Classroom Controversy | The Socjournal

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Yesterday while I was at the tire shop waiting to get the tires of my car changed, I came across an article in Science Daily about children’s innate mathematical sense. As odd a place to gain profound insight into human …

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  The beheading of American freelance photojournalist James Foley by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has shocked the world. He was taken prisoner in northwest Syria in November 2012 while on assignment for the Global Post. ISIS …

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Max Weber, one of this planet’s most famous sociologists, was not a fan of modern society. Max Weber said that we are all stuck in an “iron cage of capitalism” and that this cage would slowly squeeze the very soul out of our skin. In a world of pervasive Prozac and ubiquitous mental angst, is the sociologist’s prognostication really that far from reality? In this article Tony Waters explores some of the details of the soul crush we all experience in the corralled world of Bos primigenius academicus.

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Sociology has a lot to say about the education system. In this article Dr. Waters talks about status and education. He draws our attention to the mysterious world of hierarchy and how people learn to deal with that. This is a peek into the hidden world of the meritocracy that we all suffer within.

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Love love love. All you need is love. Love is like oxygen. Love lifts you up. Love is everything, or is it. Romantic love wasn’t always the Walt Disney deal it is today. It got started at a certain historical period (long before the 20th century) and has blossomed to iconic status, and a multi-billion dollar cultural industry. But what is it really? Perhaps it is just a distraction designed to keep the worker bees focused on something other than their oppression. Perhaps it is, like the author says, the last kick at the cat of passion as the inexorable march of rationalization strips our world of humanity, feeling, and meaning. Whatever it is it is certainly a topic worthy of Sociological investigation!

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Here is an assignment/essay by a student in my Sociology 460 Technology course. I’m including it here because of the great way this student highlights the ambivalent impact of technology on our lives. As he clearly identifies, it is not all wine and roses. Many people are impacted negatively. In fact, when you consider it carefully, the overall impact may be decidedly negative. As evidenced by the growing gap between rich and poor, and as Warren Buffet has recently admitted, technology has allowed the rich and powerful to win the class war.

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The topic of sexual labour is complicated. It intersects economic and political discourse, touches on the exploitation of women and children, and links directly with Marxist and feminist discussion of exploitation and oppression. Yet despite the problems associated, the workers themselves are breaking their status as “object” and speaking out for themselves about their choices, their needs, and their rights. Social and legal concern aside, if we want to talk about the sex trade we should at least be listening to the people involved.

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Does it seem like the world is going to hell in a hand basket? Hard to conclude otherwise when children are massacred as in recent fashion. If you want to understand why however, maybe it is time to put aside “stock” answers and look past clichés about God, madness, and guns. If you are interested in a deeper look at the world we live in, sociologists can help.

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Boy Scout Oath (or Promise)* On my honor I will do my best To do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; To help other people at all times; To keep myself physically strong, …

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On Sunday, July 22, 2012, Penn State University removed the statue that the university had erected in Joe Paterno’s honor at Beaver Stadium. In removing the statue, the university has made an emphatic statement: Penn State University no longer wishes …

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