By Jonathan Wynn
Her name isn’t as well known
as Trayvon Martin’s, and her side-story is less sensational. And yet, Rachel
Jeantel’s short time on the witness stand in the George Zimmerman trial—and the
media’s response to it—says a lot about our contemporary society. As the last
person to speak with 17-year-old Trayvon moments before George Zimmerman killed
him, Rachel has been caught up in one of the most-watched trials of the last
Rachel has been ridiculed on blogs and snickered at in the media for her time on the witness stand. She had testy exchanges
with Zimmerman’s defense attorney Don West, some ”unpolished” responses to
questions (i.e., responding to the hypothesis that Martin initiated contact
with Zimmerman as “real retarded”), and at one point needing to speak up so the
jury could hear her. It remains to be seen whether or not pointing out these
attributes are attempts to undermine her credibility as a witness.
Continue reading "Rachel Jeantel, Handwriting, and No Child Left Behind" »
By Sally Raskoff
When I encounter hashtags, I am reminded that language is
alive and a major element of culture. #duh
Hashtags are a word (or string of words) prefaced with the symbol
“#”. First used to label groups and topics in discussion sites, then adopted by
social networking sites like Twitter and Instagram (and Facebook, YouTube,
Tumblr, etc.), hashtags serve as a code or mark for a post.
Continue reading "#Language is #Culture " »
By Corey Lee Wrenn
Instructor of Sociology and Ph.D. candidate,Colorado State
University, Ft. Collins
Americans share their homes with dogs, cats, and goldfish. Have you ever
considered what their role in human society might be? What about the
spider in your bathtub? Are the members of other species persons, pets,
the field of sociology, there are various ways of viewing society. Sociologists ascribe to one or more of these
perspectives and this affiliation guides their understanding of social
processes. For the most part, the social
world of study is restricted to humanity. A growing body of research, however, argues that Nonhuman Animals play
an important role in human interactions and have certainly shaped our
sociologists have recognized that the oppression of other animals tends to
mirror and even aggravate the oppression of vulnerable human groups. Still others have argued that, regardless of
the impact on humans, Nonhuman Animals deserve consideration in their own
Continue reading "The Sociological Perspective on Other Animals" »
By Peter Kaufman
The other day I was out walking
my dog, Emma, and we ran into Archie. Archie is a gentle old soul who lives
around the corner. He is always eager to see Emma and usually goes out of his
way to come over and say hello.
I’ve known Archie for a few years
and have come to learn quite a bit about him: his favorite places to walk
around town, what he likes to eat, his low tolerance for hot and humid weather,
his dislike of cats and squirrels, and even where he likes to take a poop. In
case you haven’t realized, Archie is dog, a black lab to be exact. Despite all
that I know about Archie there is one thing I’m embarrassed to say I don’t
know: the name of his owner, much less
anything about her.
Continue reading "Learning to be Human (From My Dog)" »
Inequality in education seems
to be one of the more counter-intuitive things I can imagine: how can our
education system exacerbate existing inequalities?
And yet, we should not be
surprised. Last summer I visited Arkansas,
stopping by Little Rock Central High School, the location of one of the most
powerful moments in American history.
Continue reading "Educational Inequality: From Grade School to Graduation" »
If someone asked you this question, how might you answer?
For many of us living in cities, we might name specific neighborhoods that we
associate with high levels of poverty. But that would only give us part of the answer.
Continue reading "Where do Poor People Live?" »