We like to see the world in black and white, good and evil, right and wrong, usually with our side being on the side of right and the other side being on the side of wrong. Therefore, it is refreshing to see an individual embrace more of a “new energy” perspective on things where a supporter on the side of “right” says ‘hey, wait a minute, we need to look inside for a moment.” That is just what this sociologist does as he examines not only what’s great, but what is not so great, in America’s Grand Old Party (GOP). Now if we could just get the left to do the same.
This article was originally published in The Learning Revolution (IC#27), but was published before that in Annals of Earth (1990), and was a commencement address before that. It’s been around a long time and though the author says some really important things, it doesn’t seem to have sunk in. So, here it is again in the hopes that twenty years later ears will be open and eyes will be primed to see.
Did you know that what you get depends on who you are? It is true. Females get different things than males, and the lower classes get different things than the upper classes. No where is this more evident than in the education you get. Working class, professional, or ruling class, it’s not who you know but who your parents are (i.e. their social class) that makes all the difference.
In truth, Bill Gates probably isn’t an idiot. He did build one of the most successful software companies in the world after all. At the same time however his ability to prognosticate on post-secondary education seems questionable at best. The problems we, as university educators, face are well understood. We can’t do our jobs while the government is cutting our resources. This is like applying the logic of the assembly line to education. More product, less resources, more profit, less cost. Makes sense maybe in the business world but when we’re dealing with human minds does it pay to cut corners. If we want to remain competitive in a global economy, probably not.
According to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, some 36 million people (mostly women and children) die every year from preventable hunger. Who is to blame for this situation? According to Anna, we all are. Corporations and governments manipulate the global economies for the benefit of wealthy corporations and individuals and we, the masses, plug into the television, get our daily dose of indoctrination, and feed our bodies with a consumer intravenous, bloating up and dying of obesity as a result. It’s time to quit playing the game of separation and start working on the problem together else Gaia may fail and or our days of wine and roses may be over.
** World Hunger **
Socialism for the rich, capitalism for the poor. As Timothy McGettigan points out, the ideal of free market capitalism being good for the economy, and good for the world, is largely a myth. Nowhere is this clearer than in the case of health care. When compared against, for example, Canada’s health care system, the US private system is more expensive and less effective. And despite the rhetoric, the US GOVERNMENT spends almost twice as much per capital on its “private” health care. In fact, the US spends more per capital on healthcare than any other developed nation despite its efficiency rhetoric! So why does a privately funded medical system cost more for the US taxpayer than a publically funded Canadian system? Inquiring minds want to know.
Where Are All the Women? How Traditional Structures of Academia Hinder Female University Professors.Jul 9th, 2010 | By Rachel Demerling
The penetration of women into academe is growing, but at what cost? Babies get in the way and require valuable time away from a job that otherwise requires intense attachment and commitment, and so if women are to compete and advance at acceptable rates, they choose to postpone family. Do men make the same sacrifices? Is this fair to the children whose parents may be enmeshed in the demands of work and emotionally, even physically, absent. Inquiring sociologists want to know.
In the aftermath of the 2008 financial meltdown, Ben Bernanke, America’s leading scholar of the Great Depression, has been credited with saving the nation’s economy. As a reward for his sterling work, on August 25, 2009, President Obama appointed Ben Bernanke to a second term as the Chair of the Federal Reserve. Three cheers for
This article originally appeared in Volume Three of The Electronic Journal of Sociology. It is reproduced here as part of the debate on the challenges of higher education.
Sociology studies power, and one of the places that power is exercised in our society is in the boardroom. Is it any wonder then that a sociologist, looking at a boardroom in a university, questions the use and application of power? Secret meetings, legislating autonomy, million dollar payouts, these are all aspects of the use, or should I say misuse, of power. It just goes to show that not even the hallowed halls of higher education are immune from the negative sequelea of uneven power distribution.