Why we Make Stuff Up at Ethnography.com, and by the way, the American Anthropological Association Decided to Dissolve Itself  

Two weeks ago, we posted a really great essay by David Van Huff “A Tale Within a Tale: The Dual Nature of Ebenezer Scrooge.” David wrote this story for my class, and it helped me see Durkheim concept of the “Dual Nature” of humanity in a new way, which is why I wanted to post it. … Continue reading Why we Make Stuff Up at Ethnography.com, and by the way, the American Anthropological Association Decided to Dissolve Itself  

Remembering Martin Luther King Jr – Letter from Birmingham Jail

I remember the first time I had the horror and pleasure of reading Martin Luther King Jr's, Letter from Birmingham Jail. I was somewhere in graduate school, buried in the depth's of Taylor Branch's epic Parting the Waters, when a passage that Branch mentioned drove me to find the letter King wrote in the margins of … Continue reading Remembering Martin Luther King Jr – Letter from Birmingham Jail

Are Police “God’s Representatives on Earth?”

Max Weber writing in the early twentieth century marveled about the advantages that modern societies have over the earlier societies. One of the things Weber remarked about was the “stable peacefulness” that are found in large areas of the country protected by the police. No longer when you, your brother, or your sister were assaulted did … Continue reading Are Police “God’s Representatives on Earth?”

Celebrating Martin Luther King Jr – I Have a Dream

As a writer, I have an obsession with words, speech, poetry, songs…really, anything written or spoken or sung. My dream class to teach would be one that would analyze great speeches in history, and analyze them given their context in time and place. We would analyze one speech a week, and try to understand why … Continue reading Celebrating Martin Luther King Jr – I Have a Dream

The McDonaldization of Higher Education

George Ritzer proposed one of the most significant contemporary sociological theories when he developed the theory of McDonaldization. We have a tendency to McDonaldize, or rationalize traditional processes in Western culture. We like being able to bet on an outcome following a set pattern of small steps, that lead to a larger outcome. Through this … Continue reading The McDonaldization of Higher Education

It was “Thank Your Local Criminal Day” in My Class Today!

Today was Emile Durkheim in my Classical Social Theory class, and I was again reminded of the beauty of Durkheim’s “Crime is Necessary” thesis. Basically his thesis points out that for there to be something “normal,” there must be something deviant. Or in the context of a state, this means that for something to be … Continue reading It was “Thank Your Local Criminal Day” in My Class Today!