SOC604 – The Functions of Workplace Violence


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


Relevant episodes:

  1. How bullying becomes a career tool, by Susanne Tauber and Morteza Mahmoudi (2022)
  2. 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.
  3. Disparate mortality rates among black mothers
  4. Deadly Indonesia football stampede caused by tear gas
  5. The We Society Podcast
  6. America’s most violent jobs, in 5 charts
  7. A Pocket Guide to Academic Ranks
  8. 38 Hawaiian and Pidgin Phrases Every Visitor Needs to Know
  9. College Dining Workers Seize the Moment
  10. Elon Musk Fires Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal, An Executive “Escorted Out”
  11. Twitter sued in class action lawsuit over mass layoffs without proper legal notice
  12. Hundreds of employees say no to being part of Elon Musk’s ‘extremely hardcore’ Twitter

SOC 501 – “You’re a donkey!”: Food Media and Violence in Kitchens


Food media is relatively new but its popularity is without a doubt. Popular food shows such as Hell’s Kitchen have propelled chefs to fame, but at what cost? In this episode, Ellen and Penn discuss their recent viral (can we use that word?) article on how food media normalizes violent behavior in commercial kitchens. Food media that glorifies violence from psychological to sexual may have an influence on how violence is perceived in the workspace of the kitchen, ultimately making it seem ‘normal’ and at times, even necessary as a tool to manage the stress of the occupation and ensuring productivity.


Violence, normalization, commercial kitchens, workplace violence


  1. Ellen and Pennʻs article – “The Normalization of Violence in Commercial Kitchens Through Food Media”
  2. Kenji Lopez-Altʻs IG post that made us famous
  3. His book, The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science
  4. Our interview on New York magazine’s Grub Street column! “How Celebrity Chefs Warped Our View of Real-World Restaurant Abuse “I realized, this is abnormal.””
  5. Study Reveals How Shows Like Hell’s Kitchen Are Making The Restaurant Industry Worse
  6. The ‘idiot sandwich’ skit from The Late Late Show with James Corden
  7. Check out our previous podcast episode on violence: SOC110 – Violence: Nature VS Nurture
  8. The Catcher in the Rye and the shooting of John Lennon
  9. Kitchen Confidential Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly by Anthony Bourdain
  10. Taking the Heat: Women Chefs and Gender Inequality in the Professional Kitchen by Harris & Giuffre
  11. Curious about how discomfort and heat has been link with increased aggression and violence? Check out these two studies:
    1. Hot and Crowded: Influences of Population Density and Temperature on Interpersonal Affective Behavior” by Griffit and Veitch
    2. Hot Years and Serious and Deadly Assault: Empirical Test of the Heat Hypothesis” by Anderson et al.
  12. Kitchens: The Culture of Restaurant Work by Gary Alan Fine
  13. Naked ‘Nevermind’ baby sues Nirvana for ‘child pornography’
  14. Here’s our article again in case you missed it

SOC 417 Sports, Violence Against Women, and Celebrity (Guest Edition)


Violence against women in sports is a common topic in the news nowadays, with allegations of abuse and misconduct coming to light. Criminal and deviant behaviors in sports, from basketball to the NFL, happens more often than you think but what are the consequences of such behaviors? How do the institutions and actors involved respond to allegations? Do allegations of violence against women impact the career trajectory of professional athletes at all? (spoiler: nope). Join us and our guest, Daniel Sailofsky, as we discuss sports and violence, and you can fill your Social Breakdown bingo card slot marked “Capitalism”!


Sports, violence, capitalism, masculinity, celebrity status

Check out Daniel’s work!

  1. Follow Daniel on twitter!
  2. Daniel’s co-authored article: “It Will Ruin His Career”: Does Violence Against Women Really Damage the Careers of NBA Players?


  1. Everything You Need To Know About the Ray Rice Case
  2. Moneyball trailer
  3. MLB pitcher Sam Dyson suspended entire 2021 season for domestic violence
  4. MLB, MLBPA reveal domestic violence policy
  5. National Football League player conduct policy
  6. Joint NBA/NBPA policy on domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse
  7. Visuals sealed Adrian Peterson’s fate
  8. Revisiting Ben Roethlisberger’s Sexual Assault Allegations in the #MeToo Era
  9. The Last Dance | Netflix
  10. Friday Night Lights trailer
  11. Pause, rewind, play: The most epic outbursts of ‘Superbrat’ John McEnroe’s career
  12. O.J. Simpson trial
  13. Public Heroes, Private Felons: Athletes and Crimes Against Women by Benedict
  14. Michael Messner’s articles related to sociology of sports and masculinity
  15. The Rites of Men: Manhood, Politics, and the Culture of Sport by Burstyn
  16. Kristy McCray’s profile and publications
  17. Nicole Bedera’s twitter
  18. Free With Your Covid Shot: Beer, Arcade Tokens and Krispy Kreme Doughnuts

SOC206 – Intention vs. Perception: On Human Aggression


For our Halloween spooktacular, we present to you an episode on human aggression! AhhHHHH! This week we’re defining what aggression is, how it is different from violence, and where aggression stems from. Is it an innate trait, as Freud believed, or is it socially learned, as many sociologists argue? We end our talk discussing how we can reduce aggression in ourselves and others. Tune in, learn, and don’t forget to give us a rating wherever you’re listening from!


Aggression, perception, psychology, violence, nature, nurture


SOC110 – Violence: Nature VS Nurture


Violence can seem very personal and easily attributed to biological tendencies. The recent trend in mass shootings have often been explained by issues related to mental health. It’s easy to blame the individual for acts of violence, but that’s only one way of looking at violence. In sociology, violence actually takes many different forms from verbal to physical to symbolic to systemic. And sociologists have interesting theories to explain why violence occurs. This week we discuss the classic debate of nature VS nurture in regards to violence, and how theorists have posited that there is no such thing as violent individuals, but simply violent situations. Join us as we pick apart this gnarly debate!


Sociology, violence, nature, nurture, psychopaths, collective violence, mob violence


Big mahalo to Tynesha Holloway for transcribing this episode, which you can find here.


  1. Defining violence by Elizabeth Stanko (2001) 

Violence is “any form of behaviour by an individual that intentionally threatens to or does cause physical, sexual or psychological harm to others or themselves”

  1. Texas Shooter’s History Raises Questions About Mental Health And Mass Murder (NPR 2017)
  2. Symbolic Violence
    1. Pierre Bourdieu’s (1979) Distinction“It is the violence which is exercised upon a social agent with his or her complicity” 
  3. Structural Violence
    1. Johan Galtung’s Violence, Peace, and Peace Research” (1969)a form of violence wherein some social structure or social institution may harm people by preventing them from meeting their basic needs.”
  4. Hawaii Still Has a Leprosy Colony With Six Patients (The Daily Beast 2015)
  5. Donald Black’s (2010) The Behavior of Law, Special Edition
  6. Donald Black’s (2011) Moral Time
  7. Donald Black’s (2004) The Geometry of Terrorism

    “Violence might appear to be an unpredictable outburst or unexplainable explosion, but it arises with geometrical precision. It is unpredictable and unexplainable only if we seek its origins in the characteristics of individuals (such as their beliefs or frustrations) or in the characteristics of societies, communities, or other collectivities (such as their cultural values or level of inequality). But violent individuals and violent collectivities do not exist: No individual or collectivity is violent in all settings at all times, and neither individualistic nor collectivistic theories predict and explain precisely when and how violence occurs”

  8. Randal Collins’ (2009) Violence: A Micro-sociological Theory

    “violence is a set of pathways around confrontational tension and fear. Despite their bluster, and even in situations of apparently uncontrollable anger, people are tense and often fearful in the immediate threat of violence—including their own violence; this is the emotional dynamic that determines what they will do if fighting actually breaks out.”  

  9. Youths and Gun Violence: Chicago’s Challenge
  10. Nature vs Nurture in regards to violence
    1. Bad to the Bone: Are Humans Naturally Aggressive? 
    2. Why We Fight
  11. The violent gene
    1. Two genes linked with violent crime
    2. A Gene For Violence? 
  12. The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry (Jon Ronson 2012) 
  13. The Psychopath Inside: A Neuroscientist’s Personal Journey into the Dark Side of the Brain (James Fallon 2014) 
  14. Does Media Violence Lead to the Real Thing? 
  15. 2011 Stanley Cup Riot – Riots erupt in Vancouver after Canucks loss (CBC News 2011)
  16. Racism, A History 1 – Slavery To Segregation 
  17. Turner and Killian’s (1987) Collective Behavior
  18. Honolulu first US city to ban texting while crossing road 
  19. Top 5 Misconceptions About Columbus 
  20. The Truth About Thanksgiving: What They Never Taught You in School

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