Category: Sociology Compass Issues

10 Writing Tips for Student Sociologists

Good writing is crucial to sociology. For sociology to thrive as a discipline we sociologists have to be able to communicate our research effectively to a range of audiences. There are many great writing guides out there (Write for Research is especially good: https://medium.com/@write4research). This list of tips reflects my experience of writing a sociology PhD. It’s by no means an exhaustive or authoritative list and some readers may disagree with some of its items: nevertheless it reflects three years...

Cancer is Not a Pink Ribbon (part 1)

As a belated nod to ‘Breast Cancer Awareness Month’ (October, in the USA), and the plethora of pink, breast-cancer-sponsored items now on sale,  I want to talk about the rise of the pink ribbon campaign and the concept of ‘pinkwashing’. Breast cancer and the pink ribbon campaign is probably one of the biggest success stories, in terms of its ability to raise awareness and ultimately, save lives. Breast cancer activism started in the 1980’s, in part as a reaction to...

"Who Are you Calling Entitled?" : The Problem with Lazy Millennials

In a recent Sociology Compass article, Dr Elisabeth Kelan draws attention to common uses of the concept of ‘Generations’ and points out that despite being a useful and commonly used concept for Psychology, it has not been widely drawn upon in the Sociological literature. This is surprising, as she notes, because it is so often used in more mainstream writing, media and culture, particularly to describe the characteristics of certain demographics of people. In reference to Dr Kelan’s work, the...

Riot Grrrl and the Rejection of Resonating Frames

A few weeks ago, I went to see The Punk Singer, a new documentary about Kathleen Hanna – a force within the Riot Grrrl movement. I was mentally and emotionally transported back to the 1990s, reflecting on my late-teens-and-early-20s self. I became nostalgic for that raw anger at injustice channeled into high energy and creative expression, carried along by a sense of excitement and hope, and the supportive feeling of community that, at times, largely consisted of the feminist music...

Social Class, Social Mobility and English Elite Universities

Elizabeth M. Lee’s article Elite Colleges and Socioeconomic Status (Lee, 2013) in September’s Sociology Compass is a sophisticated exploration of why elite colleges’ demographics remain “largely homogenous across generations”. The UK also exhibits this, seemingly, symptom of a malfunctioning meritocracy. Former Prime Minister Sir John Major described Britain’s lack of social mobility as “truly shocking” and the current Foreign Secretary called it “disturbing” . It’s easy to see why; the upper echelons of our politics and culture are dominated by...

Empowerment through pole dancing?

Despite such clubs being banned elsewhere, the student pole dancing club was recently soliciting new members at my university’s freshers’ fair. The toxic effects on gender relations of pole dancing’s explicit objectification of women within the sex-industry have been extensively discussed elsewhere – see the Object campaign for example. Pole dancing has been adopted into the body-sculpting repertories of fitness clubs; it is, however, impossible to decouple it from its problematic sex-industry heritage.  

A New Sociological Approach to Big Data

Via retail transactions, searching Google, Tweeting and countless other prosaic activities IBM estimates we are creating 2.5 billion gigabytes of data a day. This is ‘Big Data’; a catch-all, superficial and problematic term for unwieldy data sets that require substantial computing power to curate and put to constructive use. Although its slippery definition is relevant to this blog post; problematising the concept of Big Data is for another time. This post begins with the methodological enthusiasm and scepticism that exists...

Whistleblowing in the Wind: Channeling and Harnessing Collective Outrage

News continues to break revealing more incidents of U.S. government spying. Based on documents provided by Edward Snowden, we learn that targets of the NSA now include the phone calls, emails, and text messages of the presidents of Brazil and Mexico, and the internal communications system of news broadcaster Al Jazeera. The leaks have also brought to light that the U.S. has been hacking into foreign networks in order to place them under covert control through an effort dubbed “GENIE.”

Breadwinning Mothers and the Importance of Intersectional Thinking

It is hard to imagine that only several decades ago, many women in the United States did not work outside the home. If they did work, their income was a supplement to the household, not the primary share. In fact, in 1960, census reports found that mothers were the primary breadwinner in only 11% of households. A new Pew Research Center study shows us how much times have changed. Not only are women working and making more money than ever...

Role Models, Glass Cliffs and Marissa Mayer: Should women be managing “as women” or “like men”?

Increasingly, a great deal of media coverage and public discussion focuses on the growing number of women in senior corporate positions. Women such as Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, and Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo, have become renowned public figures whose success is held as an example of how far women have come in their struggle for gender equality. They are seen to have shattered the glass ceiling. Whilst this success shouldn’t be belittled, there remain problems with the media’s...

The Ethnicity of White Americans: Hidden or All-Pervading?

In the U.S., whites are the dominant ethno-racial group. Interestingly, however, Doane (1997) and Nayak (2007) point out that this group has often been ignored in the race and ethnicity literature. As a result, Doane argues that the study of the dominant ethnic group in the United States has been underdeveloped, the ethnic hierarchy has not been adequately researched, the strategic use of the dominant role has lacked attention, and the evolution of this group has not been fully examined....

The State of Oklahoma vs. Female Offenders: Vengeful Equality at Work?

In January 2010, 24-year-old Patricia Spottedcrow was arrested for selling $31 worth of marijuana to a police informant from her home in Kingfisher County, OK. Because her children were home at the time, Spottedcrow was charged with possession of a dangerous substance in the presence of a minor in addition to being charged with distributing a controlled substance. Since she had no prior criminal record and since the amount of marijuana sold was small, Spottedcrow elected to enter into a...

Sexing Up the Sex Ed Classroom?

  In her Sociology Compass article, Sexuality Education in the United States: Shared Cultural Ideas Across the Political Divide, Jessica Fields maps the terrain of sexuality education in the United States. While many people believe that debates about sexuality education polarize into two approaches (one favoring an abstinence based approach and the other favoring a more comprehensive based approach), Fields shows that both “camps” want to regulate adolescent sexuality and protect teenagers from the dangers of sexual activity and desire...

Authors in FOCUS: An Interview with Wayne Brekhus On Cognitve Sociology and the Study of Race

Wayne Brekhus discusses his co-authored article, On the Contributions of Cognitive Sociology to the Sociological Study of Race In the interview, Dr. Brekhus answers questions such as: What is cognitive sociology? How did he become interested in the cognitive perspective? Why is it so critical that we study race using the cognitive model? To listen to the interview, CLICK HERE !! AND… After you watch the interview, read the article by clicking here!!

New issue of Sociology Compass out now! (Vol 5, Issue 11

Sociology Compass Volume 4, Issue 11 Page 924 – 998 The latest issue of Sociology Compass is available on Wiley Online Library Crime & Deviance Immigrants’ Perceptions of the Police (pages 924–935) Yuning Wu Article first published online: 5 NOV 2010 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1751-9020.2010.00332.x Culture Environmental/Green Cultural Shifts: Dynamics of Social Change (pages 936–946) Lynne M. Woehrle Article first published online: 5 NOV 2010 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1751-9020.2010.00333.x Race & Ethnicity Middle-class Latin@ Identity: Building a Theoretical and Conceptual Framework (pages...