May 18, 2004

· Sociology

In Nottingham today, and I eventually found wireless access in the lobby of a rather better hotel than the one I’m staying in. Just time to note that, in the light of last weekend’s Eurovision song contest, my network analysis of voting is now both confirmed and redundant.[1] The introduction of the Eastern European bloc of countries has had striking structural and cultural effects. Structurally, political voting for neighbors is now blatantly obvious love fest and openly commented on by the returning officers for each country. When Russia its douze points the Russian announcer said highest marks went “to our great friends, Ukraine.” “We used to be so close,” Terry Wogan commented on the BBC. Culturally, the “Euro Heritage” type song also seems to be eclipsed and the contest has returned to its roots as a festival of tat and pap, thanks mainly to the fashion and musical tastes of the breakaway republics and former Yugoslavian countries. From sub-Britney to proto-Xena to quasi-Miami Vice, there’s clearly no sleaze like Balkan sleaze.

fn1. That was real data, by the way. I abused it but I didn’t make it up.

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I am Associate Professor of Sociology at Duke University. I’m affiliated with the Kenan Institute for Ethics, the Markets and Management Studies program, and the Duke Network Analysis Center.

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