SOC600 – Agents of Socialization

Abstract

What is socialization? And why do we sociologists *love* using the term? This week we’re diving into both of these questions, and then exploring how families, educational institutions, peers, and the media act as key agents of socialization. We’re guilty of taking this term for granted, so join us as we give socialization the attention it deserves!

Keywords

Socialization, families, institutions, peers

Sources

  • Learn about Dr. Craig Calhoun here.
  • You can also follow him on Twitter!

Breakaway Episode 11: the Symbolic Meanings of 2022

Abstract

We’re baaaaacck! Welcome to the start of our 5th school year together. (Yep, you read that right: *fifth* year!) We’re getting things going with a quick talk story session between Omar and Ellen about the symbolic meanings of life in 2022. Vaccines, Manti Te’o, masks, Liz Cheney, Britney Spears, Joe Biden– each of these things and people hold a plethora of meanings to each of us, and shape how we interact with them. Tune in to catch up with us, and see if you share the same meanings as us!

Keywords

Symbols, symbolic interactionism, COVID-19, masking, politics, pop culture

Sources

  • Vaccines are now available for young children.
  • Watch the fantastic documentary, “The Girlfriend Who Didn’t Exist,” about catfished footballer, Manti Te’o here.
  • And you can read the OG article about Manti here.
  • Read about Liz Cheney’s loss in the 2022 primary elections here.
  • Ellen feels bad for Britney Spears. But rather than link to some awful article, here’s one to her newest song with Elton John!
  • Omar feels bad for Joe Biden. But rather than link to another awful article, here’s one to cute puppies.

SOC514 – The Senses of Stuffs: Introduction to Material Culture

Abstract

Stuffs! We’ve all got ‘em, and we all like to accumulate them– unless you’re Ellen. This week, we’re exploring how sociology makes sense of our material culture. What is the relationship people hold with the tangible objects we collect? What meaning do we attach to these items? And why is it that Penn cares so much about her Washi Tape collection and Omar licks his shoes?! Tune in here to learn more about stuffs and where the state of stuffs is going as the world becomes digitalized and we begin to interact with virtual objects more and more.

Keywords

Material Culture, Collections, Senses, Symbolic Interactionism

Sources

Can you decode Stephen Hawking’s blackboard doodles?

(Don’t) Ask a Sociologist Episode 3: What are Norms?

Abstract

Why can’t we pick our nose in public? We’re back this week with our series-not-a-series “Don’t Ask a Sociologist!” We talk about what norms are – it’s a word you hear a lot but Sociology has a specific definition. What purposes do norms serve in our society? Where do we learn norms from? Join our gang for your dosage of Sociology!

Keywords

Norms, Farting, Social Order

SOC513 – Visual Sociology (Guest Edition)

Abstract

In a world with rapid changes to technology from the advent of photography to camera phones to social media and the Mark Zuckerberg’s “metaverse,” there has also been an emergence of other ways of revealing aspects of our world. One is Visual Sociology. Please join us for our conversation with the media scholar and sociologist Dr. Patricia Prieto-Blanco, whose work uses photography and visual analysis to find meaning among diasporas and migrant communities and families. How can sociologists use images they find and create to learn more about our social world? Tune in for this fun conversation!

Keywords

Research methods, visual sociology, photography, audiovisual

Sources

  • Follow Patricia here:
    • Twitter
    • Blog, which has some great primer posts on visual sociology:
      • Blogpost on visual sociology and social inquiry 
      • Blogpost on “What We See vs. What Is There
  • Patricia mentioned the Spanish gag law on taking photos of police. Here’s an article about it.
  • Think you have work in visual sociology that you want to submit for an award? 
    • Contexts publishes photo essays!
    • Apply for the Rachel Tanur Memorial Prize!
    • And check these IVSA awards out! Here’s a quick excerpt about the award: 
      • Rieger Award Program for outstanding work by graduate students in visual sociology, the Prosser Award Program for outstanding work by beginning scholars in visual methodologies, and the Anticolonialism & Antiracism (ACAR) Award Program for outstanding work by researchers and activists who use visual methodologies or advance visual activism through their work

SOC512 – Ministry, Religion, and the Sociological Imagination (Guest Edition)

Abstract

We’re continuing our trek through religion this week with the help of Carly, a trained theologist with a keen sociological imagination. Carly helps us understand how religion can be applied in our everyday lives, particularly within the realm of higher education, through a sociological lens. How is sociology used by ministries to understand how private troubles are evidence of public issues? And, we understand how sociologists make sense of religion, but how do those within religious institutions make sense of it? Tune in here to learn more!

Keywords

Religion, church, ministry, institutions, social work, sociological imagination, COVID-19, higher education

Sources

  • Check out our previous episode SOC511: Intro to Religion!
  • Carly shouted out La Salle University’s campus ministry, which you can read about here.
  • Learn more about Catholic social teaching here!
  • Did you know that President Biden is the second Catholic president in U.S. history?
  • The Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests were key discussion starters for Carly’s students. Read about them here!
  • Carly recommended checking out the work of Father Richard Rohr.
  • She also recommended Just Universities by Dr. Gerald Beyer.
  • History and Presence by Robert Orisi is also an excellent book for folks who are interested in how a sociologist can study/engage with religion.
  • Paul Rudd was named People magazine’s 2021 Sexiest Man. Carly, Ellen, and Penn would like to know his anti-aging regimine please!
  • Do you organize your bookshelf by color

SOC511 – Intro to Religion: Blame Durkheim!

Abstract

The gang finally tackles a topic we’ve been nervous about – religion! We rely on Emile Durkheim’s seminal book The Elementary Forms of Religious Life to guide us through this complex but fundamental aspect of human society. We discuss concepts related to religions from Durkheim’s perspective from social fact, rituals and symbols, the sacred and the profane, collective effervescence and more. What functions does religion serve in society? Why and how is it necessary for collective identity and social life? Tune in to learn more! And if you get upset, just blame Durkheim and not us!

Keywords

Religion, Collective Identity, Symbolic Interactionism, Values, Morals, Traditions, Rituals, Structural Functionalism

Related eps:

Sources:

  1. Emile Durkheim and The Elementary Forms of Religious Life
  2. Durkheim and Sociology – learn about his work, particularly on suicide
  3. Suicide, book by Durkheim (1897) summary
  4. Joel Osteen’s wikipedia page
  5. Fewer Than Half Of U.S. Adults Belong To A Religious Congregation, New Poll Shows
  6. How Religious Are Americans?
  7. About Three-in-Ten U.S. Adults Are Now Religiously Unaffiliated
  8. Biden is only the second Catholic president, but nearly all have been Christians
  9. How Hip-Hop Inched Its Way to the Super Bowl Halftime Stage
  10. Lady Gaga Made an Edgy Political Statement You Might Have Missed at the Super Bowl
  11. Prepare for Jack Nicholson’s eyebrows
  12. SOC 105 – “You’re Beautiful, No Matter What They Say”

SOC510 – Mail Order Brides and Romance Tourism (Guest Edition)

Abstract

Hooked on shows like TLC’s “90 Day Fiance” or “90 Days the Other Way”? Well, this episode is for you! Dr. Julia Meszaros from Texas A&M Commerce joins us to discuss her research on the romance tourism business, more commonly known as the “mail order bride” industry. She describes the social, economic, and class-based forces that push women and men to engage in this industry. Tune in to learn more! 

Keywords

Romance tourism, tourism, international dating, mail order brides

Sources

  • Find and follow Dr. Julia Meszaros here:
  • Dr. Meszaros studied A Foreign Affair, an international dating business.
  • Check out our other episode about the sociology of tourism with Dr. Marta Soligo here.
  • Julia mentioned Dr. Monica Liu’s studies surrounding romance tourism in China. Learn more about Dr. Liu here! Some articles you may like include:
    • Liu, M. (2015). Surrogate dating and the translation of gendered meanings across borders: The case of China’s E-mail-order brides. Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, 41(1), 29-53.
    • Liu, M. (2019). “Seeking Western Men: Divergent Trajectories of China’s “Email-Order Brides”.” Qualitative Sociology 42.3: 431-453.
    • Liu, M. (2019). Devoted, caring, and home loving: A Chinese portrayal of western masculinity in transnational cyberspace romance. Men and Masculinities, 22(2), 317-337.
  • TLC’s many shows on romance tourism can be found here. Prepared to be sucked in!
  • Check out a few of Julia’s many articles here:
  • She also mentioned the following sources:

(Don’t) Ask a Sociologist Episode 2: What is Agency and Structures?

Abstract

We’re back with our (Don’t) Ask a Sociologist series, where we try to answer seemingly simple questions from listeners! This week’s question is: What is “agency,” and how is it different from “structures”? These are two words we tend to throw around willy-nilly, so let’s break both down together! If you have your own question to ask, don’t be shy and send it to us. We’d love to try to answer it!

Keywords

Agency, structures

Sources

  • We define agency as the ability of people to act on their own accord and independence
  • Structure is the patterned systems of society that impact and assign the choices (or opportunities) available to individuals.
  • Here’s a helpful article from 1998 by Mustafa Emirbayer and Ann Miche that answers the question, What Is Agency?
  • Here’s that Devil Wears Prada scene Ellen was talking about!
  • Curious about the illusion of choice in consumer brands? Look at this.

SOC509 – LGBTQ Caregiving (Guest Edition)

Abstract

On today’s episode, Ellen and Omar speak with G.J. Hodson M.A. (he/they/she) on LGBTQ caregiving. Those who identify as LGBTQ are a growing segment within the caregiving population, and unsurprisingly little research has been done on them. As GJ takes us through their personal journey and research, we see how this new world within sociology can help us make sense of how the United States’ population grows older, and the impact of the pandemic on caregiving. Join us to hear more!

Keywords

LGBTQ, caregiving, aging, medical sociology, social work

Sources

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