10 posts from July 2012

July 31, 2012

Everyday Sociology Talk: Ethography of the Fashion Industry


Ashley Mears talks about studying the fashion industry--as a model--during her dissertation research.

For more video, see www.youtube.com/nortonsoc

July 30, 2012

Consuming Elite Athleticism

A woman smile at the cameraBy Janis Prince Inniss

The entrance to the Olympic trial fields.The story of how I, a self-respecting sociologist, came to be in receipt of four Nike shoes in the last two days is a long one. It started with a trip that my husband and I took to the track and field Olympic trials in Eugene, Oregon.

Eugene is TrackTown, USA but also NikeTown! The relationship goes back to the history-making collaboration between legendary track and field coach Bill Bowerman and Nike chief executive officer (CEO) Phil Knight, as I described here in a previous post. The apparent impact of this auspicious coupling is that everyone in Eugene wears Nike sneakers. This is not literally true, but I have never seen as many people in Nikes as I did there!

Continue reading "Consuming Elite Athleticism" »

July 26, 2012

Everyday Sociology Talk: Studying Tour Guides


Karen Sternheimer talks to new Everyday Sociology blogger Jonathan Wynn about his research on tour guides.

For more video, see www.youtube.com/nortonsoc

July 23, 2012

In Defense of Face Time

ksternheimerBy Karen Sternheimer

Each semester on my syllabus I let students know that some questions or concerns can’t be resolved via email. For example, someone stumped on a paper topic might benefit from a five minute brain storming session with me far more than exchanging five emails (which would actually take longer to type and read). And yet I have noticed that my office hours, and those of my colleagues, go mostly unused except for times right before or after a major assignment.

I understand this: it takes time to go to another building, find an office and talk to someone during the limited time when they are available. We save so much time doing lots of things electronically, like communicating with friends and family, banking, shopping, and even meeting new people, that physically going someplace seems like a real hassle, if it even occurs to us at all.

Continue reading "In Defense of Face Time" »

July 19, 2012

Gender and Sports: Forty Years of Title IX

Peter_Kaufman_Bio_PicBy Peter Kaufman

clip_image002When I was growing up my life revolved around sports. After school, on the weekends, and all during the summer my friends and I would play sports. We would hop on our bikes, ride around the neighborhood, and search out the nearest game: Street football in the fall, roller hockey in the spring, and basketball in the summer. While attending summer camp I played softball, soccer, and basketball all day long. All of this was in addition to the youth leagues, school teams, and intramural sports that I participated in.

In all of the hours that I spent playing sports as a kid I would say that 98% of the time it was an all-male affair. Whether it was informal neighborhood pick-up games or formal organized leagues, I was almost always playing with and against other boys. In fact, it was so unusual for me to see girls playing sports that I still remember the first co-ed sports camp I attended when I was thirteen-years-old. I didn’t know what to make of it.

Continue reading "Gender and Sports: Forty Years of Title IX" »

July 16, 2012

Everyday Sociology Talk: Research vs. "Me-Search"


Sociologist Debby Carr discusses the difference between research and opinion in social science.

For more videos, see www.youtube.com/nortonsoc

July 13, 2012

How Place Shapes our Shape

clip_image001By Janis Prince Inniss

As sociologists, I—and many of my colleagues—tend to focus on the impact of social location, studying the role of education, race, class, and gender and other such variables; I've written about many of these in this space. My recent trip to the west coast, however, has got me thinking about the centrality of location – literally, meaning place. I’ve been thinking about how where we live shapes many aspects of life—far more so than I usually acknowledge. Let me share some of observations from the trip to illustrate what I mean.

Continue reading "How Place Shapes our Shape" »

July 09, 2012

Breaching Age Norms on Television

ksternheimerBy Karen Sternheimer

While channel surfing recently, I stumbled upon Betty White’s Off Their Rockers, a hidden-camera show featuring elderly cast members who approach younger people in public places and catch them off guard by breaching norms.

Many of the brief segments include elderly women sexually propositioning much younger men, while other pranks include eating off a stranger’s plate at an outdoor café, making out with a blow-up doll in public, and a gray-haired lady standing outside a liquor store who asks a young man to buy her beer because she forgot her ID.

Continue reading "Breaching Age Norms on Television" »

July 05, 2012

Preventing Sexual Assault

clip_image002By Sally Raskoff

What have you heard about preventing rape and sexual assault?

Most of the time, we learn those rules of self-defense that are mostly taught to women, such as not walking alone or at night or not accepting an open beverage. These rules are often “nots” and are framed as behaviors that people (women) should do to avoid being raped or assaulted.

Continue reading "Preventing Sexual Assault" »

July 02, 2012

Happy Interdependence Day!

Peter_Kaufman_Bio_PicBy Peter Kaufman

I’m borrowing the title of this blog from a former student of mine, Hayley, who always used to say this to people on July 4th. As an insightful sociologist, Hayley realized none of us, as individuals or as a nation, can exist without the support and help of others. Therefore, we should really be celebrating and promoting our interdependence instead of our independence.

Interdependence is the notion that we all rely on each other. To say that we are interdependent is to recognize that we are all connected and dependent on one another. But interdependence does not just mean that all people are connected; it also suggests an understanding of how all life on earth is linked together. Sometimes we refer to this as the interconnected web of life.

Continue reading "Happy Interdependence Day!" »

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