Linkspam, 6/28/13 Edition

Written by Natalie Luhrs

I'm a lifelong geek with a passion for books and social justice.

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June 28, 2013

My brain is pretty worn out this week, so commentary is going to be pretty minimal.

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  1. Cherri Porter

    Constraints are strangely important to creativity. Science now tells us this, but people still believe that if they have no boundaries they create best, which isn’t the case at all.

  2. Aisha

    On the welfare mothers stigma, I was seated next to Deevia Bhana, from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, involved in a large research project on teenage pregnancy, sexuality and schools in KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape (IIRC), at a dinner a few months ago, and she mentioned that one of the major findings is that the widely held myth (in South Africa) that teenage girls become pregnant to access the Child Support Grant is just that, a myth (and I found this abstract of a paper that supports that: This is of course in a specific national context, but I think the findings are universally applicable in that they call into question the widespread assumption of moral risk attendant on welfare provision.

    On another note, I found that disgust review hilarious, but I wonder to what extent disgust is, or can be understood as, socially constructed and not simply “an emotion whose principal function is to help us avoid contaminants and disease”. I’m not at all familiar with the literature here so this is very much a layperson’s perspective.

    Thanks 🙂

  3. Natalie

    @Cherri Porter: It certainly wasn’t the case for me! The idea of constraints in writing is also, I think, why romance is so successful. You have a basic formula but it’s how the characters get from meet cute to HEA that’s so interesting.

    @Rosary: Thanks for this! Those are definitely all strengths of the English major! I wish more employers would consider people with humanities degrees; I don’t know if pigeon holing people into careers from a very young age is really where we want to go.

    @Aisha: Thank you for finding a citation for this. It’s one of those things that has always felt like a myth and it’s good to have some data to back up that feeling. I never understood why anyone would think that a woman would want to go through pregnancy, childbirth, and then the responsibility of being a parent simply for the sake of a (slightly?) larger welfare check. It seems like it would be more complicated than that. I’m glad you found the disgust review hilarious–obviously, I’m coming at this from a layperson’s perspective, too.


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