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The Economics of Middle-Class Identity

As the recession forces many of us to frequently change jobs and work in servile positions, defining whom we are becomes increasingly difficult; Karl Marx is considered by some to be the world’s most influential scholar; meanwhile, animals can speak, scientists find, but they don’t say much beyond the basics. These discoveries and more below.

On a regular basis, Truthdig brings you the news items and odds and ends that have found their way to Larry Gross, director of the USC Annenberg School for Communication. A specialist in media and culture, art and communication, visual communication and media portrayals of minorities, Gross helped found the field of gay and lesbian studies.

The Great Middle-Class Identity Crisis
We are what we do. We choose professions that suit our identity, and then those professions enhance our identity.

The Psy Impact
Korean pop singer Psy has emerged as an international phenomenon with his viral hit “Gangnam Style,” but his influence is reaching beyond pop culture and into the classroom as many colleges and universities report first-ever waiting lists for Korean studies courses.

The Original “Occupy” Novel Was Written 100 Years Before Zuccotti Park
Affluenza author John de Graaf investigates the origins of the slogan “Bread and Roses” and discovers a little-known American classic and a history that should repeat itself.

The Real Privacy Problem
As Web companies and government agencies analyze ever more information about our lives, it’s tempting to respond by passing new privacy laws or creating mechanisms that pay us for our data. Instead, we need a civic solution, because democracy is at risk.

ICA Presidents Question Quantitative Assessments of Quality of Research and Teaching in Communication
With the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) being planned for all Hong Kong universities in 2014, two former and the current President of the International Communication Association (ICA) were the keynote speakers at the Symposium on the Quality of Communication Research and Teaching in Hong Kong, the U.S. and Europe, held at City University on November 6.

The Science Behind Earth’s Many Colors
Photographer Bernhard Edmaier is a geologist by training, and it is this knowledge base of the processes that create geological features that he leans on when selecting locations to shoot.

Karl Marx Is the World’s Most Influential Scholar
How do you judge an academic?

“Hello, Baby. Check Me Out”: Animals Speak but Don’t Say Much
Painstaking research identified animal “speech.” But despite scientists’ hopes, critters are stuck on the basics

The STEM Crisis: Reality or Myth?
It’s an acronym that has morphed into a meme.

Mapping Gentrification
Many cities in the United States went through a process of gentrification in the years leading up to the crash of 2007-08.

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