SOC 214 – Reproductive Politics: The Body as a Site of Political Struggle

Abstract:

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:

  1. SOC109 – Illness & Morality: A Look at Medical Sociology
  2. SOC126-Medicalizing Behavior: Common or “Abnormal”?
  3. SOC204 – The Spectrum: An Introduction to Sex and Gender
  4. SOC205 – The Matrices of Oppression: An Introduction to Intersectionality
  5. SOC 213 – Doulas and Midwives and Women’s Health, Oh My!
Keywords:

Reproductive politics, fetal personhood, autonomy, sex, gender

Sources:

  1. Reproductive Politics: What Everyone Needs to Know by Rickie Solinger (2013)
  2. Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity by Judith Butler (2015)
  3. The Status Syndrome: How Social Standing Affects Our Health and Longevity by Michael Marmot (2005)
  4. Breastfeeding in public is finally legal in all 50 US states
  5. Roe v. Wade: The Constitutional Right to Access Safe, Legal Abortion
  6. Does the GOP tax bill introduce anti-abortion ‘fetal personhood’ legislation?
  7. Abortion after the first trimester
  8. Induced Abortion in the United States
  9. Trump just basically said he’s anti-childbirth
  10. The Criminalization of Bad Mothers (New York Times)
  11. State Laws on Fetal Homicide and Penalty-Enhancement for Crimes Against Pregnant Women
  12. Unborn Victims of Violence Act
  13. Woman whose rapist was granted joint custody of child speaks out
  14. How can US rapist win joint custody of victim’s child?
  15. Ronald Reagan, The Silent Scream and the Slow Rise of Fetal Pain
  16. Abortion in the US: Five Key Facts
  17. Characteristics of U.S. Abortion Patients in 2014 and Changes Since 2008
  18. Waiting Periods and the Rising Price of Abortion

SOC208 – Left Handed Devils: The Social Construction of Deviance

Abstract

We’re using our understanding of the three schools of sociological theory to breakdown deviance and crime this week. What is deviance? What is crime? How are they different? How does society create the definitions of what is a deviant behavior and what is a criminal act? We discuss power and inequality, as well as look at deviance and crime through the lens of the three schools of sociological thought – structural functionalism, conflict theory, and symbolic interactionism. Check out our previous episode on the three schools of thought, SOC207, if you haven’t already so you understand our discussion today! Thanks for listening and please give us a rating, too!

Keywords

Deviance, Crime, Criminology, Social Construction

Sources

SOC107 – Who You Gonna Call? The Crimebusters!

Abstract

Sociologists might not be able to make a time machine, but we’re certainly good at mythbusting! Social mythbusting that is! Our first topic to bust: Crime. Citizens of any society have preconceived notions of crime, and these ideas can tell us something about the dominant social order, morality, and normative behavior. So, let’s discuss! Are we living in the most violent time? Trump wants to blame everything on “undocumented criminals,” but are undocumented immigrants accountable for a large portion of crime? Oh– and prison/jail, that’s the same thing, right?

Keywords

Crime, criminology, criminal justice system

Resources

    1. Criminology by Edwin Sutherland (1974) defines the field as, “the study of law making, breaking, and law enforcement.”
    2. Franklin Zimring’s (2011) book, The City That Became Safe: New York’s Lessons for Urban Crime and Its Control (Studies in Crime and Public Policy) outlines the huge drop in crime in New York City.
    3. Another good source on the national crime drop is Steven Pinker’s (2011) The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined
    4. Lorna Rhodes’ Total Confinement: Madness and Reason in the Maximum Security Prison (California Series in Public Anthropology) (2004) talks about how detrimental incarceration is on humans.
    5. Definition of Antisociality: “a pervasive pattern of disregard for, and violation of, [and] the rights of others” (American Psychiatric Association)
    6. Trump’s false dialogue on immigrants (Washington Post)

      “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

    7.  Immigrants do not actually commit more crimes than native-born Americans.
      a.Contrary to Trump’s Claims, Immigrants Are Less Likely to Commit Crimes
      b. The Mythical Link Between Immigrants and High Crime Rates
      c. Immigration Myths – Crime and the Number of Illegal Immigrants

      “both illegal immigrants and legal immigrants have incarceration rates far below those of native-born Americans—at 0.85 percent, 0.47 percent, and 1.53 percent, respectively….Immigration restrictionists cannot have it both ways. They cannot assume that illegal immigrants are super-criminals and that their population in the United States is several times higher than it really is. No matter how you dice the numbers, their incarceration rate falls as their estimated population increases. For consistency’s sake, it’s time for immigration restrictionists to choose which myth they want to believe.” (“The first myth is that illegal immigrants are especially crime-prone. The second myth is that there are actually two to three times as many illegal immigrants as is commonly reported.”)

    8. Statistics on the crimes committed by incarcerated population
    9. “Stronger Hand for Judges in the ‘Bazaar’ of Plea Deals”(New York Times) talks about how 97% of Federal cases and 94% of state cases are plead out.
    10. Our suggested texts if you’re interested in criminology:
      a. Amy Bach’s (2010) Ordinary Injustice: How America Holds Court
      b. Michelle Alexander’s (2012) The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

      c. Marcus Rediker’s (2008) The Slave Ship: A Human History
      d. Robert Perkinson’s (2010) Texas Tough (The Tylers of Texas)