About Me

Currently a graduate student at the University of South Carolina, I study urban sociology and inequality. Originally from Western Pennsylvania, I am particularly interested in how changes in regional economic structures effect stratification and mobility opportunities, particularly for the working class. I also participate in the scholarship of teaching and learning.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Interesting Links, 8/30/11

Well, I have been busy.  A week in Las Vegas spent mostly conferencing, then coming back to campus and jumping straight into a very busy semester has meant less time for the blog than I might like.  But, I have still gathered up a few interesting links to share...

Here is a relatively thorough article about sociologists' reactions to having a conference in Las Vegas, along with some video.  While I was there, it was interesting listen to folks discuss and debate the city as a venue for an academic gathering.  Hanging out in Las Vegas certainly stimulated conversations about gender performance, conspicuous consumption, and inequality.

This would have been a fun way to tour around Las Vegas last week.

If someone writes that "academic blogging is an important new outlet for demonstrating impact," then they have got my attention.

Here are two stories about surprisingly positive things happening in U.S. cities.  First, the arenas recently built in Kansas City, MO and Tulsa, OK seem to be doing better than expected during the recession.  Next here is an article from Scientific American with Edward Glaeser writing about how some cities have bounced back from adversity, often by right-sizing, and others have not.  Though right-sizing might be a good idea, making it work isn't always easy.  While urban farming could be an important part of the right-sizing process, it can also lead to difficulties in local neighborhoods.

Speaking of the Midwest, how about a video showing US expansion through post offices? Manifest Destiny!

This fall I am teaching a Sociology of Childhood class. Sadly, child poverty is up in at least 38 states, and about 20% of America's juvenile population was living in poverty in 2009.  Meanwhile, the benefits available to severely disabled children are being scrutinized.

Just like the author of this blog, I am always learning something new about Pittsburgh, like the fact that Pittsburgh has a Bible Lands museum.

While we are on Pittsburgh, stories like this one, about a family moving to Pittsburgh after living in places like D.C. and Boston, and underscoring how much they feel like part of the community in Pittsburgh keep popping up on my radar.  Seems that Pittsburgh is a great location for family's that want to right-size their lifestyle. And the couple states that while Pittsburgh is "not perfect," they feel that "things are getting better" and that they believe "Pittsburgh will do better in the coming decades." Good stuff.