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.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Some Interesting Links, 9/18/2011

Before we start, let's set the mood.  Follow this link and learn about the first release by friend Justin Chesarek's jazz quintet.  You can purchase the music for a small price. If you do you'll hear great music and be supporting some awesome musicians.

Got the music playing?  Ok, let's do some fun articles first:

Here is an interesting place to find high urban density. (Hint: You might find T-Pain singing about being there.)

This is a fun story with good pictures about folks building community and creating shared, if not public, space by showing movies in a residential alleyway.

Imagine you are the person who designed the airplane emergency evacuation shutes, and you wake up one morning to hear this story about an aging Supreme Court Justice testing your design.  That is an exciting day.

Photos of prehistoric feathers, including dinosaur protofeathers in amber are really cool.

With more than half of the world's population now living in cities, it seems over the last few months every news program has done at least one story on cities.  CBS Sunday Morning is one of my favorite news programs, as I watched it most weekends with my Dad.  Here is their story "American Cities on the Rebound", which includes a convo with Edward Glaeser.

Now for some more serious stuff...

While some U.S. cities may be on the rebound, struggles continue in Detroit.  So, some wonder, is it pornographic to document Detroit's decline?

There are some pretty cool looking post offices around the U.S., and we may lose some of them as a result of the postal services struggles.

While there were a lot of news stories about unemployment and joblessness over the summer, I felt that I wasn't seeing as many stories about inequality in the news as there probably should be.  I saw articles about the difficulties folks were having finding jobs, or even the high demand for food stamps, but not many news articles about stratification in the U.S.  From my perspective, that all seemed to change this past week.

Basically, what happened was that the Census released an income and poverty report.  In it we learn that the median household now earns less than it did a decade ago.  Here is a list of 5 other notable trends found in that report.  Some troublesome findings, for sure.  The decline in median household earnings may be tied to the fact that many men are earning less than they did 40 years ago.  Also, the typical white family has 20 times the wealth of the median black family, which is the largest gap in 25 years.  For those with a rust belt interest, here are some maps of changes in concentrated poverty and concentrated wealth in Cleveland, OH.

While it may be sadly obvious, sometimes it needs to be restated with links to evidence: Being poor as a child strongly predicts poverty and poor outcomes later in life.  In the land of opportunity, not every gets the same opportunities.

If you are interested in learning more about inequality in the United States, the Stanford Center has provided a starting place, delineating 20 facts about U.S. Inequality that they argue everyone should know.

To end with a little bit of hope, those who do have the opportunity to go to college and find a student job can end up with some valuable, if also unusual, experiences.