If you’re like us, you’re probably snacking on something right now trying to get through your day. It goes without saying how important food is to our survival, but beyond the biological needs, there is a whole system surrounding food. This episode is an introduction to food studies from a sociological perspective. We look at the intermingling of culture and food, the stories and legends we pass down about food, as well as the system of food, including production, processing, and distribution. We hope you’re hungry to learn!
Keywords: Food, culture, food systems, production, distribution
Looking for a transcript of this episode? Well, look no further! Click here. And bit thanks to Jody Sauer for transcribing this episode!
What is “humor” and what is “comedy”? Do these terms mean the same thing? Today we answer these questions with the help of Dr. Raul Perez, author of ‘The Souls of White Jokes’ and scholar of what exactly “funny” is and “funny” does. Tune in to learn about the purposes that humor serves in society, stretching back to feudal times to the current Cancel Culture era. And don’t forget to grab a copy of his book!
Humor, comedy, race, racism, discrimination, historical
It’s strange to say that workplace violence has any place in society. It doesn’t. But workplace violence does exist, and so today we are going to take a functionalist approach to talk about the functions of workplace violence, particularly in academia. Workplace violence can serve as a tool for those in power to reinforce hierarchies in the workplace, advance their own careers, increase work productivity, and more. Don’t listen to this episode if it will be triggering or uncomfortable for you!
Workplace violence, academia, functionalism, bullying, abuse
- How bullying becomes a career tool, by Susanne Tauber and Morteza Mahmoudi (2022)
- Einarsen S, Hoel H, Zapf D, Cooper CL. The concept of bullying and harassment at work: the European tradition. In: Einarsen S, Hoel H, Zapf D, Cooper CL, editors. Bullying and harassment in the workplace developments in theory, research, and practice. 2. Boca Raton: CRC Press; 2011.
- Disparate mortality rates among black mothers
- Deadly Indonesia football stampede caused by tear gas
- The We Society Podcast
- America’s most violent jobs, in 5 charts
- A Pocket Guide to Academic Ranks
- 38 Hawaiian and Pidgin Phrases Every Visitor Needs to Know
- College Dining Workers Seize the Moment
- Elon Musk Fires Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal, An Executive “Escorted Out”
- Twitter sued in class action lawsuit over mass layoffs without proper legal notice
- Hundreds of employees say no to being part of Elon Musk’s ‘extremely hardcore’ Twitter
Drugs. Alotta us do them and alotta us are scared of them! There are a ton of topics to cover within the world of sociology, and we have yet to talk about how the discipline discusses drugs, as well as the pivotal event, the War on Drugs. So, tune in to listen to our conversation with Dr. Kevin Revier, where we chat about his research on the social impact of the War on Drugs, perceptions of drugs, drug addiction, and more!
Cannabis, crack, drugs, illegal, marijuana, narcotics, nixon, opioid, sociological, sociology
- Check out Dr. Kevin Revier’s webpage at Arcadia University.
- “Without Drug Court, You’ll End Up in Prison or Dead” a qualitative/participant observation study by Kevin.
- The ‘worst of the worst‘: punitive justice frames in criminal sentencing clips on YouTube.
- Another one by Kevin is… Figuring Things Out: Contemplating Drug Addiction and Disclosure In and Out of the Field.
- White jail incarceration rates are on the rise, and fast, according to the Vera Institute.
- Here is information about current drug policy and today’s fentanyl crisis.
- Here’s Ingrid Walker’s High, which discusses drugs and desire, as drugs make people feel good, too.
- Another classic book to check out that Kevin mentioned is Howard Becker’s Outsiders.
- Omar mentioned a Netflix documentary on the science of psychedelics by Michael Pollan, but here’s the book instead!
- Professor Carl Hart is a heroin-using Professor changing the way we think about drugs.
- The New Jim Crow and one of it’s most famous critiques.
- Ellen also recommends this book by Bruce Jacobs, Dealing Crack, if you’re interested in the processes of drug dealing.
- Would you eat a 3D food printed steak???
What is socialization? And why do we sociologists *love* using the term? This week we’re diving into both of these questions, and then exploring how families, educational institutions, peers, and the media act as key agents of socialization. We’re guilty of taking this term for granted, so join us as we give socialization the attention it deserves!
Socialization, families, institutions, peers
- Learn about Dr. Craig Calhoun here.
- You can also follow him on Twitter!
Stuffs! We’ve all got ‘em, and we all like to accumulate them– unless you’re Ellen. This week, we’re exploring how sociology makes sense of our material culture. What is the relationship people hold with the tangible objects we collect? What meaning do we attach to these items? And why is it that Penn cares so much about her Washi Tape collection and Omar licks his shoes?! Tune in here to learn more about stuffs and where the state of stuffs is going as the world becomes digitalized and we begin to interact with virtual objects more and more.
Material Culture, Collections, Senses, Symbolic Interactionism
- Check out these primer episodes:
- Check out these examples of ASMR videos. Do you get head tingles?
- Are you a Washi Tape fan, like Penn?
- Some of Penn’s washi tape collection
- Here are some impressive collections around the world:
- Check out Walter Benjamin’s (1968) discussion of the topic in his famous essay, “Unpacking My Library: A Talk About Book Collecting”
- We talk about Boon’s article about mp3s and Dechaine’s article about Pez dispensers in Moist and Banash’s (2013) anthology, Contemporary Collecting
- Curious about pharma-bro Martin Shkreli’s Wu-Tang album collection? Read this.
- Want to learn about the $6.8 million space black diamond?
Can you decode Stephen Hawking’s blackboard doodles?
Aloha mai kākou, we take a local perspective today with special guests, Brandon from Kamehameha Schools and Lisa from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, who walk us through a new radical study aiming to change the traditionally deficits-based narrative about the Native Hawaiian people to one of strength and resiliency. Drawing from the Kūkulu Kumuhana dimensions of Native Hawaiian wellbeing, we discuss the ʻImi Pono Hawaiʻi Wellbeing Survey 2021, from which a number of local organizations have analyzed and published numerous briefs, including ones on COVID-19 impacts in Hawaiʻi and more. Be sure to check out our website for great links that support indigenous research as well as a vocabulary list of all the Hawaiian words used in the episode!
Native Hawaiian Wellbeing, Kūkulu Kumuhana, Indigenous Frameworks, Culture, Data
Hawaiian words in the episode (in order of use):
Hawaiian online dictionary
- Aloha mai kākou – greetings to all of you
- Mahalo – thank you; gratitude
- E kala mai – forgive me; sorry; apologies
- Moʻokūʻauhau – ancestry; genealogy
- ʻImi pono – to seek out fullness/completeness/balance
- ʻOhana – family
- Kaiaulu – community
- Honua – world, environment
- Ea – self-determination
- ʻŌiwi – cultural identity and native intelligence
- ʻĀina Momona – healthy and productive lands and people
- Pilina – mutually sustaining relationships
- Waiwai – ancestral abundance and collective wealth
- Kupuna – elders
- Ke Akua Mana – spirituality
- Mōʻi – King; chief; ruler
- He Ali’i Ka ‘Āina; He Kauwā ke Kanaka – The Land is Chief; Man is its Servant
- Kai – ocean; salt water
- Wai – fresh water
- Kūkulu – to build; pile up; a pillar
- Kumu – the source (e.g., teacher); basis; main stalk or root of plant
- Haumāna – students
- Hana – the work; activity
- Kūkulu Kumuhana – “the pooling of strengths, emotional, psychological, and spiritual for a shared purpose. A unified, unifying purpose.” (Source).
- Naʻau – intuition; feelings; gut instinct
- Kākoʻo – agree; support
- Moʻolelo – story; tale; myth
- Mana – divine power, among other things. (Read the book!).
- Hoʻoponopono – to correct; the name of a traditional healing process (conflict resolution) to resolve issues within ʻohana
- Heluhelu i ka puke – read a book!
Are you a Disney fan? Have you ever seen a princess in the flesh? Well, this week we are joined by Kristen Newvine of the Social Science Princess Project, who talks with us about this world of character performance. We use Goffman to understand how adopting the identities of Disney princesses can actually influence performers’ everyday non-princess lives– from how they talk to how they greet children at grocery stores to how they sing when they’re encountering setbacks. Tune in and have a magical day!
Princess, performers, Goffman, Disney, Identity theory, Identity
You can find the transcript for this episode here. Big mahalo to the princess herself, Kristin Newvine, for transcribing this episode!!
- Check out Kristin’s Context’s article, Princessing: The Magic of Impression Management
- Here is Kristin’s Social Science Princess Project:
- We talk about Erving Goffman’s “Presentation of Self in Everyday Life”
- We also have an episode on Goffman, which you can listen to here.
- Here is the clip of the Gaston prince performer rejecting a Disney goer.
- Curious about identity theory? Check out Sheldon Stryker’s work!
- Here’s a recent article from Vox about the life of a Disney princess performer.
- Kristen recommended the following to those interested in learning more:
- We discussed this Florida worker’s experiment testing the availability of work.
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!
Firearms, guns, culture, America, public health
- Find Dr. Dowd-Arrow on Twitter here.
- Here is his Google Scholar listing.
- Wanna fall down the Wikipedia hole of NRA leader Wayne LaPierre?
- What effect did the Sandy Hook massacre have on the politics of guns? Check out this article from The Hill.
- Here’s an article from NPR about the current investigation by the Attorney General of New York into the operations of the NRA
- And here’s a Wikipedia hole for Florida NRA queen bee Marion Hammer.
- Ellen and Ben talked on Nov. 14, 2020, as the MAGA Millions March was occurring.
- An interesting article about the anti-vax movement in the U.S. from the New York Times.
- Here are Ben’s articles:
- Ellen mentioned “No Compromise,” a podcast from NPR about the new wing of “no compromise” gun rights activists.
- Ben mentioned that the Duke Center for Firearms Law is a good source for gun legislation.
- Ben recommended the following sources for those interested in learning more:
- Get a private jet membership from Costco!
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!
Society, culture, politics, nation state, identity