Trump’s Tweets: What Do They Mean for Civil Conversations?

Arguably, Trump will go down in history for his catch phrases and unconventional political use of Twitter. It is not clear, however, whether historians will be kind to him – or us – when they look back at our political discourse. The good news is that we can control how we engage in tough conversations, and that through this process of engagement we will learn more about ourselves.

Time to Call it a Wrap for Florida Film Incentives

The research surrounding Florida film incentives is incomplete and full of plot holes. To justify spending taxpayer dollars on investing in an industry, more conclusive research is needed about the benefits — if any — from these industry subsidies. Until then, Florida should call it a wrap for film incentives.

The Power of Independent Thinking: The Vice in “Vice”

The partisanship on display in McKay’s film is unfortunate on many levels. As a writer and director, he has squandered the acting talents of an exceptional cast, brilliant editing, and dazzling cinematography. Amy Adams and Christian Bale are top-shelf actors, among the few who could pull off Shakespearian wordplay as contemporary pillow talk, and they do it with superb comic effect at McKay’s direction. While McKay does a solid job of portraying the genuine love and affection the Cheneys have for each other and their children, the emotional impact is diminished, even relegated to a minor theme, by the end of the movie.

The Joe Biden Moment: How Social Movements Can Capitalize on the Problems of Political Parties

So far, the response has been mixed. Some Democrats have urged the party to come down “hard” on Biden, noting that this is the only way to get him to change his behavior. Others argue downplay Biden as “touchy-feely” and argue that Democrats should be careful and not take the issue of sexual harassment in the workplace “too far.” At the time of this writing, women’s rights groups have largely been silent on Biden’s behavior. However, it would not be surprising if some groups, particularly those lacking strong relationship with the Democratic Party machine, used Biden as a rally point to build their supporter base and fill their coffers in the near future.

There Is More to Women’s Political Participation than Voting

Journalists covering the 2018 mid-term elections enjoy spinning out narratives about cleavages in American society when it comes to voting. The gender gap is one of the tales they can weave together through data and first-person accounts. While gender differences in voting patterns are certainly important, it comfortably fits with a broader tendency to downplay women’s leadership and engagement throughout history. It is critical that we remind journalists, our students, and ourselves, that the gender gap in voting does not capture women’s political contributions or their political diversity. Women’s engagement matters well beyond their votes.       

From the Classroom: Students Co-Create A Social Movement Photovoice Blog Following the Parkland, FL School Shooting

Engagement in visual-centric blogging introduces students to a popular form of public sociology that develops the sociological imagination. As Lisa Wade and Gwen Sharp, founders of Sociological Images, note, sharing compelling images and social scientific analysis in blog form is an effective way to engage a non-scholar audience in developing understandings of social science principles.

The Common Denominator of Mass Violence: Guns AND Men

The United States has a unique problem with gun violence, but the solutions to this social problem are more complex than curving access to weapons of war. If we are truly committed to building a society free from all forms of violence, we cannot limit ourselves to proximal solutions. We must be honest about a fundamental source from which violence emerges in our culture: the socialization of boys and men.

‘The Post’ Makes the Case for a Free and Independent Press

Today, few doubt the newspaper’s independence, or willingness to go after what it believes is corrupt activity, even as the Trump administration routinely assaults and trivializes the press with flippant charges of “fake news” and restrictions on access to the White House spin. In this climate, “The Post” makes the case for adhering to James Madison’s prescient observations about the importance of a free and independent press even more timely and relevant.

Newspaper Endorsements Do Matter – At Least for Ballot Measures

Those seeking information will respond to information provided by newspapers as one of the only (if not the only) source of guidance on ballot measures. This is especially important in mid-term elections where casual voters often stay home. Our next election—2018—is slated to have a number of constitutional amendments on the ballot, including a measure to allow some former felons to vote in our elections.