I recently learned that the panhandlers in my city (Cambridge, MA) often share their food when they get big items and it made me wonder - do homeless individuals often have explicit or implicit rules, like "share when you get food" or "the person who's been homeless the longest gets the best spot"? What do you think happens if people break the rule? I'm sure there's a lot of variation both within and between cities, but if anyone has any thoughts, I'd really appreciate it!
posted by mrmanvir
on Apr 19, 2014 -
I have an original pet theory I came up with a long time ago involving the Internet and how people judge probability. It probably would fall into the anthropological, sociological or psychological fields. I'm not intending to make this post to discuss the theory itself as a sort of "let's b.s. back and forth about my idea" kind of thing. Reason I'm posting is because I'd like to know if this theory already exists or is an application of something broader that already exists. Maybe it's a theory being applied onto the communications medium of the Internet of some older theory in one of the above field(s) of study, or maybe it's a piecemeal construction of a few theories spliced together. Anyway, enough babbling, actual theory after the cut. [more inside]
posted by WCityMike
on Mar 28, 2014 -
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.
posted by Mo Nickels
on Mar 26, 2014 -
Please recommend fiction about obscure subcultures. Basically, I'm looking for the fiction version of this question
. More contemporary books (written recently and about contemporary subjects) are preferred but not required.
posted by Xalf
on Jan 6, 2014 -
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?
posted by polymodus
on Jan 4, 2014 -
Can children detect on some level when love is not genuine? An example would be when a parent is affectionate to spite their own parents as if to say "This is what you were supposed to do with me," rather than doing so out of a genuine feeling towards the child. Acting the part without the emotion and connection to back it. Can this be perceived by the child and perhaps effect their emotional development? If so, to what degree could this hinder them in the long term?
posted by mrflibble
on Jan 1, 2014 -
How would you put together a reading list that helps answer the question "how do Americans' present-day struggles for wellness, independence, and community compare to humans who've lived in other places and times in the ethnographic record?" [more inside]
posted by elephantsvanish
on Dec 26, 2013 -
I saw an incredibly concise quote floating around social media a few weeks back that described how hierarchy becomes self-perpetuating. The gist of it was that those at the top of a hierarchy deprive those below them of the practice required to conceptualize and implement their own plans, and then turn around and justify their position by pointing out how incapable their subordinates have become.
I'm almost certain the person quoted was female, and I'm fairly sure she was a social sciences academic, but may have been an activist of some stripe.
posted by wobdev
on Nov 17, 2013 -
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]
posted by stuehler
on Nov 5, 2013 -
I don't know how else to phrase this maladroit and overlong "question," but… who are
the foreign undergraduate and graduate students? [more inside]
posted by Nomyte
on Apr 6, 2013 -
I'm wondering if anyone can shed some light on the daily experience of a university researcher in either psychology or the basic sciences as well as a meta-review of the job as a whole. [more inside]
posted by marsbar77
on Mar 14, 2013 -
So I'm wondering if anyone can help me in finding something to argue in a 5-6 page paper regarding 'cultural contact zones' in Orwell's essay ' A Passage to India'.
Specifically, "the concept of a “contact zone” emphasizes how subjects are constituted in and by their relations to each other, usually involving conditions of coercion, inequality, and conflict. It treats the relations among colonizers and colonized not in terms of separateness but in terms of interaction and interlocking understandings and practices, often within radically asymmetrical relations of power." ( this is part of the prompt). Any suggestions? I'm usually a fairly competent writer but am having trouble here. [more inside]
posted by marsbar77
on Mar 2, 2013 -
How have sociologists and/or economists historically defined or measured "middle class" in the United States or the developed world generally? I mean over the last 100-200 years. [more inside]
posted by Wretch729
on Feb 14, 2013 -
I am taking a very new, unique class this semester at my university, which has a final project related to "breaking social norms." The teacher implied the project should most likely have some videotaping or physical results, and manipulate social norms for a better/more positive outcome. Sky is the limit on this project, there are very few guidelines and boundaries, and I'm not sure where to go with it. Suggestions? [more inside]
posted by unmouton88
on Jan 24, 2013 -
I am interested in critical theoretical and marxist spatial theory, please recommend me some books that provide a good overview or introduction to this area!
posted by FuckingAwesome
on Jan 17, 2013 -
Why does Mircea Eliade get short shrift in Robert N. Bellah's Religion in Human Evolution
? [more inside]
posted by ibmcginty
on Dec 18, 2012 -
Is there a science of division? (i.e. Models of the phenomenon that communities often split into two blocs with some degree of mutual antagonism. And/or empirical data that such models could be compared against.) [more inside]
posted by philipy
on Nov 9, 2012 -
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?
posted by idontlikewords
on Aug 24, 2012 -
A group of friends and I, all recent college graduates, have decided to meet weekly to discuss interesting recent sociology and psychology research. How would we go about finding it outside of ScienceDaily, and - more importantly - how can we access it now that we're all without database access?
posted by LSK
on Jul 26, 2012 -
Why (not how, why
) do people upload old third-party content to youtube? Has anything been written on the subject? [more inside]
posted by AgentRocket
on Jun 20, 2012 -
Have you or someone you have known ever radically changed a core belief system? How and why does deep psychological change occur? [more inside]
posted by j03
on Jun 10, 2012 -
How do you help guide others to recognize, accept, and work towards a unified vision resulting in orgazational change? [more inside]
posted by meta.mark
on May 28, 2012 -
Are there any books that discuss morals as a kind of social norm?
posted by Pants!
on May 12, 2012 -
I'm looking for a crash-course in modern-day counter-cultures around the world that have come about as a response to a crisis of capitalism or materialism. For example the recent Occupy movement but also more nascent and lesser known ones. [more inside]
posted by scrm
on Mar 25, 2012 -
Does anyone remember a group survey print-off designed to be left out to anonymously collect opinion? It was a graphic design/sociology piece, and it made the blog rounds a couple years ago... [more inside]
posted by tapesonthefloor
on Mar 14, 2012 -
What are the best books for a beginner interested in learning about sociology? [more inside]
posted by Loto
on Mar 7, 2012 -
What are some good articles and resources about human fascination with offensive/violent art and occurrences? [more inside]
posted by Echobelly
on Dec 16, 2011 -
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]
posted by ibmcginty
on Dec 5, 2011 -
The presence of A is a good sign B exists, but as people learn about the A trick they take pains to display it so it isn't as reliable a sign of B anymore. What's the term for this, is its rate of adoption reliably based on other variables, and who writes about it? [more inside]
posted by michaelh
on Nov 9, 2011 -
I'm looking for a certain book written in the sixties or seventies about the sociological aspect of the training of airline hostesses/stewardesses. Don't remember if it was entirely about this topic, or just a notable part of it. Some part of it may have been about how stewardesses had to curb the outward expression of their personalities to match stringent requirements of communication with passengers that rendered them almost carbon copies of one another. It was somewhat famous. Suggestions? [more inside]
posted by jackfruit
on Sep 6, 2011 -
Any non-obvious tips for conducting a successful interview? I'm looking for perspectives both in general and also considering my situation. [more inside]
posted by WhitenoisE
on Sep 1, 2011 -
Where can a fellow (who has access to online academic resources but is 1000mi+ from a quality academic library) get some hands-on advice for gathering data for social network analysis? Bonus substantive questions inside. [more inside]
posted by col_pogo
on Aug 31, 2011 -
I have a friend who is teaching a freshman college class, and who is looking for a good but relatively simple and clear reading to introduce his students to diversity issues and particularly to the concept of "Other" and "Otherness". [more inside]
posted by jb
on Aug 23, 2011 -
What politically neutral book(s) should I read on multiculturalism and Islam, immigration/integration politics and/or ethnic/religious tensions in Europe? [more inside]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane
on Jul 25, 2011 -
Help me find a quote about how people are reluctant to notice the effects of historical and/or social forces on their lives. [more inside]
posted by toomuchkatherine
on Jul 13, 2011 -
It's really time to get a career. Help me use my 3.2gpa sociology BA from a not good state school. Ideally would love a company that will assist me in getting an MA in Sociology. Read on for more of my interests and situation. [more inside]
posted by anonymous
on Jun 25, 2011 -