Society Magazine

Five Years of UnderstandingSociety

Posted on the 06 November 2012 by Dlittle30
Five years of UnderstandingSociety
This week represents the end of the fifth year of the UnderstandingSociety blog. Writing the blog continues to be a source of great intellectual growth for me, not least because it has led me to read and discuss books and articles I wouldn't otherwise have encountered. Readers have often suggested sources I hadn't previously known about, and the result is often a new perspective on a new problem for me.  For example, this week I've been directed to Francis Haskell's History and Its Images: Art and the Interpretation of the Past and John Dittmer's Local People: The Struggle for Civil Rights in Mississippi. New topics for me in the past year include polarization of the electorate, strategic action fields, neighborhood effects in cities, the market for ethnicity, the sociology of ideas, and identity economics.
The blog has now grown to almost 750 posts on a range of topics about social knowledge and the social world. (That amounts to about 750,000 words.) The range of topics has a certain amount of internal consistency over time; topics like Chinese history, microfoundations, historiography, meso-level causation, and the American civil rights movement recur over time, so it is possible to follow one set of ideas through a number of posts. At the same time, some topics that were extensively discussed in earlier years are no longer on the radar -- heterogeneity and plasticity of the social world, for example.
Each year the distribution of topics seems to change significantly. For a while there were a great many posts on the philosophy of history; then there were a number of posts on Rawls and political theory. Philosophy of social science topics have always been a frequent part of the blog, but other topics rise and fall in frequency.  In the past year the largest group of posts have been on various aspects of sociology and sociological theory (18%), followed by social critique of inequalities and racism (15%), philosophy of social science (10%), philosophy of history (6%), and China (6%).  The labels and categories help readers to find related posts on subjects of interest to them. And the search function helps to locate earlier discussions of a given point or author.
Readership has continued to expand -- thanks, readers! -- with about 2,800 subscribers and 2,600 followers on Twitter and Facebook. There are about 80,000-100,000 page views per month, or about one million page views per year. And the readership continues to be pretty international, with visits from over 160 countries in the past year. Readers from the US represent 60% of visits, UK (12%), Canada (7%), Australia (4%), India (4%), Philippines (3%), Germany (3%), France (2%), and the Netherlands (1.4%).
So thanks for reading, and please continue to comment occasionally and suggest other points of view and other sources that you think valuable! If I have one specific goal for the coming year, it is to find some ways of increasing the amount of engagement with readers that takes place on the blog and in the Twitter and Facebook streams. Facebook in particular is a good environment for creating some exchanges about ideas, applications, and examples of social phenomena from other places (link). It would be very interesting, for example, for readers in Indonesia, Brazil, Egypt, France, and Japan to offer their own descriptions of the systems of race and ethnicity that are at work in creating inequalities across social groups in those countries. This is what I tried to do in an entry on the racial system of Jim Crow in the United States (link); are there similar systems in other countries?


You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • 5 Quick Political Facts for Today (2/15/15)

    John Boehner apparently has no idea what goes on in Congress despite being the Speaker. Boehner stated it was important to investigate Benghazi again because... Read more

    The 16 February 2015 by   Paul Phillips
    CURRENT, POLITICS, SOCIETY
  • Sexual Liberation is a Sign of Society Near Its End: The Enthrallment with “50...

    . . . as shown by surging sales of S-M bondage gear as we approach the release date of the revolting Fifty Shades of Grey movie, timed for Valentine’s Day no... Read more

    The 07 February 2015 by   Eowyn
    DEBATE, POLITICS, SOCIETY, SPIRITUALITY
  • US Used Social Media to Foment Ukraine Revolution

    [courtesy Google Images]After a series of violent demonstrations in the capitol of Kiev, in February A.D. 2014, a Ukrainian revolution ensured . Read more

    The 30 January 2015 by   Adask
    POLITICS, SOCIETY
  • The Mode of Production as Society's Structure

    Figure: Althusser's conception of the CMP (RP Resch, Althusser and the Renewal of Marxist Social Theory) Sociologists study social structure and the effects tha... Read more

    The 26 January 2015 by   Dlittle30
    SOCIETY
  • "Fizziks" Called Me a Liar

    Michael L.In the comments at the Elder's joint, under my recent response to Jon Haber, "fizziks" called me a liar.He writes:Isn't there enough to take issue wit... Read more

    The 26 January 2015 by   Mikelumish
    DEBATE, SOCIETY
  • So, Where is the Argument?

    Michael L.{Originally posted at the Elder of Ziyon.}Those of you who follow my writings or Jon Haber's blog, Divestthis!, know that we have been conversing abou... Read more

    The 26 January 2015 by   Mikelumish
    DEBATE, SOCIETY
  • ISIS, Jordan and Prophecy

    Jordan is much in the news today, due to the horrific killing of its downed pilot. The world became aware of the pilot's killing because the Muslim terror... Read more

    The 07 February 2015 by   Elizabethprata
    SOCIETY, SPIRITUALITY

Add a comment

Paperblog Hot Topics

Magazine