Breakaway Episode 2-The Middle Finger

Abstract

This week, Ellen and Penn get together to discuss one of their favorite gestures in a breakaway episode: The middle finger! Using work by Jack Katz, they explore why we flip the bird, what a “well-flipped” finger looks like, and the history behind flicking people off. It’s phallic, offensive, and Ellen thinks it’s funny to do in family photos.

Did you know you can reach the sources we cite in each episode at www.thesocialbreakdown.com? Yup, check it out!

Keywords

culture, emotion, flicking, flipping, jack, katz, middle finger, profanity, sociology, swearing

Sources

  1. Jack Katz, “How Emotions Work” (his section on the well-flipped finger is in Chapter 1)
    1. https://www.ssc.wisc.edu/soc/papers/goffman/20150303131604904.pdf
  2. BBC article, “When Did the Middle Finger Become Offensive?”
    1. http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-16916263
  3. New York Times article on why we should curse, “The Case for Cursing”
    1. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/27/smarter-living/the-case-for-cursing.html
  4. Article by Richard Stephens, “Swearing Is Actually a Sign of More Intelligence – Not Less – Say Scientists”
    1. https://www.sciencealert.com/swearing-is-a-sign-of-more-intelligence-not-less-say-scientists

SOC122: PhD’s Guide to Research Methods

Abstract

We continue our PhD’s guide series with a broad overview of sociological research methodology. WAIT! Don’t fall asleep! We talk a ton about concepts and theories, but how do sociologists come up with the evidence to back them up? How do we do our research? This episode will give you a little insight into how. We cover the basics of qualitative and quantitative methods, as well as discuss the ethics of human research. Whether you like numbers or words, statistics or stories, there’s a method to suit your mode of thinking! Join in as we discuss the Nuremberg trials, the Stanford Prison Experiment, and a run down of the basics of sociological research.

Keywords

sociology, sociological imagination, methodology

Sources

  1. On the Run: Fugitive Life in an American City by Alice Goffman
  2. Good summary and follow up to the aftermath of this book (NYTimes)
  3. Victor Rios harsh criticism of book in book review
  4. Amazing easy-to-read primer on multiple regression analysis. A 5TH GRADER CAN READ IT. Every sociologist needs this book
  5. Here’s a fun crash course on sociological research methods
  6. Institutional Ethnography–Lecture by the founder, Dorothy Smith

Quantitative

▪ data are reduced to numbers and statistical analyses are commonly

conducted

▪ research tool tends to be reliable

▪ results of research are more generalizable to larger and other populations

▪ cannot study individual units of analysis in depth

▪ studies large populations broadly

▪ commonly used methods of data collection used are:

✓ survey

✓ experiments

✓ content analysis

Qualitative

▪ data are text or visual images

▪ can study populations that are hard to find (snowball sampling)

▪ results tend to be accurate

▪ studies a small number of units of analysis in depth

▪ research results generally are not generalizable

▪ commonly used methods of data collection used are:

✓ participant observation (aka ethnography or fieldwork)

✓ historical research

Discourse analysis

Institutional ethnography

 

SOC120-A PhD’s Guide To Conferences

Abstract

Conferences… A little awkward, pretty informative, and occasionally monotonous. They’re a fact of life for those of us in academia! This week we delve into what conferences are, why you should attend, some of the main sociology conferences, and most importantly some DOs and DON’Ts of going to conferences. Listen to our suggestions, and then let us know if we missed anything by Tweeting or Facebooking us @socbreakdown!

Keywords 

sociology, conferences, phd guide

Sources

Upcoming Conferences

  1. American Sociological Association, Aug 11-14
  2. Society for the Study of Social Problems, Aug 10-12
  3. Pacific Sociological Association, March 28-31
  4. Hawaii Sociological Association, Feb 24-25
  5. International Sociological Association’s “World Congress of Sociology”, July 15-21.

Why attend conferences?

  1. Schmoozing/Networking
  2. To learn new things!
  3. Meet your academic superstars
  4. To add to your CV/resume
  5. To get feedback from colleagues
  6. FOR THE FREE BOOKS!

Conference DOs

  1. Show up early and don’t make a ruckus!
  2. Practice your presentation at least 3 times!
  3. Sit in the front and ask questions!
  4. Make sure you have all your tech stuff set up if you’re doing a PPT! Have it on a thumbdrive, in your email, and on your computer.
  5. Breathe quietly plz. Thank you.
  6. Enjoy yourself! Explore the city/area where the conference is held, eat all the good food, and get drinks with fellow scholars! Balance work and play.

Conference DON’Ts

  1. Ask self-centered “questions”, where you’re really just bragging and not asking a question!
  2. Go over time! Respect your fellow panel members and your audience.
  3. Be shy or intimidated by other people, or the schools they come from! You are fabulous, worthy, and have something to contribute.
  4. Be a creep. Read the social cues!

SOC117-The Forgotten Founding Father: W.E.B. Du Bois

Abstract

Ever wonder why sociology emphasizes fieldwork, quantitative research, and participant observation? Or who challenged the notion of the ‘armchair theorist’? In recognizing Black History Month, we pay homage to the often ignored, great modern sociologist, W.E.B. Du Bois. Using the book, The Scholar Denied: W.E.B. Du Bois and the Birth of Modern Sociology (2015) by Dr. Aldon D. Morris, we discuss the legacy and contribution of Du Bois and retell the story of the origins of modern sociology. While faculty and students are gradually incorporating the work of Du Bois in their research and syllabi, the overall discipline of sociology has not yet fully acknowledged Du Bois’ work and contribution as the father of modern American sociology. Tune in to hear the convo!

Be honest, frank and fearless and get some grasp of the real values of life…READ  SOME GOOD, HEAVY SERIOUS BOOKS just for discipline: Take yourself in hand and master yourself.”  -W.E.B. Du Bois [emphasis added].

Keywords

Black History Month, Du Bois, double consciousness, social sciences, sociology

Sources

  1. The Scholar Denied: W.E.B. Du Bois and the Birth of Modern Sociology by Aldon D. Morris 
  2. The Philadelphia Negro (Du Bois 1899) 
  3. Souls of Black Folk [Double Consciousness] (Du Bois 1903)
  4. Short animated video on Souls of Black Folk 
  5. Lecture from Aldon D. Morris: W.E.B. Du Bois at the Center: From Science, Civil Rights Movement, to Black Lives Matter (2016) 
  6. Current issue of the sociology journal titled, Sociology of Race and Ethnicity. This issue features several studies focusing on Du Bois. At the very least, check out the abstracts!
  7. Du Bois and Race Conflict: Crash Course

SOC114 – Mini-Episode: Winter Vacay is here to stay yay!

Abstract

We’ve taken a break for the winter holidays but here’s a quick check-in from the gang, along with some reading recommendations for those cozy nights!

Keywords

books, coates, hochschilds, marmot, society, sociological, sociology, literature, reading, emotions, race, medicine, health

Resources

  1. Between the World and Me by Ta-nehisi Coates (2015)
  2. The Managed Heart: Commercialization of Human Feeling by Arlie Hochschild (2012)
  3. Status Syndrome: How Social Standing Affects Our Health and Longevity by Michael Marmot (2005)

SOC113 – Christmas Rituals & Traditions: Mariah Carey VS Chipmunks

Abstract

Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas, it’s hard to avoid it. Not only is it a day of celebration for Christian religions, but it has become commercialized and commodified for the sake of consumption and capitalism. Christmas also has a strong culture associated with it, full of rituals and traditions–from decorating the tree to gift-giving to singing in groups in front of people’s houses. Join us this week as we discuss these rituals, and get some tips from our amazing sociology gift guide!

Keywords

Christmas, rituals, traditions, religion, holidays, gift giving, culture, sociology, Emerson, Mauss, norms, Durkheim, Xmas

Sources

  1. The Penguin Definition of Sociology 
  2. Durkheim’s The Elementary Forms of Religious Life 
  3. Japanese bowing guide
  4. Trump mocked Obama for bowing to a Saudi king. And then he … (Washington Post 2017)
  5. Contributions To Churches Are Studied (New York Times 1994)
  6. Christmas Traditions and Customs 
  7. History of Christmas Trees 
  8. Mariah Carey – All I want for Christmas is You 
  9. Chipmunk Christmas playlist
  10. Marcel Mauss’s (1925) seminal essay on gift giving  “The Gift: The form and reason for exchange in archaic societies”

    “That when an object is given as a gift, it becomes inextricably tied to the giver. To make a gift of something is to make a present of some part of oneself.”

  11. Ralph Waldo Emerson’s (1844) essay “Gifts” 
  12. A Sociologist Studied Christmas Gifts, and Here’s What He Learned (The New Republic 2013) 
  13. Gift wrapping in Japan
  14. Sociology gifts
  15. Donate to a good organization. Check out some of these websites to make sure your charity is legitimate and effective! Charity NavigatorGiveWellBBB Wise Giving AllianceGuideStarCharity Watch
  16. Sorry Megyn Kelly, Santa Claus Isn’t White (Huffington Post 2017) 
  17. What Fox News Doesn’t Understand About Santa Claus (Slate 2017) 
  18. While Coca Cola did not create the image of the elderly Santa in his red suit and black belt and jolly smile, the company played a large role in shaping the global perception of Santa through commercialization and ad campaigns.

SOC112 – (Neo)liberalism and its Discontents

Abstract

Looking back at its historical origins, the social breakdown crew talks about liberalism and its manifestations in our contemporary world. What is “new” about neoliberalism? John Locke–a British philosopher enshrined in American legal and political doctrine–talks a lot about freedom and liberty, but for whom? To what end? What can be said about conservatism and liberalism as it relates to our sense of self and political affiliations? Join our discussion on neoliberalism and its discontents–we’re not too happy about it either.

Keywords

Neoliberalism, liberalism, sociology, economics, capitalism, politics, freedom, culture

Sources

  1. John Locke’s biography 
  2. Liberalism: the perspective that all individuals must be equally allowed “civil interests,” which he defined as, “life, liberty, health, and indolency of body; and the possession of outward things, such as money, lands, houses, furniture, and the like”

    From John Locke’s (1693) Some Thoughts Concerning Education 

  3. A Letter Concerning Toleration by John Locke (1689) 
  4. Definition of indolency 
  5. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

    Declaration of Independence (1776) 

  6. John Locke Against Freedom (Jacobin 2015) 
  7. What is neoliberalism? 
  8. Net Neutrality: What You Need to Know Now (Free Press 2017) 
  9. Battle for the Net: Save Net Neutrality 
  10. Linda Taylor, welfare queen: Ronald Reagan made her a notorious American Villain (Slate 2013) 
  11. The Truth Behind The Lies Of The Original ‘Welfare Queen’ (NPR 2013) 
  12. “Noam Chomsky: Neoliberalism is Destroying Our Democracy” (The Nation 2017) 
  13. Globalization and its Discontents by Joseph Stiglitz (2003)
  14. Nobel Prize-winning economist Stiglitz tells us why ‘neoliberalism is dead’ (Business Insider 2016) 
  15. America is a neoliberal horror movie: Why “They Live” is the perfect film for our depraved times (Salon 2015) 
  16. U.S. Conservatives Outnumber Liberals by Narrowing Margin (Gallup Poll 2017) 
  17. Barack Obama: The deporter-in-chief (Al Jazeera 2017
  18. Here’s an offensive word we should retire right now (Chicago Tribune 2016)
  19. Let’s enjoy the white supremacist freakout after DNA tests show they aren’t 100 percent white (Salon 2017)
  20. White supremacist learns he’s 14% black 
  21. Punishing the Poor: The Neoliberal Government of Social Insecurity (Wacquant 2009)
  22. “What is ‘Neo’ About Neoliberalism?” (New Republic 2017) 

SOC111 – A PhDer’s Guide to the PhD

Abstract

A lot of what we talk on this podcast stem from our status as doctoral students (although Penn is finally a newly certified doctor!), but what exactly is a PhD? The PhD is the highest level of education that people usually don’t go for, and the job market for a PhD graduate is quite bleak. So why does anyone bother getting it? Join us this week as we talk story about our own reasons for pursuing a PhD and what PhDs actually do each day besides just thinking!

Keywords

Sociology, phd, academia, higher education, grad school, graduate, doctoral, doctorate

Resources

  1. How universities are classified (Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education)
  2. Example process of submitting an article to an academic journal (Elsevier 2015)
  3. How to get published in an academic journal: top tips from editors (The Guardian 2015)
  4. Ph.D. Attrition: How Much Is Too Much? (The Chronicle of Higher Education 2013)
  5. a phd’s guide to the phd: why phd? (Living Sociologically 2017)
  6. Data Reveal a Rise in College Degrees Among Americans (The New York Times 2013)
  7. No college degree? That’s a growing hurdle to getting hired (Chicago Tribune 2016)
  8. Is a PhD the right option for you? (The Guardian 2012)

SOC110 – Violence: Nature VS Nurture

Abstract

Violence can seem very personal and easily attributed to biological tendencies. The recent trend in mass shootings have often been explained by issues related to mental health. It’s easy to blame the individual for acts of violence, but that’s only one way of looking at violence. In sociology, violence actually takes many different forms from verbal to physical to symbolic to systemic. And sociologists have interesting theories to explain why violence occurs. This week we discuss the classic debate of nature VS nurture in regards to violence, and how theorists have posited that there is no such thing as violent individuals, but simply violent situations. Join us as we pick apart this gnarly debate!

Keywords

Sociology, violence, nature, nurture, psychopaths, collective violence, mob violence

Resources

  1. Defining violence by Elizabeth Stanko (2001) 

Violence is “any form of behaviour by an individual that intentionally threatens to or does cause physical, sexual or psychological harm to others or themselves”

  1. Texas Shooter’s History Raises Questions About Mental Health And Mass Murder (NPR 2017)
  2. Symbolic Violence
    1. Pierre Bourdieu’s (1979) Distinction“It is the violence which is exercised upon a social agent with his or her complicity” 
  3. Structural Violence
    1. Johan Galtung’s Violence, Peace, and Peace Research” (1969)a form of violence wherein some social structure or social institution may harm people by preventing them from meeting their basic needs.”
  4. Hawaii Still Has a Leprosy Colony With Six Patients (The Daily Beast 2015)
  5. Donald Black’s (2010) The Behavior of Law, Special Edition
  6. Donald Black’s (2011) Moral Time
  7. Donald Black’s (2004) The Geometry of Terrorism


    “Violence might appear to be an unpredictable outburst or unexplainable explosion, but it arises with geometrical precision. It is unpredictable and unexplainable only if we seek its origins in the characteristics of individuals (such as their beliefs or frustrations) or in the characteristics of societies, communities, or other collectivities (such as their cultural values or level of inequality). But violent individuals and violent collectivities do not exist: No individual or collectivity is violent in all settings at all times, and neither individualistic nor collectivistic theories predict and explain precisely when and how violence occurs”

  8. Randal Collins’ (2009) Violence: A Micro-sociological Theory

    “violence is a set of pathways around confrontational tension and fear. Despite their bluster, and even in situations of apparently uncontrollable anger, people are tense and often fearful in the immediate threat of violence—including their own violence; this is the emotional dynamic that determines what they will do if fighting actually breaks out.”  

  9. Youths and Gun Violence: Chicago’s Challenge
  10. Nature vs Nurture in regards to violence
    1. Bad to the Bone: Are Humans Naturally Aggressive? 
    2. Why We Fight
  11. The violent gene
    1. Two genes linked with violent crime
    2. A Gene For Violence? 
  12. The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry (Jon Ronson 2012) 
  13. The Psychopath Inside: A Neuroscientist’s Personal Journey into the Dark Side of the Brain (James Fallon 2014) 
  14. Does Media Violence Lead to the Real Thing? 
  15. 2011 Stanley Cup Riot – Riots erupt in Vancouver after Canucks loss (CBC News 2011)
  16. Racism, A History 1 – Slavery To Segregation 
  17. Turner and Killian’s (1987) Collective Behavior
  18. Honolulu first US city to ban texting while crossing road 
  19. Top 5 Misconceptions About Columbus 
  20. The Truth About Thanksgiving: What They Never Taught You in School

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SOC109 – Illness & Morality: A Look at Medical Sociology

Abstract

Is health a privilege or a right? As a society, how do we come to understand health and its social origins and outcomes? Though medicine has been understood as a social science that dates back to Hippocrates–the Hippocratic Oath–medical sociology is not even 70 years old yet! The climb to intellectual legitimacy and sound research is recent. When it comes to matters of stress, food, doctor-patient interactions, racism and sexism, medical sociologists have a lot to say and a lot to do…come join us as The Social Breakdown begins its journey in everything health!

Keywords

Sociology, medical sociology, health, policy

Resources

  1. The Importance of the Study of Medical Sociology (Charles McIntire 1991) 
  2. Quick brief on medical sociology of the last 50 years (Rosich and Hankin 2010) 
  3. The Anti-Vaccine Generation: How Movement Against Shots Got Its Start (National Geographic 2015) 
  4. The sick role by Talcott Parsons in The Social Systems (1951) 
  5. A doctor’s “people skills” affects patients’ health (CBS News 2014) 
  6. Cultural Competency in Healthcare 
  7. Losing culture on the way to competence: the use and misuse of culture in medical education (Gregg & Somnath 2016) 
  8. National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health Care (US Department of Health and Human Services 2001) 
  9. Emergency department workers face high stress, burnout (Reuters 2016) 
  10. Freakonomics’ series on Bad Medicine
    1. Part 1: The Story of 98.6 
    2. Part 2: (Drug) Trials and Tribulations 
    3. Par 3: Death by Diagnosis 
  11. Doctors told to dispense with confusing medical jargon (The Guardian 2014) 
  12. Global Life Expectancy ranking and data (World Health Organization 2017) 
  13. Why Sharing Your Progress Makes You More Likely To Accomplish Your Goals (Fast Company 2015) 
  14. The Psychology Behind a Grocery Store’s Layout (Notre Dame College 2013) 
  15. Surviving the Sneaky Psychology of Supermarkets (National Geographic 2015)
  16. Access to healthy foods worse in poor areas (Reuters 2009) 
  17. The cost of organic food (Consumer Reports 2015) 
  18. The Word as Scalpel: A History of Medical Sociology (Bloom 2002)

    “A doctor can damage a patient as much with a misplaced word as with a slip of the scalpel.”

  19. From Social Structure to Gene Regulation, and Back: A Critical Introduction to Environmental Epigenetics for Sociology (Annual Review of Sociology 2013) 
  20. Healthcare.gov 2018 Open Enrollment