Chris Rock’s Neo-Marxist View of Minimum Wage

In my classical theory class we just finished reading excerpts from three of Karl Marx’s most (in)famous works: the Paris Manuscripts, Capital, and the Communist Manifesto. Marx confidently predicted that the contradictions inherent in the capitalist system would lead to its downfall, as economic crises would get progressively worse over time, making clear to workersContinue reading “Chris Rock’s Neo-Marxist View of Minimum Wage”

Gun Rights versus Gun Control: On the Need to Understand Sampling Error in Reporting Statistics

Based on a recent survey by the Pew Research Center, we can be 95% confident that the actual gap in American’s attitudes toward protecting gun rights versus controlling gun ownership is as small as 0% and as large as 12%. Depending on where you stand on the issue, things might not be as bad asContinue reading “Gun Rights versus Gun Control: On the Need to Understand Sampling Error in Reporting Statistics”

Robert N. Bellah (1927-2013)

This is not an obituary or remembrance of Robert Bellah. I don’t have the emotional energy to spare for that, even though it has been over a year since he passed. There are many such tributes, though, some collected on the website maintained in his name. This is simply the text of an entry IContinue reading “Robert N. Bellah (1927-2013)”

Putting Grading and Grades in Perspective

The quickening of life due to technology is a blessing I depend on daily. But it is also a curse at times, especially at the end of the semester when it comes to grades. I submitted my fall grades today at 11:45am (they were due at noon!). By 4pm the first grade complaint had arrivedContinue reading “Putting Grading and Grades in Perspective”

Religion on the PGA Tour

Although I am not a sociologist of sport, I have enjoyed those times when my work in the sociology of religion comes into dialogue with the world of sport. Here is some material I am working up for the 6th edition of my sociology of religion textbook: When Webb Simpson won the 2012 U.S. OpenContinue reading “Religion on the PGA Tour”

Microsociology of Death of Eric Garner: Choking for 27 Seconds by Jooyoung Lee

University of Toronto sociology professor Jooyoung Lee has written a very interesting blog post analyzing the video of the choking death of Eric Garner in Staten Island. It is a miscrosociology of the event that is also informed by Lee’s practice of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He blogs on Blogspot rather than WordPress platform so IContinue reading “Microsociology of Death of Eric Garner: Choking for 27 Seconds by Jooyoung Lee”

What We Talk About When We Talk About Racism, Post-Ferguson Reflections on the Need for Basic Distinctions

Discussions of race, more often than not in my experience, generate more heat than light. I learned this early on in my own education when I was doing the research for my book, Student Movements for Multiculturalism: Challenging the Curricular Color Line in Higher Education. Anger, frustration, hurt, misunderstanding, and other emotions were abundant onContinue reading “What We Talk About When We Talk About Racism, Post-Ferguson Reflections on the Need for Basic Distinctions”

Concealed Carry Fun with Google Ngram

My writing accountability partner recently turned me on to Google Ngram. The search engine lets you you electronically comb through millions of books in Google’s database for certain words or phrases. (You can read about the technical details on Google or Wikipedia.) I searched for the phrase “concealed carry” as a case-insensitive phrase and theContinue reading “Concealed Carry Fun with Google Ngram”

Lecture on How People Become Catholic at College of the Holy Cross

I was fortunate recently to be asked by my old friend Tom Landy to deliver one of the Deitchman Family Lectures on Religion and Modernity at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA. My talk, “How Do People Become Catholic?” was based on my book, Becoming Catholic: Finding Rome in the American ReligiousContinue reading “Lecture on How People Become Catholic at College of the Holy Cross”

Mencken and Froese on the Sources and Strength of America’s Gun Culture

As I noted in my last post, scholars associated with the 2014 Baylor Religion Survey held a session at the recent annual meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion unveiling their data. (Of course, this is more of a tease since the data will not be publicly available for a year orContinue reading “Mencken and Froese on the Sources and Strength of America’s Gun Culture”