If you’re like us, you’re probably snacking on something right now trying to get through your day. It goes without saying how important food is to our survival, but beyond the biological needs, there is a whole system surrounding food. This episode is an introduction to food studies from a sociological perspective. We look at the intermingling of culture and food, the stories and legends we pass down about food, as well as the system of food, including production, processing, and distribution. We hope you’re hungry to learn!
Keywords: Food, culture, food systems, production, distribution
What is “humor” and what is “comedy”? Do these terms mean the same thing? Today we answer these questions with the help of Dr. Raul Perez, author of ‘The Souls of White Jokes’ and scholar of what exactly “funny” is and “funny” does. Tune in to learn about the purposes that humor serves in society, stretching back to feudal times to the current Cancel Culture era. And don’t forget to grab a copy of his book!
Humor, comedy, race, racism, discrimination, historical
It’s strange to say that workplace violence has any place in society. It doesn’t. But workplace violence does exist, and so today we are going to take a functionalist approach to talk about the functions of workplace violence, particularly in academia. Workplace violence can serve as a tool for those in power to reinforce hierarchies in the workplace, advance their own careers, increase work productivity, and more. Don’t listen to this episode if it will be triggering or uncomfortable for you!
Workplace violence, academia, functionalism, bullying, abuse
- How bullying becomes a career tool, by Susanne Tauber and Morteza Mahmoudi (2022)
- Einarsen S, Hoel H, Zapf D, Cooper CL. The concept of bullying and harassment at work: the European tradition. In: Einarsen S, Hoel H, Zapf D, Cooper CL, editors. Bullying and harassment in the workplace developments in theory, research, and practice. 2. Boca Raton: CRC Press; 2011.
- Disparate mortality rates among black mothers
- Deadly Indonesia football stampede caused by tear gas
- The We Society Podcast
- America’s most violent jobs, in 5 charts
- A Pocket Guide to Academic Ranks
- 38 Hawaiian and Pidgin Phrases Every Visitor Needs to Know
- College Dining Workers Seize the Moment
- Elon Musk Fires Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal, An Executive “Escorted Out”
- Twitter sued in class action lawsuit over mass layoffs without proper legal notice
- Hundreds of employees say no to being part of Elon Musk’s ‘extremely hardcore’ Twitter
More and more today’s educators are encouraged to set up service learning and community-based projects for their students. These are projects that take students out of the traditional classroom, and into the community to ideally be helpful. But, are these efforts as positive as we imagine they are? We are joined this week by our friend and wonderful guest, Dr. Colleen Rost-Banik, to discuss the pros and pitfalls of service-learning, how to do it well, and how to reimagine what some of the education buzzwords, like “civic engagement” really are. Tune in here to learn more!
Education, learning, teaching, service learning, activism, civic engagement
- Learn more about Colleen’s research here.
- We discussed some Hawai’i-specific events and happenings throughout the episode. Including:
- Check out Colleen’s work here:
- And she recommended “Liberating Service Learning and the Rest of Higher Education Civic Engagement” by Randy Stoecker for those interested in rethinking forms of education.
- Also, Liz Truss and the lettuce…
Drugs. Alotta us do them and alotta us are scared of them! There are a ton of topics to cover within the world of sociology, and we have yet to talk about how the discipline discusses drugs, as well as the pivotal event, the War on Drugs. So, tune in to listen to our conversation with Dr. Kevin Revier, where we chat about his research on the social impact of the War on Drugs, perceptions of drugs, drug addiction, and more!
Cannabis, crack, drugs, illegal, marijuana, narcotics, nixon, opioid, sociological, sociology
- Check out Dr. Kevin Revier’s webpage at Arcadia University.
- “Without Drug Court, You’ll End Up in Prison or Dead” a qualitative/participant observation study by Kevin.
- The ‘worst of the worst‘: punitive justice frames in criminal sentencing clips on YouTube.
- Another one by Kevin is… Figuring Things Out: Contemplating Drug Addiction and Disclosure In and Out of the Field.
- White jail incarceration rates are on the rise, and fast, according to the Vera Institute.
- Here is information about current drug policy and today’s fentanyl crisis.
- Here’s Ingrid Walker’s High, which discusses drugs and desire, as drugs make people feel good, too.
- Another classic book to check out that Kevin mentioned is Howard Becker’s Outsiders.
- Omar mentioned a Netflix documentary on the science of psychedelics by Michael Pollan, but here’s the book instead!
- Professor Carl Hart is a heroin-using Professor changing the way we think about drugs.
- The New Jim Crow and one of it’s most famous critiques.
- Ellen also recommends this book by Bruce Jacobs, Dealing Crack, if you’re interested in the processes of drug dealing.
- Would you eat a 3D food printed steak???
Do you want to be a better Public Scientist? Do you want to enhance your skills in sociological analysis within and outside the academy? Do you want a place to discuss, vent, study, and analyze “graduate school stress” and what to do about it? Do you want high level research engagement and turning your wonderful ideas into digestible content for the public? Do you need professional development skills or just someone/group of people to just help you THINK?! Join the Social Breakdowns first ever SOCIOLOGY MASTER CLASS hosted by Omar Bird.
Please see the Google Form link below to sign up! First 10 people to sign up will be included in the first round! More information about scheduling will follow!
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October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, the time when everything turns pink! We here at The Social Breakdown wanted to remind everyone with breasts (pssst– we ALL have ‘em!) to do all the needed check ups: self-exams, ultrasounds, and mammograms! So, here is a re-released episode from last year (2021), where we discussed how our team was especially hit hard by breast cancer. (Ellen is still in remission! Yay!) So, for us and for you, please get yourself checked out and remind your loved ones to do so, too!
Boobs, moobs, breasts, cancer, health
- Breast cancer is insanely common! There is a 1 in 8 chance that a woman in America will develop breast cancer.
- Here’s how to do a breast self-exam!
What makes you, “you”? Well, sociologists love to answer this question by saying that you are a social object– a combination of the environments, people, cultures, social experiences, and structures around you. And no one is more prolific than theorist Charles Cooley in establishing this! So, this week, we’re exploring the work of Cooley and his concept of The Looking Glass Self. Tune in to learn more about how you are who you think others think you are.
Self, self-esteem, self-concept, social psychology
- The man of the (half)hour is Charles Cooley, whom you can read about here.
- A nice summary of the Looking Glass Self can be found here.
- Read Morris Rosenberg’s (1979) Conceiving the Self here.
- Ellen is a fan of Erich Fromm and Escape from Society (1994).
- Want to cry? Watch Adam Sandler’s “Click” (during a vulnerable time in your life, so don’t judge us Rotten Tomatoes with your 34% rating).
- RIP Queen Elizabeth II!
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!
Socialization, families, institutions, peers
- Learn about Dr. Craig Calhoun here.
- You can also follow him on Twitter!
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!
Symbols, symbolic interactionism, COVID-19, masking, politics, pop culture
- 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.