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!
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.
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!
For a refresher on what Symbolic Interactionism is, check out:
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).
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!
Looking back at its historical origins, the social breakdown crew talks about liberalism and its manifestations in our contemporary world. What is “new” about neoliberalism? John Locke–a British philosopher enshrined in American legal and political doctrine–talks a lot about freedom and liberty, but for whom? To what end? What can be said about conservatism and liberalism as it relates to our sense of self and political affiliations? Join our discussion on neoliberalism and its discontents–we’re not too happy about it either.
You can find a transcript for his episode here! Thank you so so much to Elena Milusheva for helping us transcribe. You rock!
Liberalism: the perspective that all individuals must be equally allowed “civil interests,” which he defined as, “life, liberty, health, and indolency of body; and the possession of outward things, such as money, lands, houses, furniture, and the like”
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”