Feminism has a bad rep, but it’s an important social movement fighting for equality across sex, gender, race in our society. Right on the heels of Alabama and Georgia passing some of the most restrictive abortion laws that criminalize mothers and doctors who perform abortions, this week’s episode features a guest expert, Dr. Nicholas Chagnon, who helps us untangle the perspectives of critical feminism and feminist criminology. Learn how these perspectives analyze women’s reproductive rights, as well as how they approach criminology from a female-centered perspective.
Feminism, criminology, critical criminology, feminist criminology, reproductive rights, the nation state
This week we’re introducing the alliterative and uber important concept of social stratification: how people are sorted into different hierarchical groups based on the intersections of class, race, gender, wealth, etc. Using the perspectives of Karl Marx and Max Weber, we discuss capitalism’s role in this hot unequal mess. Take a listen to the episode, as we break it down the current state of inequality in the world. And don’t forget to give us a rating and review after you listen! Mahalooooo!
Social stratification, wealth, income, inequality, capitalism, Karl Marx, Max Weber
What is social stratification?Social Stratification involves hierarchical differences associated with economic positions, social status and political power. How people are sorted into different groups based on class, race, gender, wealth, etc. Social stratification has a significant effect on how valuable resources (and by extension, class status and power) are allocated in society (adapted from Ritzer’s Introduction to Sociology)
Free online copy of The Great Gatsby. If you haven’t read it before, you should go back to your 6th grade teacher and ask him/her what in the heck they were teaching that year that they didn’t make you read The Great Gatsby.
We do a quick breakaway this week on a fun topic – boybands! Why is J-Pop and K-Pop so globally popular? What’s the difference between American, Japanese, and Korean boybands anyway? K-Pop is known for their perfectly choreographed and intricate dancing with pitch perfect singing; while J-Pop aims to be your boyband next door. But you might be surprised to learn that they arose out of very different sociopolitical contexts! Each genre has quite an interesting history in relation to trade, economy, and globalization. We discuss the idea of soft power, and how various industries use their cultural products to become a cultural force around the world. Keywords Boybands, consumption, popular culture, JPop, Kpop
In this episode, the team tackles one of the most sensitive topics within current social discussions – reproductive politics. Using Rickie Solinger’s seminal book Reproductive Politics, we discuss how the women’s bodies have become a site of public political struggle, thereby, determining the level of personal autonomy and privacy available to women. We highlight an aspect of Solinger’s work on fetal personhood, and how the rights of the fetus have been constructed, in some ways, in conflict with the mother’s rights.
*NOTE: This episode was recorded last year in 2018 (hence, the breakdowns are old), but we did not want to release it until we had covered the umbrella topics around reproductive politics. For a primer on episodes to listen to before this episode, check out the following:
The Social Breakdown Team is at it again with another really important topic–Women’s Health! On this week’s show Omar and Ellen will be having a discussion with Alexandra, a current University of Hawai’i at Manoa PhD Student, medical sociologist, and a practicing doula! What is a doula? What is midwifery? Join us for the conversation as Alex gives us a brief but important tour of women’s health, mythbusting the differences between being a doula and a midwife, and much more.
Women’s health, feminism, intersectionality, gender, childbirth, medical sociology
Other episodes we’ve released that relate to the sociology of women’s health:
Oparah and Bonaparte’s Birthing Justice, which looks at indigenous and women of color’s experience of childbirth, capitalism in childbirth, racism and obstetric violence from mother’s, doulas, and midwives point of views.
This week, we have a guest speaker on to give an introduction to migration studies. This topic has a lot to do with current events such as DACA, The Wall, and various other immigration policies. Tune in to learn more about how Sociology approaches these issues, and how we are all living in an imagined community – a concept put forth by Benedict Anderson to highlight the ideological project of ‘culture.’
We’re getting theoretical this week and tackling Orientalism, a concept and book by the fantastic Dr. Edward Said. If you’re taking a higher-level sociology, anthropology, history, or poli sci class, chances are you’re gonna hear “orientalism” thrown around! What is heck is it? (Hint: It ain’t a rug, a fast-food take out place, or the way to describe how someone looks!) What is its connection to imperialism and colonialism? And how has it influenced scholarship and research in the past and present? Tune in to learn more and be sure to give us a rating!
This week, we’re bringing the PhD’s Guide series back to cover research ethics! Nowadays, researchers must carefully balance the potential knowledge a study can collect with the potential harm they may cause to the people participating in studies. But that definitely hasn’t always been the case! The treatment of Henrietta Lacks and studies like The Tearoom Trade are perfect examples of research ethics gone wrong. Tune in to learn more, and check out our website (thesocialbreakdown.com) to read about the various studies we discussed in the episode.
What do we mean by research ethics?
Ethics is concerned with issues of right and wrong, the choices that people make, and how they justify them. Research ethics is a balance of potential knowledge – the goal is to increase knowledge – and potential harm – the goal is to minimize or eliminate harm. (Paraphrased from George Ritzer’s textbook, Introduction to Sociology)
It is about that time of year! Time to wind down, take a break, and enjoy the holidays. It is also time for the Social Breakdown Team to collect our thoughts so we can get ready for our return in January! We all hope you enjoyed the first half of Year 2. Join us for our mini episode where we discuss some good holiday gifts for all you grad students. (Parents and friends you should listen too!) Have a wonderful end to 2018 everybody. See you next year!
Our last-minute holiday gift list for the grad student in your life
In honor of Penn, a nice plannerto help the grad student in your life remember due dates, readings, and to stay on track.
Helpful software that will make your student’s life easier, like Evernote, or help them with analysis like STATA, NVivo, Microsoft Access and SPSS. Do check with your student’s university IT dept, because there is usually a cheaper student rate available for these programs!
A gift card to a fancy restaurant or tickets to a concert/musical/play/comedy show. Giving the grad student in your life an opportunity to go out and enjoy themselves for a night at a place or show that’s normally out of financial reach is a guaranteed A+ gift.
A business casual outfitfor conferences, or just parts of one (i.e. slacks, blouses, shirts, jackets, whatevs.) Help them impress future employers. Doesn’t gotta be pricey, doesn’t gotta be name brand, it just needs to be fly and biz casual!
The ever faithful Amazon gift cardto help cover the cost of books for classes and other everyday items that they may be in need of.
Gifts for their fur babies: Treats, toys, or a beautiful holiday outfit for the loving pet in their life. (Sorry, not sorry for loving to dress up our pets.)