Category: Sociology of Organizations & Work

Is The Sociology Finished Yet?

This is a guest post from Guy Sanders.  Guy is a freelance graphic artist living and working in London. He specialises in promotional design and branding for theatre and entertainment companies. He holds a BSc in Sociology and Political Science from the University of Bristol. Guy’s interests include cultural criticism and the deconstruction of nation making. He tweets @GuyJSanders Is The Sociology Finished Yet? I completed a BSc in Sociology and Political Science in 2011. What followed immediately was a period of...

Reflections on Voluntourism

    After spending five weeks conducting ethnographic research in Nepal, I was ready to return to the United States and many of the luxuries of a developed nation. I knew that it would take time to adjust my sleep schedule. I also figured that it would take some time to return to the fast-paced life of New York. What I did not expect was the overall difficulty I would have returning to a developed country. The air conditioning is...

Men's Room: why space is a feminist issue

I am lucky, (if you can call it that, as I am fairly sure I can claim some credit for its creation) to spend most of my life surrounded by feminist men. I was raised by one, and have friends, lovers and colleagues who are very happy identifying as (male) feminists. They can deconstruct the patriarchy, discuss oppression and understand intersectionality. They constantly and consistently ‘check their privilege’. And maybe this is why a recent article; ‘20 tools for men...

The Local Face of a Global Epidemic

  In my last posting, I wrote about my concerns as I prepared to travel abroad to volunteer for a NGO in Kathmandu, Nepal. Today, I have settled in and completed three days of my volunteer assignment. In the past few days, I have learned about trafficking in one of the most powerful ways possible, through day-to-day interaction with survivors of the human trafficking trade.

The Internet of Things: some implications for sociology

This week BBC News asked “can wearable tech make us more productive?”  The news package covered a research project which has the broader purpose of investigating impact of wearable connected tech on every aspect of our lives. The umbrella term that (albeit loosely) confederates connected technology is the ‘Internet of Things’. Its advocates believe the Internet of Things is one of the most compelling ideas of the twenty first century.  The original definition of the Internet of Things referred to...

Men and Global Gender Justice

The Huffington Post recently ran an article by Juliana Carlson, Assistant Professor of Social Welfare at the University of Kansas and member of the Mobilizing Men in Violence Prevention research collaboration, on the topic of men’s global engagement in the prevention of violence against women and girls.  She argues that “men and boys have been largely relegated to the sidelines of violence preventions efforts” but that a growing movement “aims to create structural change by engaging boys and men in...

The U.S. Military’s Sexual Assault Problem

The United States Senate failed to pass a bill that would have altered the military’s response to sexual assault.  The bill, sponsored by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) would have stripped senior military commanders of their authority to prosecute or prevent charges for alleged rapes and other serious offenses in favor of giving the authority to military trial lawyers operating under a newly established office independent of the chain of command.  The vote fell 5 votes short of the 60 necessary to...

Fly me to the Moon: Aviation: past, present, and future

  This year marks one century of commercial flying. On New Year’s Day in 1914, a large crowd gathered in St.Petersburg, Florida, as an airboat named ‘Benoist’ (after its creator, Thomas Benoist), took to the sky for a 23-minute flight over the Tampa Bay, carrying a single passenger (Abram Pheil, who won his $400 ticket in an auction). This maiden flight soon became a regular route, thus marking aviation’s birth as a viable industry. In the following decades, transnational routes,...

The Spectacle and Politics of Globalized Sports

This month the 22nd Winter Olympic Games began in Sochi, Russia. The spectacle of the event has captivated persons from around the world to tune into watch their favorite sport or favorite athletes. Russia spent over $50 billion to prepare for the Olympics by building hotels, roads, stadiums, and to bring in artificial snow into the Southern resort town.  The Sochi Olympics are the first mega-sporting event to occur this year, but will likely be trumped by the upcoming World...

The Myth of the 'Skills Gap' and the Attack on (Higher) Education

In January, President Obama became the latest in a long list of politicians and high profile public figures in taking a shot at academic disciplines perceived to be ‘useless’ from a labor market perspective. Talking about manufacturing and job training, Obama (who has since apologized for his remarks) said: “I promise you, folks can make a lot more, potentially, with skilled manufacturing or the trades than they might with an art history degree.” This attack on disciplines, fields and degrees...

The Sociology Classroom: Critical, Transformative, Radical? Part 3 of 3. Radical Pedagogy & Practice

In the first part of this series, I asked whether the sociology classroom can be a space of critical or radical pedagogy and discussed the theories behind Freirean learner-centered approaches to radical pedagogy. In my second article , I laid out some critiques of these models brought forward by scholars equally committed to critical sociology and radical analyses. Despite these critical voices though, there is certainly good reason for radical scholars to have their pedagogy reflect their intellectual commitments. Today’s...

The Sociology Classroom: Critical, Transformative, Radical? Part 2 of 3. Problems with Learner-Centered Models

I have previously written about whether the sociology classroom can be a space of critical or radical pedagogy and how critical research agendas should be reflected in sociological pedagogy. Most authors experimenting with critical pedagogy rely on Freirean conceptions of student-centered learning that seek to eliminate teacher-student hierarchies and offer students the change to take ownership of their education by involving them in peer-grading, course design and instruction. However, scholars equally committed to critical sociology and radical analyses have critique...

The Sociology Classroom: Critical, Transformative, Radical? Part 1 in a Series.

A number of sociologists understand their work as being part of a radical or transformative project: They are committed to empowering the marginalized or are engaged in challenging hegemony, they work within the tradition of radical theoretical approaches such as Marxist, feminist, or critical race theory, and understand their work as a contribution to laying foundations for a more just, equal and democratic society. However, it is not often not clear what role the commitment to radical social thought –...

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.  

Title IX: Way Beyond Athletics

When most people hear talk of Title IX, a 1972 law that states “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance…”, it is most commonly in the context of high school and collegiate athletics.  People opposed to Title IX often claim that it is responsible for diminished funding for men’s sports...

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...