In a follow up to his earlier coauthored piece on resuming research during the Covid-19 pandemic, Douglas Rogers describes how…
In her contribution to the “Extremism Online” series, Cindy Ma unpacks the rhetorical strategies used by right-wing YouTube microcelebrities to insert increasingly racist and white supremacist tropes into popular discourse while shielding themselves from accusations of extremism.
How can organization leaders make strategic choices that allow them to exercise power in politics? Our book, Prisms of the People, attempts to answer this question by drawing on several case studies of organizations that have won significant victories for their constituencies. In our “prism” metaphor, organizations are the prisms that refract a group’s actions […]
In this contribution to the “Covid-19 and the Social Sciences” series, Deepak Lamba-Nieves shares a noteworthy contact tracing case study from the Puerto Rican mountain town of Villalba. While Puerto Rico has received recent attention for both its severe lockdowns and compliance-averse tourists, Lamba-Nieves describes contact tracing protocols developed at the local level that emphasized qualitative outreach as well as quantitative data collection. Though many contact tracing initiatives and policy discussions during the pandemic have focused on digital mechanisms, he suggests that paying attention to small-scale success stories such as this one offers important lessons for future programs.
In recent years, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube have taken steps to constrain the ability of users to share or amplify racist discourse on their platforms. However, Bharath Ganesh argues, by limiting the focus of their efforts to only the most egregious forms of racist discourse, the platforms may embolden broader networks of extremists to levy less obvious, but equally pernicious forms of racist discourse.
In the wake of the January 6 attack on the US Capitol, the role of social media in propagating extremism was once again under scrutiny. However, as Deana Rohlinger's research demonstrates, stronger moderation policies alone would fail to account for the many ways that users express political beliefs through online forums. Instead, she argues that additional direct interventions like political bias training are necessary to both protect against extremism and encourage democratic participation.
In her contribution to the “Ways of Water” series, marine environmental historian Hayley Brazier invites readers to explore ocean “ooze,” the complex and mysterious content of layers of the ocean floor. Delving into the history of ooze-related discourse, she draws together the interests of a wide range of audiences in the question of the murky depths, from science fiction writers to telegraph cable engineers. In bringing the substance of the ocean floor more to light, Brazier encourages us to reflect on how we define unknown or less visible spaces on the planet as alien, and what might be the stakes of that process.
Lori Peek and Alice Fothergill explore the healing contributions young people can make following major disasters. Based on over a decade of research, the authors reflect on the needs of children to regain a sense of control when faced with feelings of powerlessness, as well as the very real need to listen to children’s experiences when formulating public policy, risk communications, and disaster response. While the contributions of children should never be viewed as a replacement for effective emergency management, their knowledge, creativity, energy, enthusiasm, and social networks have the power to help themselves as well as others in the recovery process.
Exploring the relationship between water and stone in underground aquifers, in this installment of the “Ways of Water” series, Andrea Ballestero shows how binary models used in water management fail to account for the more fluid realities of natural resources. Using this example, Ballestero questions the distinction often made by systems that extract these resources between that which is “lively” and that which is “inert”—where substances that lie beneath the earth are viewed as sitting there, quietly waiting for governments and corporations to extract them and put them to use, frequently for profit. She proposes that techno-legal devices, such as models used to support resources extraction, can also inspire new questions, and ultimately, a new, and more liberatory, politics of water.
Jih-Fei Cheng and Claudia Garriga-López explore the importance of radical care work and the activism of queer and trans people of color in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. Emphasizing the approach of “intravention,” or the pro-health and care actions of communities themselves the most at risk, Garriga-López and Cheng shed light on the deep community health work of protest, often underemphasized in discourse and the lauding of mutual aid efforts. They affirm the need for a broad movement to achieve liberation from institutional and socially sanctioned violence and show the need for radical and inclusive coalition-building to promote community health.
Danya Glabau examines the consequences of school closures for families, drawing out how two older and interlinked crises of the family are exacerbated by the pandemic: the crisis of the privatization of the family and the crisis of patriarchy within it. By looking at schools, daycare, and families as integral and integrated parts of the social safety net in the United States, Glabau argues that under pandemic circumstances (as with many disasters) families are largely expected to take care of themselves, relying on their own highly strained resources. Reflecting a larger pattern, women are frequently expected to take on the majority of added caretaking roles, labor that remains underfunded and invisible.