By Peter Kaufman
The other day I was out walking
my dog, Emma, and we ran into Archie. Archie is a gentle old soul who lives
around the corner. He is always eager to see Emma and usually goes out of his
way to come over and say hello.
I’ve known Archie for a few years
and have come to learn quite a bit about him: his favorite places to walk
around town, what he likes to eat, his low tolerance for hot and humid weather,
his dislike of cats and squirrels, and even where he likes to take a poop. In
case you haven’t realized, Archie is dog, a black lab to be exact. Despite all
that I know about Archie there is one thing I’m embarrassed to say I don’t
know: the name of his owner, much less
anything about her.
Continue reading "Learning to be Human (From My Dog)" »
Inequality in education seems
to be one of the more counter-intuitive things I can imagine: how can our
education system exacerbate existing inequalities?
And yet, we should not be
surprised. Last summer I visited Arkansas,
stopping by Little Rock Central High School, the location of one of the most
powerful moments in American history.
Continue reading "Educational Inequality: From Grade School to Graduation" »
If someone asked you this question, how might you answer?
For many of us living in cities, we might name specific neighborhoods that we
associate with high levels of poverty. But that would only give us part of the answer.
Continue reading "Where do Poor People Live?" »
By Sally Raskoff
Scouts of America voted recently to change their membership policy. They
passed the resolution to “remove the restriction denying membership to youth on
the basis of sexual orientation alone.” The resolution actually reads: “No
youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of
sexual orientation or preference alone.”
This is a large change for the organization as they have
long denied membership – and leadership positions – based on sexual
orientation. They also require members to have particular religious beliefs
that are reflected in the oath.
The last word in the resolution sentence noted above is
particularly interesting, as it suggests that sexual orientation may be still
used as a reason for denying membership if other factors are present. Alone?
Why would they need to keep that word there if they were opening up membership
to youth of any sexual orientation?
Continue reading "On My Honor: The Boy Scouts and Sexual Orientation" »
By Jonathan Wynn
Urbanist William H. Whyte
once wrote, “It is difficult to design a space that will not attract people.
What is remarkable is how often this has been accomplished.” But, what happens
when a place attracts the “wrong kind” of person?
This weekend, in my hometown
of Northampton, Massachusetts, a group of 40 people stood in the cold rain to protest the removal of six benches from our downtown
sidewalk. The mayor and the Business Improvement District made the decision
based upon complaints from business owners over panhandlers using the benches “too much.”
Continue reading "Six Benches: Public Space and College Town Life" »
By Elizabeth Luth
PhD student, Sociology, Rutgers University
asked, the majority of
Americans say they would like to die at home, free from
pain, and having said goodbye to loved ones. Dying peacefully at home and
surrounded by loved ones may not seem like a lofty aspiration for the end of
the reality of death in America often does not reflect those expectations. Despite
declines in the proportion
of Americans dying in hospitals, Americans spend more time than ever before in
intensive care units in the months leading up to death, often undergoing
invasive and painful procedures that add days to one’s life while compromising
quality of life.
Continue reading "Whither the Good Death?" »
Back in 2007, I blogged about the many misperceptions
about suicide. Many assumptions surround suicide, specifically the notion
that suicide is a much bigger problem now than in the past and one that
disproportionally affects young people. Both of these assumptions are
Continue reading "Suicide: Data versus Assumptions" »