Wed 11.12.14 | Not Enough for Retirement

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You may be doing everything by the book, but will you have enough to retire on? If you're like most Americans, the answer is no. Sociologist James Russell weighs in on how pensions like 401(k)s put all the risk on the individual -- and siphon a large part of the rewards off for the financial services industry. He also talks about efforts, like the one he led, to switch back to traditional pension plans.


Tues 11.11.14 | Out of Prison, Into What?

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In this era of mass incarceration, more than half a million people leave state and federal prisons each year. Where do they go, and what do they encounter and experience as they re-enter society? David Harding, who has been studying the phenomenon of prisoner reentry and reintegration, reviews the factors that affect the ability of ex-inmates to rebuild their lives.

Mon 11.10.14 | African Americans and the Environment

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Why are African Americans missing from our collective imagery of the environment and environmentalism?  Cultural geographer Carolyn Finney discusses both the history of African Americans and nature -- as it's defined in the United States -- and the history of African American environmentalism, separating myth from fact.

Wed 11.05.14 | State Violence in Mexico

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The events of late September have shaken Mexico: a police attack on students in the city of Iguala, leading to the disappearance of 43 people who were turned over by the municipal police to a drug cartel. Journalist John Gibler has been reporting from Iguala. He discusses how the Mexican state benefits from the drug war. Gibler also explains what the story of EPR guerrilla Andrés Tzompaxtle tells us about the continuum of state repression in Mexico.

Tues 11.04.14 | Orwell and the Spanish Civil War

George Orwell, Homage to Catalonia Harcourt, 1969







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Was what happened in Spain beginning in 1936 a civil war or a workers' revolution? It's called the Spanish Civil War, and it did pit Francisco Franco's forces against a democratically elected government, but what George Orwell discovered when he arrived in Spain was "a revolution in full swing." Adam Hochschild talks about the conflicts, their international context, and Orwell's Homage to Catalonia. (Encore presentation.)

Mon 11.03.14 | Men Down, Women Up?

Negra and Tasker, eds., Gendering the Recession: Media and Culture in an Age of Austerity Duke U. Press, 2014

Suzanne Leonard, Fatal Attraction Wiley-Blackwell, 2009



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Has the Great Recession affected men and women differently? What should we make of reports that the fortunes of American men and boys are on the decline? And what impact are books and films that tout the economic vitality and resilience of women having? In Suzanne Leonard's eyes, cultural discourses like these tend to ignore structural factors and promote polarization between the sexes.

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