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Ignorance as political bliss: The Republican war on social science

Dan Farber, professor of law | February 26, 2013

Several recent posts on the Legal Planet blog have been about the political process, discussing issues like political polarization, congressional deadlock, and special interest groups.  The discipline of political science is in large part the study of how collective decisions get made. It would seem to be in everyone’s interest to have a better understanding … Continue reading »

Differences under the differences

Claude Fischer, professor of sociology | July 13, 2012

Social scientists trying to understand what makes Americans tick often turn to cross-national surveys to compare Americans’ opinions to those of people in other countries. Such surveys show us, for example, that Americans are generally more religious, more patriotic, and more suspicious of government than are people most elsewhere. A recent conference devoted to designing … Continue reading »

Stumbling in the dark

Claude Fischer, professor of sociology | November 28, 2011

I recently turned to one of the central sources of information about social trends in America, The Statistical Abstract of the United States, described on its web page as “since 1878, the authoritative and comprehensive summary of statistics on the social, political, and economic organization of the United States.” Also on the web page was … Continue reading »