How to Change Society

Social change often works against generations of tradition, so what accounts for its success or failure? The New York Times looks at examples of reform in China and Kenya for clues.

"So if you care about the foreign victims of immemorial, immoral rituals, you will want to proceed carefully and perhaps learn from history. International humanitarian campaigns don’t have to backfire. It might be useful to look at their notable successes, in fact, and see what swung the balance. Take the late-19th-century campaign against foot-binding in China. The custom began to die out in the first decade of the 20th century. In most places, it happened quickly. The American political scientist Gerry Mackie, an expert on social norms, gives the example of a large group of families in a rural area south of Beijing, in which 99 percent of women born before 1890 had bound feet, and none of the women born after 1919 had bound feet."

Why American history lives between the cracks

The stories we tell define history. So who gets the mic in America?

Videos
  • History is written by lions. But it's also recorded by lambs.
  • In order to understand American history, we need to look at the events of the past as more prismatic than the narrative given to us in high school textbooks.
  • Including different voices can paint a more full and vibrant portrait of America. Which is why more walks of American life can and should be storytellers.
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Juice is terrible for children. Why do we keep giving it to them?

A glass of juice has as much sugar, ounce for ounce, as a full-calorie soda. And those vitamins do almost nothing.

Pixabay user Stocksnap
popular

Quick: think back to childhood (if you've reached the scary clown you've gone too far). What did your parents or guardians give you to keep you quiet? If you're anything like most parents, it was juice. But here's the thing: juice is bad for you. 

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Scientists claim the Bible is written in code that predicts future events

The controversy around the Torah codes gets a new life.

Michael Drosnin
Surprising Science
  • Mathematicians claim to see a predictive pattern in the ancient Torah texts.
  • The code is revealed by a method found with special computer software.
  • Some events described by reading the code took place after the code was written.
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