savage-america:

“Part of the blame must lie with the practice of labelling the social sciences as soft, which too readily translates as meaning woolly or soft-headed. Because they deal with systems that are highly complex, adaptive and not rigorously rule-bound, the social sciences are among the most difficult of disciplines, both methodologically and intellectually… As Washington Post columnist Charles Lane wrote in a recent article that called for the NSF not to fund any social science: “The ‘larger’ the social or political issue, the more difficult it is to illuminate definitively through the methods of ‘hard science’.”. In part, this just restates the fact that political science is difficult. To conclude that hard problems are better solved by not studying them is ludicrous. Should we slash the physics budget if the problems of dark-matter and dark-energy are not solved? Lane’s statement falls for the very myth it wants to attack: that political science is ruled, like physics, by precise, unique, universal rules. In any case, we have little idea how successful political science has been — politicians rarely seem to pay much heed to evidence-based advice from the social sciences, unless of course that evidence suits them. And to constrain political scientists with utilitarian bean-counting undermines the free academic nature of the whole exercise.”

A different agenda : Nature

Why we shouldn’t excuse “casual” racism: In the video below, an American entertainment reporter has confused Samuel L. Jackson with Laurence Fishburne. Rather than letting him off politely, Jackson riffs on him: “We don’t all look alike! We may be Black and famous, but we don’t all look alike!” The reporter tries to laugh it off but Jackson says, “Hell no!” After speaking about his role on Robocop, the reporter mentions the other cast members. Jackson says: “Make sure you don’t confuse them with those *other* White actors.” 

People explain moments like these away as a “slip of the tongue” on the one hand, or as “unintentional” or “casual racism” on the other hand. There’s no such thing. Racist exchanges, including getting one individual mixed up with another due to their racial appearance, belie the entrenchment of racial hierarchies. This isn’t about Jackson having similar facial traits reminiscent of Fishburne. They look nothing alike. 

White people are not mistaken for other White people simply on the basis of the colour of their skin.

Social decorum often demands that people of colour restrain their responses to racism. I’ve written about this before with respect to Muslim-Australians, who report feeling that they must control their anger when faced with racism so they don’t contribute to the stereotype of the “out of control Muslim.” Even Martin Luther King is supposedly not allowed to look angry about racial oppression. The reporter quips he needs a “spanking” to try to erase the significance of his mistake. Jackson does not simply use humour to mask how offended he feels; he makes it clear that this mix-up is not okay.   

Beneath this reporter’s faux pas lies something deeper. It’s the “you all look alike to me” attitude that perpetuates discrimination and violence against minorities. Jackson is not having any of it. As it should be.

Jamie Kilstein on white male privilege.

Via Tommy Leung.

Eddie G shows how his Los Angeles community celebrates the Christmas tradition “Las Posadas.” This is a nine-day religious festival that re-enacts the story of a pregnant Mary and Joseph seeking shelter ahead of Jesus’ birth.

Source: Oh Em Gee, It’s Eddie G!

itooamharvard:

Promo video for I, Too, Am Harvard made by Ahsante Bean, Harvard College Class of 2015

Minneapolis Community and Technical College lecturer Shannon Gibney (who is African America) was formally reprimanded by her university after three White male students complained that they were being made to study structural racism. One student interrupted Gibney during her  Mass Communications class and asked: “Why do we have to talk about this?”

Another student chimed in: “Yeah, I don’t get this either. It’s like people are trying to say that white men are always the villains, the bad guys. Why do we have to say this?” The students filed a formal complaint. They argued they were forced into a “hostile learning environment.” 

After being reprimanded for trying to teach in her role as lecturer, Gibney and six of her colleagues are filing a federal class action lawsuit saying their university is a discriminatory workplace.

This case is exactly why Whiteness and postcolonialism studies are quintessential.

These students feel entitled to evoke discrimination because they were encouraged to explore their own social privilege (see my earlier post on the problems with the idea of reverse racism).

Video link and information on the class action: Salon.

modernmonkeys:

Watch!: And when you started out, there were almost no Asian-Americans on TV. Now you’re Watson. The TV my Asian-American daughter grows up watching will be very different than what I grew up watching.
Lucy: It is significant, and I think we still have a long way to go. It is good that you’ll have to explain to her that when Daddy was a teenager, there wasn’t anybody like her on television. People say I’m a pioneer, but I don’t recognize it because I’m still living it. Maybe on my last breath if they name a street after me in the city, I’ll say, “Wow, I made a difference.” Right now, it doesn’t feel like it. [x]

Lucy Liu in the October 2013 edition of Watch! Magazine

(via zuleykaaaa)

antisocialonsocialnetworks:

Because we are all just “thugs”, not human beings.

"After Darrin Manning was sexually assaulted during a "stop and frisk" he had to have emergency surgery on his genitals.
Now Darrin has been charged with assaulting an officer, resisting arrest, and reckless endangerment.” High-res

antisocialonsocialnetworks:

Because we are all just “thugs”, not human beings.

"After Darrin Manning was sexually assaulted during a "stop and frisk" he had to have emergency surgery on his genitals.

Now Darrin has been charged with assaulting an officer, resisting arrest, and reckless endangerment.”

(via nothingman)

Autism Research Discussion Live on Air Today

I’m one of the moderators for Science on Google+. I curate the social science stream. Our community is co-hosting a discussion on autism research live on air, in around an hour’s time (2pm Australian time or 10pm USA EST or 3am UTC/GMT). Our co-host partner is Autism Brainstorm, a research-led community of practice that puts families in touch with experts and resources of support.

Join us to hear experts discuss the latest developments in education, policy and biomedical treatments. Some of our experts are diagnosed on along the autism spectrum disorder and all researchers are advocates of research-led community support services.

You’ll have a chance to post questions ahead of the panel discussion as well as while we’re live on air. You can also join us live on air if you’d like to talk directly with the panel if you get in early enough. Otherwise, the Hangout will stream live on air so you can just watch along and still submit written questions. 

In the mean time, if you’d like to see the latest research and recommendations on autism to USA Government,  have a read of the Updated Strategic Plan. Among other issues, the key research informing this plan identifies:

  • International data are showing an increase in diagnoses pertaining to the autism spectrum. Studies have shown a rise in diagnosis amongst minority youth and adults from lower socio-economic backgrounds (especially those living alone). Researchers suggest there may still be more people who do not have access to services to receive adequate diagnosis and support
  • Brain imaging, neuro-physiology, molecular and phenotyping, and immunity research into autism has improved, providing new insights on the neural connectivity affecting autism. Biological research has also made progress in examining other conditions and disorders that co-exist and affect autism experiences such as epilepsy
  • Gaps in biomedical research include genomic, immunity and gender differences. These areas raise bio-ethical issues that researchers must be trained in. This requires that the research community develop comprehensive research and policy guidelines
  • While more studies have emerged in the past couple of years studying genetic and environmental factors, problems remain. Prioritisation of diagnosis is an issue, given there are windows of time in which diagnosis is most crucial, and so research on these areas is paramount. For example, the preconception and prenatal periods
  • Community intervention is also time-sensitive with respect to early behaviour. Research finds that young children who receive more hours of intervention (therapies, specialised education) generally have better outcomes. Enhanced research on biomarkers would also greatly improve the medical treatments available
  • Sociological issues require research-based policy intervention. This includes access and payment of affordable healthcare. International research shows that minority children (specifically Latin children in the USA) as well as children living in rural areas experience up to 1.5 times more difficulty getting an autism diagnosis, or a delay of up to 6 months in some. This means that While middle-class children living in urban areas have a better chance of accessing diagnosis and treatment, while other disadvantaged groups suffer. There is a broader institutional problem in helping families and communities support people with autism. Children with autism are more likely to wander  off alone in public and become exposed to danger. Schools are also inadequately managing autism. One study by the U.S.A. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights finds that 70% of cases where a child has been restrained at school involved autistic children. People experiencing autism also have a higher mortality rate but this is connected to co-occurring conditions like epilepsy. Young adult and adult interventions is a growing area that requires further research and funding. Community-based care would better help families managing these sociological and health factors

Our on air discussion today will speak to some of these issues. Join our discussion via this link where you’ll also find the speaker bios and links to their research.

saltysojourn:

Immigrants as a Percentage of the Total US Population and of the US Civilian Labor Force, 1970 to 2011 Notes: The term “foreign born” (or “immigrants”) refers to people residing in the United States who were not US citizens at birth. The foreign-born population includes naturalized citizens, legal permanent residents, certain legal non-immigrants (e.g., refugees and persons on student or work visas), and persons illegally residing in the United States. The civilian labor force includes all civilians age 16 and older who were classified as employed or unemployed during the reference week of the survey or census. Sources: The 2010 and 2011 data are from the 2010 and 2011 American Community Survey accessed via the American FactFinder. The 1970 to 2000 data are from the Decennial Censuses and were downloaded from the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS). Steven Ruggles, Matthew Sobek, Trent Alexander, Catherine A. Fitch, Ronald Goeken, Patricia Kelly Hall, Miriam King, and Chad Ronnander.Ê Integrated Public Use Microdata Series: Version 3.0 [Machine-readable database]. Minneapolis, MN: Minnesota Population Center [producer and distributor], 2008.) High-res

saltysojourn:

Immigrants as a Percentage of the Total US Population and of the US Civilian Labor Force, 1970 to 2011

Notes: The term “foreign born” (or “immigrants”) refers to people residing in the United States who were not US citizens at birth. The foreign-born population includes naturalized citizens, legal permanent residents, certain legal non-immigrants (e.g., refugees and persons on student or work visas), and persons illegally residing in the United States. The civilian labor force includes all civilians age 16 and older who were classified as employed or unemployed during the reference week of the survey or census.

Sources: The 2010 and 2011 data are from the 2010 and 2011 American Community Survey accessed via the American FactFinder. The 1970 to 2000 data are from the Decennial Censuses and were downloaded from the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS). Steven Ruggles, Matthew Sobek, Trent Alexander, Catherine A. Fitch, Ronald Goeken, Patricia Kelly Hall, Miriam King, and Chad Ronnander.Ê Integrated Public Use Microdata Series: Version 3.0 [Machine-readable database]. Minneapolis, MN: Minnesota Population Center [producer and distributor], 2008.)