Culture Briefing


What is the Meaning Behind These Categories?

These categories are intended to orient you to the substance of the article and to communicate our framework for understanding the endowments that constitute civic life. This “human ecology” model is at the core of the Thriving Cities Project, a research initiative of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture.

Why Do We Work So Hard?

The Economist

Our work commitments influence a whole host of decisions about other features of our lives—including the cities in which we choose to live.

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The Next Industrial Revolution

The Atlantic

New technologies may soon create an over-abundance of labor. Is the modern economy prepared to adapt? Are humans?

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Labor in Today’s Vineyard


Malesic argues that the dignity of work is derived from the dignity of human beings, not the other way around.

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What It Means to Be a Senior in the Gig Economy

The Wall Street Journal

Seniors who earn income from “gig economy” platforms like AirBnB and Uber are more dependent on that income than younger Americans.

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26 overdoses in just hours


A devastating account of the human and social costs of the opioid crisis in Huntington, West Virginia.

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Interview with J.D. Vance

The American Conservative

Vance is the author of a new memoir, Hillbilly Elegy, a poignant reflection on the daily experience of American rural and small-town life.

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The Families That Can't Afford Summer

The New York Times

As Dell’Antonia reminds us, the very idea of “summer break” is premised upon the availbility—and affordability—of childcare.

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The Secret Shame of Middle-Class Americans

The Atlantic

According to a recent survey, 47% of Americans would struggle to come up with $400 in an emergency. Would you?

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Could You Come Up With $400 If Disaster Struck?


Neal Gabler, author of the Atlantic article above, speaks to NPR about America’s epidemic of economic vulnerability.

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The Promise of Thrift

The Montréal Review

What is thrift? Historically, it’s not just about self-denial, but about the habits of wise use and stewardship required for thriving.

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The astonishing human potential wasted on commutes

The Washington Post

Americans spend an astounding amount of time traveling to and from work. But would driverless cars humanize the workday, or simply extend it? 

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What Happened When 13 Workers Quit Email For A Week

Fast Company

Could you give up email at work for a full week? Find out what happened when thirteen workers did just that for a University of Colorado study.

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Vocation in the Valley

The Hedgehog Review

At giant tech firms like Google, workers invest a great deal—not only in the products they create, but in the overarching objectives of a technological revolution.

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Is A Different Kind of Silicon Valley Possible?

The Atlantic

A tech accelerator in Durham, NC capitalizes on startup fever while supporting its local community and avoiding some of the worst aspects of Silicon Valley.

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