Classroom Controversy | The Socjournal – Part 2

If you think there’s a difference between Republican and Democrat, if you think the choice is real, think again. Barack Obama won the presidency and the hearts of billions around the world by pledging to bring peace. His humanitarian rhetoric promised a new era in American foreign policy, away from armed confrontation and towards cooperation. But since taking office he has increased combat forces in Afghanistan, expanded our air strikes in Pakistan, shifted the fighting in Iraq onto hired mercenaries and local soldiers, and pledged his “full support” to the “heroic” CIA. Ah the huddles masses, hooped again. When will we learn?

Dr. Michael Sosteric | Mar 22, 2011 | Comments 2

Sociology looks at income and wealth and one of the repetitive insights of sociology is that wealth in unequally distributed, more so today than perhaps ever before. In these modern times we generate more wealth than at any time in history, yet we concentrate that into fewer and fewer hands. A few people live high, high, high on the hog while the vast majority suffer and struggle to even buy food. I suppose the growing number of poor people on the planet could always eat cake…

Dr. Michael Sosteric | Mar 08, 2011 | Comments 2

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.

Timothy McGettigan | Mar 02, 2011 | Comments 7

We live in a materialist universe, or do we? Scientists chant a materialist mantra but gravity, a concept present at the very birth of Science, is an invisible force that nobody has ever seen–in other words, immaterial. As sociologists our ontology (what we believe to be the nature of existence) is important. Do we limit ourselves when we buy into a scientific materialism? Is there something more we should be considering? Inquiring minds want to know.

William Hathaway | Feb 10, 2011 | Comments 3

As a sociologist I often get heartburn listening to others talk about evolution. As every sociology student knows, from the time Herbert Spencer first coined his “survival of the fittest,” Darwin’s thoughts have been used, misused, and exploited in service of the status quo. You beat somebody down? You dominate another in business? You accumulate obscene wealth? You create a thousand losers for every winner? That’s the natural order of things. Like Darwin NEVER said, survival of the fittest. But times they are a changin. From over due behavioral corrections, fresh air research onthe stupidity of competition (ya I said it), to this provocative article that suggests that having “big winners” is bad for our general survivability, we scientists are starting to reclaim our truths from the social classes that have exploited it. Yay team!

Avi Schroeder | Jan 30, 2011 | Comments 0

Morality – Has it ever occurred to you how difficult it is to be a good person? In fact it seems that even the best people amongst us, cannot be good all the time – how many times have we not heard of priests, ministers, politicians or soccer moms, whom everyone around them, saw as […]

Anna Brix Thomsen | Jan 16, 2011 | Comments 5

Here is an awesome article that questions the western view of Arab women, the Western view of women, the Westernized view of the family, the Western fetish with the Hijab, and even Western understandings of the politics of colonialism and occupation. A veritable sociological tour de force, but not from a traditional sociological source. A fascinating alternative to views common in the mainstream, and accepted without thought, by most.

William Hathaway | Nov 03, 2010 | Comments 0

BOOK REVIEW: Science, Evolution, and Creationism 2008. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. [amazonify]0309105862[/amazonify]In an effort to extol the virtues of evolution, the National Academy of Sciences has published an updated version of Science, Evolution, and Creationism (2008). In this brief, but colorful book, a coterie of prestigious scientists take readers on a whirlwind tour of the triumphant and tumultuous […]

Timothy McGettigan | Sep 14, 2010 | Comments 0

So what’s with professional athletes and violent behaviour? Are these individual just “thugs” or is something else going on. In this short article Earl Smith traces some of the social, class, and economic roots of questionable athlete behavior showing that even the seemingly random nature of some types of social behavior can in fact be understood and explained by some simple, sociological analysis.

Earl Smith | Sep 14, 2010 | Comments 0

Classroom controversies are short and provocative articles designed to encourage classroom debate. They revolve around current, often hot button issues, and are likely to generate considerable classroom dialogue. Please feel free to print as many copies of these articles as you need. To submit a paper or proposal, visit our contact page.

William Hathaway | Aug 12, 2010 | Comments 0