Wed 1.05.11| Profits First, or Health?

There's plenty of talk, given the changing political environment, about the fate of healthcare reform. But Wendell Potter, a former insurance executive, would have you consider something more: the way health insurance companies in this country distort facts, spread fear, and put profits before healthcare.

Tues 1.04.11| Globalization, Development, Resistance

The story often goes something like this: Capitalist globalization penetrates poorer nations as a hegemonic, homogenizing force. Sometimes rural communities, heroic defenders of traditional practices, rise up in stark opposition to the mainstream development agenda. Kiran Asher argues against what she sees as misleading and simplistic notions that ignore on-the-ground complexities; her case study focuses on a resource-rich region of Colombia.

Mon 1.03.11| The Perils of "Genohype"

Do genes determine race? Are some races innately more intelligent than others? And what about Charles Darwin -- is his name safe from those who would push a racist or misogynist agenda? Jonathan Marks points out political leanings and racial ideas still at play in some scientific disciplines, including genetics.

Wed 12.29.10| Righteous Dopefiends

Philippe Bourgois & Jeff Schonberg, Righteous Dopefiend UC Press, 2009

Philippe Bourgois, In Search of Respect: Selling Crack in El Barrio Cambridge U. Press, 2002

For more than ten years, Philippe Bourgois and Jeff Schonberg became part of the daily lives of two dozen homeless heroin injectors in San Francisco. Their book is an account of those individuals' experiences and relationships; a photo-ethnography of drugs, poverty, race and social exclusion; and a revealing look at the larger structural forces that operate on vulnerable populations.

Tues 12.28.10| Animal Lib

Why should those of us who eat meat care about animal liberation? Sociologist Bob Torres argues that the oppression of animals and capitalism are intrinsically bound up with each other. And he posits that the mainstream animal rights movement has been misguided in both theory and tactics.

Mon 12.27.10| Af-Pak Geopolitics

What is the US government's real agenda in Afghanistan and Pakistan? Is it engaged in anything that contradicts its official alliance with Pakistan? And how big of a factor is natural resources in what the US war machine is doing? Kiren Chaudhry has gone to the region to investigate. In a conversation this past August, she characterized the US military/security effort as chaotic.
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