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, October 30, 2011

Du[a]ling Quotes #8 - Housing and the Rust Belt

“People pay what the landlord demands, not because the housing unit is worth it, but because the property is held to have idiosyncratic locational benefits. Access to resources like friends, jobs, and schools is so important that residents (as continuous consumer-buyers) are willing to resort to all sorts of ‘extramarket’ mechanisms to fight for their right to keep locational relations intact” (19).
     -Logan and Molotch in Urban Fortunes, 1987

“But there is one force that helps explain why most [rust belt residents] stay – cheap, durable housing. Any area’s population is linked closely to the number of homes in that area, and homes don’t disappear overnight” (63). 
     -Glaeser in Triumph of the City, 2011

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Some Interesting Links, 10/18/2011

Here is a good overview of U.S. economic inequality.  Here is another good overview by the sociologist Domhoff. I understand that this is much of what is motivating the Occupy Wall Street protestors. Speaking of, I have heard good stuff about the Occupy Pittsburgh events this past week. Pittsburgh made it into this NPR story which documents the events over the weekend all over the country.  I visited with the Occupy Columbia folks a bit yesterday evening. They were friendly.  Here is some photos of them. They marched through USC's campus yesterday afternoon. Here is video of that.  I like this story from a local newspaper on the Occupy Columbia folks because it ends with the ominous line that "Protesters said they plan to stay 'indefinitely.'"

Here is an editorial by Nouriel Roubini on the instability of inequality.

Another thing concerning me is this interview with Jane Mayer on Fresh Air about how efforts by Art Pope in North Carolina have dramatically changed the state's politics. Here is the original article by Mayer. 

Also, I really enjoyed the recent 10 Questions interview with George Clooney in Time Magazine. Asked if he follows Twitter, he said, "No, because I drink in the evening and I don't want anything I write at midnight to end my career." That's funny, but it's a real concern, too.  It is difficult, wanting to engage in social and public online forums, but also being unsure of how much of yourself it is appropriate to share.

An Amish man's beard is important to him.

For the urban sociologists out there, this is some interesting work on how industry sectors define metro areas.

In this interesting post, with maps, Jim Russell argues that "The rust belt is culturally and politically complicated." I agree.

What does the Sociological Imagination mean in today's society?  If you have something to say about it, the folks at the Sociological Imagination blog are looking for submissions.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Interesting Links, 10/1/11

So, the Occupy Wall Street thing is happening. I've seen lots of Occupy groups forming on facebook, organizing events in various cities.  Let's personalize the protesters a bit by looking at these portraits.

I will be interested to see how this project in Columbia, SC will progress. I will probably be using this in my urban sociology class next spring.  Thanks to Matt Cazessus for sharing this with me.

Also, thanks to him for sharing this collection of maps of Pittsburgh with me.  I think 1980 is my favorite.

I had no idea idea Lancaster, PA had been the U.S. capital for a day. That is fun.

Education is an important determinant of earnings.  And Pittsburgh is 8th on the list of cities with the largest growth in proportion of the population with a college degree.

So, since it launched a couple of weeks ago I have found myself spending a lot of time reading The Atlantic Cities.  Here is an article on how folks are creating better measures of poverty.  Here is an article on how geography is a major factor in the outcomes for those who are unemployed.  As a third example, here is a list of 9 cool projects built or being built under highway overpasses.

Speaking of enjoying the great outdoors within cities, kayakers are now enjoying the Los Angeles River.  Along these lines, I am also working on a little article about mountain biking destinations in cities. I will share that when it comes out.

This is old, but I just found it. A great interactive tool to explore how class works in the U.S.

Baseball is awesome, and awesome baseball happened this past week.  It may have been the best day of baseball ever.

Rock and Roll.