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W. W. Norton
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By Karen Sternheimer Have you ever heard the term “think tank” and wondered what it meant? It sounds like a locked glass room filled with smart people who just want to ponder life’s questions. That’s not entirely wrong (except, I... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Everyday Sociology Blog
Summary: As we all know, and is explained in the text, dark matter is “a thing”, but we still don’t know much more about it than that it exists. Lately particle physicists have been getting excited about the possibility that dark matter consists of axions. I found these two recent... Continue reading
Posted May 13, 2022 at Teaching Astronomy by Doing Astronomy
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By Jenny Enos “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Most children and teenagers are asked this question countless of times by well-meaning parents, teachers, and friends. They are often told that anything is possible, and that... Continue reading
Posted May 9, 2022 at Everyday Sociology Blog
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By Karen Sternheimer I was recently cc’d on an email sent by a colleague. It was addressed to another colleague and to someone in our dean’s office and it concerned a student who was upset about a requirement they needed... Continue reading
Posted May 2, 2022 at Everyday Sociology Blog
Organizations like GoFundMe claim to tap into the power of social networks: those in need of financial assistance post on their social media sites and gather donations from people far beyond their immediate circle of family and friends. Yet according to researchers Nora Kenworthy and Ken Igra, crowdfunding sites like GoFundMe “have been largely unsuccessful in solving financial problems for most of the people who use them.” Kenworthy and Igra detail the reasons why and argue that the uptick in crowdfunding campaigns points toward growing inequities in our society. Nora Kenworthy and Ken Igra, "Crowdfunding Isn't Enough in a Crisis,"... Continue reading
Posted Apr 29, 2022 at They Say / I Blog
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By Todd Schoepflin If you look through the pictures on your phone, what do they reveal about your experiences during the pandemic? What memories stand out in your pictures? So much has happened in our lives and in society in... Continue reading
Posted Apr 25, 2022 at Everyday Sociology Blog
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By Karen Sternheimer Several years ago, the small company my husband worked for had an employee challenge: get the company’s logo tattooed on a visible part of your body, and the company would donate several hundred dollars to the charity... Continue reading
Posted Apr 18, 2022 at Everyday Sociology Blog
For several years now, I have met the “science and society” general education learning goal with a unit on climate change. This year, SpaceX gave me another option, with the latest installment of the planned 42,000 satellite constellation known as Starlink. I had strong feelings when 40 satellites were destroyed... Continue reading
Posted Apr 11, 2022 at Teaching Astronomy by Doing Astronomy
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By Karen Sternheimer Culture shock is one of the most basic concepts in sociology, involving a feeling of confusion in a new environment that those accustomed to the location likely take for granted. Taking a road trip in a foreign... Continue reading
Posted Apr 6, 2022 at Everyday Sociology Blog
In this four-part series, Dr. Stacy Palen will discuss her own journey toward recognizing and addressing issues of equity in the Astro 101 classroom. We encourage this to be an open communication and discussion through the comment section below. To read the previous post, follow the link here. Addressing Equity... Continue reading
Posted Mar 25, 2022 at Teaching Astronomy by Doing Astronomy
Social media platforms are another front in 21st century warfare, and people have increasingly turned to them to narrate and share their personal war experiences. From Syria to Ukraine, images and videos circulated on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and TikTok have chronicled the human impact of conflict in real time. In this essay, Kyle Chayka analyzes how these glimpses affect both those in the war and those watching it online. Kyle Chayka, "Watching the World's 'First TikTok War,'" The New Yorker, 3 March 2022 How do war videos circulated on social media help “create a sense of intimacy” between those in... Continue reading
Posted Mar 23, 2022 at They Say / I Blog
In this four-part series, Dr. Stacy Palen will discuss her own journey toward recognizing and addressing issues of equity in the Astro 101 classroom. We encourage this to be an open communication and discussion through the comment section below. To read the previous post, follow the link here. Addressing Equity... Continue reading
Posted Mar 18, 2022 at Teaching Astronomy by Doing Astronomy
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By Colby King In late December of 2021, President Biden extended the pause on student loan repayment for 90 days, until May 1, 2022. People with student debt breathed a sigh of relief, knowing that they would have at least... Continue reading
Posted Mar 14, 2022 at Everyday Sociology Blog
In this four-part series, Dr. Stacy Palen will discuss her own journey toward recognizing and addressing issues of equity in the Astro 101 classroom. We encourage this to be an open communication and discussion through the comment section below. To read the first post, follow the link here. Addressing Equity... Continue reading
Posted Mar 11, 2022 at Teaching Astronomy by Doing Astronomy
Virtual reality, widely used in gaming, is now being adapted for a range of purposes, including medicine, therapy, and sports. But could virtual reality work for higher education? In this essay, Nir Eisikovits, an associate professor of ethics at University of Massachusetts-Boston, explores the ethical and social challenges of virtual reality. He explains what is at stake for students and universities if campuses move to the metaverse. Nir Eisikovits, "College Could Take Place in the Metaverse, but These Problems Must Be Overcome First,"The Conversation, 1 March 2022 At the beginning of his essay, Eisikovits explains several pressures higher education institutions... Continue reading
Posted Mar 9, 2022 at They Say / I Blog
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By Karen Sternheimer You have probably heard that many people have been voluntarily leaving their jobs in 2021 and 2022, often called “the great resignation.” Much has been made about people deciding that they prefer to work from home and... Continue reading
Posted Mar 7, 2022 at Everyday Sociology Blog
Over the past few years, major events have brought into the spotlight the injustices some face in their everyday lives. Unfortunately, the world of academia offers no exemptions. Every student differs when it comes to factors like race, age, gender and gender expression, socio-economic status, technology access, and food security.... Continue reading
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By Jenny Enos Since the election of President Obama in 2008, many Americans have claimed that we live in a “post-racial society” in which race no longer matters. After all, if we elected a Black man to be president –... Continue reading
Posted Feb 28, 2022 at Everyday Sociology Blog
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By Karen Sternheimer When planning a trip to northern Italy last year, I stumbled upon a class of lodging I wasn’t familiar with: the condo hotel. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic meant limiting contact with others, so a traditional hotel was... Continue reading
Posted Feb 16, 2022 at Everyday Sociology Blog
Debates about immigration often focus on its economic costs and benefits. Yet that focus misses the bigger picture, Peter Coy argues. Coy, a writer for The New York Times, suggests that the real resistance to immigration lies much deeper than data about jobs and economic impact. Coy explains that opposition to immigration often stems from the stories we tell ourselves about immigrants and immigration, stories that are often colored by unchecked biases and assumptions. Peter Coy, "What Economists Think About Immigration Doesn’t Really Matter," The New York Times, 17 December 2021. In the first three paragraphs of his argument, Coy... Continue reading
Posted Feb 14, 2022 at They Say / I Blog
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By Cornelia Mayr Department of Sociology, University of Klagenfurt, Austria Human connection starts with a friendly smile and a warm hello. How does it feel to greet someone and not have the greeting returned? I regularly visit the local ladies’... Continue reading
Posted Feb 7, 2022 at Everyday Sociology Blog
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By Karen Sternheimer Won't you please, please tell me what we've learned/ I know it sounds absurd/ Please tell me who I am. Supertramp, “Logical Song,” 1979. Well, who are you? (Who are you? Who, who, who, who?)/ I really... Continue reading
Posted Jan 31, 2022 at Everyday Sociology Blog
The environmental and human impact of our global economy is visible in ports, where chemicals, oil, natural gas, and massive containers of goods are moved, shipped, and stored. In this video op-ed, activist Jan Victor Andasan describes how the pollution spewing from these ports, pipelines, refineries, and rail yards contaminates the air of nearby communities, causing long-term health problems for their family and neighbors. Andasan explains how organizations like the East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice advocate for clean air, such as requiring ports to move to zero-waste operations. Jan Victor Andasan, "Port Pollution Sickens My Family. That's Violence," Los... Continue reading
Posted Jan 25, 2022 at They Say / I Blog
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By Todd Schoepflin I’ve always enjoyed going to Buffalo Bills games. I like watching football live and being part of a crowd. I’ve written before about the tailgate scene which adds fun and unpredictability. I’ve attended three games this year... Continue reading
Posted Jan 24, 2022 at Everyday Sociology Blog
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By Karen Sternheimer For the past year and a half of the pandemic, I have been fortunate enough to order groceries online and drive up for curbside pickup. Not only has it saved me from exposure to others, it also... Continue reading
Posted Jan 21, 2022 at Everyday Sociology Blog