Tag Archives: Social Sciences

Cynical about this whole Big Data thing?

You’re not alone. The abstract of a journal article by danah boyd and Kate Crawford: The era of Big Data has begun. Computer scientists, physicists, economists, mathematicians, political scientists, bio-informaticists, sociologists, and other scholars are clamoring for access to the massive quantities of information produced by and about people, things, and their interactions. Diverse groups… Read More »

On the ethnography of finance

From keith Hart: The anthropology of finance has flourished in the last decade or so. The doyen of this field is Bill Maurer who conducts research on law, property, money and finance, particularly new and experimental financial and currency forms and their legal implications. He is the author of Mutual Life, Limited: Islamic Banking, Alternative… Read More »

RCT, economics and qualitative research

Imagine how gratifying it is for me to wake up this morning and find this post by Edward Caar through a Twitter link: What brings me to today’s post is the new piece on hunger in Foreign Policy by Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo.  On one hand, this is great news – good to see… Read More »

Quote of the day

Americans have been watching protests against oppressive regimes that concentrate massive wealth in the hands of an elite few. Yet in our own democracy, 1 percent of the people take nearly a quarter of the nation’s income—an inequality even the wealthy will come to regret. Joseph E. Stiglitz. “Of the 1%, by the 1%, for… Read More »

When economists misunderstand biology

It is difficult to carve out any part of the piece because it is a discussion of a post by Russ Roberts, but let’s try this: Whenever you hear the term ‘Darwinian’ from anyone other than historians of science, assume the crash position; it’s going to get real ugly. There’s a lot here to correct… Read More »

PhD Studentships

At the Centre for Citizenship, Civil Society and Rule of Law at the University of Aberdeen Website: www.abdn.ac.uk/cisrul The inter-disciplinary Centre for Citizenship, Civil Society and Rule of Law (CISRUL) at the University of Aberdeen will offer two or more PhD studentships starting 2011-12. We welcome applicants from anthropology, cultural and literary studies, history, legal… Read More »

Done with the Ph.D.

On 11.01.10, I had a public defense of my dissertation at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle/Saale, Germany. The questions were firm but fair, and I came away with a nice grade (yes, German Ph.D. dissertations are graded). Thanks to everybody who in one way or another made writing the dissertation less… Read More »

Insights from an ethnography of the American housing market

In her latest column, Gillian Tett draws attention to the research of Anne Jefferson, an anthropologist who is studying how mortgage foreclosures are unfolding in the United States. This caught my attention: In the past century, American culture has developed a well-entrenched, commonly shared national narrative to explain and justify success – the myth of… Read More »

Why do firms exist?

Ronald Coase, the economist who theorised the reason for the existence of firms, turns 100 today. The Economist’s Schumpeter column has this really nice piece about him: His central insight was that firms exist because going to the market all the time can impose heavy transaction costs. You need to hire workers, negotiate prices and… Read More »

If you could choose your coloniser

From Joshua Keating of FP: Taken together, the moral of these studies could be that colonalism isn’t great for a country’s future political and economic wellbeing, but if a country is going to be colonized, they’re better off with the British than the French. Of course, the ideal would be not to be colonised at… Read More »