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The Social Breakdown
33 minutes | Nov 24, 2021
SOC506 - Rolling with the Queen: Patricia Hill Collins & Black Feminist Thought
We go deep into higher level theory with Black Feminist Thought (BFT as we like to call it) as presented by the one and only Dr. Patricia Hill Collins. We discuss the history of the Frankfurt school of thought and the genesis of Dr. Collins' own 'critical social theory.' Her theory is steeped in American culture, history, and law, as she works to understand the experiences of Black American women. From standpoint epistemology to matrix of domination, we'll break it all down for you so you'll be ready to learn more!
31 minutes | Nov 10, 2021
SOC505 - Caste, Class and Masculinities: Exploring the Jatt Community (Guest Edition)
The Indian caste system is regularly brought up in sociology courses as an example of a social structure that prevents mobility. But what if that’s not always the case? We are joined by the soon-to-be-Dr. Navjotpal Kaur to discuss how class, land ownership, and masculinity influence which castes are dominant, specifically in the northern State of Punjab. Tune in to learn about how men in the Jatt caste perform their social identities, and how these performances impact communities in Punjab and Canada!
10 minutes | Oct 20, 2021
Check Your Boobs: it's Breast Cancer Awareness month! (Mini-episode)
October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, the time when everything turns pink! We here at The Social Breakdown wanted to remind everyone with breasts (pssst-- we ALL have ‘em!) to do all the needed check ups: self-exams, ultrasounds, and mammograms! Our team has been especially hit hard by breast cancer. So, for us and for you, please get yourself checked out and remind your loved ones to do so, too!
38 minutes | Oct 13, 2021
SOC504 - Money and Morals: Judging Creativity in Art (Guest Edition)
Did you know that contemporary and modern art aren't the same thing? Come learn with us about the contemporary art world, how artists judge and value their own art and creative journey, and how artists represent or negotiate their creative vision. We invited Dr. Hannah Wohl, who recently published Bound by Creativity: How Contemporary Art is Created and Judged with University of Chicago Press to talk about her ethnographic work with contemporary artists. Dive with us into the art world and maybe spark that creativity to become an artist yourself!
37 minutes | Sep 29, 2021
SOC503 - Social Problems and Social Causes: We have an episode on it
The gang is back! We tackle a foundational topic in sociology: social problems! Social problems relate to numerous other concepts that we've discussed - inequality, stratification, the social construction of reality, and all the "-isms." Social problems are social in their causes, consequences, and solutions and though, social problems are often discussed at the macro societal level, its symptoms often manifest in everyday micro life. Join us as we talk through some big hit social problems - COVID-19, unemployment, crime and deviance, education, racism, ageism, and more!
33 minutes | Sep 15, 2021
SOC502 - Gentrification: Movement in Neighborhoods (Guest Edition)
Our first guest of the season is one we’re all fans of: Dr. Tanya Golash-Boza!! Tanya joins us to talk about a new project that explores the gentrification of her hometown located in the outskirts of Washington D.C. How do we measure gentrification? And what markers do local residents perceive as signs of gentrification? (Expensive ramen shops, we’re looking at you!) Join us as we make sense of how structures promote “killing a neighborhood [to] make a profit.”
38 minutes | Sep 2, 2021
SOC 501 - "You're a donkey!": Food Media and Violence in Kitchens
Food media is relatively new, but you can’t deny its popularity. Hit food shows such as Hell's Kitchen have propelled chefs to fame, but at what cost? In this episode, Ellen and Penn discuss their recent viral (can we use that word?!) article on how food media normalizes violent behavior in commercial kitchens. Food media that glorifies violence-- from psychological to sexual-- influences on how violence is perceived in the workspace of the cooks, ultimately making it seem 'normal' and at times, and even a necessary tool to manage stress and ensuring productivity. Tune in to learn more!
35 minutes | Jun 30, 2021
SOC419 - A Better Life: Higher Education and Anti-Black Racism (Guest Edition)
The pursuit of a college education is often seen as a surefire path to a better life and social mobility. Yet for black families the story is not so straightforward. When selecting a college, black families utilize a number of strategies such as self-censorship while contending with how minority scholarships or enrollment to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) are perceived. We sit with Dr. Deborwah Faulk, a race scholar, to learn more about the impact of anti-black racism on college selection for black families.
38 minutes | Jun 16, 2021
(Rerelease) SOC216 – Feminist & Critical Criminology (Guest Edition)
We've got a throwback for you from our second season! Dr. Nicholas Chagnon joins us to get into the nitty gritty of critical feminism and feminist criminology. We untangle the many aspects of feminism, and learn how these perspectives analyze women’s reproductive rights, as well as how they approach criminology from a female-centered perspective. This episode continues to be one of our most downloaded, so take a listen if you haven't already!
41 minutes | Jun 9, 2021
(Rerelease) SOC121 – ‘X’ Number of Asians: The Model Minority Myth
With the #StopAsianHate movement, we wanted to bring back an episode from our first season about the Model Minority Myth. It’s important to break down this myth, because we live in a world of identity politics where we fight over who gets to speak for whom and how we represent ourselves within institutions. Who is the model minority, and how did this term come to be? What social pressures defy or reproduce stereotypes? And what problems does this myth create for other people of color? Join us in our conversation on the model minority and the taken-for-granted notions of this myth.
43 minutes | May 12, 2021
SOC418 - We Watch the Watchmen: Are We Superheroed Out? (Guest Episode)
‘Watchmen,’ the 1980s comic, has been adapted into a television series on HBO and a film. Which one is better? Brian Brutlag, from the Sociologist’s Dojo, joins our debate and explains how the comic has shaped the imagery and storylines of those that followed. We also discuss how capitalism recycles profitable plotlines and characters and how that cycle influences audiences’ interest. Tune in here and be sure to follow the Sociologist’s Dojo!
53 minutes | Apr 28, 2021
SOC311 - Intro to Popular Culture: "It's all about popular"
We’re getting light-hearted in these crazy times and introducing you to the sociology of pop culture! In this episode, we use Dr. David Grazian’s work to explore what popular culture is and how it’s different from high culture. Then we make sense of culture’s role in globalization, and show how pop cultural products-- like sitcoms, Taylor Swift songs, and anime-- can act as forms of soft power. Tune in here to hear Penn and Omar nerd out on the intricacies of Naruto and Studio Ghibli, and to understand just how powerful and important pop culture is to our society!
41 minutes | Apr 14, 2021
SOC417 - Sports, Violence Against Women, and Celebrity (Guest Edition)
Violence against women in sports is a common topic in the news nowadays, with allegations of abuse and misconduct coming to light. Criminal and deviant behaviors in sports, from basketball to the NFL, happens more often than you think but what are the consequences of such behaviors? How do the institutions and actors involved respond to allegations? Do allegations of violence against women impact the career trajectory of professional athletes at all? (spoiler: nope). Join us and our guest, Daniel Sailofsky, as we discuss sports and violence, and you can fill your Social Breakdown bingo card slot marked "Capitalism"!
46 minutes | Mar 31, 2021
SOC416 - Venice and The Venetian: A Sociology of Tourism (Guest Edition)
Is the COVID-19 pandemic the death of tourism? Is the Venetian in Vegas authentic? We have a guest episode for you today with Marta Soligo, who will take us on a tour of the sociology of tourism, the creation of culture, celebrity deaths, dark tourism, and much more. Even though tourism may be for leisure and relaxation, it remains one of the largest money making industry for many economies and cultures that have had to turn to commercialization to survive. COVID-19 brings interesting implications with the sudden immobilization of people, but what does the future hold? Join us to learn more!
34 minutes | Mar 17, 2021
Breakaway Episode 10 - Girl Power and the Vampire Slayer
We're back with a fun breakaway episode talking about monster artists and girl power! In light of recent revelations about Joss Whedon, we breakdown classic feminist girl power TV show, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Is it really about female empowerment? Or is it just a masculinized vision of femininity? Join us to learn more as we rethink our favorite girl power heroines.
42 minutes | Mar 3, 2021
SOC415 - 2020 LookBackStage
We're flashbacking to everyone's favorite year - 2020! The three of us get together to reflect on 2020, how it affected us, and discuss how we think it'll affect society moving forward. The pandemic that froze the world is one to remember, but how will it actually impact socialization, restaurant-going, movie-watching, and all that social stuff? We take a personal dive into 2020, so join us for the ride!
35 minutes | Feb 24, 2021
SOC117 - The Forgotten Founding Father: W.E.B. Du Bois
Ever wonder why sociology emphasizes fieldwork, quantitative research, and participant observation? Or who challenged the notion of the ‘armchair theorist’? In recognizing Black History Month, we pay homage to the often ignored, great modern sociologist, W.E.B. Du Bois. Using the book, The Scholar Denied: W.E.B. Du Bois and the Birth of Modern Sociology (2015) by Dr. Aldon D. Morris, we discuss the legacy and contribution of Du Bois and retell the story of the origins of modern sociology. While faculty and students are gradually incorporating the work of Du Bois in their research and syllabi, the overall discipline of sociology has not yet fully acknowledged Du Bois’ work and contribution as the father of modern American sociology. Tune in to hear the convo!
33 minutes | Feb 17, 2021
SOC414 - "I just see blue': What is art? (Guest episode)
What is art? What is the value of fine art? In this week's episode, Anina Englehardt joins us to explore how sociology understands the world of contemporary fine art, from its hierarchical and exclusive nature to the meaning-making process of art. When judging and valuing art, what is more important - the intention of the artist, the story behind the art, or the whimsical, and sometimes random and irrelevant, interpretations of the everyday audience? We tour the world of fine art, its view of digital art, political art, and much more!
35 minutes | Feb 10, 2021
SOC116 - Constructing Race and Black History Month
February is Black History Month (BHM), which means… we gotta talk about it! This week we dig into the history behind BHM, talk about the founder of the holiday (the fascinating Dr. Carter Woodson), and tackle the many critiques and debates surrounding the month. Like, why the heck is BHM on the shortest month of the year?! Why do we usually only celebrate a select few Black figures this month? Is BHM a productive event? Oh also, did you know that race is a social construct? That’s right! Join in to hear the conversation and let us know what you think!
43 minutes | Feb 3, 2021
SOC413 - Firearms in America (Guest episode)
Guns are a hot button topic. They are imbued with politics, religion, masculinity, danger, safety, emotions, and more. Ellen was lucky enough to sit down with Dr. Benjamin Dowd-Arrow, Visiting Assistant Professor of Public Health at Florida State University, and talk about the role firearms play in American society today. A trained medical sociologist, Dr. Dowd-Arrow helps us break down why guns are seen as a public health concern, and explains how the values we attach to firearms have evolved over the past 50 years. Tune in here to learn more!
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