Headline, Nexus »

Could Solving the Mystery of Camus’s The Stranger Help Curb Police Violence?

By | April 24, 2017

Albert Camus’s novel The Stranger contains one of the most famous acts of violence in all literature. A man kills someone he doesn’t know, without immediate provocation, in broad daylight. Though the incident is usually read for its philosophical or literary value, it’s also rich in sociological evidence. As a sociologist, the mystery that most interests me is why, after shooting his antagonist once, does …

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Connecting California, Featured, Joe Mathews »

California’s Idea of a Full School Day Doesn’t Make the Grade

By | April 24, 2017

On many mornings, I think my state senator has the best policy idea in California.
The rest of the time, I think he’s missing the point.
The idea involves the sleep of schoolkids, and the state senator is Anthony Portantino, who represents me and nearly one million other residents of one of California’s nerdiest regions, the San Gabriel Valley.
Portantino has won plaudits for a bill that …

Headline, Nexus »

Could Solving the Mystery of Camus’s The Stranger Help Curb Police Violence?

By | April 24, 2017

Albert Camus’s novel The Stranger contains one of the most famous acts of violence in all literature. A man kills someone he doesn’t know, without immediate provocation, in broad daylight. Though the incident is usually read for its philosophical or literary value, it’s also rich in sociological evidence. As a sociologist, the mystery that most interests me is why, after shooting his antagonist once, does …

Headline, Nexus »

The Radical Paradox of Sweden’s Consensus Culture

By | April 22, 2017

In the 1930s, the American journalist Marquis Childs, after spending time in Sweden, wrote the bestselling book Sweden: The Middle Way. Childs described a country without major social conflicts between the upper and lower classes. He was fascinated by the Swedish economic system, which he described as a perfect compromise between free and controlled markets. In the United States, the book made a great impact …

Featured, Poetry »

we could all use a little ruin in our lives #poem

By | April 21, 2017

I been there, rock cold pulled from and into
Bombay Beach’s television sandstorm
dead sea and sea salt halts
a desiccated fish grave exhaled
out of sand
where feral seraphim, dished and frayed clouds
ruins on top of ruins, excavate and see inside
the betrothed lives of the Salton Sea
if you have a dream
you have everything,
if love came capsuled inside
every por vida you whispered
then I would accept your version …

Featured, Nexus »

Is Terrorism Sweden’s New Export?

By | April 21, 2017

There is a difference between knowing that Islamic terrorism could befall your country, and experiencing it. The April 7 truck attack in central Stockholm was experienced as a shock across the country. Our king even held one of his rare speeches to the nation. Some shock was understandable. But we should not have been surprised.
For many years Sweden’s relative calm has disguised the fact that …

Headline, What It Means to Be American »

The Passion for Ojibwe Culture I Inherited from My Native-American Mom—and Austrian-Jewish Dad

By | April 21, 2017

In my professional life, as a professor of the Ojibwe language and culture, I work to teach and revitalize the Ojibwe language, one of more than 500 tribal languages spoken here before Europeans arrived. I also travel frequently to run racial equity and cultural competency trainings.
My work is a passion and a calling. Sometimes it surprises people to hear that it grows out …

Headline, Nexus »

How Two World Wars and the Great Depression Made Sweden Equal

By | April 20, 2017

Sweden is almost universally regarded as a bastion of sensible people, temperate social policies, and steady, evenly distributed economic growth. So it surprises many to learn that the Scandinavian country only got to be this way in the last century, and that the catalyst was violent upheaval: two world wars and the Great Depression.
Economic inequality has always been with us, and when you observe …

Featured, Nexus »

The End of Sweden’s “Naïve Slumber” Lays Bare Its Competing Truths

By | April 19, 2017

The woman in the audience is among those who will stay for a while to ask a question. I have just been giving a lecture at the Foreign Policy Association of Sweden’s Uppsala University. The topic is the country’s migration. That is almost the only thing we’ve talked about since autumn of 2015, when 10,000 asylum seekers arrived every week, raising questions about how our …

Featured, Nexus »

Sweden, the Land of Ikea and Abba, Is Being Reshaped by Refugees

By | April 19, 2017

“Which color?” asked the officer, who sat on the other side of the solid table.
“What?” I answered cautiously.
The state representative, whom I met on a gray February day in early 1990 at the Swedish consulate in Zurich, where I studied at that time, became louder: “What color does the toothbrush have?”
I was surprised and a little bit intimidated by this question and responded, …

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