132 posts categorized "Janis Prince Inniss"

July 26, 2021

Who are the Stars at Your University?


Janis prince innissBy Janis Prince Inniss

I will never forget the day Dr. Levine told me that Lillian Rubin was coming to teach at Queens College. I couldn’t believe that he knew her! Or that she would be teaching at my school and I could take a class with her. In terms of today’s music celebrities, he might as well have said that Rihanna, Dua Lipa, or Ariana Grande was going to grace Kissena Hall. Before that conversation, I had read Dr. Rubin’s book Intimate Strangers and marveled at what seemed to be her ability to get into people’s heads and to explain issues that, as a 22-year-old, I was beginning to notice. Even the name of the book captured my attention as I struggled to understand intimate relationships.

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July 12, 2021

Bridgerton: Groundbreaking or Same Old Stereotypes?

Janis prince innissBy Janis Prince Inniss

You’ve probably seen Bridgerton, the sexy Shondaland Netflix standout. If you haven’t, the first eight episodes of the series premiered in December 2020 on Netflix. The series is based on eight books written by Julia Quinn, featuring stories of romance in the Regency era.

This first season focuses on the “market launch” of the eldest daughter of the white Bridgerton family: Daphne is 21 years old and therefore ready to occupy her most important functions and only possible roles as wife and mother. Set in London in 1813, the show centers on Daphne as she and other young women vie for the affections and proposals of men, young and old.

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July 05, 2021

Emerging From the COVID Cocoon

Janis prince innissBy Janis Prince Inniss

Should I sit inside or pool side? Wear a mask or not? Hug people? Fist bump? Elbow bump? These are some of the questions I am mulling more than a week before attending a Fourth of July party. This is a significant event because it marks my return to visiting friends since the COVID-19 pandemic began last year.

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February 08, 2021

Amanda Gorman’s Sociological Imagination

Janis prince innissBy Janis Prince Inniss

The breakout star of the Joe Biden/Kamala Harris inauguration was not Biden or Harris, or even Bernie Sanders! Amanda Gorman takes that title as evidenced by the media swirling around her, her new modeling gig, and the fact that her as yet unpublished books took the top two spots on Amazon’s bestseller list the following day.

At age 22, Gorman is the youngest poet to recite poetry at a United States inauguration and is the nation’s first National Youth Poet Laureate. In the poem she read at the inauguration, “The Hill We Climb,” I heard a sociological perspective. Therefore, I was not surprised when I learned that Gorman was a sociology major at Harvard who graduated cum laude and see how that may have shaped her poetry. My intention here is to highlight some of the sociological aspects of “The Hill We Climb.” Disclaimer: I am not an English literature professor; my intention is not to provide a definitive or literary analysis of the poem, but instead to highlight its sociological connections.

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November 09, 2020

Neighborhood Culture and Halloween in the COVID-19 Era

Janis prince innissBy Janis Prince Innis

Four teenage girls flew across the street, screaming! They leapt into the golf cart at the side of the road as one kept glancing over her shoulder and yelling, “Go! Go!”

I followed her gaze and saw an epically tall man come down the driveway, with an increasingly worried expression on his face. “Are you okay?” he asked. Somehow the girls were still parked in the golf cart and whipping their heads back and forth as if drawn to, yet afraid, of the figure. He apologized: “I’m sorry I scared you.” And with that, the girls hopped out of the cart, and ran back to the house, presumably to be further scared by the Halloween festivities! Halloween Picture1

Have you ever considered that neighborhoods have distinctive cultures? Even in the same city, neighborhoods can differ quite dramatically with regard to the norms, behaviors, and values—all characteristics of culture—that seem to dominate. Neighborhoods can have a shared identity or culture. Considering neighborhood norms—that is, those largely unspoken rules that tell us what is acceptable is one way to examine its culture. Norms, however, can be stifling, so as sociologists point out, societies take moral holidays or have moral holiday places as a respite that  gives people a chance to break norms.

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May 06, 2020

Race, Class, Work, and Health

Jpi author photoBy Janis Prince Inniss

Five young men and one woman who look like they’re in their mid-twenties clustered around blue plastic trays and carts. I’ve never seen that sort of cart before, but otherwise it looked like any other day outside of the Walmart I have been going to for the last 19 years. This was bizarre because we are in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic!

I was blown away by how normal everything looked outside the store—but also horrified. None of the five store employees wore gloves or masks, and none was maintaining any physical distance from the other as they chatted. Personally concerning was when one of the young men approached my car—too close for my comfort—to confirm my name for the grocery pick-up order. What about the 6 feet rule we should maintain between ourselves and others, recommended by the CDC?

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April 08, 2020

Boy Rides Dog and Other Impacts of COVID-19

author photoBy Janis Prince Inniss

A boy of about seven years stood with one foot on each side of a little dog and slowly sat on him for about five seconds. The dog does not seem to have been injured from his stint as a pony, probably because the child is relatively light and because this pose was only held for a short time.

Stunning as this sight was, I guess such are the pastimes of bored children as week one of being at home came to an end. I saw this scene from what I refer to as my sociology window: It’s a window in the front of my home, facing the street—about 10 feet from the sidewalk—with nothing obstructing my view of all that occurs on either side on most of the block.

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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!

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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.

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June 22, 2012

Fashion and Race

clip_image001

By Janis Prince Inniss

I'm amused when I see Sherri Shepherd and Elisabeth Hasselbeck of "The View" strut out onto their set in their neutral shoes. Indeed, Hasselbeck's legs do look lengthened. Shepherd? She looks like she stepped in a big vat of Pepto-Bismal. We share the same fate...neutral in the context of the U.S. looks like neither of us.

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