Category Archives: research

April 7, 2009, 2:32 pm

Puff The Magic Sociologist: Sudhir Venkatesh, Gang Leader For A Day, A Rogue Sociologist Takes To The Streets

Longtime followers of this blog know that it is my deepest wish to write a book that will be sold one day in airports. Why airports? Well, some time ago a clever capitalist figured out that among the lay audience who passes through airports a certain percentage will want to read something of greater intellectual substance than a Jodi Picoult novel (of course, many academics see travel as a perfect excuse to read romance novels.) Because of the captive audience airports represent, travel has become an opportunity to sell more good books, as well as magazines that offer ten helpful hints to keep a husband sexually content. Some of these volumes are easy to sell in real life (anything about the Civil War, memoirs of addiction); and others may be harder to sell in real life (excellent non-fiction and, well, academic books) than they are to sell in the airport.

I often buy serious books…

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November 30, 2007, 12:17 pm

The Radical of America Goes to Washington City (with Apologies to Lauren Berlant and Harriet Jacobs)

I am here in Washington D.C., getting ready to get on a shuttle and go to another city, after interviewing job candidates at the anthropology meetings — otherwise known as the AAA. The anthropology meetings are actually a lot like the American Historical Association (AHA) meetings — which will be at the exact same pair of hotels, the Omni and the Marriott, in January. In fact, the last time I came to the AHA, it was at this same set of hotels too. It is also a particularly difficult set of hotels: the Marriott is actually two different buildings, pinned together, which means that the floor numbers do not match up. I remember this vividly because — yes, you guessed it — this is where I also interviewed for jobs, ‘lo these many years ago, and where I met with the Zenith hiring committee. When I found them. Since I was on the right floor on the wrong side of the hotel.

So today,…

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