The Art of Appropriating the Ethos of an Era Through Fashion: Sociology of Style on How Everything Becomes New Again

As always, I would like to thank my friends at Sociology of Style (sociologyofstyle.com) for taking their sociocultural perspective to the streets with a point of view on how fashion ultimately becomes a signifier of our cultural conversation.   This article by Eve Kerrigan Roberts discussion how fashion always comes full circle from one era to … Continue reading The Art of Appropriating the Ethos of an Era Through Fashion: Sociology of Style on How Everything Becomes New Again

“Creating Hipsturbia”: Is Gentrification Pushing Out The Creative Class?

This fascinating ethnographic piece in the New York Times Style section got me thinking today.  If you live in an urban center or watch Portlandia then you know what I am talking about.  Traditionally speaking, the gentrification of urban neighborhoods has been leaving young, white creative professionals with the blood on their hands...pushing the lower … Continue reading “Creating Hipsturbia”: Is Gentrification Pushing Out The Creative Class?

who doesn’t love a literal metaphor. 😉

Our Weird and Wonderful World

The caged bird sings with a fearful trill
Of things unknown but longed for still
And his tune is heard on the distant hill for
The caged bird sings of freedom.  Maya Angelou

In this week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge we are invited to show what ‘Home’ means to us.  It means differently to everyone whether a physical structure of a house to go home to and relax, or a place in the heart to return to.  The photos I chose to include for this challenge were not of the castles and palaces I’ve seen during my travels, but of what some may call, hopefully temporary, home…

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The Harlem Shake: A Conversation About the Sociology of Internet Memes

The sociology of internet memes is absolutely fascinating to me.  Somebody puts something on YouTube that they think is interesting, meaningful or funny but, in most cases, actually skyrockets way above the bounds of ridiculousness.  Sometimes a meme becomes popular because it showcases the extraordinary - but for the most part, it's all about ridiculousness. … Continue reading The Harlem Shake: A Conversation About the Sociology of Internet Memes

Valentine’s Day from a UK Consumer Culture Perspective

LOVE this article posted on the Northstar website this week about tips for brands who want to leverage the (evolving) relevance of valentines day.  Has a cheeky UK touch I am sure the VDay haters will love.  🙂  You can link to this as well as more great content here: http://www.northstarhub.com/blog/perspectives/valentines-day-love-consumerism/ Valentine’s Day Love & … Continue reading Valentine’s Day from a UK Consumer Culture Perspective

A Jewish American New York Story: Swinging Into Modern Times

My father was a second generation American: born to native New Yorkers in 1934. A swing generation baby, he grew up at an interesting time in the history of New York and our now waning industrial economy, he wouldn't be able to afford a Baby Trend Expedition-Jogger-Stroller back then. In about two and a half … Continue reading A Jewish American New York Story: Swinging Into Modern Times

Score One For Perspective: Science Proves Relaxation Makes You More Productive!

I know what you're thinking:  "I've got too much to do to be spending time reading this blog".   You, like most worker bees probably wake up checking emails, call a latte on the elevator "breakfast", work through lunch and spend way too many hours at your desk or running to meetings - followed by an … Continue reading Score One For Perspective: Science Proves Relaxation Makes You More Productive!

Tales Of An Anthropological Experience on The Queen Mary 2

I would like to thank Dwight Garner and his article in this Sunday's New York Times Travel section on his experience aboard the QM2 for solidifying my choice for a pre-retirement career: travel journalist! The fact of the matter is, even though a vacation on the QM2 might never be my speed, the subculture experience … Continue reading Tales Of An Anthropological Experience on The Queen Mary 2

Love this affirming article: a review of Google’s n- gram, which is a tool that supposedly can “quantify culture”. A good piece of the puzzle to help us understand cultural evolution? Sure. But, as I always say, context is everything. And you can’t paint a complete picture without it. It’s why Anthropology and Sociology will not only never be fields at risk of becoming irrelevant. Rather, they will becoming increasingly important as we resist the temptation to go deeper and deeper down the virtual rabbit-hole.

Digital History @ UW

According to Google’s new n-gram tool, when researching history, words count.

Literally.

By analyzing over 500 billion words from 5.2 million books in Chinese, English, French, German, Russian, and Spanish, the n-gram tool allows users to track the usage of words from 1500AD onwards.

The implications of this tool in terms of historical and cultural research are just beginning to come to light. In the article  “Quantitative Analysis of Culture Using Millions of Digitized Books,” Jean-Baptiste Michel and his fellow researchers suggest that Google’s n-gram can be used to track the emergence of diseases, state censorship and the relative “celebrity” of a given person.

There is no doubt that the n-gram is, and will continue to be, an extremely useful tool in historical inquiry. However, there are some limitations that need to be addressed.

Firstly, the Google n-gram is limited in regards to language. Most of the collected works…

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