Monday March 18, 2019
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Monday March 18, 2019

James Cook

has been a professor of social science at the University of Maine at Augusta since 2011. Dr. Cook’s primary areas of interest in research and teaching are political organizations, social networks, and social media, specifically applying social network theory to social media in the Maine State Legislature.

  • College Connection - Thursday Sep 03, 2015 | 2:25 pm

    Examining temptation, ethics and the university

    When we learn how cruelly people can treat one another, it’s tempting for us to think we are exempt from the trend. Every year, students in my Introduction to Sociology class at the University of Maine at Augusta review data from Stanley Milgram’s chilling classic shock experiment, in which 65 percent of subjects followed orders to deliver apparently lethal shocks to innocent people. Often, my students point out that the original experiment […]

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  • photo College Connection - Wednesday Jul 22, 2015 | 10:00 am

    Do the math: How partisan is the Maine Legislature?

    “When am I going to use math in real life?” It is tempting to answer, “Never!” However, in truth leaders in all sorts of fields use mathematics to understand and thereby control the world. Their knowledge builds their power. For an example of the practical power of math, let’s turn to the recently adjourned 127th Maine State Legislature. Lately, complaints about the partisanship in the legislature seem to be everywhere. […]

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  • photo College Connection - Tuesday Jun 09, 2015 | 12:15 pm

    How relations affect Maine leadership PACs

    As a sociologist, I see the world as consisting of two kinds of objects: individual people or groups and the relationships that exist between them. To understand the social world, we need to track both. To see what I mean, let’s look at Maine leadership PACs, fundraising groups led by members of the Maine State Legislature. On March 8 the editorial board of the Kennebec Journal and Morning Sentinel recommended that leadership PACs be outlawed. Why? […]

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  • photo College Connection - Thursday Apr 16, 2015 | 12:27 pm

    Women and men at the State House: Is there a difference?

    Former Canadian Prime Minister Kim Campbell has an idea to fundamentally change politics: mandate that at least one of two seats in a legislature is occupied by a woman. Why is it important to increase the number of women in legislatures? Campbell explains that “it’s not a men-versus-women thing, it’s a matter of having different perspectives that qualify one another… Women experience the world differently from men in many perspectives and […]

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  • photo College Connection - Tuesday Apr 07, 2015 | 4:32 pm

    Why does Augusta get a bum rap on crime? It’s a city thing.

    When the real estate website Movoto declared Augusta to be the “#1 most dangerous place in Maine” this February, was that fair? An article in the Kennebec Journal listed a number of sensible complaints about this label. In this post, I’d like to develop one thread of criticism a bit further: crime rates in Augusta may appear unfairly large simply because Augusta is a city. Movoto didn’t do any original research […]

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