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

What Your Teeth Tell Me About Your Social Class

A recent sorority recruitment video from the University of Alabama last month was critically received on the internet for what some claimed were racist overtones. The nearly all-white, bikini and lingerie clad sorority sisters portrayed pranced happily throughout the over-5 minute long video, never opening a book, attending a class, or even appearing to be … Continue reading What Your Teeth Tell Me About Your Social Class

Globalization and Mlitary Honor: The Dedication of a Statue of the Hmong General Vang Pao in California

I stopped by the dedication of the new statue of the Hmong General Vang Pao at the Chico City Hall near my university on Saturday. General Vang Pao led the Hmong forces which were allied with the United States during the “Secret War” that the CIA conducted in the country of Laos between about 1960 … Continue reading Globalization and Mlitary Honor: The Dedication of a Statue of the Hmong General Vang Pao in California

One Year After the Death of Marc Thompson

One year ago today, Marc Thompson, Chico, California area activist, student of sociology, was found murdered in a burning car in a remote area outside the small town of Oroville, California where he had grown up. The murder shocked and saddened the many people who knew and loved Marc in the area. The story is here.

Artichokes

By Guest Writer: N. Jeanne Burns A friend said recently that one definitive marker of social class is whether you know how to eat an artichoke. This probably isn't true for migrant farmworkers who toil in or around Castroville, California, the self-proclaimed "Artichoke Capital of the World." Or even for people who grew up on … Continue reading Artichokes

The Three Gifts of Tenure

I will say it up front. Tenure is cool, and the opposite, “contingent” employment, really sucks. I was an adjunct for about two years in the 1990s, and I know from first hand experience that it sucked. Why? Well there were a couple of reasons. First, was that I was constantly on the job market, … Continue reading The Three Gifts of Tenure

Social Class and Food from Around the Web

I grew up eating what the educated like to call "junk" food and "trash" food, mostly it was "poor food," that came from boxes and cans. It wasn't always like this in my family, we had short periods of feast and long periods of famine, and when times were good (my mom "marrying up') we … Continue reading Social Class and Food from Around the Web

Monetizing Mindfulness

Maybe the word “mindfulness” is like the Prius emblem, a badge of enlightened and self-satisfied consumerism, and of success and achievement. If so, not deploying mindfulness — taking pills or naps for anxiety, say, or going out to church or cocktails — makes you look sort of backward or classless. Like driving a Hummer. I … Continue reading Monetizing Mindfulness

Classism in Academia

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

How Class Differences Shape Love and Marriage

I just ordered and am very excited to soon be reading, The Power of the Past: Understanding Cross-Class Marriages by Jessi Streib. Books about marriage are plentiful but an ethnographic account of cross-class marriages is something new. If you click this link, it will direct you to a Washington Post article written by Streib that gives you a … Continue reading How Class Differences Shape Love and Marriage

The Best Carnitas Ever

The Best Carnitas Ever was originally published at www.norcalblogs.com.  We are in search of authentic? Mexican cuisine without the upset digestive track that we have been warned of multiple times before arriving in Cabo. The last few evenings, we grilled steak and giant red and yellow bell peppers on the oversized grill by the pool; the … Continue reading The Best Carnitas Ever

The Ultimate Privilege

My mother would have called me a picky eater, if the term had been popular when I was a kid in the early 1980s; instead, people often said I was spoiled. I turned my nose up to onions, didn't care for orange juice, and had a physical aversion to ground meat (that was my mother's … Continue reading The Ultimate Privilege