Last Friday, I went to an Education conference to talk about my book Schooling, Bureaucracy, and Childhood: Bureaucratizing the Child. It is a book which emphasizes that questions whether schools can change as fast as school reformers have often wish. The point is to explain that as bureaucracies, schools are embedded in persistent habitus, which … Continue reading Karl Marx’s View on Agency and What the Individual Can Do to Effect Social Change
German is a strange language for English speakers to learn. In part this is because in most German for Foreign Speakers classes, there is a strong emphasis on the use of correct use of articles (16 ways to say the definite article “the”, and 16 more ways to say the indefinite article “a”). There is … Continue reading Speaking German Like You Work at McDonald’s (or are a Hollander)
I had some fun on Labor Day last year. My husband and I went to a Billy Joel concert on the Saturday before Labor Day, and as I listened to the Piano Man sing some of my favorite songs, I realized, his concert was perfectly suited for Labor Day, given the tone of some of … Continue reading A Late Tribute to Workers
I wrote the post below during my last semester as an adjunct instructor at a rural community college. I resurrect it here because Warren Waren over at Racism Review just published "Institutional Racism: Comparing Oscar Nominations with Higher Education Faculty." It's a must-read, especially for anti-racist White academics serving on hiring committees, as faculty and … Continue reading We’ve Always Done It This Way
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
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!
The other day, Julie wrote “Shared Governance or Managed Dissent at Chico State.” This is of course a local story for those of us writing at Ethnography.com but perhaps other places can learn something from the turmoil that Chico State is going through. Her description of the academic Senate meeting is about how adminstrators tried … Continue reading Civility is Why Administrators are Paid the Big Bucks!
Meetings are rituals, and rituals need symbols, and decorations. I’ve been to a lot of meetings in my time as an academic where I sat bored and confused, but still fulfilled my function as a decoration, and clap on cue. And to a large extent, that is what such ritual is about: clapping on cue … Continue reading Academic Meetings, Graduation Season, and a Bit from Rousseau
In 1994-1995 I helped finance and dig a mass grave on the Rwanda-Tanzania border. This happened because the refugee assistance agency I worked (TCRS) removed bodies from the Kagera River from June 1994-June 1995. Tanzanians were hired to first clean up the bodies that were there from earlier months when the genocide was occurring, and … Continue reading My Mass Grave Rediscovered!
I like to use the categories on our homepage to surf through old posts, looking for oldies but goodies to re-post on slow days. I also like to read and think about anthropology and sociology and I can count on finding something here to get my mental juices flowing. And like Mark describes below, I … Continue reading Why isn’t ethnography.com more focused on ethnography? Um, ‘cause I don’t feel like it.
This was originally published at Class Action in September 2012. Classism in Academia A little over two years ago, a student called me a ‘cunt’ in front of 38 other students. My academic employer did little to protect me and allowed a local, “progressive” paper to attack me in a newspaper/Internet article. I believe this … Continue reading Classism in Academia
In the fifth segment of the fantastic book Cloud Atlas, David Mitchell paints a picture of a future in “Corprocratic” (and post-apocalyptic) Neo Seoul, where its bored, spoiled citizens thrive on gallerias and franchises and are legally required to consume products. In Mitchell’s rationalized future, a surplus of deskilled “fabricants” perform the grunt labor of … Continue reading Corporatocracy and the McDonaldization of Work in Higher Education