For Monday, 2/25 (SOC 1104)

February 20, 2019

We ended on Helene’s question: Why shouldn’t we care about our DNA makeup? Why shouldn’t we seek partners from within our own race? Why think that race isn’t real? So we’ll start there. Meanwhile, why not check out these brief videos of some fellow Americans trying to come to grips with the results of their DNA tests?

And here’s some astute commentary from Amanda Hess in her recent essay, ‘The Racial Spectacle of DNA Test Result Videos’New York Times (6 May 2018). Note: This is all recommended reading and viewing; only the textbook reading below is required.

 

Prep

  • Matthew Desmond and Mustafa Emirbayer (2016), Ch. 2 (‘The Invention of Race’): ‘Africans Enslaved’; ‘Manifest Destiny’; ‘Immigration from Asia and Europe’; Racial Discourses of Modernity’; ‘America’s Racial Profile Today’; ‘We, the Past’

In Class

  • Up from ‘Racialism’
  • Ten Obstacles to More Skillful Reading

For Next Time

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For Thursday, 2/21 (SOC 1102)

February 15, 2019

Prep

You might also want to check out this interview with sociologist David Knoke on his use of network analysis to study international terrorism. Again, this is optional, but highly recommended.

In Class

  • Social Network Analysis (16:20-16:50)
  • Review for the Final Exam (16:50-17:10)
  • Pecha Kucha PK (17:10-17:25)
  • Notes on Close Reading (17:25-17:45)

For Next Time 

You will probably find the Wellman article to be difficult and technically dense reading — I myself find it to be so. If you’re able to describe ‘the Community Question’ in your own words—however roughly—along with the Community Lost, Community Saved, and Community Liberated arguments, consider it a win.This is really interesting stuff, so try not to get lost in the details. Here’s a quick guide as to how you might do that.

Reading the Fischer essay first (which is intended for a general reading public, as opposed to the more academic Wellman article) will at least give you some helpful context.

For Thursday, 2/14 (SOC 1102)

February 14, 2019

Prep

In Class

  • Ground Rules
  • Review for the Final Exam
  • Introductions
  • Pecha Kucha PK
  • Notes on Close Reading

For Next Time (Thursday, 2/21)

You will probably find the Wellman article to be difficult and technically dense reading — I myself find it to be so. If you’re able to describe ‘the Community Question’ in your own words—however roughly—along with the Community Lost, Community Saved, and Community Liberated arguments, consider it a win.This is really interesting stuff, so try not to get lost in the details. Here’s a quick guide as to how you might do that.

Reading the Fisher essay first (which is intended for a general reading public, as opposed to the more academic Wellman article) will at least give you some helpful context.

For Wednesday, 2/20 (SOC 1104)

February 13, 2019

Prep

  • Matthew Desmond and Mustafa Emirbayer (2016), Ch. 2 (‘The Invention of Race’): ‘Modernity Rising’; ‘Colonization of the Americas’; ‘The Invention of Whiteness and Blackness’

With respect to whiteness, white privilege, and the distinction between interpersonal vs. institutional racism, you might want to check out this Op-Ed by Times correspondent John Eligon, ‘The “Some of My Best Friends Are Black” Defense‘.

In Class

  • Review and Q&A: Keywords (Ch. 1)
  • Discussion: Race vs. Ethnicity
  • Notes on Close Reading (note: we’ll cover this if time permits; if not, we still have time next week before we read our first example of non-textbook academic writing, namely, a law review article)

For Next Time

  • Matthew Desmond and Mustafa Emirbayer (2016), Ch. 2 (‘The Invention of Race’): ‘Africans Enslaved’; ‘Manifest Destiny’; ‘Immigration from Asia and Europe’; Racial Discourses of Modernity’; ‘America’s Racial Profile Today’; ‘We, the Past’

For Wednesday, 2/13 (SOC 1104)

February 11, 2019

Prep

  • Matthew Desmond and Mustafa Emirbayer (2016), Ch. 1 (‘Race in the Twenty-First Century’): ‘A Biological Reality?’; ‘Whiteness’; ‘Race Is a Social Reality’; ‘Ethnicity and Nationality’; Thinking Like a Sociologist’

Recommended Listening: ‘Can We Talk About Whiteness?’, Code Switch (NPR)

In Class

  • TBA

For Next Time (Note: WEDNESDAY, 2/20! No class on Monday, 2/18)

  • Matthew Desmond and Mustafa Emirbayer (2016), Ch. 2 (‘The Invention of Race’): ‘Modernity Rising’; ‘Colonization of the Americas’; ‘The Invention of Whiteness and Blackness’
  • Shaila Dewal, ‘Has “Caucasian” Lost Its Meaning?’, New York Times (6 July 2013)

 

For Monday 2/11 (SOC 1104)

February 6, 2019

Prep

Textbooks are in! Only one book has been purchased from the bookstore so far; make sure you get the reading done, whether you’re ordering from Amazon or whatever. Possible pop quiz on Monday…

  • Matthew Desmond and Mustafa Emirbayer (2016), Ch. 1 (‘Race in the Twenty-First Century’): ‘A Cancer’; ‘American Racism in the Twenty-First Century’

In Class

For Next Time

  • Matthew Desmond and Mustafa Emirbayer (2016), Ch. 1 (‘Race in the Twenty-First Century’): ‘Whiteness’; ‘Race Is a Social Reality’; ‘Ethnicity and Nationality’; Thinking Like a Sociologist’

For Wednesday, 2/6 (SOC 1104)

February 4, 2019

Prep

Just in time for tonight’s State of the Union address!

In Class

For Next Time

  • HW: Semester Goals
  • Matthew Desmond and Mustafa Emirbayer (2016), Ch. 1 (‘Race in the Twenty-First Century’): ‘A Cancer’; ‘American Racism in the Twenty-First Century’

For Monday, 2/4 (SOC 1104)

January 31, 2019

Have you all been following this weekend’s political news? There’s a big brouhaha down in Virginia over a photo which appeared on the yearbook page of the current governor of Virginia while he was still a medical student (see below).

02northam-superJumbo-v3

Do you think Northam should resign, as leading Democrats are calling on him to do? I’ll lay my cards on the table: given the facts as we know them at this point, I don’t think he should. I’ll explain my reasons for thinking so tomorrow…

Prep

In Class

  • (Partial) Review of the Syllabus
  • Discussion: How to Read Sociological Texts
  • Ten Common Reading Difficulties
  • Discussion: Gov. Ralph Northam (D-Virginia) and Blackface

For Next Time

  • Michael A. Caulfield, Web Literacy for Student Fact-Checkers (2017), Part I (‘Four Strategies and a Habit’); Part II (‘Look for Previous Work’), Sections 1 (‘How to Use Previous Work’), 2 (‘Fact-Checking Sites’), 3 (‘Wikipedia’); Part III, Section 1 (‘Going Upstream to Find the Source’); Part IV (‘Reading Laterally’), Sections 1 (‘What Reading Laterally Means’), 22 (‘Using Google Scholar to Evaluate Author Expertise’), 23 (‘How to Think About Research’), 25 (‘Choosing Your Experts First’), 26 (‘Evaluating News Sources’), 27 (‘National Newspapers of Record’), and 29 (‘Activity: Find Top Authorities for a Subject’); Part VI (‘Field Guide’), Sections 40 (‘Avoiding Confirmation Bias in Searches’), 41 (‘Opposition Research’), and 42 (‘Advanced Wikipedia’)

As I note on the syllabus, this is not a lot of reading for an academic course, despite the number of sections listed above. The longest section listed above is six pages, and almost all are only two or three pages.

Further Reading/Notes Toward a Future Canon

Bogle, Donald. 2001. Toms, Coons, Mulattoes, Mammies, and Bucks: An Interpretive History of Blacks in American Films, 4th Ed. Bloomsbury Academic.

Morris, Wesley. 2019. ‘The Governor Who Partied Like It’s 1884’New York Times, 3 February.

For Wednesday, 1/28 (SOC 1104)

January 29, 2019

Prep

  • Ta-Nehisi Coates, ‘My President Was Black’, The Atlantic (January/February 2017). A history of the first African American White House—and of what came next.

In Class

  • Ground Rules for the Classroom
  • Prelude: For Next Time
  • Introductions, cont’d
  • Q&A: A Postracial Society?
  • Review of the Syllabus, cont’d: Major Assignments and Requirements

We went over time on Monday, so we’ll try to end a few minutes early today.

For Next Time

For Thursday, 12/20 (SOC 1102)

December 19, 2018

Prep

In Class

  • Pecha Kucha: Shawn on Velsey (2018)
  • Pecha Kucha: Ashley on Fischer (2013)
  • Pecha Kucha: Shanice & Melissa on Wellman (1979)
  • Pecha Kucha: Louis on Freeman and Braconi (2004)

For Next Time

  • Due: Final Exam, 23:59, 21 December
  • Missing Assignments (e.g., Elijah’s PK, Brianna’s PK, Jeannette’s PK, Melissa’s PK)