A Year in Review & Best of 2016 – Inequality by (Interior) Design Edition

Inequality by (Interior) Design turned 5 this year!  Five!?!?!  I’m sort of shocked by that news.  It wasn’t a phenomenal blogging year for me in terms of post volume.  In fact, I wrote fewer posts in 2016 than any other year since I first started blogging.  But I haven’t given up. I promise.  The posts I did write were a lot of fun, and from the reader statistics, I can tell they were of interest to readers. More than a few of this year’s posts are regularly linked to from course management sites at various colleges and universities.  And I learned a few new data visualization tricks that have been fun to incorporate.  In addition to sharing my “best” (most read) posts from the year as well as my personal favorites, I wanted to take a moment to share about some of the work I did that helped account for a bit less blogging this year.

Many of the posts I wrote this year were small pieces that I’m using for a larger project I’ve been working on all year.  I joined Michael Kimmel and Amy Aronson to rewrite, revise, update, and digitize the content of Sociology NOW an introductory textbook in sociology.  In addition to updating the facts and figures (and special thanks to Sarah Diefendorf who has been working with me tirelessly all year helping with this), Michael, Amy, and I propose a new framework for teaching the field.  We address the “three paradigms” framework (functionalism, conflict theory, and symbolic interactionism); but it’s not the organizing framework for the book.  Our framework focuses on the way sociologists look at the world – a perspective we call “iSoc.”  You’ll love it.  We also continue to highlight the time-honored research that continues to shape the field.  But we incorporate lots of research highlights from younger and emerging scholars.   Final plug – this edition will be a print and digital edition, but the digital version is where the really interesting stuff will be (and will be a lot cheaper for students).  We’re producing videos for each chapter, a series of animations to explain key concepts, ideas, perspectives, and findings (I’m doing the audio for these and I cannot wait).  And, we’ve done a massive overhaul on charts, graphs, maps, and images in the book as well.  Many of the charts, graphs, and maps will be interactive and we have a host of widgets in each chapter that will enable students to play around with some data a bit to learn more or to personalize what they’re learning, and to put their own ideas, opinions, and perspectives into context.  I’ll blog more about the process as it unfolds.  Stay tuned for Sociology NOW, 3e, by Michael Kimmel, Amy Aronson, and Tristan Bridges.

Pascoe and Bridges - Exploring MasculinitiesMy anthology with C.J. Pascoe, Exploring Masculinities: Identity, Inequality, Continuity, and Change, has continued to do well.  The collection was favorably reviewed twice this year – in Teaching Sociology and Sex Roles.  C.J. and I Skype’d into a collection of classes using the book and regularly email with faculty using the book.  The larger project of the anthology was an argument suggesting that the field needs a bit of reorganization.  And the essays that we wrote for the book explain that project in detail.  That work has also started to get cited and we’re hoping that it continues to help scholars understand that the boundaries of the field are far wider than they are often recognized to be – and we have much to gain from recognizing this fact.  We are also managing to keep up with social media for the anthology , with a facebook page and Twitter account.  Follow along whether you’ve read the book or not.  We’d love to have you as a part of those communities.

In addition to this, C.J. and my theoretical framework – “hybrid masculinities” – has been a project we have continued.  Scholars are finding the framework useful for making sense of a great diversity of findings.  And that has been really incredible.  In fact, we just recently finished a chapter for a new anthology on shifts in gender theory edited by Raewyn Connell, Patricia Yancey Martin, James Messerschmidt, and Michael Messner.  Keep your eye out for this anthology.  It’s going to be phenomenal (NYU Press).  And I’m about as proud of our chapter as anything I’ve ever written – “On the Elasticity of Gender Hegemony: Why Hybrid Masculinities Fail to Undermine Gender and Sexual Inequality.”  It was an incredible opportunity to be included and we’re excited to have been offered the space to discuss how we see the theory as connected with Raewyn Connell’s theoretical project.  In addition to this, C.J. and I have partnered with Sarah Diefendorf to put together a hybrid masculinities reader which will include some incredible work.  And I’m also continuing to work on my own book manuscript which contributes to and further theorizes this framework as well.  More on both of those this year.

Okay, enough about about research.  All of the blogs I follow have a post (or series of posts) at the end of each year celebrating some of their biggest and best posts of the year.  And I’ve done it each year.  I now blog here, still have my column at Girl W/ Pen! with C.J., and also write for and am an editor at Feminist Reflections as well.  But I share all of that work here as a sort of central hub for all my blogging.  Below are my top five most popular posts of the year along with an assortment of my personal favorites.

Top 5 Most Popular Posts of 2016

  1. Baby Name Frequencies#HerWorkToo – Acknowledging and Accounting for the Gender Recognition Gap (Tristan Pascoe and C.J. Bridges – Yes, that was intentional)
  2. Why Popular Boy Names are More Popular than Popular Girl Names (Tristan Bridges)
  3. Google, Tell Me. Is My Son Gay? Picture1(Tristan Bridges)
  4. Joan Acker and the Shift from Patriarchy to Gender (Tristan Bridges and James Messerschmidt)
  5. Much Ado about “Sex Roles” (Tristan Bridges)

My Personal Favorites from 2016

Scholarly blogging is largely a labor of love.  It’s not rewarded in any traditional or systematic way.  It doesn’t “count” toward the work that scholars are asked to do – at least not in any easily measurable way.  But, it’s immensely rewarding and, I think, vitally important work.  Blogging is one way that we can reach audiences not possible with scholarly writing – attempting to have an impact on the forms of inequality we study and help other people connect with sociological knowledge, research, and theory.  Increasing the number of feminist sociological imaginations in the world can only make for a better place.  Looking forward to 2017.  As always, thanks for reading!

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