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Author: The Conversation

Violent Transnationalism: White Supremacy is America’s newest global export

By Art Jipson, Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Dayton The recent massacre of 50 Muslim worshippers at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand is the latest confirmation that white supremacy is a danger to democratic societies across the globe. Despite President Donald Trump’s suggestion that white nationalist terrorism is not a major problem, recent data from the United Nations, University of Chicago and other sources show the opposite. As more people embrace a xenophobic and anti-immigrant worldview, it is fueling hostility and violence toward those deemed “outsiders” – whether because of their religion, skin color or national origin....

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Study finds Millennials are financially conservative but the generation still has $1 trillion of debt

By Jimmie Lenz, Adjunct Professor of Finance, University of South Carolina New findings from the New York Federal Reserve reveal that millennials have now racked up over US$1 trillion of debt. This troubling amount of debt, an increase of over 22 percent in just five years, is more than any other generation in history. This situation may leave you wondering how millennials ended up in such a sorry state. As important as the debt is how millennials’ economic choices vary from the expectations. Millennials are much more conservative than the debt balances may indicate. In fact, in comparison to...

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College admission scandal reveals a fundamental “crisis” in American society

By Rick Eckstein, Professor of Sociology, Villanova University As part of the “Operation Varsity Blues” case that federal prosecutors announced on March 12, dozens of people – including Hollywood actresses and wealthy businessmen – stand accused of having bought their children’s way into elite colleges and universities. As a researcher who has studied how young athletes get admitted to college, I don’t see a major difference between this admission fraud case and how many wealthy families can buy their children’s way into elite colleges through “back” and “side” doors. In my research, I show how most intercollegiate sports are...

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Veterans concerned about climate change could use political clout to shape federal policies

By Matthew Motta Postdoctoral Fellow in the Science of Science Communication at the Annenberg Public Policy Center, University of Pennsylvania News that the Trump administration plans to create a panel devoted to challenging government warnings about climate change has been met with opposition from members of the U.S. military. Citing concerns about the effects of climate change on national security, more than four dozen top-ranking military officials came out in opposition to the Trump administration’s plan. Military concern about the effects of climate change on national security is not new. Months before former Secretary James Mattis left the Defense...

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A new generation of tech-driven youth campaigning for social change still resemble their predecessors

By David S. Meyer, Professor of Sociology, University of California, Irvine A gaggle of young activists recently paid Dianne Feinstein a visit at the senator’s San Francisco office, imploring her to support the Green New Deal framework for confronting climate change. She responded by explaining the complicated legislative process, emphasizing her decades of experience and promising to pursue a considerably more modest approach to confronting climate change with a better shot at passage in the Senate. The lawmaker tried to come across as sympathetic, yet sounded condescending in a short video clip that quickly went viral, eliciting a stream...

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Springing Forward: Permanent Daylight Saving Time would actually make life better

By Steve Calandrillo Jeffrey & Susan Brotman Professor of Law, University of Washington In an effort to avoid the biannual clock switch in spring and fall, some well-intended critics of daylight saving time (DST) have made the mistake of suggesting that the abolition of it and a return to permanent standard time would benefit society. In other words, the U.S. would never “spring forward” or “fall back.” They are wrong. DST saves lives and energy and prevents crime. Not surprisingly, then, politicians in Washington, California and Florida are now proposing to move to DST year-round. Congress should seize on...

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