Facebook's wayback machine ("On this Day" app) reminded me this morning that I have been battling students using their cell phones in class for a long time now. I know some professors don't care if students use their phones in class. Fine by me; their class, their rules. And some are just unaware. Many Wake … Continue reading Battling the Cell Phone Menace in Class for a Decade Now
Teaching Arlie Hochschild's The Managed Heart in my sociological theory class recently, I was looking for data on the percentage of flight attendants today who are male. I found a nice post on the issue by Mona Chalabi ("Dear Mona") on the FiveThirtyEight blog. Answer: In 1980, 14.3 percent of flight attendants were male; in … Continue reading Data on Gender Segregation in Occupations (2012)
I am excited to be teaching a new course in the fall semester, related to my new research project on American gun culture: Sociology 384: Special Topics Seminar - The Sociology of Guns. Course description follows the flier. COURSE DESCRIPTION Guns often have a spectacular presence in the American imagination, from George Zimmerman to Sandy Hook … Continue reading New Course for Fall 2015: The Sociology of Guns
There, I said it. I am a professor. The description does not exactly roll off my tongue. I am a professor. It somehow sounds pompous to me. So I generally avoid saying it. When I am traveling and a cab driver asks me what I do for a living, or at holiday parties when I … Continue reading I Am a Professor
The quickening of life due to technology is a blessing I depend on daily. But it is also a curse at times, especially at the end of the semester when it comes to grades. I submitted my fall grades today at 11:45am (they were due at noon!). By 4pm the first grade complaint had arrived … Continue reading Putting Grading and Grades in Perspective
I am participating in a faculty Writing Associates Seminar, in which we are learning to integrate writing more intelligently and productively into our courses. For an upcoming retreat, our seminar leader asked us to write a letter to our future students about what we hope they will get out of our class. I wrote the … Continue reading A Letter to My Future Students
In his famous book Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste, Pierre Bourdieu reports findings from a French survey of cultural tastes fielded in 1967-68. Of particular note is a figure showing the distribution of preferences for three musical works by class fractions. Bourdieu reports that Bach's "Well-Tempered Clavier" represents "legitimate taste" and … Continue reading Contemporary Application of Bourdieu’s Distinction in Musical Taste
OK, Wake Forest Sociological Theory students. You asked for it, you got it. Listen to the following three songs and complete the survey at the bottom of this blog post! http://youtu.be/ViwtNLUqkMY http://youtu.be/IBH97ma9YiI http://youtu.be/MYxAiK6VnXw http://www.wedgies.com/question/534d6951305268020000067f Thanks for participating!!!!
In my sociological theory class recently, I was teaching about critical theory (i.e., "the Frankfurt School"). Specifically, students were reading excerpts from Theodor Adorno's and Max Horkheimer's work on "The Culture Industry," excerpted from their 1944 book The Dialectic of Enlightenment. We talked about how the production of mass cultural commodities (books, films, TV, music) … Continue reading Teaching the Frankfurt School on the Culture Industry and Standardization of Cultural Products
My friend and I did an on-line Q&A about his new theory text, Social Theory: Continuity and Confrontation. The University of Toronto Press put it on their blog last week. Check it out HERE. I'm looking forward to using the text next spring in my theory classes.