SOC600 – Agents of Socialization

Abstract

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!

Keywords

Socialization, families, institutions, peers

Sources

  • Learn about Dr. Craig Calhoun here.
  • You can also follow him on Twitter!

SOC514 – The Senses of Stuffs: Introduction to Material Culture

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Material Culture, Collections, Senses, Symbolic Interactionism

Sources

Can you decode Stephen Hawking’s blackboard doodles?

SOC508 – Changing the Narrative for Native Hawaiian Wellbeing (Guest Edition)

Abstract

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!

Keywords

Native Hawaiian Wellbeing, Kūkulu Kumuhana, Indigenous Frameworks, Culture, Data

Sources

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!

SOC507 – Princess Performers (Guest Edition)

Abstract

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! 

Keywords

Princess, performers, Goffman, Disney, Identity theory, Identity

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

(Don’t) Ask a Sociologist Episode 1: What is Society?

Abstract

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!

Keywords

Society, culture, politics, nation state, identity

Sources

SOC311 – Intro to Popular Culture: “It’s all about popular”

Abstract

We’re getting light-hearted in these crazy times and introducing you to the sociology of pop culture! In this episode, we use Dr. David Grazian’s work to explore what popular culture is and how it’s different from high culture. Then we make sense of culture’s role in globalization, and show how pop cultural products– like sitcoms, Taylor Swift songs, and anime– can act as forms of soft power. Tune in here to hear Penn and Omar nerd out on the intricacies of Naruto and Studio Ghibli, and to understand just how powerful and important pop culture is to our society!

Keywords

Popular culture, society, music, entertainment, globalization, soft power, anime

Sources

SOC211 – “It Ain’t a Rug!”: Edward Said’s Orientalism

Abstract
We’re getting theoretical this week and tackling Orientalism, a concept and book by the fantastic Dr. Edward Said. If you’re taking a higher-level sociology, anthropology, history, or poli sci class, chances are you’re gonna hear “orientalism” thrown around! What is heck is it? (Hint: It ain’t a rug, a fast-food take out place, or the way to describe how someone looks!) What is its connection to imperialism and colonialism? And how has it influenced scholarship and research in the past and present? Tune in to learn more and be sure to give us a rating!


Sources
  1. Edward Said’s book Orientalism (1978)
  2. Biography of Edward Said
  3. Biography of Nandita Sharma
  4. Contrapuntal reading (Oxford Reference)
  5. An article by Roger Owen (2012) titled, “Edward Said and the Two Critiques of Orientalism” from the Middle East Institute that outlines criticisms that have been levied against Said’s theories
  6. Interview with Edward Said where he discusses his background, orientalism, the Palestinian conflict and more.
  7. Edward Said on Charlie Rose (circa 1994)

Breakaway Episode 2-The Middle Finger

Abstract

This week, Ellen and Penn get together to discuss one of their favorite gestures in a breakaway episode: The middle finger! Using work by Jack Katz, they explore why we flip the bird, what a “well-flipped” finger looks like, and the history behind flicking people off. It’s phallic, offensive, and Ellen thinks it’s funny to do in family photos.

Did you know you can reach the sources we cite in each episode at www.thesocialbreakdown.com? Yup, check it out!

Keywords

culture, emotion, flicking, flipping, jack, katz, middle finger, profanity, sociology, swearing

Sources

  1. Jack Katz, “How Emotions Work” (his section on the well-flipped finger is in Chapter 1)
    1. https://www.ssc.wisc.edu/soc/papers/goffman/20150303131604904.pdf
  2. BBC article, “When Did the Middle Finger Become Offensive?”
    1. http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-16916263
  3. New York Times article on why we should curse, “The Case for Cursing”
    1. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/27/smarter-living/the-case-for-cursing.html
  4. Article by Richard Stephens, “Swearing Is Actually a Sign of More Intelligence – Not Less – Say Scientists”
    1. https://www.sciencealert.com/swearing-is-a-sign-of-more-intelligence-not-less-say-scientists

SOC113 – Christmas Rituals & Traditions: Mariah Carey VS Chipmunks

Abstract

Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas, it’s hard to avoid it. Not only is it a day of celebration for Christian religions, but it has become commercialized and commodified for the sake of consumption and capitalism. Christmas also has a strong culture associated with it, full of rituals and traditions–from decorating the tree to gift-giving to singing in groups in front of people’s houses. Join us this week as we discuss these rituals, and get some tips from our amazing sociology gift guide!

Keywords

Christmas, rituals, traditions, religion, holidays, gift giving, culture, sociology, Emerson, Mauss, norms, Durkheim, Xmas

Sources

  1. The Penguin Definition of Sociology 
  2. Durkheim’s The Elementary Forms of Religious Life 
  3. Japanese bowing guide
  4. Trump mocked Obama for bowing to a Saudi king. And then he … (Washington Post 2017)
  5. Contributions To Churches Are Studied (New York Times 1994)
  6. Christmas Traditions and Customs 
  7. History of Christmas Trees 
  8. Mariah Carey – All I want for Christmas is You 
  9. Chipmunk Christmas playlist
  10. Marcel Mauss’s (1925) seminal essay on gift giving  “The Gift: The form and reason for exchange in archaic societies”

    “That when an object is given as a gift, it becomes inextricably tied to the giver. To make a gift of something is to make a present of some part of oneself.”

  11. Ralph Waldo Emerson’s (1844) essay “Gifts” 
  12. A Sociologist Studied Christmas Gifts, and Here’s What He Learned (The New Republic 2013) 
  13. Gift wrapping in Japan
  14. Sociology gifts
  15. Donate to a good organization. Check out some of these websites to make sure your charity is legitimate and effective! Charity NavigatorGiveWellBBB Wise Giving AllianceGuideStarCharity Watch
  16. Sorry Megyn Kelly, Santa Claus Isn’t White (Huffington Post 2017) 
  17. What Fox News Doesn’t Understand About Santa Claus (Slate 2017) 
  18. While Coca Cola did not create the image of the elderly Santa in his red suit and black belt and jolly smile, the company played a large role in shaping the global perception of Santa through commercialization and ad campaigns.
%d bloggers like this: