Karl Marx’s View on Agency and What the Individual Can Do to Effect Social Change

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

Does the Chinese Government Fund PhD Dissertation in Christian Theology???

I have been staying in Germany the last few weeks, hanging around academic types. Two that I came across were Chinese PhD students are studying at German Schools of Theology. Christian theology. One is trying to figure out the nature of Eschatology in a Chinese context. Eschatology is about the what happens to people after … Continue reading Does the Chinese Government Fund PhD Dissertation in Christian Theology???

Batman and George Orwell Philosophize, or is it best to be a wimp and a fool, or just a fool?

     Colonial Burma has a strange hold on the colonial British imagination—it is a remote and exotic place where the British were not very successful in holding sway. And the place it emerges occasionally is in the inability of the west to “understand” the east. Alfred Pennyworth, Bruce Wayne’s butler in the film Batman Returns (2008) … Continue reading Batman and George Orwell Philosophize, or is it best to be a wimp and a fool, or just a fool?

Asking How Many Children Your Mother Has is a Complicated Survey Question!

I am teaching a Population class here in Chico, California, this semester. Sometime during the class, I generally  ask students about how many children there are in their families, and what their own fertility intentions are.  To avoid the complications of the modern family, divorce, remarriage, and so forth, I break it into three questions, … Continue reading Asking How Many Children Your Mother Has is a Complicated Survey Question!

The Connection between Crime and Immigration: A Complicated but not Conflicted Issue

This blog was originally posted in 2010.  However, the issues raised I think are timeless.  "Debates" about crime and immigration reappear it the presses around the world periodically, usually without much context.  Rather a person who happens to be an immigrant is caught doing a crime, and then inferences is made to all members of a … Continue reading The Connection between Crime and Immigration: A Complicated but not Conflicted Issue

How the Rich Educate Their Children: A Tale of a Swiss Hogwarts Academy

  Schools primarily teach vocabulary and inflection, styles of dress, aesthetic tastes, values, and manners only 1 percent of American teenagers attend independent private high schools of an upper class nature. (G. William Domhoff Who Rules America? 1998, 80–81).   The schools for the “1 percent” of teenagers, in America or elsewhere, are isolated from … Continue reading How the Rich Educate Their Children: A Tale of a Swiss Hogwarts Academy

Prison Vignette: Educators Only Whisper in a Custody World

This is an extract from our book Prison Vocational Education in the United States.  Palgrave MacMillan 2016, by Andrew J. Dick, William Rich, and Tony Waters.   The passivity of the education administrators was at first striking, but I came to understand it as a normal response to this system where the concept of safety … Continue reading Prison Vignette: Educators Only Whisper in a Custody World

“Building Bildung,” and Other Improbabilities among German University Undergrads

  German has two words for the English word “education.”  Erziehung describes the school system, and the mechanics of what is taught and conveyed from the world of adults to that of children in order to “bring them up.”  Focus is on skills adults need like literacy, numeracy, history, and the factual basis citizens need … Continue reading “Building Bildung,” and Other Improbabilities among German University Undergrads

A Reading of “On the Back of the Greyhound Dog: The Golden Sunshine” By ‘Rong Wongsawan

Translated by Tony Waters, Jiranan Sirikunpahisan (Taew), Airin Horatschek (Airin), Kwanjira Wiwattana (Palm), Mayweya Koryaklang (Fang), Kuansiree Suanek (Meaw), Supon Phonchatchawankun (Su), Thirawit Pung-nagm (Thor), Krittaporn Ruankaew (Yo), Hande Yilmaz (Hande), Sasithorn Katika (Cake), Nattaporn Chantajitpreecha (Nati) Note:  This is a translation by a Thai author, 'Rong Wongsawan about his trip in California in 1976. … Continue reading A Reading of “On the Back of the Greyhound Dog: The Golden Sunshine” By ‘Rong Wongsawan

Graduation Season, and Graduation Songs, from “Free Bird” to “Onward Christian Soldiers”

Here is a test on graduation songs. I have actually been to many graduations, and each of them has special songs performed. Most of them I have long-since forgotten. But four of them I remember. Here are some of the places I have been to graduations. See if you can match the song with the … Continue reading Graduation Season, and Graduation Songs, from “Free Bird” to “Onward Christian Soldiers”

Vanity as an Occupational Disease–Of Politicians (and everyone else)!

My wife and I recently completed re-translating Max Weber’s classic essay “Politics as Vocation” which is part of a book Weber’s Rationalism and Modern Society. The essay is about how the nature of politics, which is about the exercise of power, creates the type of human-being who is accustomed to telling other people what to … Continue reading Vanity as an Occupational Disease–Of Politicians (and everyone else)!

Max Weber was a funny guy!

That’s right, Max Weber, the dour looking social theorist on the cover of your social theory text made jokes. How do I know this? Well, my wife and I just published a new book Weber’s Rationalism: New Translations on Politics, Bureaucracy, and Social Stratification, and this post is an essay about why you should read … Continue reading Max Weber was a funny guy!