11 posts from October 2011

October 31, 2011

I'm Not a Feminist but...;

McGann_pic Kim McGann

Assistant Professor of Sociology, Nazareth College

I was sitting in a sociology of law class at SUNY Buffalo talking about rape cases. The professor asked whether we thought women were treated fairly in the legal system. My classmate Sarah raised her hand and when she was invited to share her comment she began quite adamantly “I’m not a feminist or anything but I definitely think that it is unfair to allow a woman’s sexual history to be used against her in a trial.”

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October 27, 2011

Removed from Death

imageBy Sally Raskoff

I tried to go to our local mall the other day but couldn’t get into the parking lot. All the nearby streets and the mall access had been closed on the corner of the mall where I was headed. I finally found a parking space overlooking that corner. I saw police barriers, road closures, and some officers waving people away while others held clipboards and stood in small groups talking to other officers.

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October 25, 2011

Everyday Sociology Talk: Joel Best on Fears about Halloween Candy Poisoning


Karen Sternheimer talks to Joel Best about fears about Halloween candy and the construction of social problems.

To see more videos, visit www.youtube.com/nortonsoc

October 24, 2011

Class Segregation in Academia

Janis_picBy Janis Prince Inniss

No matter the size of your college or university, you are likely to be taught by adjunct professors at some point.

What is an adjunct? You might think of an adjunct as the equivalent of a ”temp” or a part-time worker; an adjunct is the university version of such a position. Usually, this means that adjuncts receive no health, retirement, or other benefits, are poorly paid and do not have the holy grail of academic positions: tenure. In fact, adjuncts are a job classification that does not allow them to ever become tenured.

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October 20, 2011

Smiling and Status

ksternheimerBy Karen Sternheimer

I recently had the privilege of undergoing a root canal.

I mean that only semi-sarcastically; the procedure was not exactly fun, nor how I would have hoped to spend the morning, and it wasn’t cheap. That’s where privilege comes into play.

Having a good paying job and dental insurance meant that I could undergo the procedure, sparing me the possibility of chronic pain and infection. The reason I went to the dentist in the first place was to get my routine six-month cleaning, which thanks to my insurance and socio-economic status is something I can afford to do regularly. clip_image002[5]

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October 17, 2011

Sampling Bias and Twitter

imageBy Sally Raskoff

A recent study using data from Twitter reports on human mood swings throughout the day. The sociologists gathered and analyzed English language tweets from 2.4 million people in 84 countries for over a year. They used software that analyzed the meaning of words in the tweets and assessed their connections to moods and emotions among other things.

clip_image002Throughout the day, there are more positive feelings expressed mid-morning and in the late evening. More negative feelings are expressed late at night.

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October 13, 2011

A Sociologist Visits Occupy Wall Street

WynnAuthorPhoto1 By Jonathan Wynn

University of Massachusetts, Amherst

I recently went down to see Occupy Wall Street, in New York’s Zuccotti Park. I was interested in what an occupation looked like. The images I saw on the news were of angry mobs and police pepper-spraying demonstrators, but I saw something different.

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October 10, 2011

Master Status

Janis_picBy Janis Prince Inniss

What is your master status?

For many readers of this blog, it is probably student—whether college, high school or of some other level. Your master status is your most important status and people tend to interact with you on its basis.

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October 06, 2011

The Beginner's Mind

Peter_Kaufman_Bio_PicBy Peter Kaufman


For the past 12 years I’ve been including this quote at the top of my syllabus for my Introduction to Sociology class. I put this quote at the top of my syllabus because it serves as the motto of the whole class. In fact, this quote really serves as the motto for all of my classes and I would say for the whole process of teaching and learning—maybe even for the whole journey of life. It comes from a classic book of Zen Buddhism called Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind by Shunryu Suzuki.

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October 05, 2011

Everyday Sociology Talk: The Fashion Industry Labor Market

Sociologist Ashley Mears, author of Pricing Beauty: The Making of a Fashion Model, discusses the nature of the fashion labor market with Karen Sternheimer.


  To see more videos, visit www.youtube.com/nortonsoc

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