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W. W. Norton
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By Myron Strong On Saturday, November 7, 2020, the result of the election for the President of the United States was officially confirmed. At that moment, many people across the world expressed a sense of relief as well as a... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Everyday Sociology Blog
From fitness trackers to internet-connected insulin pumps, more companies are marketing “smart” devices that gather, track, and store digital data on a person’s health metrics, body functions, location, and movement. Together, these devices comprise what is now called the “Internet of Bodies” (IoB). In this October 29, 2020 article from the RAND Corporation, Maria Gardner and Alyson Youngblood describe the benefits and risks of IoB devices and detail policies that could regulate how data from these devices are used by corporations, the health care system, and the government Maria Gardner and Alyson Youngblood, "The Internet of Bodies Will Change Everything,... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at They Say / I Blog
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By Karen Sternheimer Literature reviews are a central feature of sociological research, and it is vital for students of sociology to learn how to read and eventually write them. Too often, students tasked with writing a literature review often turn... Continue reading
Posted Nov 23, 2020 at Everyday Sociology Blog
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By Jessica Poling It is no secret that 2020 has been a time of public unrest. Mounting outcries regarding police brutality, gender inequality, and the Trump administration’s mishandling of climate change and COVID-19 dominate the daily news cycle, our social... Continue reading
Posted Nov 16, 2020 at Everyday Sociology Blog
By Stacy Palen I’ve been talking to a lot of people about the transition to online instruction. Most of these conversations have been with people who are not academics and who seem to have the idea that I sit around eating bonbons and drinking bourbon in the afternoon now that... Continue reading
Posted Nov 13, 2020 at Teaching Astronomy by Doing Astronomy
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By Janis Prince Innis Four teenage girls flew across the street, screaming! They leapt into the golf cart at the side of the road as one kept glancing over her shoulder and yelling, “Go! Go!” I followed her gaze and... Continue reading
Posted Nov 9, 2020 at Everyday Sociology Blog
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By Todd Schoepflin A recent article about masks in Australia caught my attention. It’s written by a group of scholars who are working on a book about masks in the COVID-19 era. As they note in the article, wearing masks... Continue reading
Posted Nov 9, 2020 at Everyday Sociology Blog
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By Jonathan Wynn I came across a Twitter thread of folk games, which are not board games but rather interactions that appear to be highly improvisational. Take a few minutes to click through and get a few well-deserved laughs. But... Continue reading
Posted Oct 30, 2020 at Everyday Sociology Blog
By Stacy Palen This week, I draw your attention to this piece of news that neatly encapsulates many of the concepts that you might be teaching at this point in the semester! Betelgeuse’s recent variability may be caused by dust and pulsation—so no nearby supernova in the works for us... Continue reading
Posted Oct 30, 2020 at Teaching Astronomy by Doing Astronomy
The evidence is clear: the world’s waterways and landfills are clogged and crammed with plastic waste. Scientists, governments, and producers are looking for ways to curtail plastic pollution, which is largely driven by the disposal of single-use plastic packaging and items. One possible solution is using bioplastics instead of traditional plastics. However, as writer Jim Robbins argues in his August 31, 2020 essay, this approach is far less impactful than developing ways to recycle more plastic waste and reducing our reliance on single-use plastics. Jim Robbins, “Why Bioplastics Will Not Solve the World’s Plastics Problem,” Yale Environment 360, 31 August... Continue reading
Posted Oct 29, 2020 at They Say / I Blog
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By Todd Schoepflin At 7:50 each weekday morning, my wife heads out the door, off to work at the elementary school where she is a social worker. This year is unlike any of the first ten years she’s worked at... Continue reading
Posted Oct 19, 2020 at Everyday Sociology Blog
By Stacy Palen Apropos of the last few posts by Ana Larson about online classes and cheating (Thanks, Ana!), this week, I’m working on my Astro101 midterm. It’s important to state up front that I think the purpose of exams varies from course to course. In Astro101, I think the... Continue reading
Posted Oct 16, 2020 at Teaching Astronomy by Doing Astronomy
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By Karen Sternheimer These days, if we want to know more about someone we often need look no further than social media sites or do a basic Google search. But what if we want to know more about a group... Continue reading
Posted Oct 12, 2020 at Everyday Sociology Blog
Is our online life—our Twitter debates, our Facebook relationship status, our Snapchat streaks, our Zoom classes—real? And why does this question matter? Jordan Frith, the Pearce Professor of Professional Communication at Clemson University, argues in his July 2020 article that our digital life is very much real, despite common metaphors used in popular culture. The way we talk about our digital life, as if it’s separate, ends up diminishing the importance of what people do and say online, though the consequences are no less important. Jordan Frith, "Pushing Back on the Rhetoric of ‘Real Life,’" Present Tense: A Journal of... Continue reading
Posted Oct 11, 2020 at They Say / I Blog
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By Jonathan Wynn Have you met the chair of the sociology department? What do they do, anyway? When I was an undergraduate at a large public university, I didn’t know who the chair was, let alone what they did. Heck,... Continue reading
Posted Oct 5, 2020 at Everyday Sociology Blog
By Ana Larson Ana Larson, co-author of the Learning Astronomy by Doing Astronomy workbook, gives us one last post about how to reduce cheating in online courses. To discourage academic cheating at the start of each quarter of my online courses at Seattle Central College, I started with an assignment... Continue reading
Voting is a civic duty, an essential right in a democracy. However, as Santucci explains in her July 26, 2020 essay, people with disabilities face barriers to voting, even decades after the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed. As you read, consider both Santucci’s immediate argument, about the pressing issues faced by people with disabilities, and the larger implications of inaccessible voting in a democracy. Jeanine Santucci, "30 Years after the ADA, Access to Voting for People with Disabilities is Still an Issue," USA Today, 26 July 2020 Santucci argues that people with disabilities still lack access to “a... Continue reading
Posted Sep 30, 2020 at They Say / I Blog
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By Karen Sternheimer A few months ago I wrote about what the pandemic-related stay at home orders can teach us about formal social control, the use of rules, laws, and sanctions to try and shape people’s behavior. What can the... Continue reading
Posted Sep 28, 2020 at Everyday Sociology Blog
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By Jenny Enos, Sociology Doctoral Student at Rutgers University – New Brunswick We often talk about health as a strictly biological concept. After all, poor health outcomes such as heart disease and cancer are heavily dependent on biological factors such... Continue reading
Posted Sep 21, 2020 at Everyday Sociology Blog
By Ana Larson Ana Larson, co-author of the Learning Astronomy by Doing Astronomy workbook, returns this week to discuss cheating in online courses. Those of us who have taught introductory astronomy in a classroom are quite aware of the number of ways students can cheat (a one-word catch-all for "academic... Continue reading
Posted Sep 18, 2020 at Teaching Astronomy by Doing Astronomy
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By Karen Sternheimer I stumbled upon a celebrity story that actors Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds recently apologized for getting married at a former plantation where people were held as slaves. My initial response was, well, confusion. How do people... Continue reading
Posted Sep 14, 2020 at Everyday Sociology Blog
Sometimes the next big thing begins with a casual invitation to “talk more over smoothies.” In his July 13, 2020 essay, Steve LeVine explains how this kind of unscripted, casual, in-person networking drove the development of Silicon Valley companies like Facebook and Google. LeVine asks, though, if this reliance on spontaneity, jeopardized now by work-from-home orders, is something that could—or should—be saved. Steve LeVine, "How Remote Work Could Destroy Silicon Valley," Marker, 13 July 2020 Levine argues that “serendipity,” fueled by in-person “chance encounters,” drives the success of Big Tech companies headquartered in Silicon Valley. What evidence does he give... Continue reading
Posted Sep 10, 2020 at They Say / I Blog
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By Karen Sternheimer Last year, I wrote about the connections between theory and research. It’s very tempting for the first-time student researcher to come up with a research topic and either ignore theories about the topic, or have difficulty integrating... Continue reading
Posted Sep 7, 2020 at Everyday Sociology Blog
By Ana Larson This week, we have a guest post by Ana Larson, co-author of the Learning Astronomy by Doing Astronomy workbook, from the University of Washington. First, an introduction: twenty-two years ago (1998), as adjunct faculty, I developed an online course for Seattle Central College (SCC), which was Seattle... Continue reading
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By Karen Sternheimer Many sociologists use interviews to collect data, and while journalists also conduct interviews, there are significant differences between how—and why—sociologists use the information that they gathered. Here are a few of the biggest differences: Sociologists almost always... Continue reading
Posted Aug 31, 2020 at Everyday Sociology Blog