Data on Gender Segregation in Occupations (2012)

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)

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William Butler Yeats on the Experience of Modernity

I have always invoked Marshall Berman invoking Karl Marx invoking Shakespeare (Prospero in "The Temptest") to describe the experience of modernity: "All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned." But I could equally well use Irish poet William Butler Yeats from "The Second Coming" (1919) via African novelist Chinua Achebe: … Continue reading William Butler Yeats on the Experience of Modernity

Chris Rock’s Neo-Marxist View of Minimum Wage

In my classical theory class we just finished reading excerpts from three of Karl Marx's most (in)famous works: the Paris Manuscripts, Capital, and the Communist Manifesto. Marx confidently predicted that the contradictions inherent in the capitalist system would lead to its downfall, as economic crises would get progressively worse over time, making clear to workers … Continue reading Chris Rock’s Neo-Marxist View of Minimum Wage

Teaching the Frankfurt School on the Culture Industry and Standardization of Cultural Products

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