SOC208 – Left Handed Devils: The Social Construction of Deviance


We’re using our understanding of the three schools of sociological theory to breakdown deviance and crime this week. What is deviance? What is crime? How are they different? How does society create the definitions of what is a deviant behavior and what is a criminal act? We discuss power and inequality, as well as look at deviance and crime through the lens of the three schools of sociological thought – structural functionalism, conflict theory, and symbolic interactionism. Check out our previous episode on the three schools of thought, SOC207, if you haven’t already so you understand our discussion today! Thanks for listening and please give us a rating, too!


Deviance, Crime, Criminology, Social Construction


SOC203- PhD’s Guide to Grad School Applications


We’re back with another PhD’s Guide on an important and timely topic: the graduate school application process! This week, we’re talking about the general do’s and do not’s when trying to impress those higher education programs to accept you as a worthy candidate. The tips provided in this episode are not specific to sociology departments, so you peeps of all academic persuasions (and even peeps with distant interests in grad school) TUNE IN, perhaps we can help!


Remember, heed only the advice that you think is appropriate. We’re just here to tell you our perspective, and our perspectives are never 100% correct all the time. This is YOUR academic journey, so you decide how you wanna do it! And we wish you the best of luck on this application journey!



phd guide, applications, graduate school

Some useful suggestions

  1. Application due dates run from late Fall to early Spring, so double check the dates for each institution that you apply to!
  2. When writing your statement of purpose, highlight 1 or 2 profs from the program you’re applying to that you’d like to work with
  3. Practice writing your statement of purpose. Carve out more time than necessary. Though short, these essay prompts are taken seriously! Rule #1 stay within the word limit. You’ll have plenty of time to write lengthy papers once you’re accepted, so keep it short and tight for now.
  4. If the university does interviews, PRACTICE! **Most programs will not require an interview but even going to the campus and introducing yourself to some faculty can separate you from the rest of the pack! So talk and walk with confidence. You have nothing to lose.
  5. Be aware of yourself. Don’t use grad school as a way to bide time. The amount of time and resources you’ll spend on an education that you’re not truly interested in is NOT worth it!
  6. Do not be stingy or picky–consider all sources of funding! $$$ is tight these days.

Email us if you have any other questions. This is an important time of year.


SOC130: Obedience, Whaddup?


Like all living things, humans are creatures of habit, routine, and– most importantly– learned and patterned behavior. So this week, the Social Breakdown team has the interesting task of teasing out difference between the socialized and patterned behaviors of conformity and obedience. We use Stanley Milgram’s shock experiment to understand how obedience plays into social roles, status, and hierarchies. Also, how do culture and institutions affect this social phenomena? Join us for the conversation!


obedience, social psychology, socialization


  • Obedience: Complying with an order, request, or law, OR submission to another’s authority.
  • How is obedience different from conformity?
    • 1) Obedience involves an order; conformity involves a request.
    • 2) Obedience involves following the order of someone with a higher status; conformity usually involves going along with people of equal status.
    • 3) Obedience relies on social power; conformity relies on the need to be socially accepted.
  • If you want to read more about Erving Goffman’s discussion on how obedience and conformity are used in institutions, like the military, you can read his book, Asylums (1961)
    • 44 min long documentary on the Obedience Experiment with Stanley Milgram narrating
  • A collection of Milgram’s (2010) studies and essays, Individual in a Social World
  • Quick, digestible run through on Milgram’s Obedience Experiment:

Save the date! Season 2 Premiere!!

Hey everyone,

The SBR team here – we are delaying the start of season 2 by a bit because the new semester is busier than we thought it would be! Season 2 will be premiering on January 24th! Save the date, and in the meantime, check out our previous episodes if you really miss us!

As always, please leave us a review on iTunes. We just broke 3,800 downloads, which is HUUUUUGE!! Thank you for all your support! The more you like, share, subscribe, and review us, the closer we are to stardom!

All the best,

The SBR team