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

2022 Social Breakdown Transcription Project

One of our goals has always been to make sociology as accessible as possible. And in the world of audio, the way to do that is to provide listeners with transcripts of the show. But with over 100 episodes, transcription is daunting!

So, we need your help.

In 2022, we’re kicking off the Social Breakdown Transcription Project, and asking fans and listeners to help us out. We’ll be running our episodes through automatic transcription software, but need help cleaning up what the software spits out. Anyone who helps us clean up two episodes worth of transcripts will be sent a Social Breakdown t-shirt and stickers in thanks, and will be credited on our site.

If you’re interested in participating in the project, please do let us know! You can email us at socbreakdown [at] gmail.com. We thank you in advance for even considering it!

We are featured in ASA’s Teaching Sociology!

The show has officially made it– at least, “made it” sociologically!

We’re super honored to have The Social Breakdown reviewed in the American Sociological Association’s Teaching Sociology by Christine Croft. Reading reviews–formal and informal– really are what keeps this show going. So, mahalo nui loa to all who share the show with others, and write such encouraging words like these.

SOC 501 – “You’re a donkey!”: Food Media and Violence in Kitchens

Abstract

Food media is relatively new but its popularity is without a doubt. Popular food shows such as Hell’s Kitchen have propelled chefs to fame, but at what cost? In this episode, Ellen and Penn discuss their recent viral (can we use that word?) article on how food media normalizes violent behavior in commercial kitchens. Food media that glorifies violence from psychological to sexual may have an influence on how violence is perceived in the workspace of the kitchen, ultimately making it seem ‘normal’ and at times, even necessary as a tool to manage the stress of the occupation and ensuring productivity.

Keywords

Violence, normalization, commercial kitchens, workplace violence

Sources

  1. Ellen and Pennʻs article – “The Normalization of Violence in Commercial Kitchens Through Food Media”
  2. Kenji Lopez-Altʻs IG post that made us famous
  3. His book, The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science
  4. Our interview on New York magazine’s Grub Street column! “How Celebrity Chefs Warped Our View of Real-World Restaurant Abuse “I realized, this is abnormal.””
  5. Study Reveals How Shows Like Hell’s Kitchen Are Making The Restaurant Industry Worse
  6. The ‘idiot sandwich’ skit from The Late Late Show with James Corden
  7. Check out our previous podcast episode on violence: SOC110 – Violence: Nature VS Nurture
  8. The Catcher in the Rye and the shooting of John Lennon
  9. Kitchen Confidential Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly by Anthony Bourdain
  10. Taking the Heat: Women Chefs and Gender Inequality in the Professional Kitchen by Harris & Giuffre
  11. Curious about how discomfort and heat has been link with increased aggression and violence? Check out these two studies:
    1. Hot and Crowded: Influences of Population Density and Temperature on Interpersonal Affective Behavior” by Griffit and Veitch
    2. Hot Years and Serious and Deadly Assault: Empirical Test of the Heat Hypothesis” by Anderson et al.
  12. Kitchens: The Culture of Restaurant Work by Gary Alan Fine
  13. Naked ‘Nevermind’ baby sues Nirvana for ‘child pornography’
  14. Here’s our article again in case you missed it

New York Magazine’s Grub Street Interview

Ellen and Penn got the awesome opportunity to talk with Alan Sytsma at Grub Street about their article on the normalization of violence in kitchens through food media. Their interview is titled, “How Celebrity Chefs Warped Our View of Real-World Restaurant Abuse.” Check it out here!

SOC408 – Gentrification Through Food (Guest Edition)

Abstract

The way neighborhoods are transformed as investors, capital, and newcomers arrive cannot be understood without talking about cafes, lattes, food security, avocado toast, and race. Dr. Alison Alkon and Dr. Joshua Sbicca join us this week to discuss how food is both a gentrifying force and gentrified itself. The conversation was initiated by a new edited volume by our guests (and Dr. Yuki Kato who could not make it) titled, A Recipe for Gentrification! Tune in to learn more about how neighborhood foodscapes change, and how these changes warrant sociological analysis. All you food and environmental justice peeps, this one’s for you!

http://thesocialbreakdown.libsyn.com/soc40-gentrification-through-food-guest-episode

Keywords

Food, gentrification, sociology, class, race, neighborhoods, urban, food justice, environmental, community gardens

Sources

SOC406 – Pre-election Special: The Politics of Higher Education

Abstract

Over the past three years, those of us in higher education have become more and more aware of the role politics play in academia. And on July 6th 2020, things came to a head when the Department of Homeland Security announced that international students who take only online courses in Fall 2020 were required to transfer schools, find in-person classes to take, or leave the country. Roughly a week later, DHS rescinded the order. So, we have our friend and colleague, Nathalie Rita, with us to discuss the role of politics in the academy, the role of the academy in politics, and the precarity of international students in the United States. Tune in to listen to our special pre-election episode, and please GO VOTE!

Keywords

Higher education, politics, election, international students, immigration

Sources

SOC402 – Intro to Sociology of Education (Guest Edition)

Abstract

This week we sat down with Dr. Mary Kate Blake, Assistant Professor of Sociology and Criminology from Valparaiso University, for a rundown of sociology of education. What is the sociology of education? How is education a structural component of society? Why is it so important to the economy and the labor market? We discuss the impacts of high school counselors, the journey of going to college, and of course, what education is like during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Keywords

Sociology of education, college, labor market, COVID-19

Sources

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

Sources

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?
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