guy living in Japan who talked about his daily experiences adjusting to Japanese culture. I am looking for other podcasts in this vein. [more inside]
What are some sociology phd programs where I would be supported in (where research is already being done) studying the interaction between social-psycology (micro-interaction) and culture. [more inside]
Who are the best magazine and newspaper feature writers, past and present? [more inside]
Please help me learn more about cultures different from my own? [more inside]
What are the reasons for and against constitutionally requiring a specific national language? [more inside]
Are we a monogamous species? [more inside]
What one book will allow others to gain the truest insight into the soul of each city or region [more inside]
The Seattle Freeze: What am I getting myself into? [more inside]
What's the difference between "society" and "culture"? [more inside]
In the U.S., we get all caught up in the decisions that adult women make and the consequences of those decisions. (To have children, not to have children, to work, to stay home with the children, not to work, to marry, to have children without marrying, etc.) Are there similar convulsions about these cultural issues in other countries, especially non-English speaking ones? How can I learn about them? I'm curious both about how women's roles in in their societies are changing and about how those societies are reacting to the changes.
I'm looking for good media resources (especially books) on the lands of the midnight sun (and ?daytime darkness?). Works that cover sociology, culture, work habits, sleep habits and other interesting aspects and adaptations of people living in such conditions.