We’re All Abnormal: Christopher Lane at Slate reports on how some psychiatrists see deviance as a growth industry. The American Psychiatric Association is busy editing the DSM-V, which looks like it will provide diagnoses for internet addiction, mathematics disorder, and sibling relational problem. But some sober critics are warning that the DSM-V might pathologize us all.
Methods for Methods: LL Wynn posted a fantastic piece at Culture Matters about her experience designing a graduate student methods course. Wynn’s idea for the course was ambitious: design, implement and write up a project in one semester, and then submit write-ups for publication. Most of Wynn’s challenges stemmed from the human subjects approval process, which held up her students from doing completing a project in one term. But Wynn came up with a creative solution …
Stepping Out, Dressing Down: Samantha Gross from the Associated Press reported on the changing consumer habits of low-income youth, who are losing their desire to spend large sums of money on designer fashion items. Gross’s report includes observations from Shirley Brice Heath as well.
This Just in…Language is Complex: It seems like pop-theories on language are in vogue, or is it me? Check out Newsweek’s short piece on their Whorfian take on language and thought. NY Times Magazine also posted an interesting little history of gendered pronouns in English. [NY Times website requires you sign in with a free login to see this article. Or should I say requires readers that 'they' sign in.]
Some Questions Endure (Still): Historian Timothy Burke posted a response to an article on last week’s SM around the web on angry philosophers, upset at the NEH for trying to poach on their disciplinary territory. Burke begins by relating to the philosophers, suggesting that he wouldn’t be pleased by a grant asking promoting pre-disciplinary approaches to “time and the past.” But, Burke asks, what might be the benefits of being exposed to unorthodox approaches.
Time Magazine interviewed Karen Ho on her ethnographic research on Wall Street. Explaining the attitudes she encountered on Wall Street in the late 90s early 00s, Ho says:
Wall Street bankers understand that they are liquid people. It’s part of their culture. I had bankers telling me, “I might not be at my job next year so I’m going to make sure to get the biggest bonus possible.” I had bankers who advised the AOL–Time Warner merger saying, “Oh, gosh, this might not work out, but I probably won’t be here when it doesn’t work out.” I looked at them like, “What?” Their temporality is truncated.
Material Knowledge: Barbara Kirschenblatt Gimblett posted a piece on Material World about the work of the Museum of Polish Jews reconstructing the past. At the heart of Gimblett’s discussion is a question what kind of past object should museums (re)produce. The Museum of Polish Jews, for example, decided not to hire a set design company to reconstruct an 18th century Polish synagogue. Instead, they hope to recover the knowledge of building woodhouse synagogs by actually building one.
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