Preaching to the Choir (or more from the border wars front) … Scott Jaschik at insidehighered.com reports on how sociologists are turning to religion. According to Jaschik, what was once seen as a secondary or trivial concern for sociological study is now gaining popularity. Jaschik notes the irony that religion may have been a central concern of founding scholars (e.g. Durkheim and Weber), but took a long time to be institutionalized within the discipline.
Cultural Diagnosis: Roy Richard Grinker wrote a recent op-ed for the New York Times on the changing medical diagnoses of Aspergers, the reduction of social stigma, and how Asperger’s patients have been making cultural sense of their medical diagnoses.
Heart of a Tiger: Victor Mair at Language Log wrote a post on how Chinese pop slang use clever transliterations of homonyms (or homonyms of transliterations?) of English words and stock phrases. Up for Valentines Day was “I LAO3HU3 老虎 U” which sounds like “I Love You” and means “I Tiger You.” You can go to the post and see how this play on words is being taken up in advertising as well.
From the Inside: David Price’s latest report on HTS tracks the story of John Allison, who went into Human Terrain Team training a skeptic and left a vehement opponent of the entire project (which is not a program). A lot of Allison’s insights into the culture clash, if you will, of military personnel and social scientists are fascinating.
Doll 2.0: Barbie, the doll that has its finger on the pulse of the American culture of ten years ago, unveils the plastic bombshell’s 126th career as a computer engineer.