GlobalPolicy.TV - Lisa Wade, Ph.D.
Lisa Wade, Ph.D.

Lisa Wade, Ph.D.

Dr. Lisa Wade is a cultural critic and sociologist based in Los Angeles, California.  She holds a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and an M.A. in human sexuality from New York University. She is currently an Assistant Professor at Occidental College, where she teaches courses in gender, race, and sexuality.

Lisa’s research involves the intersection of inequality and the body. Widely published in well-regarded journals, her publications discuss gender and sexuality (including “hook up culture”), genital cutting (“ours” and “theirs”), the practice of journalism, and the tension between feminism and multiculturalism.

Lisa enjoys the occasional opportunity to give public lectures on her work. She also frequently serves as an expert source for journalists writing for outlets such as the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, CNN, ABC News, the Baltimore Sun, Bitch, the Chicago Tribune, CNN, the Columbus Dispatch, the Guardian, Ms., and the San Francisco Chronicle,.

Finally, Lisa is also the founder and editor, as well of an author of the most widely read sociology blog on the web, Sociological Images.   Presenting brief discussions of compelling and timely imagery that span the breadth of sociological inquiry, the site encourages all kinds of people to exercise and develop their sociological imagination. Sociological Images posts are frequently re-posted at Jezebel, Ms., Racialicious, and other sites, as well as routinely used as a source by a wide range of news organizations.

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Social Profiles

Last year the Journal of the American Medical Association released a study aiming to determine the relationship between body mass index and the risk of premature death. Body mass index, or BMI, is the ratio between your height and weight. According to the National Institutes of Health, you are "normal weight" if your ratio is between 18.5-24.9. Everything over that is "overweight" or "obese" and everything under is "underweight."

"What is it that I want?"

Jane Van Galen asked herself this question after reading a gushing profile of an "island cabin" in The Seattle Times. It begins: "Lots of folks have lots of reasons for wanting their own piece of land out of town" and quotes one of the new cabin's owners who, when pregnant, came to realize: "I can't raise a child just in the city ... I wanted woods, salamanders and pileated woodpeckers."

A new paper by Avidit Acharya, Matthew Blackwell, and Maya Sen has discovered that the proportion of enslaved residents in 1860 — 153 years ago — predicts race-related beliefs today.

Gender job segregation is the practice of filling certain occupations with mostly male or mostly female workers. Today, 40 percent of women work in jobs that are three-fourths female or more and 45 percent of men work in jobs that are more than three-fourths male. Job segregation is the main cause of the wage gap between men and women because jobs that employ women pay somewhere between 5-19 percent less than ones that employ men.

Today a jury found George Zimmerman not guilty of second-degree murder. It is widely argued that Florida’s stand your ground statute, which was considered by the defense, and which Zimmerman previously studied in a criminal litigation course, was at play. The statute allows people to use proportionate force in the face of an attack without first trying to retreat or escape. More than 20 other states have such laws.

Last week the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the part of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that required states with a documenting history of discrimination to get federal approval before changing their voting laws.  When the law was passed in 1965, one of its main targets were “literacy tests.”

Most of us familiar with Down‘s Syndrome know that it brings characteristic facial features and delayed or impaired cognitive development. People with Down, however, are also more vulnerable than the general population to diabetes, leukemia, and infectious and autoimmune disease, and about 40% are born with heart defects.

Thursday, 02 May 2013 09:17

Representing Transracial Adoptions

In a 2007 national survey, 40% of children adopted by Americans, both domestically and internationally, were of a different race than their adoptive parents (source). Transracial adoptions are very common.  But who adopts who?  If you ask Google Images, white families adopt non-white children. Six of the images below appear to feature white parents with children of color:

One of our Pinterest boards collects images that reveal that men are the “neutral” sex in contemporary Western cultures. This means that (1)  the image that pops up in our minds when we say “person” or “human” or “worker” is usually implicitly male, (2) non-sexed representations of people are usually assumed to be male (e.g., cartoon animals appear female to us unless we slap on eyelashes and lipstick), (3) items for sale often get marketed as either “item” or “women’s item” (e.g., “deodorant” and “women’s deodorant”), and (4) men and male bodies get to stand in for humanity (e.g., in scientific research).

Tuesday, 08 January 2013 13:51

The Transformative Potential of Technology

When Adam Lanza walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School, he was carrying a Bushmaster .223 caliber Remington semiautomatic.  This is the frightening weapon he used to take the lives of 27 people:

The refrain — “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” — does an injustice to the complicated homotechnocultural phenomenon that we call a massacre.

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