Breakaway Episode 10 – Inequality at Bon Appétit

Abstract

Penn and Ellen are avid fans of Bon Appetit’s YouTube channel. ‘Gourmet Makes,’ ‘Back to Back Chef,’ ‘It’s Alive with Brad’, and that one where Chris recreates dishes blind-folded– WE LOVE THEM ALL. But at the start of June, it was revealed that there is shocking inequality in Bon Appetit: white chefs appearing in videos were being paid for their time, while chefs of color were not, and leadership was engaging in other racist practices. So, we had to get together for a breakaway and talk about this drama, and how the culinary industry is rife with inequality. Tune in here!

Keywords

Bon Appetit, chefs, cooking, culinary, food, food media, inequality, media, racism, YouTube

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#BlackLivesMatter Miniseries 3: Defunding the Police

ABSTRACT

We’re continuing our #BlackLivesMatter miniseries and exploring what it means when people demand that we defund the police. Annually the U.S. spends around $115 billion on police departments– an amount that has tripled over the past 40 years. So supporters of #BLM are calling for divestment from police as one way to combat police violence and aggression. What does defunding look like? How would it happen? And wait, wait, wait, with less police won’t crime go up?! Tune in here to learn more.

Keywords

#BlackLivesMatter, social movements, race, racism, police brutality, police violence

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#BlackLivesMatter Miniseries 2: Vive la Resistance!

Note: This is a re-release of an old episode we did back in November 2017. While we were not discussing resistance and social movements in the context of George Floyd’s murder and the #BlackLivesMatter protests, we still believe the content is relevant today.

Abstract

Resist! It’s such a buzzword with deep historical roots, but what exactly is resistance? What does it mean to resist and to struggle? How can we resist? What are some strategies or ways to resist? Many social issues are now at the forefront of the global conversation, especially with Trump’s presidency, from racism to sexual harassment, to basic human decency. Resistance is a difficult and long-drawn out process – it’s not for us, it’s for our children. It’s not for today, but for tomorrow. Change can’t happen without resistance, so join us this week to learn more!

Keywords

Sociology, resistance, social movements, social change, protest

Resources

  1. Maria Hynes (2013) “Reconceptualizing Resistance: Sociology and the Affective Dimension of Resistance” 
  2. Freedom Is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement (Angela Davis 2016)
  3. “#MeToo: Social media flooded with personal stories of assault” (CNN) 
  4. “How to Make Fun of Nazis” (New York Times) 
  5. Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict (Columbia Studies in Terrorism and Irregular Warfare) (Chenoweth & Stephan 2012)
  6. Peter Norman, the Australian Olympic athlete. “The third man: The forgotten Black Power hero” (CNN) 
  7. “Colin Kaepernick, Who Began Anthem Kneeling, Files Complaint Against N.F.L.” (New York Times)
  8. Compassion Fatigue (Psychology Today) 
  9. Matt Buck playing the sousaphone alongside a KKK rally. 
  10. Ellen’s Spotify playlist to blast when you’re resisting a protest (a.k.a. counter-protesting).
  11. Electronic Frontier Foundation 
  12. Planned Parenthood 
  13. American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) 
  14. “In Search Of The Red Cross’ $500 Million In Haiti Relief” (NPR)
  15. Breast Cancer Awareness month is in October (that’s when we recorded the episode, even though the episode was released in November!) 
  16. Check out some of these websites to make sure your charity is legitimate and effective!
  17. Dapper dogs in bow ties – can you resist this?? 

#BlackLivesMatter Miniseries 1: What is #BLM?

ABSTRACT

The #BlackLivesMatter social movement has been gaining momentum after the killing of George Floyd in Minnesota on May 25, and protests have been seen around the world and in every state in the U.S. We here at the Social Breakdown have been trying to figure out how we can do our part in the movement, and this miniseries is one of the results. So, the first episode of our #BlackLivesMatter miniseries is about the BLM movement itself. Who created it? How is it organized? What is BLM calling for? And why should you not say, “But, but, don’t All Lives Matter??” Tune in here to learn more.

Keywords

#blacklivesmatter, social movements, protest, police, race, racism

Sources

SOC316 – PhD’s Guide to Teaching

Abstract

There’s a lotta roles grad students play in the university, and one of them is being a teacher. So, we have a PhD’s Guide to Teaching today to help all of you newbies prepare for teaching in higher education. How do you format an in-person class vs. an online class? How long does a new course take to plan (HINT: A lot longer that you think!)? And why should you NOT friend your students on Pokemon Go? Tune in here to hear our 10 tips for teaching, and please stay safe and healthy out there!

Keywords

PhD Guide, teaching, online teaching, higher education

Sources

Ten Tips to Teaching

  1. Establish a teaching philosophy. Think about those teachers that you loved and why you loved them and try to emulate those approaches.
  2. Reach out to previous professors/teachers of the class. Seriously, don’t hesitate. True educators should be willing to share their teaching materials.
  3. Prep ahead of time and don’t underestimate how much work goes into creating class content/lectures/PPTS/etc.
  4. Don’t overplan the syllabus and have some wiggle room to adjust your course to what your students are interested in.
  5. BUTTTTTT, if you’re teaching an online course be sure to keep a set schedule for students to follow.
  6. Keep track of time during class! You’d be surprised how long you can talk. Yes, you, you self-proclaimed “introvert-who-doesn’t-like-to-talk.”
  7. Decide on your class policies, and be consistent! Here’s a good resource on translating those policies in your syllabus.
  8. Stay professional!
    • Don’t friend your students on Facebook. Just don’t.
    • Dress professionally.
    • Walk that fine line between being nice and hip and cool versus strict and tough. 
  9. Don’t take teaching evals personally! There are a ton of op-eds and articles written about how problematic evals are, so check these out before you let them get to you:
  10. Learn your institutional resources! Your university likely has a center for teaching that you can ask for assistance. For example, here at UH we have the Center for Teaching Excellence that holds informative workshops like ‘how to deal with problem students’ or ‘how to get started teaching online’ or ‘how to manage a large classroom.’ Go to these workshops and hone your teaching craft! 
  11. Bonus tip: USE YOUR SOCIOLOGICAL IMAGINATION and have empathy for your students’ situations (especially now that we’re in the COVID-19 era)! Maybe they’re working a full-time job to put themselves through college; Maybe they have family problems or mental health issues they are dealing with. Remember that students have lives of their own, and in the same way when you’re having a bad day and still have to show up to teach, students may be having a bad day and barely want to sit in class and learn about Marx. Check these resources out to get a better perspective:

SOC315 – The Political Spectacle: Symbols in Politics

Abstract

Politics, politics, politics– what a fascinating part of our society that feels all-consuming sometimes. This week we’re going to explore politics using a Symbolic Interactionist lens and the fantastic work of Dr. Murray Edelman to make sense of what’s going on in our state and federal governments every day. Is politics an earnest attempt at changing our society for the good? Is it just a spectacle meant to distract us? Or maybe somewhere in between? Tune in here to learn more and stay healthy out there!

Sources

  • For a refresher on what Symbolic Interactionism is, check out:
  • Murray Edelman’s biography
  • We used two of Edelman’s books quite a bit in this episode, they are:
  • Edelman argues that politics is made up of two types of symbols:
    • Referential Symbols: “economical ways of referring to the objective elements in objects or situations: The elements identified in the same way by different people. Such symbols are useful because they help in logical thinking about the situation and in manipulating it” (Edelman 1967:6). 
    • Condensation Symbols: “evoke the emotions associated with the situation. They condense into one symbolic event, sign, or act patriotic pride, anxieties, remembrances of past glories or humiliations, promises of future greatness: some one of these or all of them” (Edelman 1967:6). 
  • Penn read a quote from Joel Best’s article from The Chronicle of Higher Education, “Telling the Truth About Damned Lies and Statistics
  • Kellyanne Conway’s misleading ignorance of where COVID-19’s name comes from can be read about here.
  • Ellen’s sci-fi obsession was recently quenched with VOX by Christina Dlacher, which has relevant themes about the power of language in politics
    • Other great dystopian sci-fi books surrounding politics and power? The Power by Naomi Alderman, The Handmaid’s Tale & The Testaments by Margaret Atwood, Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler, and many many more. If you wanna geek out or have more recommendations, contact Ellen!
  • Virtual dating platforms are taking off according to the NY Times!
  • Movie star Matt O’Damon?

SOC314 – Family Demography and Intergenerational Solidarity Theory (Guest Edition)

Abstract

Sociology is obviously concerned about connecting private troubles to public issues, as C. Wright Mills once said. Sociologists are also deeply interested in the relationships between people, and the intimate relationships we have with family members. This week, we have a fantastic guest, Dr. Sarah Patterson, who is helping us make sense of these connections. Sarah will be talking with us about families, family demography, and Intergenerational Solidarity Theory. What makes families work or struggle through their interactions? And do families promote positive social solidarity among all its members? Come join us for the conversation!

Sources

SOC313 – To Err is Human: A Look at Medical Error

Abstract

Medical error– defined as unintended or failed plan of actions related to treatments– is an understudied in medical sociology. Patient harm from medical error can occur at the individual and systemic level however, and it might shock you to learn that it happens more often than not– it’s technically the third leading cause of death in the United States! Listen to our discussion on what societal factors contribute to medical error. Leave us a rating and review if you enjoy our podcast!

Keywords

Medical error, medical sociology, medicine, hospitals, doctors

Sources

  1. Medical error—the third leading cause of death in the US
  2. Deaths and Mortality (CDC)
  3. “To err is human”: a report from the institute of medicine
  4. Choosing Your Words Carefully: How Physicians Would Disclose Harmful Medical Errors to Patients
  5. Databases, legal records, websites used to gather details on doctors
  6. A Conceptual Model for Disclosure of Medical Errors
  7. Health Care Ratings and Reports

(Don’t) Ask a Sociologist Episode 1: What is Society?

Abstract

We’ve got a new series for you where we answer listener questions about sociology, theory, grad school, and more! So, in our inaugural episode we’re answering a HUGE question: How do you define “society”? Sounds easy, but trust us (and the ~20 min length of this episode), it ain’t! Tune in here to learn how we define society and its close connection with culture! And 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

Society, culture, politics, nation state, identity

Sources

SOC312 – Zen and the White Male Savior in Film (Guest Edition)

Abstract

We’re building off of last week’s episode on pop culture today with a deep dive into film analysis with a special guest, Prof. Brian Brutlag from The Sociologist’s Dojo! Brian talks with us about two seemingly unconnected concepts– Zen Buddhism and the White Male Savior Complex– and how they’re now being used together in film narratives. Tune in here to learn more about how we can use sociology to make sense of film trends and stories, and also how we can use it to analyze cinematic flaws. You can check out Brian’s blog at thesociologistsdojo.blogspot.com, and you know where to find us!

Keywords

Popular culture, Zen Buddhism, white male savior, film, masculinity

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