We’re continuing our trek through religion this week with the help of Carly, a trained theologist with a keen sociological imagination. Carly helps us understand how religion can be applied in our everyday lives, particularly within the realm of higher education, through a sociological lens. How is sociology used by ministries to understand how private troubles are evidence of public issues? And, we understand how sociologists make sense of religion, but how do those within religious institutions make sense of it? Tune in here to learn more!
Religion, church, ministry, institutions, social work, sociological imagination, COVID-19, higher education
- Check out our previous episode SOC511: Intro to Religion!
- Carly shouted out La Salle University’s campus ministry, which you can read about here.
- Learn more about Catholic social teaching here!
- Did you know that President Biden is the second Catholic president in U.S. history?
- The Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests were key discussion starters for Carly’s students. Read about them here!
- Carly recommended checking out the work of Father Richard Rohr.
- She also recommended Just Universities by Dr. Gerald Beyer.
- History and Presence by Robert Orisi is also an excellent book for folks who are interested in how a sociologist can study/engage with religion.
- Paul Rudd was named People magazine’s 2021 Sexiest Man. Carly, Ellen, and Penn would like to know his anti-aging regimine please!
- Do you organize your bookshelf by color?
Ever heard of a theory that wasn’t a theory? This week the gang tackles a difficult qualitative methodological approach called Grounded Theory, put forth by Barney Glaser and Anselm Strauss. By doing a deep dive into textual and descriptive data, the goal of this approach is to analyze data without letting previous knowledge, biases, or assumptions cloud the analysis. If you ever wondered what it was like to do hands on sociological research, then this episode is for you!
Grounded theory, theory, methodology, methods, research
Find the transcript for this episode here. Mahalo nui loa to Sam Yuan for transcribing this episode! We couldn’t do it without you!
We’ve got a special guest episode featuring Dr. Matthew Smith-Lahrman for you this week! Matt is a rock ‘n roll guru and professor at Dixie State University, and he joins us to talk about the sociology of rock music. Tune in to learn about how rock music has evolved, its role in the social construction of reality, and his favorite band, The Meat Puppets. Also, don’t forget to subscribe and give us a rating if you haven’t already. Mahalo!
Music, rock, religion, social construction, reality
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!
Christmas, rituals, traditions, religion, holidays, gift giving, culture, sociology, Emerson, Mauss, norms, Durkheim, Xmas
- The Penguin Definition of Sociology
- Durkheim’s The Elementary Forms of Religious Life
- Japanese bowing guide
- Trump mocked Obama for bowing to a Saudi king. And then he … (Washington Post 2017)
- Contributions To Churches Are Studied (New York Times 1994)
- Christmas Traditions and Customs
- History of Christmas Trees
- Mariah Carey – All I want for Christmas is You
- Chipmunk Christmas playlist
- 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.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson’s (1844) essay “Gifts”
- A Sociologist Studied Christmas Gifts, and Here’s What He Learned (The New Republic 2013)
- Gift wrapping in Japan
- Sociology gifts
- Donate to a good organization. Check out some of these websites to make sure your charity is legitimate and effective! Charity Navigator, GiveWell, BBB Wise Giving Alliance, GuideStar, Charity Watch
- Sorry Megyn Kelly, Santa Claus Isn’t White (Huffington Post 2017)
- What Fox News Doesn’t Understand About Santa Claus (Slate 2017)
- 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.