Archive for April, 2014

For Tomorrow, 5/1 (SOC 240)

April 30, 2014
  1. Paul J. Draus and Robert G. Carlson, ‘Trading Sex for Crack: Gender and Power’

We’ll continue to work on the following questions, questions that are absolutely vital to answer if you’re to write a good research paper:

  1. What is my research question?
  2. What is my thesis?
  3. How would I formulate my research statement?

I suggest that you draft a brief answer to each of these questions; I’ll make this a formal assignment as soon as I figure out where we can post these on Blackboard so that we all have easy access to them.


For Tomorrow, 5/1 (SOC 201)

April 30, 2014
  1. Garrett Hardin, ‘The Tragedy of the Commons’, Science 131 (1968), pp. 1292-97[1] (PK: Leslie Huggins)
  2. Richard Sennett, ‘The Public Realm’ (Bridge & Watson 2010) (PK: Nicole Santiago)
  3. Remember also that tomorrow is the due date for Research Brief #2!

Both are required readings; both are useful to read while thinking about gentrification issues. See you tomoz!

For Tuesday, 4/29 (SOC 240)

April 24, 2014
  1. Simi & Futrell, ‘White Power Activist Stigma’: Wrap-Up
  2. Brent Turvey, ‘Autoerotic Sexual Asphyxia’

Here are links to the TED talks by Jonathan Haidt and Christopher Ryan that I want to show you in class. You’re probably sick of hearing me blab on about these two, so let’s see what the authors themselves have to say about their ideas. We’ll discuss Haidt’s notion of moral tastes in light of the passage from Simi and Futrell that I read to you at the end of class; then we’ll discuss Haidt’s work in terms of research question, thesis, and research statement. If there’s time, we’ll do the same for Ryan; if not, we’ll get to him before long.

*For those of you who haven’t gotten into the TED-talk craze, here are two recent takes on it, one more critical than the other.

For Tuesday, 4/29 (SOC 201)

April 24, 2014

Gentrification a go-go; also, note the changes to the syllabus.

  1. Tom Slater, ‘The Gentrification of the City’, in Bridge and Watson, eds., The Blackwell Companion to the City (Blackwell, 2011)* (PK: Rafael Rodriguez)
  2. Lance Freeman & Frank Braconi, ‘Gentrification and Displacement in New York City’, Journal of the American Planning Association 70(1):39-52 (2004) (Ansara Mohamed)
  3. Justin Davidson, ‘Is Gentrification All Bad?’, New York Magazine (2 February 2014) (PK: Rosemary Valdez)

Everything’s on Blackboard. I’m expecting you to read Slater; the other two are merely recommended–although given the topic of your current assignment, you’re well advised to check them out!

Time management was pretty good Thursday.  Those of you who are presenting Tuesday, please follow the example of your classmates from today’s presentations: mail an electronic copy to me by midnight the night before, then turn in a hard copy of your PK and notes, as well as a PK score guide, before you begin. Also, please email me ASAP to confirm that you’ve seen the changes and know what you’re presenting on.

For Thursday 4/24 (SOC 240)

April 11, 2014
  1. Pete Simi and Robert Futrell, ‘Negotiating White Power Activist Stigma’

If you haven’t already reviewed the editors’ introduction to the section on theories of deviance in our reader, I recommend you do so posthaste. We’ll come back to this when we reconvene. Happy Spring Break!


For Thursday, 4/24 (SOC 201)

April 11, 2014
  1. Michel de Certeau, ‘The Practice of Everyday Life’ (Bridge & Watson 2010) (PK: Cindy Duque, 20 minutes)
  2. Belinda Davis, ‘The City as Theater of Protest: West Berlin and West Germany, 1962-1983’* (PK: Ryan Basso, 20 minutes)
  3. Andres Duany, ‘Three Cheers for Gentrification’, American Enterprise Magazine Vol. 12, Issue 3 (April/May 2001), pp. 40-42* (PK: Ana Sanchez, 20 minutes)

The Duany piece is short; skim that while you’re lounging at the beach, then choose a more studious setting for Certeau and Davis. Davis offers a very readable historical account of student protest in the heyday of West German left-wing activism; the Certeau will be more challenging. Just let it wash over you and we’ll tackle the keywords during the PK and after.

Update: we’ll have to be as scrupulous with time management as we can on these (last few) classes in which we’ve got three PKs bunched in. If we can start the first PK at or around 9:30, we’ll be able to devote 20 minutes to each of them (6:40 of presentation, which leaves us 13:20 for Q&A). That means we’d be finished with the last Q&A at 10:30, leaving us 10 minutes for remaining class business, questions concerning the next research brief, etc.

Your next Research Brief is now up on Blackboard; due date is Thursday, 1 May. Don’t forget to check here in order to decode my comments on your previous brief!

For Thursday, 4/10 (SOC 240)

April 9, 2014
  1. Review Craig Reinarman, ‘The Social Construction of Drug Scares’
  2. Be prepared to discuss the following question: What kind of analysis do you think Reinarman is offering us here of the root causes of drug scares: structural, cultural, or interactionist (or some combination)? To that end, please read the editors’ introduction to Part II: Theories of Deviance.
  3. Put your cell phones away at the start of class and keep them stowed until the end of class. I might not speak to you about it, but that doesn’t mean I won’t mark you absent.
  4. Play in the sunshine.


For Thursday, 4/10 (SOC 201)

April 9, 2014
  1. Le Corbusier, ‘The City of Tomorrow and Its Planning’ (PK: Thierno Tall)
  2. Jane Jacobs, ‘The Death and Life of Great American Cities’ (PK: Arianny Hernandez)
  3. Jane Jacobs, ‘Downtown Is for People’, Fortune Magazine (1958)* (PK: Arianny Hernandez)

The Jacobs pieces are both fairly short and accessible. Arianny will give one presentation on both readings.

In other news, here is a quote from the first page of one of your research briefs:

In order to understand sprawl we need to know what it is. Urban sprawl or suburban sprawl is a concept that centers on the expansion of auto oriented low density development.

Copy this, paste it into your search engine of choice (without quotation marks), and see what you get for the first hit.

Please review the relevant parts of chapters 6 and 13 of The Craft of Research on avoiding plagiarism. Don’t put yourself at risk of a zero.

For Tuesday, 4/8 (SOC 240)

April 4, 2014
  1. We’ll finish the last 10-15 minutes of No Country for Old Men next class–very aggravating that technical difficulties prevented us from finishing it all on Thursday. I guess the podium was childproofed.
  2. Please also read Craig Reinarman, ‘The Social Construction of Drug Scares’ in our reader.

Regarding the film, here’s our story thus far: West Texas, early 1980s: Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin), a welder and Vietnam vet, comes across the scene of a drug deal gone wrong (‘…gettin set to trade. Then, whoa, differences‘, as one lawman succinctly puts it) and winds up with a briefcase full of money–over 2 mil. In hot pursuit comes a passel of baddies, chief among them an implacably grim reaper by the name of Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem), a rogue Special Forces vet with a rigidly merciless brand of outlaw justice.

Two steps behind the both of them is Sheriff Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones). Three generations deep in (anti-)gangsterdom, Bell nevertheless struggles to come to grips with the trail of murder and mayhem that Chigurh leaves behind; it seems to him to herald the dawning of a radically new kind of evil (or at least a precipitously downward definition of deviance). 

Moss displays genuine invention and pluck in escaping the bad guys in a series of shootouts and chases; but when Chigurh designates even Moss’s wife as an enemy combatant, the ‘retired’ welder arranges to rendezvous with her in Odessa. The plan is for her to take the money and skedaddle off to California while he deals with his tormentor; unfortunately, we’re denied the satisfaction of a climactic battle between Kinda Good and Evil when Moss is fatally ambushed by some of the Mexican drug runners.

In the last full scene that we witnessed, Sheriff Bell returns to the scene of the shootout later that night while Chigurh is in Moss’s motel room, retrieving the money bag from a ventilation duct. The mystery deepens when Bell enters the room: there’s no sign of Chigurh, even though the signs point to his presence (the lock is blown out, the window is latched shut, and the grate to the ventilation duct has been removed with a coin). Bell knows he’s there somewhere, but leaves without confronting him. Why?


To be continued…

For Tuesday, 4/8 (SOC 201)

April 4, 2014
  1. Mike Davis, ‘Planet of Slums’, New Left Review (March-April 2004) (PK: Elizabeth Candelario)
  2. Michel Foucault, ‘Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison’ (PK: Nicole Potenzone)
  3. James Q. Wilson and George Kelling, ‘Broken Windows’ (PK: Michelle Urbina)

Sigh. A lot of reading again, but I think we’ll be able to space it out more from here. Skim the first and third; concentrate your efforts on the Foucault.

Do your reading or you might end up here: