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
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!
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!
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!
We’re baaaaacck! Welcome to the start of our 5th school year together. (Yep, you read that right: *fifth* year!) We’re getting things going with a quick talk story session between Omar and Ellen about the symbolic meanings of life in 2022. Vaccines, Manti Te’o, masks, Liz Cheney, Britney Spears, Joe Biden– each of these things and people hold a plethora of meanings to each of us, and shape how we interact with them. Tune in to catch up with us, and see if you share the same meanings as us!
Symbols, symbolic interactionism, COVID-19, masking, politics, pop culture
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
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!
Sociology is obviously concerned about connecting private troubles to public issues, as C. Wright Mills once said. Sociologists are also deeply interested in the relationships between people, and the intimate relationships we have with family members. This week, we have a fantastic guest, Dr. Sarah Patterson, who is helping us make sense of these connections. Sarah will be talking with us about families, family demography, and Intergenerational Solidarity Theory. What makes families work or struggle through their interactions? And do families promote positive social solidarity among all its members? Come join us for the conversation!
You find Sarah on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/spattersearch
And find her research at: http://thespattersearch.com
Check out the podcast she co-hosts, New Books Network’s Sociology
I-Fen Lin and Hsueh-Sheng Wu’s 2017 article on how children tend to overreport the time and money they spend on their parents, “Intergenerational Transfer and Reporting Bias: An Application of the MIMIC Model”
Also, here is a source on family solidarity after a parent has passed (a question Ellen posed mid way through the conversation) that Sarah emailed us after we finished recording, from Matthijs Kalmijn and Thomas Leopold titled, “Changing Sibling Relationships After Parents’ Death: The Role of Solidarity and Kinkeeping”
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.