It’s almost the most romantic day of the year – good ol’ V-Day. While the gang has looked at family and romantic relationships from a sociological perspective, we’re taking an inner deep dive into ourselves this week with a PhD’s Guide to Relationships! Graduate school is a weirdly autonomous yet lonely time, so this week we discuss our experiences with managing romantic and platonic relationships while balancing a full course load, TA/GAships, and of course, writing a dissertation. Tune in to see how we do it and remember, you’re not alone!
Relationships, romance, friendship, graduate school
Here are the tips we covered this episode that we’ve found particularly helpful in our own lives. Hope they are for you, too!
Find a person that is equally busy and tired. No explanation needed– you’re both tired and just happy to grab a bite to eat together every now and then.
Communicate how busy you are! Explain to loved ones that you’re crazy busy, and give them actual concrete examples, like, “Sorry I’d love to, but I have 2 books to read, one response and a bunch of grading to complete by Monday.” Just saying, “I’m busy, I can’t,” can make it seem like you’re using school as an excuse to avoid them, rather than it being a real issue that’s getting in the way of you spending time with them.
Purposefully make time for them. REAL ASS TIME, QUALITY TIME– not time where you’re staring into the screen of your phone or computer 50% of the time. Try not to be distracted and enjoy your time with your fam, BFF, or significant other. Another tip to this is to schedule a routine time for that person.
Talk to them about your research! Don’t bore them or use them as a test audience for your next conference presentation, but try to include them in what your brain is consumed with right now. Plus they might make some poignant observations that you can use!
Invite them to your grad student events. In Hawaii, we have beach days and BBQs where we gather, eat, drink, gossip, and play with our dogs. Bring your partner, friend, parent, sibling, or whoever! This will give them a glimpse into and appreciation for your grad school existence.
Understand that every relationship requires work. It’s a two-way street baby, and you both need to give, so you can take. So, do your part and make sure your other half is doing theirs. Hold each other accountable!
Ever heard of a theory that wasn’t a theory? This week the gang tackles a difficult qualitative methodological approach called Grounded Theory, put forth by Barney Glaser and Anselm Strauss. By doing a deep dive into textual and descriptive data, the goal of this approach is to analyze data without letting previous knowledge, biases, or assumptions cloud the analysis. If you ever wondered what it was like to do hands on sociological research, then this episode is for you!
Social construction, music, religion, rock, reality
We’ve got a special guest episode featuring Dr. Matthew Smith-Lahrman for you this week! Matt is a rock ‘n roll guru and professor at Dixie State University, and he joins us to talk about the sociology of rock music. Tune in to learn about how rock music has evolved, its role in the social construction of reality, and his favorite band, The Meat Puppets. Also, don’t forget to subscribe and give us a rating if you haven’t already. Mahalo!
Music, rock, religion, social construction, reality
You can find our guest, Matt Smith-Lahrman’s personal websites here:
Andddd we’re back with part two of our series on stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination! In this episode we take a close look at institutional discrimination. First, we explore the sociological concept of the ‘institution’. Next, we look at how discrimination can plague an institution, and why it is that sometimes we don’t even know that we’re participants in this type of biased behavior. We end the episode with some ways that we faulty human beings can reduce and prevent discrimination. Tune in here to learn more, and don’t forget to subscribe to us wherever you get your podcasts!
A review of some of our basic definitions from this episode:
Stereotypes: “To assign identical characteristics to any person in a group, regardless of the actual variation among members of that group.” (From Elliot Aronson’s The Social Animal)
Prejudice: “A hostile or negative attitude toward a distinguishable group based on generalizations derived from faulty or incomplete information.” (From Elliot Aronson’s The Social Animal)
Discrimination: Unfair treatment of members of a stigmatized group that denies a member their rights.
Institution: “Stable patterns of behavior that define, govern, and constrain action. An institution is an organization or other formal social structure that governs a field of action.” (from Oxford Bibliographies)
What is institutional discrimination? It is when an institution puts into place discriminatory policies and practices that favor the majority group and disadvantage minority groups. These policies and practices are embedded in the existing structures of our society in the form of norms!
Some of the laws and policies that we cited in this episode were:
19th Amendment (1920): Gave women the right to vote “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.”
Civil Rights Act (1964): Protects employees and job applicants from employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, and national origin
Title IX (1972): Enforced by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR). Protects people from discrimination based on sex in education including, “recruitment, admissions, and counseling; financial assistance; athletics; sex-based harassment; treatment of pregnant and parenting students; discipline; single-sex education; and employment.” in education programs or activities that receive Federal financial assistance (ACLU)
We discussed the rampant prejudice, discrimination, and institutional discrimination against Micronesians here on the islands of Hawaii. Here are some articles we cited and relevant links:
Stereotypes, prejudice, discrimination– all words we use interchangeably, and consequently, words we sometimes use incorrectly! This week’s show is the first episode of a two-part series where we untangle these three concepts from each other, and get a better sense of when prejudice turns into discrimination. Tune in to learn more, and don’t forget to get us a rating when you’ve got a little time on your hands. Mahalo!
If you hang around grad students, you’ll discover one of our favorite topics to discuss is money. We’re usually grumbling about funding, side gigs, constantly filling out applications for scholarships that we don’t get, and how we wiiiiiiish we had enough money to not have to live with roommates anymore. So in this PhD’s Guide, we’re gonna explore this topic by looking at the typical jobs available in grad school (including average stipend pay), what you should expect funding-wise from your department, and some academic job opportunities you can find to supplement your TA stipend. Tune in here to learn more about the precariousness of being a grad student!
academia, budgets, funding, grad, graduate, masters, money, phd, school
GA is a Graduate Assistant who may help administratively in a department (i.e. organize a small sized conference, bring in speakers, run the social media account of the department, etc.) and take on light researching duties.
RA is a Research Assistant who works on a specified research project for either a professor or a research institute that is housed within the university system.
TA is a Teaching Assistant who helps a professor or lecturer teach large undergraduate courses. Most duties include holding office hours for students, grading, proctoring exams, etc.
Join the SB team as we talk about the “myth of mental illness,” a phrase coined by psychiatrist and medical sociologist, Thomas Szasz. Today we will be comparing the ideas of mental health and illness as “problems with living” to the medical model. As sociologists we are not anti-medicine or anti-doctor, but we do feel it necessary to use our perspective breakdown the essence of psychological functioning and the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) as the gatekeeper.
Mental illness, mental health, medical sociology, medicine, stigma, shame
It’s just Omar and Penn this week but we tackle an interesting dilemma that has come into the spotlight in the wake of the #MeToo movement – what are we supposed to do when we find out that the art we love was created by monster artists? From Johnny Depp to Michael Jackson to Louis CK, we discuss the various ways in which we can deal with this dilemma. As consumers, what is our responsibility to deal with these monster artists, and is that even the right question to ask? Read the Vox article we discuss before listening to the episode so you can follow along!
artists, art, consumerism, consumption, #metoo, social movements, social justice
There are a few sociology podcasts out there and this week we’re lucky enough to have Dr. Joseph Cohen, host of one of our favorites, The Annex Sociology Podcast, on to talk shop! What inspired him to start The Annex? How has he incorporated podcasting into his research? And which episodes of The Annex should you check out? Tune in here to listen to our fun conversation and be sure to check out The Annex (and Joe’s other exciting shows) at www.sociocast.org.
We’re back y’all!! And we’re starting off our third season with a deep dive into the field of the Sociology of Emotions, a relatively young but uber fascinating subfield. What exactly are emotions? How are some emotions more social than others? And why is it that Ellen cried twice watching Avengers: Endgame, while Penn was frustrated and Omar was just a little sad? Tune in to learn more! And remember to give us a rating and subscribe if you haven’t already.
Emotions, feelings, microsociology, social psychology
Peggy Thoits is seen as one of the founding scholars of the Sociology of Emotions