"Two Cultures? Tension in Social Science

In a recent article in Insider Higher Education, " ‘Two Cultures’ Tension in Social Science" it was reported that

Key philanthropic and government programs offering grants for Ph.D. students appear to be excluding proposals for graduate students in sociology and political science, while favoring proposals from those in history, anthropology and a range of relatively small disciplines, such as art history and ethnomusicology, according to data released Friday. The analysis was presented at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association and focused on programs to support field research or international research.

It is ironic. We know that Political Science is one of the disciplines that gets funded much. But they complain to get the last fragments of funding. In the political economy of academia, humanities and theoretical social sciences had lost their ground. They should be the one to complain. Besides,political science and sociology have become so quantitative that there is probably some need for qualitative assessments…

[MONDAY TALK]Prof. Soysal: Most Turkish universities are still autocratic


Professor Ayşe Soysal, a former rector of Boğaziçi University, said “academic freedom” is a distant idea for many Turkish universities and that this has left many researchers feeling restricted. “The main problem is that most of the universities in Turkey are still autocratic.

Buffered and porous selves

By Charles Taylor on A Secular Age

A Secular AgeAlmost everyone can agree that one of the big differences between us and our ancestors of five hundred years ago is that they lived in an "enchanted" world, and we do not; at the very least, we live in a much less "enchanted" world. We might think of this as our having "lost" a number of beliefs and the practices which they made possible. But more, the enchanted world was one in which these forces could cross a porous boundary and shape our lives, psychic and physical. One of the big differences between us and them is that we live with a much firmer sense of the boundary between self and other. We are "buffered" selves. We have changed.

Ph.D. Completion Gaps

Significant gaps exist — by demographic groups and disciplines — in who finishes Ph.D. programs. Generally, foreign, male, and white students are more likely to earn their doctorates after 10 years than are their counterparts who are American, female or minority.

The enzyme of freedom

By Eurozine Review

"Transit" advocates a concerted EU approach to Russia; on ’68, "Osteuropa" mends a split consciousness while "Mittelweg 36" regrets nothing; "Mute" critiques "Green capitalism"; "Esprit" observes democracy’s transformations; "Wespennest" awaits something better; "Kulturos barai" defends Fluxus; "Host" hits the road; "Le Monde diplomatique" (Oslo) follows the comic strip of empire; "Dialogi" warns against experts; "Reset" seeks perspectives for Italy’s Democrats.

The dialectic of secularization

By Jürgen Habermas

The opposition between "multiculturalism" and "Enlightenment fundamentalism" is misconceived, argues Jürgen Habermas. "The universalist claim of the political Enlightenment does not contradict the particularist sensibilities of a correctly understood multiculturalism."

Parochialism and cultural export… or why Titanic is France’s best-grossing film

By Ethan

I mentioned a few posts back that I found individual sentences in Paul Starr’s brilliant “Creation of the Media” worth remembering and exploring later. One sentence that stuck with me was his observation that, despite Thomas Edison’s role in creating a popularizing moving pictures, the US wasn’t initially the world’s biggest producer of movies: “In 1907, two-thirds of the films released in the United States were imported from Europe; Pathé-Frères alone supplied one-third of all movies shown in America, more than any domestic firm.”

Beyond beliefs

By Paul Lichterman on Evangelicals & evangelicalisms

Pollsters, sociologists and evangelical Protestants don’t all agree exactly on who counts as an "evangelical." It is safe to say, though, that definitions of this broad group emphasize certain beliefs, and a certainty of belief, too. Evangelicals, we often say, are Christians who take Scripture literally as the revealed Word of God, who profess a need for a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and seek salvation exclusively through Christ. In these terms, if any group really defines itself by specific theological beliefs, it must be evangelicals. But beyond credos on paper and professions of belief, what does it mean to be an evangelical in everyday social life? To answer this question we should listen closely to how evangelicals relate to each other and to non-evangelicals.

George Orwell’s Diaries Turned Into a Blog

George Orwell Diaries BlogThe diaries of George Orwell are being published every day in blog form at orwelldiaries.wordpress.com. The only difference is that 70 years have been added to the date. What happened on August 26, 1938 is published as a blog post on August 26th, 2008. The New York Times has an article about the new blog which is being administered by a University of Westminster professor.

Orhan Pamuk’s new novel ‘Masumiyet Müzesi’ debuts
Today’s Zaman – Istanbul,Turkey
The latest novel from Nobel Prize winner and Turkish author Orhan Pamuk, "Masumiyet Müzesi" (The Museum of Innocence), was released yesterday by İletişim

Calvin the theologian and Calvin the theoretical neurobiologist

By Paul Mason on general

John Calvin, a Theologian from Strasbourg died the day before I was born. He taught an austere form of personal ethics supporting good hospitals, a proper sewage system, protective rails on upper stories to keep children from falling from tall buildings, special care for the poor and infirm, and the introduction of new industries. But he died 418 years before the day before I was born. So he has very little to do with this post. William Calvin, the theoretical neurobiologist may have more. Nonetheless, I do let theological interests from my past sift into the post.

Rethinking the “Anglo-American” International System

By Reflection Cafe

Martin Wolf, The Financial Times

September 2, 2008

We are all Americans now. By this I do not merely mean that the leadership of the US shapes the world in which we live. The world we live in is the world the Americans or, more precisely, the Anglo-Americans have made. The US will retain a huge influence. How will it use it? That is the question we should ask about the presidential election. The choice also seems clear: it is between those who expect a world of conflict and those who believe in seeking co-operation.

In a brilliant new book, Walter Russell Mead of the Council on Foreign Relations places today’s US in a tradition of global power which originated in the Netherlands of the 17th century, developed in the Britain of the 18th and the 19th centuries and continued in the US of the 20th century.* Theirs, he says, is the “Anglo-American” system.

The Limits of the ‘Think Tank’ Revolution , Gerry Hassan

By Gerry Hassan

Gerry Hassan has worked extensively with several UK think tanks. In an OurKingdom essay, he argues that, in Britain as in America, the think tank model has worked better for the right than for the left, and calls for new thinking about the kind of institutions that can nurture progressive ideas. Read the rest of this post…

Roger Ebert talks about how to read a movie.

Geography is everywhere

By Denis Cosgrove, Helen Sooväli

The leading proponent of the "new cultural geography" explains why geography continues to be relevant despite institutional upheaval and how the concept of landscape can be used to register ideology.

Naomi Wolf: Veiled Sexuality

NEW YORK –A woman swathed in black to her ankles, wearing a headscarf or a full chador , walks down a European or North American street, surrounded by other women in halter tops, miniskirts and short shorts. She passes under immense billboards on which other women swoon in sexual ecstasy, cavort in lingerie or simply stretch out languorously, almost fully naked. Could this image be any more iconic of the discomfort the West has with the social mores of Islam, and vice versa?

Israel Gay Youth Organization Coming out of the closet

In this kind of reversed Ikea guide the Israel Gay Youth Organization (IGY) wants all gays ‘coming out of the closet’. Important because of the upcoming homophobia last years all over the world.
Copy: It’s easier than you think

In Israel Gay Youth Organization: Coming out of the closet

a unified field theory of publishing in the networked era

By bob stein

The following is a set of notes, written over several months, in an attempt to weave together a number of ideas that have emerged in the course of the institute’s work. I’m hoping for a lot of feedback. If there’s enough interest, we’ll put this into CommentPress so that the discussion can be more extensive than the blog’s comment field.

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