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!

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!

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

It’s Not How Many Times You Fall….

I began writing my dissertation in 2003 or so. My first year in graduate school at Kansas State University, I had the good fortune of enrolling in Dr. Robert K. Schaeffer's graduate Social Change course. When Dr. Schaeffer assigned the requisite term paper due in every graduate level course I have ever taken, he gave … Continue reading It’s Not How Many Times You Fall….

Almonds in the Desert

August 2nd, 2015   This is the principle reason why California has a water shortage: agriculture where it shouldn't be. One side of the freeway is the natural, unirrigated terrain; the other side is irrigated almonds. We should never be growing luxury crops in desert climates. We're in the San Joaquin Valley. There's no natural … Continue reading Almonds in the Desert

Is There Humor Hiding in the Translations of Bourdieu or Weber?

There’s an interesting discussion about how to translate Bourdieu from French to English at the Scatterplot blog. In English at least (I don’t read French), the translations of Bourdieu often seem circular and confusing. What Steve Valsey seems to be asking is, is this really necessary? His answer is no, and he offers a translation … Continue reading Is There Humor Hiding in the Translations of Bourdieu or Weber?

Where in the world is…Marianne?

I fell off the face of Ethnography.com last Spring, the result of committing myself to completing my dissertation, teaching 5 classes, parenting, a few health issues that needed to be taken care of, and the coming summer, which was filled with lots of camping and traveling with my family. We spent nearly a month trekking … Continue reading Where in the world is…Marianne?

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

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Stigma, and Learned Helplessness

Does the stigmatized individual assume his differentness is known about already or is evident on the spot, or does he assume it is neither known about by those present nor immediately perceivable by them? In the first case one deals with the plight of the discredited, in the second with that of the discreditable. This is … Continue reading Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Stigma, and Learned Helplessness

Max Weber on the Politics of Wives

One of the weaknesses of Classical Social Theory is that it deals poorly with the nature of gender and the family (for exceptions see Mary Wollstonecraft and Harriett Martineau). In two places in his essay “Politics as Vocation,” though Max Weber brings up the subject of wives. The first reference is near the beginning of … Continue reading Max Weber on the Politics of Wives