Why was it more important when Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon, rather than the farmer Julius Agricolus? The Tattooed Professor rants about dependent variables

Kevin Gannon the Tattooed Professor went on a rant recently about the nature of historical knowledge and explanatory independent variables. Here is one of his pithier observations about how facts become historical facts: In other words, the stuff that happened in the past isn’t by itself history. History is when that stuff–which is promoted to … Continue reading Why was it more important when Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon, rather than the farmer Julius Agricolus? The Tattooed Professor rants about dependent variables

Caddish Behavior as Described by Max Weber: Ethics, Romantic Love, and the Versailles Treaty Negotiations of 1919

In this extract from Max Weber’s classic essay “Politics as Vocation.” Max Weber is about to let loose regarding the insistence of the victorious Allies of World War I that Germany accept fault for starting the war in 1914, and feel “guilty” for doing so. He doesn’t like this, and compares it to the ethics … Continue reading Caddish Behavior as Described by Max Weber: Ethics, Romantic Love, and the Versailles Treaty Negotiations of 1919

“Teach Like You Do in America,” While Still Doing it the Tanzanian Way!

The first time I was told to “teach like you do in America” was in 2003-2004 in Tanzania where I was a Fulbright Scholar at the Sociology Department at the University of Dar Es Salaam (see Waters 2007). UDSM is a large sprawling African university, spread across “The Hill” near the Indian Ocean coast. UDSM … Continue reading “Teach Like You Do in America,” While Still Doing it the Tanzanian Way!

The Fallacy of “Workforce Ready” in Public Education

The United States was set back on its heels in the 1930s by the Great Depression. As a result, the United States charged the high schools with making the children “workforce ready.” The hope was that the schools could train children for the workforce of tomorrow—i.e. the 1940s—when the manufacturing base of the United States … Continue reading The Fallacy of “Workforce Ready” in Public Education

Here is Why You Should Not Listen to Popular Music–But Will Anyway!

One of my favorite sociological essays is Teodor Adorno’s 1941 “On Popular Music.” Adorno didn’t much like the popular music he heard on the radio in Los Angeles, and said so. He found it simplistic, monotonous, limited and manipulative. With an emphasis on manipulative. For besides being a classically trained musician, Adorno was also a … Continue reading Here is Why You Should Not Listen to Popular Music–But Will Anyway!

Comprehensive Firearms Education

A few years ago, one of my colleagues called to ask me a favor. She was organizing a "Town Hall Debate" about legalizing marijuana, and was having a difficult time finding someone from the university to sit on the panel who would argue in favor of legalizing marijuana. It took me a few seconds, but … Continue reading Comprehensive Firearms Education

True Believers and Personality Tests

I used to be a true believer in the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). I can’t remember when I first encountered the 93 question test but it was probably during grad school. I was at my height of believing in it though, when I was part of a two-year leadership development program at my old job. … Continue reading True Believers and Personality Tests

Cowboy Nation

A few nights ago, my husband and I saw the new sci-fi film, The Martian. We arrived early, grabbed our pairs of 3D glasses and set off to find seats, towards the back and on the aisle. I’d felt somewhat nervous as we sat there, paranoid with thoughts about Thursday’s mass shooting in Oregon and … Continue reading Cowboy Nation

The Problem With “Teaching Like You Do in America” While Abroad

What are the limits to globalization? Does it apply to the university systems of the world, or is one university system just about the same as every other? My experience is that at least for sociology, it is not “always just the same. I have taught abroad in Tanzania and Germany, and in each place, … Continue reading The Problem With “Teaching Like You Do in America” While Abroad

More Drama at Chico State: Bullies, Bullying, Administrative Power, Incivility, Cheese Cubes, and Cookies!

The meeting about shared governance at Chico State that Julie attended and reported on here at Ethnography.com "Shared Governance or Managed Dissent," in the form of a letter from California State University Chancellor Timothy White has run into a brick wall.  The dispute has turned into an argument over the meaning of the word "civility," and … Continue reading More Drama at Chico State: Bullies, Bullying, Administrative Power, Incivility, Cheese Cubes, and Cookies!