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!
The Social Breakdown Team has been busy the last several weeks and we were able to get a guest interview with Hawai’i Deputy Public Defender Jacquie Esser. Esser recently ran for State Prosecutor and continues to be a key player in the struggle to bring fundamental change to the criminal legal system in Hawai’i and throughout the nation. As we head into the final moments of one of the most important presidential elections in recent memory, the stakes could not be higher in understanding the future impacts of deinstitutionalization, police, and criminalization in U.S. society.
Politics, deinstutionalization, criminal justice, mass incarceration, police, criminalization
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 Roughly a week later, DHS rescinded the order.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!
Higher education, politics, election, international students, immigration
We’re continuing our trek into the world of politics and spectacles a la Murray Edelman this week in preparation for the upcoming election. We review what Edelman means when he says, “politics is a spectacle,” and how spectacles can lead us to vote against our own interests. Why is it that people targeted by Trump’s policies voted for him in 2016, and may still vote for him in 2020? How do politicians carefully craft (or impulsively create) spectacles that serve their own good? Tune in here to learn more, and be sure to go out and VOTE!
Political spectacle, politics, symbols, material politics, symbolic politics, go vote
First source is: GO VOTE!
If you haven’t heard our first episode on this topic, check it out here!
We’ve talked about femininity, feminism, and feminist criminology, but we have yet to tackle masculinity! So, we have a fabulous guest, Dr. Dan Cassino, a professor at Fairleigh Dickinson University, with us this episode to explain what hegemonic masculinity is, how there are masculinities (plural!), and how they manifest themselves in our society. Join us for a timely discussion about what it means to be a “man” today, and how masculinity has influenced and continues to influence our politics today.
Many people have heard the phrase, “take a walk in my shoes,” but what does this really mean? Is it possible to understand what someone is going through without sharing the same experiences? The answers to these questions may seem obvious, but it’s more complicated than you think! So this week, we’re getting into the nitty-gritty of distinguishing empathy from sympathy, and defining the two. As the world is facing unprecedented times and world leaders are contracting COVID-19, perhaps a little bit of empathy is important… or is it not? Join us for another fun dip in social psychology and emotions!
Empathy, sympathy, sociology of emotions, social psychology, COVID-19
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.
Sociology of education, college, labor market, COVID-19
Welcome to senior year! It’s Fall 2020 and we are off to a great start with part 3 of our “You’re all sociologists!” series. For this premiere episode, we catch up on what the gang has been up to after summer vacation and we discuss how to take sociology to the next level. What does being a sociologist mean during this time of social unrest and political turmoil? How can we use the sociological imagination to help us understand the current social issues? Grab your thinking hat and join us for a new semester of advanced sociology!
Keywords: sociology, society, sociological imagination, public sociology
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!
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.
#BlackLivesMatter, social movements, race, racism, police brutality, police violence
Check out this article from the Guardian “What does ‘defund the police’ mean?” that finds that over the past 40 years, the budgets for police departments across the US have tripled in funding amounts to roughly $115 billion this year.