Blogging the Bookshelf

Blogging my bookshelf – one book at a time

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Entries Tagged as 'Sociology'

Corrupted Power Structures – “Gang leader for a day: a rogue sociologist takes to the streets”, Sudhir Venkatesh

November 5th, 2012 · Comments Off on Corrupted Power Structures – “Gang leader for a day: a rogue sociologist takes to the streets”, Sudhir Venkatesh · Politics, Power, Social Psychology, Sociology

That a tenant leader—one who was respected by politicians, shop owners, the police, and others—would praise a crack gang and work so closely with its leader made me realize just how desperate people could become in the projects. But I was learning that Ms. Bailey’s compromising position also arose out of her own personal ambitions: […]

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Valuing Employment – “Gang leader for a day: a rogue sociologist takes to the streets”, Sudhir Venkatesh

November 4th, 2012 · Comments Off on Valuing Employment – “Gang leader for a day: a rogue sociologist takes to the streets”, Sudhir Venkatesh · Crime, Culture, Economics, Policy, Sociology

J.T. once asked me what sociologists had to say about gangs and inner-city poverty. I told him that some sociologists believed in a “culture of poverty”—that is, poor blacks didn’t work because they didn’t value employment as highly as other ethnic groups did, and they transmitted this attitude across generations. “So you want me to […]

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The Quiet Majesty of Long Marriage – “Freedom: A Novel”, Jonathan Franzen

October 26th, 2012 · Comments Off on The Quiet Majesty of Long Marriage – “Freedom: A Novel”, Jonathan Franzen · Marriage, Quotes

the quiet majesty of long marriage

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The Hanging – “If This Is A Man” – Primo Levi

April 16th, 2012 · Comments Off on The Hanging – “If This Is A Man” – Primo Levi · Genocide, Humanism, Morality, Philosophy, Politics, Sociology

Today it is different. Last month one of the crematoriums at Birkenau had been blown up. None of us knows (and perhaps no one will ever know) exactly how the exploit was carried out: there was talk of the Sonderkommando, the Special Kommando attached to the gas chambers and the ovens, which is itself periodically […]

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The Hierarchy of Pain – “If This Is A Man” – Primo Levi

April 15th, 2012 · Comments Off on The Hierarchy of Pain – “If This Is A Man” – Primo Levi · Humanism, Sociology

For human nature is such that grief and pain — even simultaneously suffered — do not add up as a whole in our consciousness, but hide, the lesser behind the greater, according to a definite law of perspective. It is providential and is our means of surviving in the camp. And this is the reason […]

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The Impossibility of Perfect Unhappiness – “If This Is A Man” – Primo Levi

April 13th, 2012 · Comments Off on The Impossibility of Perfect Unhappiness – “If This Is A Man” – Primo Levi · Humanism, Philosophy, Sociology

Sooner or later in life everyone discovers that perfect happiness is unrealizable, but there are few who pause to consider the antithesis: that perfect unhappiness is equally unattainable. The obstacles preventing the realization of both these extreme states are of the same nature: they derive from our human condition which is opposed to everything infinite. […]

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The Mould of Politics and Society – “Recollections of a Bleeding Heart” – Don Watson

March 18th, 2012 · Comments Off on The Mould of Politics and Society – “Recollections of a Bleeding Heart” – Don Watson · Democracy, Electoralism, Power, Sociology

When Hewson began talking about his desire to ‘break the mould’ of Australian politics Keating found the proof of his argument. Watch out, he said; this man does not understand politics, or the nature of Australian democracy, or the link between the mould of politics and the mould of society.

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Looks are Important – “An Education” – Lynn Barber

March 8th, 2012 · Comments Off on Looks are Important – “An Education” – Lynn Barber · Marriage

Why was I so sure David was The One? Well, first and foremost, because he was gorgeously handsome and remained gorgeously handsome all his life. People say you shouldn’t marry for looks but I disagree: if I tot up all the pleasure I got from looking at David over the years I’d say it amounted […]

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Promiscuity – “An Education” – Lynn Barber

March 8th, 2012 · Comments Off on Promiscuity – “An Education” – Lynn Barber · Sociology

But of course there were plenty of other boys for consolation, and in my second year, no longer attached to Dick, I seemed to go out with an awful lot of them. ‘Go out with’ is a bit of euphemism; I mean I slept with them; I was wildly promiscuous. I was still pining for […]

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Foreign Accents – “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother” – Amy Chua

February 26th, 2012 · Comments Off on Foreign Accents – “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother” – Amy Chua · Ethnicity, Multi-culturalism

“Never ever make fun of foreign accents,” I’ve exhorted them on many occasions. “Do you know what a foreign accent is? It’s a sign of bravery. Those are people who crossed an ocean to come to this country.

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