1/3 Whatever happened to obscene phone calls?

Hello? You never hear about obscene phone calls anymore, despite everyone having a phone in their pocket. Yesterday’s item about the guy who was issued Sir Mix-A-Lot’s old phone number treats it as a joke, but I remember being taught in school around 1984 about the danger of “heavy breathers.” At the same time, Barry … More 1/3 Whatever happened to obscene phone calls?

Against moral panic (for cultural politics)

Pundits, sociologists, and activists frequently use the term “moral panic” to describe what they perceive as a public overreaction to an issue (or non-issue). Examples include “Prostitution and Human Trafficking – The Anatomy of a Moral Panic,” “What’s Flakka and is it Real? A Guide to the New Moral Panic Drugs,” From Miasma to Ebola: … More Against moral panic (for cultural politics)

Most downloaded, now Free: The Modern Career of the Oldest Profession

My article on metaphor theory and the history of the phrase “oldest profession” was the second “most downloaded” social science article for Palgrave in 2015. Now it’s FREE for everyone! I wrote about it here. I’m going to credit the bump from the ‘students’ of Hot Dog University, a collaboration between Belt Magazine and Happy … More Most downloaded, now Free: The Modern Career of the Oldest Profession

Style and the Value of Gay Nightlife: Homonormative Placemaking in San Francisco

Another of my journal articles on San Francisco gay bars appears in the current edition of Urban Studies. My very simple point is not all gay neighborhoods are (or were) the same. The point was so simple it languished in 4 journals for 7 years, going through 9 revisions. But now it’s out – complete … More Style and the Value of Gay Nightlife: Homonormative Placemaking in San Francisco

The Modern Career of “The Oldest Profession,” and the Social Embeddedness of Metaphors

This article was fun to write, and it’s even more fun to play with Google n-grams to track the usage of metaphors about prostitution in the UK vs US (such as this or this). Among many nuggets I uncovered: Rudyard Kipling coined the metaphor “the most ancient profession!” “Sex work” initially referred to sexuality research! … More The Modern Career of “The Oldest Profession,” and the Social Embeddedness of Metaphors