Tuesday, December 31, 2013
"I imagine you already know that I am much more socialistic in my economic theory than capitalistic. And yet I am not so opposed to capitalism that I have failed to see its relative merits. It started out with a noble and high motive, viz., to block the trade monopolies of nobles, but like most human systems it fell victim to the very thing it was revolting against. So today capitalism has out-lived its usefulness. It has brought about a system that takes necessities from the masses to give luxuries to the classes."
Source: page 36 in The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr. Edited by Clayborne Carson (1998). Grand Central Publishing.
Monday, December 30, 2013
At 7:00, I got a phone call from Ron. He never made it to the movie. He told me he would get dropped off in 45 minutes at a bar on Main and Transit. I knew which one so there I went. I stood in the crowded bar, sipped a pint, and watched the Sabres game. It's another wasted season, so who cares, but you go through the motions pretending that you do. I finished the pint and waited outside in the cold until Ron got dropped off.
We met one of our friends at a cool new bar in downtown Buffalo, a bar with just the right colors and the perfect price for a bottle of wine. We drank a lot of wine and mostly kept to ourselves. It was my kind of night. Other than small talking with bartenders, we minded our own business and talked to each other about all the stuff we usually do. After a few hours the place began to empty out, so we figured we'd head elsewhere to finish the night. We ended up in the loudest bar of my life on Elmwood Avenue, where the DJ set a new and absurd standard for volume. This was no place for 40-year-olds. But it's good to find yourself in a place you don't belong once in a while. We had one drink and left to get some late night eats. Pano's had just closed, why, I'll never know. I thought that place never closed. So we ended up at ETS where Ron devoured a steak and cheese sub and a bunch of extra saucy and rather hot chicken wings. Sauce all over his face, he paused for a moment to quietly say "This is exactly what I needed." It cracked me up. Meanwhile, I ate a terrible chicken burrito. As for our friend, he fell asleep with his head suspended in air. That's his customary behavior late at night. I half expected to run into a student and was ready to explain why I was hanging out at 2:00 in the morning. Students don't expect to see their professors at certain times or places. After eating we crashed on couches at our friend's apartment. I tossed and turned until 7:00, probably getting about an hour of actual sleep. I don't like being away from my family. I left at 7:00 to get croissants and muffins for my wife and kids, and headed home to resume my life. I'm a creature of routine and habit.
It was a fun and simple night, just the way I like it. No missteps, no shenanigans. I'm getting too old for shenanigans, I think. The trick for me is to try to enjoy life rather than study it. I've always liked observing more than participating. I'm thankful to the people in my life who help me actually live it rather than just watch it.
Author's note: most of this story is true. A few details have been altered.
Sunday, December 29, 2013
Source: pages 3-4 in The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr. Edited by Clayborne Carson (1998). Grand Central Publishing.
Saturday, December 14, 2013
"For many urban creative professionals these days, it’s not unusual to scroll through one’s Instagram feed and feel suffocated by fabulousness"
"Envy, of course, doesn’t operate in a social vacuum. It needs an object of desire. And everyone, it seems, has that friend on Instagram: the one with the perfect clothes and the perfect hair and seemingly perfect life — which seem all the more perfect when rendered in the rich teals and vivid ambers of Instagram’s filters."
I must say, I like the Goffmanesque phrase "stage-managing impulse" that is used in the article. No doubt there are lots of times we want just the right picture. We carefully arrange the details to get the right effect. We try to capture happy in a picture frame, to paraphrase the Steely Dan song "Any World (That I'm Welcome To)." I tried to convey this point in a previous blog post "Making Family Memories." Yes indeed, it feels good to gain approval from our network. But life goes on when we don't receive approval. And I bet most folks manage to be happy enough even if they're not "fabulous." Lots of folks run in social circles without much fabulousness or awesomesaucesness. I'm one of them. I live my life without much awesome to present to the world. Like others, I feel a bit of envy here and there. But no cause for Instagram Panic.
You can probably tell I wrote this a bit envy in cheek. I am somewhat relaxed and relieved now that the Fall 2013 semester is coming to a close. There are final exams to give and grade, but I'm almost done. So I'm having a little fun here.
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
I drew this stick figure recently when I showed a documentary during class. I usually take notes when I show a film during class. This time, I just felt like making a self-portrait. It also serves as commentary about different things that people might be doing during class. Simply put, our attention is divided. It always has been and always will be. Students can text, doodle, and daydream. I can ask students to put away their texting machines, but I can't ask them to stop daydreaming. I would like their attention, and I try to maintain it, but I can't command it.
I have tried different approaches during the texting era. One semester I asked students to help me craft a mobile device policy. The semester didn't turn out much differently than when I had a customary policy on my syllabus asking students not to use their devices during class. In other words, the semester was kind of like any other: some students didn't use their phones during class, others did.
I think Nathan Palmer makes a good point about this subject when he writes: "I’m not sold on the idea that the time and energy it takes to get students to put away their phones is really worth it." I agree with Nathan that I don't want to use up my goodwill by policing students' cell phone use. My views on this issue might change in the future. For now, I'm lenient about cell phones in the classroom and my approach is to let students figure out for themselves if its in their best interest to text during class. My judgment, at this time, is that the occasional use of devices during class for non-class purposes does not interfere in a significant way with the process of learning. And I like having the ability to prompt students to use their devices to investigate something we're talking about during a class session.
Research confirms what we already know if we spend any time at all in a classroom: students often use their devices during class for non-class purposes. We can try to prohibit the use of devices. We can be lenient about devices. We can encourage students to make use of their devices for class purposes. There are lots of things we can do. If we're lenient, it doesn't automatically mean that all device use is acceptable. There are cases when we might judge a student's use of a device to be too distracting to other people in the room.
@Studygirl_1 @pegodaaj distraction is the deal-breaker tho, any device use in class that becomes distracting to me or others is an issueI don't think there is a single answer or "best practice" for what to do about devices in the classroom. Instructors have to determine what they think is the best approach for the learning environment they want to create in their classroom.
— Rhonda Ragsdale (@profragsdale) October 27, 2013
@CreateSociology I don't mid stopping for a min so they can tweet something or look something up - it gives time 4 the learning 2 breatheI think it's good when students are exposed to a variety of policies. And I think it makes sense for instructors to experiment with different ways of handling the situation. It helps me to share information and compare notes on how we respond to students using devices during class time. I'm always interested in hearing what other instructors and students think about this matter. I hope instructors and students will add their comments to this post. I'm interested in what kind of policy you prefer: "strict," "flexible," or whatever else you have tried or experienced. I like to think we're doing the best we can to figure this out together.
— Rhonda Ragsdale (@profragsdale) October 28, 2013
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Saturday, November 2, 2013
Howard Becker, Outsiders: Studies in the Sociology of Deviance. Excerpt from the chapter "Labelling Theory Reconsidered," pp. 204-205 in the edition I have (New York: The Free Press, 1997). The chapter is based on a paper presented at the British Sociological Association in April, 1971.
Thursday, October 10, 2013
I highly recommend showing this film to students. The first part of the film focuses on reactions that women get in public and from family members. One woman in the film talks about the frustration of being stopped by strangers who ask about her tattoos: "I'm not a mannequin that you can just come up and look at the merchandise," she says. Another participant in the film used the phrase "tattoo etiquette" in saying that the public hasn't yet figured out how to respond to people with a lot of tattoos.
A really interesting part of the film shows disapproval from family members. There's a great scene featuring the filmmaker with her mother. One of the tattoos Thompson has is of her father, who doesn't know she has tattoos. "If he found out," her mother says, "he'd probably have a heart attack." In an interview of another mother and daughter, the daughter says she wants to get a tattoo of her mother. The mother replies: "No...It's no good for me.....Do it when I die."
Another excellent section of the film focuses on the experiences of women as tattoo artists. They talk about breaking into what has traditionally been a male industry. One tattooist talks about not always being taken seriously when customers walk through the door. She says: "Even today, after almost thirty years, sometimes I'll be tattooing a man, and people will walk in, and they'll ask the man the question." Another tattooist mentions that she is asked "Do you tattoo guys?" She laughs and wonders if people ever ask male artists if they tattoo women. On the other hand, artists talk about the positive response they get as tattooists. One says that women are more comfortable getting tattooed by women (especially in a "risque" area of their body). Another artist notes there are "possessive husbands or boyfriends that won't let a man touch their girlfriends or wives." An artist suggests that the stigma around women tattooists has lessened since she began her career. So the industry landscape has changed and continues to change.
When I ask students to respond to the film, I hear several different comments, but have observed a few themes. Some students will say they like tattoos if they have meaning.These students dislike "random" tattoos. This usually leads to other students jumping in and saying that all tattoos have meaning, even when the meaning is not obvious and apparent. Other students wonder if it's possible to get a job if they are heavily tattooed. That sentiment leads to good discussion and elicits different perspectives. Students have also talked about disapproval from family members after getting tattoos. Others beam with pride when they talk about their tattoos and the tattoos they would like to get in the future. In all, the film opens the door for students to think about the sociology of tattoos. I love the film and am inspired by the creative approach Thompson takes to doing sociology.
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
P.S. On a more serious note, America is a low-wage society.
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
After the Bills earned a surprising victory against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday (September 29), I listened to some of the post-game chatter on local radio station WGR 550. I heard host Sal Capaccio (@SalSports) draw attention to the insults that fantasy football fans were hurling at Bills running back C.J. Spiller on Twitter. What he said on the radio is similar to what he wrote on Twitter:
I love fantasy football too. But search for "CJ Spiller" on Twitter, you'll see the shallow end of the gene pool simply bc of a fantasy gameOn the radio, Capaccio sounded genuinely outraged at what people were tweeting about Spiller. He didn't want to repeat what people were saying on Twitter. He pretty much suggested that listeners see for themselves. In all, Capaccio came off as sincere in condemning people who said hostile things about Spiller. And why were fantasy football fans upset at Spiller? He rushed for 77 yards against the Ravens without scoring a touchdown--not a good day in fantasy football land. From my perspective, Spiller played fine. Aside from regularly playing with injuries, Spiller recently has had to cope with a tragedy involving a family member. With this in mind, I don't think most fans of the Buffalo Bills would be angry with Spiller for "only" rushing for 77 yards. But Fantasy Football fans play by different rules. They apparently get very serious and angry if players on their fantasy teams don't perform in a way that satisfies them.
— Sal Capaccio (@SalSports) September 29, 2013
Out of curiosity, I searched "CJ Spiller fantasy football" and other similar phrases on Twitter and saw a range of reactions to Spiller's performance against the Ravens. I won't embed the negative tweets in this post. You can do the same search if you want to see what people have said (and are still saying) about Spiller. Instead of the actual tweets, here are some examples of what came up in my search:
-"I hate you CJ Spiller."
-"Thanks for nothing CJ Spiller."
-"Do you enjoy being a shitty fantasy football player and tanking your career?"
-"Thank you for getting hurt and being a horseshit fantasy player."
-"Get your shit together, you're killing my fantasy team."
-"You need to get it together and get me more fantasy points bro."
-"CJ Spiller is the absolute worst first round fantasy pick in history. I hope he tears his ACL so I can force myself to bench him."
There are actually ones more hostile than what I've included. I wasn't shocked to find that people write things like this on Twitter. What did surprise me was that many of them were tweeted at C.J. Spiller. Until I searched, I didn't know that people actually say these things directly to the players. I suppose this means that some people feel entitled to say hostile things to players via Twitter.
Also interesting, though, was to see a lot of people tweeting supportive things about Spiller. By comparison, it looks as though there might actually be more people writing positive things about Spiller and directly to Spiller. Here are a few examples of people keeping it positive (and notice that Spiller seems to be taking this in stride and able to put it in perspective):
@CJSPILLER you're on my fantasy team and I still got love for you!! #RollTigers #BeatCuse
— Greg Toggweiler (@gregtoggweiler) September 30, 2013
@CJSPILLER I got you on my fantasy team but I'm not sweating it. A #Bills win is more important to me. #youstilltheman #allaboutwins
— Hazem Zaki (@_SportsNut) September 30, 2013
Football players probably don't get enough credit for how they handle personal attacks. Even accounting for the point that professional football players are public figures, and taking into consideration that being on Twitter makes it possible for fans to communicate with players in a nasty manner, this does not mean that players deserve to be spoken to in such terrible ways. But I am probably just a naive person who thinks that people should be treated with respect and dignity. I suppose that's a fantasy too.
Sunday, September 1, 2013
It's rare for me to see MSNBC airing in local establishments. MSNBC projects something resembling the liberal viewpoint, however 'liberal' is to be understood when presented by a corporate-cable news entertainment operation. MSNBC hosts and pundits don't always flatter President Obama and other Democrats. But the channel tends to give Democrats the benefit of the doubt in its construction of 'progressive' politics and viewpoints. MSNBC, in a 'lean forward' corporate way, sends signals about politics and culture that are qualitatively different than those that come from Fox News.
The most recent instance of seeing Fox News on a screen in public was when I went to a diner with my family. I'd never been to the diner before. We were seated at a booth. Two big TV screens were easy for me to see: a local news station on one and Fox News on the other. A music station was playing, so the TVs were muted. So one screen was Fox News (known for sensational headlines and coverage obviously unflattering to President Obama and anything approximating the liberal cause). The juxtaposition was interesting: local news doing what local news does (crime stories, pet stories, profiles of local businesses, weather forecasts) alongside Fox News (consistent undermining of President Obama and other Democrat politicians).
I'm not sure what place Fox News has in a diner. Or a supermarket. If you're wondering, it's not MSNBC that I want to see on these screens. The torso and head of Chris Hayes or Ed Schultz doesn't naturally fit into a diner or supermarket scheme either. I don't walk into a coffee shop hoping to see Morning Joe on the screen ("brewed by Starbucks"). I don't know any self-described liberal who eagerly anticipates the next opinion from Ed Rendell or Eugene Robinson. Corporate cable news-entertainment from any station at the pub and elsewhere in public feels to me like an intrusion; an unwanted and unnecessary infusion of politics into my everyday life.
All of this to say: It used to be that television screens were reserved for sports bars and airports, now they appear in more and more places where I live, and usually set to Fox News. Why? To what effect?
I hope a few readers will share observations. What is it like in your daily life--TVs set to The Weather Channel, ESPN, local news, or something else? How do you feel about what's on? In terms of the stations that are on, what messages do you think are being sent to patrons?
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
To an extent, then, this is what celebrities do: they pursue attention. So I mostly looked at Cyrus' performance in the context of celebrity behavior. In the first 'highlights' I saw, parts of Cyrus' performance were shown after clips of Lady Gaga in various costumes. Cyrus and Gaga are both very good at staying relevant and being in the news. Notice they are often trending topics on Twitter. So my first reaction was to view their performances as part of a competition to gather the spotlight.
I still think Cyrus' performance can be partly understood as a major attention grab, but there's much more to it. I think the racial dimension has to be accounted for, something I had not initially considered. It was when I read this piece that I began to grasp how the performance must also be understood in racial terms. And then I read this analysis by Tressie McMillan Cottom. Toward the end of her piece, she writes: "I am not surprised that so many overlooked this particular performance of brown bodies as white amusement parks in Cyrus' performance." It's a really deep analysis that helps me think more critically about the performance. Another important read about Cyrus, written a few months ago by Dodai Stewart, provides context about twerking and discusses how Cyrus, in a video, uses black women "as props, a background for her to shine in front of."
So there's a lot to consider and think through. There are many ways to analyze Cyrus' performance. This article by Emily Heist Moss focuses on gender and power. As I've tried to show by compiling these analyses, the Cyrus performance is not simply a case of 'Hannah Montana' crafting her image and getting attention. This is a complicated story with profound race, gender, and power dimensions.
Elite media figures who have focused their energy on sounding an alarm along the lines of "Think of the children" (Mika Brzezinski comes to mind) miss bigger picture points identified in the articles to which I've linked.
As a final point, Robin Thicke shouldn't escape criticism. He walked slowly on stage to join Cyrus in the performance. There he was, Mr. Cool in a pinstriped suit, singing and 'dancing' with Cyrus during his sexist song "Blurred Lines." Let's not forget this popular song contains the lyrics "I know you want it." Cyrus stole the show at the Video Music Awards. I think that's why so much criticism (warranted) has been directed at her. Thicke deserves criticism too, for being part of the performance and for bringing even more attention to a degrading song.
Monday, August 19, 2013
What is missing from these Facebook posts? Any talk about sex. It seems, unfortunately, that no one in my wife's social network is having sex. To be more precise, no one ever says anything about sex. One night my wife joked "I'm going to put on Facebook, 'Going to bed, but not going to sleep'" and we cracked up because even the slightest subtle reference to the possibility of engaging in sexual activity would breach Facebook norms (at least in her network).
I will go ahead and guess that talking about sex is not taboo in everybody's social network. Surely there are folks who air out their sexual laundry on Facebook. But for those who belong to a network where the norm is to avoid any reference to sexual activity, it would make for a good breaching experiment to post "I have the best sex life ever" or "Haven't had sex in forever" or really anything that has to do with having sex.
This post is not an awkward invitation to tell your Facebook friends about your sex life. Rather, this topic is a reminder that life is an information game, to paraphrase Erving Goffman from the introduction of The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life. We share information about ourselves but not all our information. This is part of the process of face-to-face interaction. It's also the case on Facebook--where we tell people our story but not our full story--a point effectively conveyed here by Nathan Jurgenson.
Friday, August 16, 2013
As I've written before, when we teach strain theory I think the main objective is to get students to think critically about the disjunction between cultural goals and the approved means for obtaining those goals. I love thinking about the cultural goals and talking with students about what those goals supposedly are. My students give a variety of answers when I ask questions like "How important is making money in this culture?" and "How important is it to you to make money in your life?" Questions like these get us engaged in the topic and lead us to the various deviant responses that Merton delineated: innovation, ritualism, retreatism, and rebellion.
Thursday, August 15, 2013
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
So that's it. Trust me, everyday is not an index card day. Like any other technique, it can go stale if it's overused. It's just another tool in the box that helps keep class discussions going. And keep in mind this is a great way to involve shy students in the discussion. If I read 15-20 cards from the pile, I've most likely included cards written by students who tend to be quiet in class. So this is a way to increase contributions across the board.
If you've never done this, give it a try and let me know how it went. And please share your ideas for stimulating participation.
Monday, August 12, 2013
"Whoever our leaders will be as we approach the twenty-first century, their challenge will be to help Americans determine whether a genuine multiracial democracy can be created and sustained in an era of global economy and a moment of xenophobic frenzy.
Let us hope and pray that the vast intelligence, imagination, humor, and courage of Americans will not fail us. Either we learn a new language of empathy and compassion, or the fire this time will consume us all." (Vintage Books edition, 1994, p. 13).So that's the thought for the day, along with a question: who are our leaders?
Thursday, July 11, 2013
According to Wendy's website, the Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger is 680 calories. The sodium content is 1110 mg, almost as much as recommended daily levels.
I politely decline the invitation to try this cheeseburger.
Wednesday, July 10, 2013
Thursday, July 4, 2013
"America the Beautiful" is a fictional story about the future of society. The topics are immigration, social class, physical appearance, media, education, and inequality. Click here for a less than perfect PDF file that I made.
And this is "Iron Cage Tattoo," a story designed to creatively introduce students to Max Weber's ideas about bureaucracy. Click here for another imperfect PDF.
I encourage your comments about these stories, so don't hesitate to e-mail (email@example.com) or tweet me (@CreateSociology).
Finally, click here for my description of the book and what motivated me to write it.
Thursday, June 20, 2013
The real reason Paula Deen's in the news is not because she's racist, but because she broke the unwritten rules about how to be racist now.
— Teju Cole (@tejucole) June 19, 2013
Deen's comically nostalgic version of racism is absolutely inconsequential compared to, say, the war on drugs.
— Teju Cole (@tejucole) June 19, 2013
slave ship es-cargo-t #PaulasBestDishes
— Crystal Fleming (@alwaystheself) June 20, 2013
— Kevin A. Browne (@drbrowne) June 20, 2013
Sage Against The Machine #PaulaWontCookIt
— Trillma Dinkley (@NaniCoolJ) June 20, 2013
Irony: Paula Deen & Sons discovered the Neelys, which was the 1st Black show on Food Network (at least in recent memory). #PaulasBestDishes
— Brittney Cooper (@ProfessorCrunk) June 20, 2013
Ida Beef Wellington #paulawontcookit
— Brittney Cooper (@ProfessorCrunk) June 20, 2013
Freedom Fries #paulawontcookit
— DR.BROWN-DEAN (@KBDPHD) June 20, 2013
This Los Angeles Times article wondered if the Food Network will cut ties with Deen. The article references a statement from the Food Network which reads: "Food Network does not tolerate any form of discrimination and is a strong proponent of diversity and inclusion. We will continue to monitor the situation."
As it quickly turned out, the Food Network moved fast and fired Deen.
This led sociologist Crystal Fleming to make the following observation:
The sole reason #pauladeen got fired is because of Twitter. Period. In the 90s, she would've recovered w/ an apology.And for those who are wondering why all of this matters, this article is a good place to start.
— Crystal Fleming (@alwaystheself) June 22, 2013
As Rashawn Ray tweets, this story is not just about the use of a vicious racial slur. It is also about workplace discrimination.
The Paula Dean situation is about much more than the Nword. It's about worker discrimination. #PaulaDeanTVShowsTo read about how Deen's employees have accused her of discrimination, and to think about the importance of fair labor practices, see this article at Crunk Feminist Collective.
— Rashawn Ray (@SociologistRay) June 24, 2013
Friday, May 24, 2013
Schoepflin is pretty much a circus when it comes to doing work outside. He's not totally terrible at mowing the lawn, but it's evident that he dislikes almost every minute of it. He's clumsy and ineffective at weed-wacking. The guy doesn't even own a snowblower. He lives in Buffalo, for Christ's sake. How does this guy not have a snowblower? He half-heartedly brushes snow off his car in the winter months, and clears about 70% of the snow from his wife's car. What a prince. In the spring he doesn't plant flowers. He once considered planting vegetables, but never followed through. Overall, he demonstrates an appalling lack of interest in the outdoor area of his home. Grade: D
Schoepflin appears terrified of his grill. He can't turn on a gas grill on a consistent basis. He doesn't ruin hot dogs, but overcooks hamburgers, wrecks steaks, and produces uninspiring chicken. At least he's smart enough to avoid trying to grill kabobs. He complains about how hot it is to stand over a grill. When asked if he wanted a new grill for Father's Day, he was so dumbfounded by the question that he couldn't muster a response. Let me be blunt: when it comes to grilling, he's an embarrassment. Grade: F
This guy is right at home at grocery stores. He likes grocery stores. He glides through the aisles with a smile, hums to whatever song is playing on the store soundtrack (he has a noticeable pep in his step when Stevie Wonder is playing), chats with workers, small talks with fellow customers, and patiently waits in line. He wisely races through the middle aisles of the store in order to limit his purchase of processed foods. He knows how to pick produce, knows a good meat bargain when he sees it, and is excellent at reading labels. I swear I've seen him counting the number of ingredients when he grabs canned goods or an item from the frozen foods section. This guy is a triple threat: he can meal plan, stay within the budget, and is a health-conscious shopper. Grade: A
OMG, have you seen Schoepflin change a diaper? It's a thing of beauty. This guy should enter a diaper-changing contest. Methodical yet efficient. Smooth understates the matter. Graceful gets close to it. This fella knows what's he doing with diapers. My only criticism is that he needs 6-8 wipes for a poopy diaper. This guy is killing the environment and that fact must be taken into account in terms of a grade. Ok, so he's great at changing diapers on his 2-year-old, but what about the rest of it? Well, he sings to him, tickles him, totes him around when needed, and loves him up. This guy is pretty steady with the kids. I like what he has to offer his 5-year-old: he makes his lunches for school, teaches him to play baseball, encourages reading, and is very affectionate with him. He does get frustrated easily and has trouble living in the moment, but overall I like what I see. It does seem like he'd often rather be blogging or tweeting, but nobody's perfect. He puts his kids in front of the TV too much. To be fair, he sometimes uses TV to buy time to empty the dishwasher, do laundry, or cook dinner. Also, in an interview with his wife, she noted that he did his fair share of overnight feedings when the kids were babies. He also created original songs to sing to the boys at bedtime. Grade: B+
FIXING THINGS AROUND THE HOUSE
He can change a light bulb. What can I say, I'm trying to be nice. I don't want to sound like a hater, but this guy is useless around the house. If something needs fixing, you better look elsewhere. He's is powerless with power tools. To him, everything looks like a screw, only he can't use a screw gun. I'd say he has two left hands, but that's an insult to people with two left hands. I'd say he tries, but that's only slightly true. I guess I'd say fixing things doesn't come naturally to him, and he clearly shows a lack of interest in improving his skills. It's like, dare I say, fixing things isn't important to him. This isn't to say he doesn't appreciate people who are good at fixing things. In fact, he's impressed by people who are handy. He admires people who can get jobs done. It's just not a personal ambition or something he values for himself. It appears as though he'd prefer to spend time doing things that are important to him, like reading and writing. Because he can do a little bit of painting without falling off a ladder, he avoids an F. Grade: D
In the big picture of parenting, I judge him as above average. He gives his kids room to grow but is happy to nurture and comfort them. He works hard to be very involved in all phases of his kids' lives. He volunteers as an assistant coach for his 5-year-old's t-ball team. He puts a lot of emphasis on making his kids laugh, having fun with them, playing with them, meeting their immediate needs, and coordinates everything with his wife. This is a report card of him, but for context it must be said that all major decisions are shared with his wife. They are a team. They are good at many of the same things, and bad at many of the same things. As I write this summary, it occurs to me that "above average" is a strange way to rate a person as a father or man. Who gets to decide what constitutes a good parent or good person? Who sets the baseline? What is below average and what would it look like? What's with all the rhetorical questions? Maybe it's time to pull back on our assumptions about concepts like "father" and "man." Truth be told, I don't think there is one set of things a man should do and a different set of things that a woman should do. Honestly, I don't see it that way. I guess I want to say that people do the best they can in this life. We should pay more attention to the things people do well. The best gift we can give people is to cast aside our stereotypical expectations.
Thursday, May 16, 2013
Tweets About Various Topics (Mother's Day Shooting in New Orleans; Jason Richwine; Abercrombie & Fitch)
18 ppl injured in Mother's Day shooting in New Orleans. Little converge. Is this cause media expect this? Ppl from these communities DON'T!Rashawn nailed it with that tweet. Why didn't the national media converge on New Orleans to heavily cover this violent tragedy? David Leonard blogs about this very topic (link included in his tweet):
— Rashawn Ray (@SociologistRay) May 13, 2013
Not Worthy of National Attention: The NOLA Mother’s Day Mass Shootings by David J. Leonard | NewBlackMan (in Exile) newblackman.blogspot.com/2013/05/not-wo…Do you know who Jason Richwine is? If not, read Diego von Vacano's op-ed. For more on Richwine, go to Hector Cordero-Guzman's Twitter (@HCorderoGuzman) and scroll through his tweets from the past eight days or so.
— David Leonard (@drdavidjleonard) May 16, 2013
@latinorebels my oped on #Richwine on #monkeycageBlogthemonkeycage.org/2013/05/13/iq-…DiegoOnto a different topic. There's plenty of reasons to dislike Abercrombie and Fitch. The list is growing. Click on link in the following tweet to see what I mean.
— Diego von Vacano (@diegovonvacano) May 13, 2013
Exploiting homeless ppl as a medium to re-brand Abercrombie clothes as uncool is wrong. ow.ly/l58NNMoving on...if you like social theory, check out the Stick Figures in Social Theory Tumblr. Something to keep an eye on...
— Pat Louie (@plouie01) May 16, 2013
guys: this exists now. stickfiguresocialtheory.tumblr.com. #stickfigures #socialtheoryThere's also a new sociological blog by Tanya Golash-Boza to follow...
— Matt Rafalow (@mrafalow) May 15, 2013
raceandracisms.blogspot.com - New blog and forthcoming book by @tanyagolashboza(#sociology of #race and #racism)Great photographs in the next one...
— EricAnthonyGrollman (@grollman) May 15, 2013
34 Grandmothers Around The World And What They Cook bit.ly/13VR1RO <- compare and contrast. #sociologyLet's finish with a few observations. I strongly agree with this one...
— SocProf (@SocProf) May 13, 2013
You couldn't pay me to do grad school over again.Overall, I had a positive experience in graduate school. I had an excellent academic experience. My professors treated me well. I made some good friends. But when I hear "graduate school" I think of insomnia and a pullout couch. I spent much of graduate school sleep-deprived and money-deprived. I lived in a tiny studio apartment and had a tiny checking account. I accumulated super-sized student loan debt. I grew tired of writing papers. All things considered, I really do recall graduate school in mostly positive ways. But I agree with Crystal: you couldn't pay me to do it over again. And we finish with a statement about memes:
— Crystal Fleming (@alwaystheself) May 15, 2013
A glut of memes...Indeed! Thanks for reading.
— Sound Survivalist (@soundsurvivlist) May 16, 2013
Monday, May 13, 2013
W. Kamau Bell Hits the Street to Ask: What’d You Like to Say to a White Person? [VIDEO]soa.li/6bfXj6l— Johnny E. Williams (@jwillia2) May 10, 2013
Avenues, a for-profit NYC K-8 where 4-yr-olds study Klee & parents demand seaweed on menu. Not an Onion story.nyti.ms/12Y8A4d— Dave Purcell (@davepurcell) May 5, 2013
Melissa Harris-Perry teaches us how to be a good ally bit.ly/XXRhv9— SocWomen (@socwomen) April 4, 2013
And we finish with an excellent sociological observation...
Words matter and there is a difference between tolerance and acceptance. fb.me/1yqxKQ0gy— Stephanie MedleyRath (@learnsociology) March 7, 2013
The class based bias that rests just below the surface of most respectable conversation is astounding.— Matt Loveland (@mtloveland) May 1, 2013