A few days ago I posted on Facebook and asked when someone was going to tackle a dissertation on the Pew Charitable Trust or its research wing, and the way in which their seemingly objective polling is actually constituting a very particular sort of social world into which it is trying to fit the entire population of the globe. And voila, here’s a piece of data for that hypothetical dissertation: an article from the New York Review of Books on […]
One Bad Apple Don’t Spoil the Whole Bunch
In the news this past week was the FBI’s classification of the fans — the so-called Juggalos — of the hip hop duo, Insane Clown Posse (ICP), as members of a gang (a classification that allows law enforcement greater freedoms). The group is now suing the FBI. […]
Do You Eat Them for Dessert?
File this story under “Classification Matters”: is a tomato a fruit or a vegetable? I’ve used the Nix v. Hedden 1893 US Supreme Court decision in intro classes for quite some time, to illustrate the point that identity is the product of negotiations within practical conditions. Such as winning the right to count carrot marmalade as “fruit” for the purposes of trade within the European Union, perhaps? (Search for “carrot” in the following PDF document.) Even when it comes to […]
Going, Going, Gone
Did you catch this news story a couple weeks ago? It read: […]
Finding or Fabricating?
Michael Pye, the onetime General Secretary of the International Association for the History of Religions (IAHR), and respected specialist in the study of Japanese religions, recently presented a keynote lecture — “Digging for Theory” — at a conference at the University of Göttingen, Germany. […]