SOC414 – “I just see blue’: What is art? (Guest episode)

Abstract

What is art? What is the value of fine art? What is art? What is the value of fine art? In this week’s episode, Anina Englehardt joins us to explore how sociology understands the world of contemporary fine art, from its hierarchical and exclusive nature to the meaning-making process of art.  When judging and valuing art, what is more important – the intention of the artist, the story behind the art, or the whimsical, and sometimes random and irrelevant, interpretations of the everyday audience? We tour the world of fine art, its view of digital art, political art, and much more!

Keywords

Contemporary art, fine art, political art

Resources

SOC413 – Firearms in America (Guest episode)

Abstract

Guns are a hot button topic. They are imbued with politics, religion, masculinity, danger, safety, emotions, and more. Ellen was lucky enough to sit down with Dr. Benjamin Dowd-Arrow, Visiting Assistant Professor of Public Health at Florida State University, and talk about the role firearms play in American society today. A trained medical sociologist, Dr. Dowd-Arrow helps us break down why guns are seen as a public health concern, and explains how the values we attach to firearms have evolved over the past 50 years. Tune in here to learn more!

Keywords

Firearms, guns, culture, America, public health

Sources

SOC412 – Student Loans (Guest Edition)

Abstract

Ahh, student loans… who doesn’t have ‘em nowadays? Today, we’re diving into the complex world of education-based debt with the help of our guest, Sam. How does student loan debt influence major life decisions, like starting a family or buying a house? What role does financial literacy play in all of this? And will president-elect Joe Biden really cancel student debt?! (Pretty please, Joe– we could all use a little help right now.) Sam is here to break it down for us using findings from her own qualitative research. Tune in here!

Keywords

Student loans, academia, higher education, debt, financial literacy

Sources

  • Follow Sam here on Twitter!
  • Ellen mentioned the book Diploma Mills by AJ Angulo
  • Wanna learn more about calls to cancel student loan debt? Check out this article from Inside Higher Education
  • Here are some opinions about student loan forgiveness published in the New York Times.
  • Sam recommended the following books and articles:
    • Lower Ed: The Troubling Rise of For-Profit Colleges in the New Economy by Tressie McMillan Cottom
    • Indebted: How Families Make College Work at Any Cost by Caitlin Zaloom
    • Sick of our loans: Student borrowing and the mental health of young adults in the United States” by Katrina M. Walsemann, Gilbert C. Gee and Danielle Gentile. Social Science & Medicine (2015). 
    • Student debt spans generations: Characteristics of parents who borrow to pay for their children’s college education.” by Katrina M. Walsemann and Jennifer A. Ailshire. The Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Social Sciences. (2017). 
    • Neither a Borrower Nor a Lender Be: The Relative Importance of Debt and SES for Mental Health Among Older Adults” by Patricia Drentea and John R. Reynolds. Journal of Aging and Health (2012). 
    • Where Does Debt Fit in the Stress Process Model?” by Patricia Drentea and John R. Reynolds. Society and Mental Health. (2014). 
    • Sam also mentioned scholar Rachel Dwyer who has some great things to say about student loans. Here is one such article!
    • Predatory Inclusion and Education Debt: Rethinking the Racial Wealth Gap.” by Louise Seamster and Raphaël Charron-Chénier. Social Currents. (2017).