Gender and sex– They appear to be the same thing, but in reality they aren’t! This week we dive into the differences between gender and sex through the lense of sociology using work from Judith Butler, Simone de Beauvoir and other recent research. How have our notions of gender and sex changed over the years? Where are these two concepts headed? And how do our own identities influence the way we behave, feel, and think? Tune in to find out! (And come back next week for our follow-up discussion on feminism and intersectionality.)
Gender, Sex, Social Construction
- Judith Butler’s (1990) Gender Trouble is one of THE foundational texts if you want to get into gender and sex.
- Simone de Beauvoir’s (1949) The Second Sex is another key text to explore, as Butler builds her theories off of de Beauvoir’s work. It is in The Second Sex where de Beauvoir writes the famous line, “one is not born a woman, but, rather, becomes one.”
- New York Times article by Claire Cain Miller (Sept 14, 2018), “Many Ways to Be a Girl, But One Way to Be a Boy: The New Gender Rules”
- A pamphlet from the National Partnership for Women and Families that reports the following on the national gender wage gap:
- “Nationally, the median annual pay for a woman who holds a full-time, year-round job is $41,977 while the median annual pay for a man who holds a full-time, year-round job is $52,146. This means that, overall, women in the United States are paid 80 cents for every dollar paid to men, amounting to an annual gender wage gap of $10,169.”
- Duncombe and Marsden (1998) chapter “Stepford Wives and Hallow Husbands” in Emotions in Social Life
- Some interesting articles about femininity and the female gaze:
- Articles on the consequences of toxic masculinity:
We’re back with another PhD’s Guide on an important and timely topic: the graduate school application process! This week, we’re talking about the general do’s and do not’s when trying to impress those higher education programs to accept you as a worthy candidate. The tips provided in this episode are not specific to sociology departments, so you peeps of all academic persuasions (and even peeps with distant interests in grad school) TUNE IN, perhaps we can help!
Remember, heed only the advice that you think is appropriate. We’re just here to tell you our perspective, and our perspectives are never 100% correct all the time. This is YOUR academic journey, so you decide how you wanna do it! And we wish you the best of luck on this application journey!
phd guide, applications, graduate school
Some useful suggestions
- Application due dates run from late Fall to early Spring, so double check the dates for each institution that you apply to!
- When writing your statement of purpose, highlight 1 or 2 profs from the program you’re applying to that you’d like to work with
- Practice writing your statement of purpose. Carve out more time than necessary. Though short, these essay prompts are taken seriously! Rule #1 stay within the word limit. You’ll have plenty of time to write lengthy papers once you’re accepted, so keep it short and tight for now.
- If the university does interviews, PRACTICE! **Most programs will not require an interview but even going to the campus and introducing yourself to some faculty can separate you from the rest of the pack! So talk and walk with confidence. You have nothing to lose.
- Be aware of yourself. Don’t use grad school as a way to bide time. The amount of time and resources you’ll spend on an education that you’re not truly interested in is NOT worth it!
- Do not be stingy or picky–consider all sources of funding! $$$ is tight these days.
Email us if you have any other questions. This is an important time of year.
Finally, we are answering one of life’s greatest mysteries. Remember the first episode we did? We mentioned a little question: Why the heck is Japanese porn blurred? More specifically, why is genitalia blurred? We tackle this hairy question first with a discussion of pornography trends and facts in the US and in Japan. Pornography remains a key form of entertainment for people, although it may surprise you that the internet has not changed pornography statistics too drastically. Listen until the end to find out the answer to the big question! It might not be as perverted as you think…
pornography, sexuality, internet
- The Psychology Today article that discussed research from A Billion Wicked Thoughts: What the Internet Tells Us About Sex and Relationships written by computational neuroscientists Ogi Ogas and Sai Gaddam.
- Random porn fact about the post-nuclear fakeout spike in Hawaii’s visits to PornHub
- Great podcast from writer Jon Ronson about the way tube sites have altered the world of porn called, “The Butterfly Effect”
- “Who Wastes The most Time At Work” from Forbes Magazine, by Sarah Conner
- Scot Boeringer’s (1994) article, “Pornography and Sexual Aggression: Associations of Violent and Nonviolent Depictions with Rape and Rape Proclivity”
- Article from Milton Diamond, Ph.D. and Ayako Uchiyama (1999), “Pornography, Rape and Sex Crimes in Japan” in which they compared sexual violence data and the increasing availability of porn from 1972-1995:
- An article from 2016 from the Global Times titled, “Japan porn industry preys on women” about violence in the pornography industry in Japan.
- GQ India article on why Japanese pornography is blurred by Paloma Sharma from 2017 that touches on the penal code and the prosecution of Suwa Yuuji, the creator of the manga Missitsu (Honey Room).
That’s right, you read correctly! We are back for year 2, and we’re starting off with some useful tips on time management for those of us trying to shake off the summer and roll into Fall semester. Curious about how to keep up with all of that reading? Interested in some tips to stay on track with a big project? Well, we have some advice for you with this episode, and hope this topic will serve you well on your journey through graduate school and beyond! Just remember, you come first, so plan accordingly! Join us for the conversation and get your brains ready for some 200-level sociology. We’re glad to be back.
phd guide, time management
- Use a planner! Digital or analog. And here is an online planner as well!
- Bullet Journal method at https://bulletjournal.com/
- Figure out your learning techniques. All the learning styles are important.
- If you don’t have a schedule, create your own schedule. Especially when you are in the later stages of your graduate studies and you’re not taking classes anymore. Gotta keep up a regiment! Consistency is key.
- Learn now to say NO! School is too overwhelming with all the classes and obligations (perceived and real). Be mindful of your time and space. Remember: quality of life
- Work backwards for big projects. Knowing how to plan accordingly and be aware that writers block, revisions, and life will get in the way. Be proactive in your lesson planning.
- Know how to active read! It will save you so much time. Remember Penn’s comments on Zotero. Use it!
- Use things like the Pomodoro technique to get through tough writer’s blocks or boring work
- Stay organized so you don’t do redundant things or lose stuff
- Sleep and eat well. Your health, mental and physical, matters. Graduate malaise is real!
- TREAT YOURSELF…this is not only self explanatory, but also the most important!
For our last show of our first academic year, we’re giving you a behind the scenes look into The Social Breakdown. We talk about the podcast’s origins, our recording and editing set up, how we prepare for each episode, and most importantly, what are our styles and approaches to impression management? Is there a difference between our front stage and back stage “self” when we are hosting!? (Spoiler alert: OF COURSE THERE IS!)
Two quick notes before we go for summer break: 1) THANK YOU for all the amazing support, emails, and listening. We’re touched and honored and happy and… the list goes on. 2) We are on summer break until August, but will be releasing random episodes every now and then. Also, you can always reach us on FB, Twitter, and through our website (www.thesocialbreakdown.com). So, don’t be shy! And have a fantastic summer!
summer, public sociology, podcast
- Read Books
- Ask Questions
- Keep Writing
- Keep Thinking
- Talk to us
- Be free, have fun, be safe
Like all living things, humans are creatures of habit, routine, and– most importantly– learned and patterned behavior. So this week, the Social Breakdown team has the interesting task of teasing out difference between the socialized and patterned behaviors of conformity and obedience. We use Stanley Milgram’s shock experiment to understand how obedience plays into social roles, status, and hierarchies. Also, how do culture and institutions affect this social phenomena? Join us for the conversation!
obedience, social psychology, socialization
- Obedience: Complying with an order, request, or law, OR submission to another’s authority.
- How is obedience different from conformity?
- 1) Obedience involves an order; conformity involves a request.
- 2) Obedience involves following the order of someone with a higher status; conformity usually involves going along with people of equal status.
- 3) Obedience relies on social power; conformity relies on the need to be socially accepted.
- If you want to read more about Erving Goffman’s discussion on how obedience and conformity are used in institutions, like the military, you can read his book, Asylums (1961)
- 44 min long documentary on the Obedience Experiment with Stanley Milgram narrating
- A collection of Milgram’s (2010) studies and essays, Individual in a Social World
- Quick, digestible run through on Milgram’s Obedience Experiment:
Announcement: Due to some technical difficulties, The Social Breakdown Team will have a new episode next week.
Sorry for the late notice. We appreciate your patience. Don’t forget to do the survey!
Penn is very sorry that she messed up her recording for this episode. The quality is lower than usual, but we hope you can listen pass it and focus on the great content. This won’t happen again, Penn swears.
Here we are with another episode in our PhD’s guide series. This time we are discussing how to write, and how to do it well! Of course we cannot discuss all there need to know about writing, nor are we experts, but we do have some good tips and tricks for you to follow. Join us in our conversation on the DO’s and DON’Ts when it comes to writing, and perhaps we can help you a bit on your journey from mediocrity to a writing greatness!
phd guide, writing
- Our writing bible, Howard Becker’s (2007) “Writing for Social Scientists”
- Stephen King’s Top 20 Rules for Writers
- Joan Bolker, another sociology bible, Writing Your Dissertation in Fifteen Minutes A Day
- The FREE citation software: Zotero!
- 11 Rules of Grammar
- Short American Sociological Association citation guide
Self-esteem is a major concept in Social Psychology and it is majorly interesting! That’s why Ellen and Omar got together to discuss it this week. With the help of writing from academics Morris Rosenberg and Leonard Pearlin, they talk about how race affects self-esteem, and why Asian-Americans routinely report the lowest self-esteem among all races. They also ask, is sociology’s current way of measuring self-esteem the best one? Tune in to hear the convo!
Also don’t forget to subscribe and rate us on your podcasting platform. Thank you!
self-esteem, social psychology, race, mental health
- A foundational reading from Rosenberg and Pearlin (1978) on self-esteem that we mentioned is, “Social Class and Self-Esteem Among Children and Adults”. It touches on how both race and class can affect self-esteem and how it does.
- Also, Morris Rosenberg’s (who wrote a TON) book Conceiving the Self is helpful in understanding the roots of self-esteem and the self.
- If you wanna get a primer on how certain aspects of your life (like smoking, delinquency, happiness, early sexual experiences) can affect your self-esteem Baumeister et al.’s (2003) “Does High Self-Esteem Cause Better Performance, Interpersonal Success, Happiness, or Healthier Lifestyles?” from the Psychological Science in the Public Interest journal is a good place to start.
- Article cited when talking about which races report higher and lower self-esteem: Bachman et al. (2011) “Adolescent Self-Esteem: Differences by Race/ethnicity, Gender and Age”
- “Large-scale representative surveys of 8th-, 10th-, and 12th-grade students in the United States show high self-esteem scores for all groups. African-American students score highest, Whites score slightly higher than Hispanics, and Asian Americans score lowest.”
- This supports other more recent findings that “African Americans seem to consistently report higher levels of self-esteem than Whites, whereas Asian Americans report the lowest levels.” Despite African Americans experiencing more and harsher stigmas and discrimination than other races.
- Leonard Pearlin, the pioneer of the Social Stress Process Model, argues that a disadvantaged social status (e.g., low-income or negatively valued racial group) will be associated with lower levels of self-esteem, higher levels of distress, and more likely to be exposed and vulnerable to stressful life circumstances.
- Michael Hughes and David Demo in 1989 in their article titled, “Self-Perceptions of Black Americans: Self-Esteem and Personal Efficacy” found that “black self-esteem is insulated from systems of racial inequality, while personal efficacy is not, and suggest that this explains why black Americans have relatively high self-esteem but low personal efficacy. The belief that racial discrimination, rather than personal failure, accounts for low achievement among blacks is irrelevant to personal self-esteem and personal efficacy”
- If you wanna find anymore sources on self-esteem, just shoot us an email or Facebook/Twitter message us and we can point you in the direction of some great stuff!
We’re back to the deep and dark web! This week we’re looking at the positive (and innocuous) aspects of the dark web. While it may be a place for illicit trade, the dark web is also a space for free speech and anonymity, and people are taking advantage of this by creating anonymous social networking sites and speaking out (and whistleblowing) on important issues. Tune in to hear us discuss the power and moral implications of being able to be anonymous online!
technology, the dark web, society
- Refresher on what the Surface, Dark, and Deep web is from TechWorm.
- New York Times’ own report on being available on the Tor network
- Robert Gehl’s article on Culture Digitally, “Legitimizing the Dark Web: The New York Times’ Tor Hidden Service” from Nov. 17, 2017
- Robert Gehl’s (2014) article titled “Power/freedom on the Dark Web: A Digital Ethnography of the Dark Web Social Network”
- The Hacker Manifesto
- Guardian article, “The Key Moments from Mark Zuckerberg’s Testimony to Congress”
- 7. Article on social implications of Japanese population w/ graph, “Defusing Japan’s Demographic Time Bomb”