Archive for November, 2017

For Tuesday, 12/5 (SOC 1102)

November 30, 2017

Prep

In Class

Here’s the fascinating essay I mentioned in class that argues for the decommodification of housing. Check it out if you’ve got time.

For Next Time

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For Saturday, 12/2 (SOC 1103)

November 29, 2017

Prep

In Class

  • Review of the HW
  • BREAK
  • Discussion: Scenes from
    • Pride and Prejudice (Robert Z. Leonard, 1940)
    • Pride and Prejudice (Simon Langton, 1995)
    • Pride and Prejudice (Joe Wright, 2005)
  • On Bad Writing, Using Examples from genius.com

For Next Time

  • Benokraitis (2015), from Ch. 10 (‘Marriage and Communication in Intimate Relationships’)

36 Questions (SOC 1103)

November 29, 2017

Mandy Len Catron wrote a wildly popular essay about her experience with a series of questions designed by a team of psychologists to foster intimacy between strangers; here, producers at the New York Times show what happens when longtime couples pose these same questions to each other. The format may remind you of some of the interviews that Aziz Ansari conducts in nursing homes, or (if you’re a film buff) of the vignettes in the ur-Rom-Com classic When Harry Met Sally.  Either way, it will probably jerk some ‘awwww’s out of you.

REFERENCES

Arthur Aron, Edward Melinat, Elaine N. Aron, Robert Darrin Vallone, and Renee J. Bator. 1997. ‘The Experimental Generation of Interpersonal Closeness: A Procedure and Some Preliminary Findings’. Personality & Social Psychology Bulletin, April 1997 23: 363-377.

’36 Questions That Make Strangers Fall in Love’. 2015. AsapSCIENCE, 13 December. This title (like Mandy Len Catron’s) is misleading, because it suggests that any two strangers will fall in love after asking each other these questions. But that wasn’t what Aron et al. were after; they simply wanted to see if these questions could produce ‘interpersonal closeness’, or what the rest of us might simply gloss as ‘intimacy’, between strangers. Whether they fall in love would also depend on any number of variables, including, presumably, some baseline level of mutual physical attraction.

For Thursday, 11/30 (SOC 1102)

November 28, 2017

Prep

In Class

  • Nyasia presents on Glass (1963)
  • Shania presents on Kohn

For Next Time

  • TBA

Research Brief #2: Gentrification: For or Against? (SOC 1102)

November 28, 2017

We could call ‘gentrification’ another word for ‘progress’

While many people see ‘gentrification’ as a dirty word, others argue that it is to be welcomed, either wholly or in part — one person’s ‘gentrification’ is another person’s ‘revitalization’ (or ‘progress’), we might say. Who’s right, and why? What evidence do we have for the positive and negative effects of gentrification? What processes do you see occurring in your own neighbourhood — and what are the boundaries of this neighbourhood, exactly? Here is a website that allows you to draw the boundaries of your ‘hood, and to compare your cognitive map with those of your neighbours. (Tell me what you discover here.)

You are welcome to use whatever other sources you find helpful in drawing your conclusions — peer-reviewed journal articles from the scholarly literature; interviews; historical documents; field research; newspaper reports; op-ed columns; long-form essays from popular periodicals; maps; geographical software; databases; blogs; Wikipedia and other reference works; and so on (and it would be hard to believe that you wouldn’t find any number of our assigned readings also useful in this regard). However: this is a research assignment, and you will be judged on the quality of your research. As far as I’m concerned, you haven’t really done your homework unless you (1) conduct your own research, or — more reasonably — (2) carefully review the research of other scholars. Again, if this is not already clear, such work is to be found in peer-reviewed scholarly journal articles.

As far as quantity, there is no minimum number of sources required. But the quality of a scholarly argument depends both upon the thoroughness of the research (how many sources you’ve consulted, roughly speaking) and in the way those sources are employed.

Instructions

  • Due Date: Sunday, 3 December, by 11:59 pm
  • Maximum word count for body of text = 1,000 words
  • Print the word count at the top of your paper
  • Double-spaced, 12-pt. font
  • ASA-style Bibliography and in-text citations

For Monday, 12/4 (SOC 3250)

November 27, 2017

As Tee observed, my policy on the use of electronics in the classroom can seem a bit extreme; I explained my rationale in class, but here are some links to some research on the subject. Additionally, here’s that Op-Ed on ‘the negro national anthem’ I mentioned at the start of class.

Prep

  • Sharon Erickson Nepstad, ‘Why Nonviolence Sometimes Fails: China in 1989’ (Goodwin & Jasper 2015) [Walquidia]. Interestingly enough, Wang Dan, one of the leaders of the Tianenmen Square protests, just published this Op-Ed on the Chinese Government’s infringement of free speech (for Chinese studying abroad) in the United States.
  • David S. Meyer, ‘How Social Movements Matter’, Contexts 2 (2013): 30-35 (also in Goodwin & Jasper 2015) [Tee]
  • Jack Goldstone, ‘Understanding Revolutions: The Arab Uprisings’ (Goodwin & Jasper 2015) [Lizbeth]

In Class

  • Missing Assignments
  • Review: Presenting on an Assigned Reading
  • Walquidia will present on Nepstad, ‘Why Nonviolence Sometimes Fails’
  • BREAK
  • Tee will present on Meyer, ‘Why Social Movements Matter’
  • Lizbeth will present on Goldstone, ‘Understanding Revolutions’

For Next Time

  • Writing Workshops

For Monday, 11/27 (SOC 3250)

November 21, 2017

https://static01.nyt.com/video/players/offsite/index.html?videoId=100000002542844 

With rough drafts of the final paper due soon, here’s my recollection of the questions  people are working on:

  • Isatou: Was the civil rights movement a success in the eyes of its leaders? This is a very broad question, and a lot depends on whom you choose to identify as the leaders; but it’s a start. Recently, of course, some have argued that ‘leaderless’ movements are more effective than the kind of ‘top-down’ organisational structure associated with the civil rights movement. For what it’s worth, however, it’s worth noting that government fears of the emergence of a revolutionary ‘black messiah’ gave rise to the dark arts practised by the FBI during the COINTELPRO era we read about two weeks ago; recently, FBI memos  about the putative rise of ‘Black Identity Extremists’ have evoked echoes of this era for some.
  • Janet: ?
  • Jorge is interested in the movement to allow LGBT soldiers to sere openly in the military. If memory serves, there’s no research question yet. Better hurry! (Chapters 1-4 of The Craft of Research would be well worth studying at this point.)
  • Lizbeth: ? See my comments on Jorge’s project.
  • Nisei has a topic (the movement to legalise abortion), but no research question yet. See my comments on Jorge’s project.
  • Tee: ? See my comments on Jorge’s project.
  • Walquidia: ? See my comments on Jorge’s project.
  • Wesley: In what ways was Occupy Wall Street a success? Is such a movement sustainable?

Prep

  • Rough draft of final paper due Wednesday, 11/30
  • William Gamson, ‘Defining Movement “Success”‘ (Goodwin & Jasper 2015) [Nisei]
  • Sharon Erickson Nepstad, ‘Why Nonviolence Sometimes Fails: China in 1989’ (Goodwin & Jasper 2015)

In Class

  • Nisei will present on Gamson (2015)
  • BREAK
  • Someone really needs to sign up for Nepstad (2015) — there aren’t very many opportunities left to present!

For Next Time

  • David S. Meyer, ‘How Social Movements Matter’, Contexts 2 (2013): 30-35 (also in Goodwin & Jasper 2015) [Tee]
  • Jack Goldstone, ‘Understanding Revolutions: The Arab Uprisings’ (Goodwin & Jasper 2015)

Social Movements Research Paper Assignment (SOC 3250)

November 21, 2017

In this assignment you need to pose a question that is relevant in some way to central themes in the course, then survey a portion of the social movements research literature in articulating a substantive, thoughtful answer to this question. Here are some classic, recurring questions, as formulated in Goodwin & Jasper (2015):

  1. When and why do social movements occur?
  2. Who joins or supports SMs?
  3. Who remains in movements, who drops out, and why?
  4. How are movements organised?
  5. What do movements do?
  6. How do they interact with other players (e.g., government agencies, local police forces, corporations, the media)? (Which movements attract repressive efforts by the state, for example? Which ones attract media attention?)
  7. Why do movements decline? (Why do some movements succeed and others fail?)
  8. What changes do movements bring about? (What constitutes success? What constitutes failure? )

If you were interested in the rise of the kind of ‘populism’ we associate with the election of Donald Trump, for example, you might start by looking at some recent social movements research on populist movements. You might seek to explain its rise in terms of one of the competing theories of when and why social movements occur (see Question 1 above). Or you might look at a particular group in terms of its organisational structure (see Question 4): do right-wing SMOs (social movement organisations) typically organise themselves differently than do left-wing SMOs? (Consider, for example, various SMOs associated with the Occupy Wall Street or Black Lives Matter movements.) And do ‘leaderless’ movements really offer a ‘better model’ than more ‘vertically’ organised movements, as one BLM scholar alleges? Or you might wonder about the demographics of the people who join or support the ‘alt-right’ movement (see Question 2): are they mostly people filled with ‘status anxiety’ by an increasingly diverse society, as many liberal observers suggest?

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Word count: the body of the paper should not be longer than 3,000 words.
  • Print the word count at the top of your first page.
  • Do not write your name anywhere on your paper; you will submit a link to your Google Doc via Blackboard, which will allow me to grade you anonymously but still assign the proper grade to each author.
  • You must use at least five sources from peer-reviewed journals. By now you should understand that this is just a bare minimum — the superior student will do much more research than that (chapters five and six of The Craft of Research should be especially helpful here).
  • Your paper must include a list of references at the end, and all in-text citations and reference-list citations (note the example below) should be done in ASA style.

 

REFERENCES

Goodwin, Jeff, and James Jasper, eds. 2015. The Social Movements Reader: Cases and Concepts, 3rd Ed. New York: Wiley Blackwell.

For Tuesday, 11/28 (SOC 1102)

November 16, 2017

Wow, I just realised that we won’t be meeting again for almost two weeks. In light of the end that’s fast approaching, here’s a list of scheduled PKs. If you’re not on this list, you’d better figure something out but quick!*

  • Film: The Social Life of Small Urban Places (William H. Whyte, 1988) [Kemani Laing]
  • Ruth Glass, ‘Introduction: Aspects of Change’, in London: Aspects of Change, ed. Centre for Urban Studies (London, 1964: MacKibbon and Kee), pp. xiii-xlii [Nyasia Walters]
  • Lance Freeman, ‘Displacement or Succession? Residential Mobility in Gentrifying Neighborhoods’, Urban Affairs Review 40(4):463-491 [Elsabeth Maximin, Vanessa Priano — we’re gonna have to flip a coin here]
  • Mary Pattillo, ‘The Black Bourgeoisie Meets the Truly Disadvantaged’, Black on the Block: The Politics of Race and Class (Chicago: University of Chicago, 2004) [Alica Cradle, Daniel Medina — arm-wrestle?]
  • Margaret Kohn, ‘What Is Wrong with Gentrification?’, Urban Research & Practice 6(3):297-310 [Shania Lewis]
  • Kevin Loughran, ‘Parks for Profit: The High Line, Growth Machines, and the Uneven Development of Urban Public Spaces’, City & Community 13, no. 1 (2014), pp. 49-68 [Ann Jean]
  • Clifford Shearing and Phillip Stenning, ‘From the Panopticon to Disney World’, (Massey 2006) [Ayodele Ajanoku]

*Chynna, Darwin, Dixon, Christopher Mendoza, Oludara, Jennifer, and Alexander: you either signed up for readings that have already passed,  or it wasn’t clear exactly which ones you were volunteering for. So please contact me via gmail (it’s on the syllabus) and we’ll figure something out.

Prep

In-Class Agenda

  • PK: Nyasia on Glass (1964)

For Next Time

For Monday, 11/20 (SOC 3250)

November 14, 2017

Which is most important? Should a movement focus on cultural influence, disrupting the status quo, or getting organised? Which will attract the most media coverage (recall the findings we discussed in Week 11)? And which one has, say, the alt-right been most effective at? Here’s that Op-Ed I mentioned in class on how protest works.

Prep

In-Class Agenda

  • Nisei will present on Epstein (2015)
  • BREAK
  • Jorge will present on Roxborough (2015)
  • Review: Final Paper Requirements

For Next Time

  • Due: Rough Draft of Final Paper
  • William Gamson, ‘Defining Movement “Success”’ (Goodwin & Jasper 2015) [Presenter: Nisei]
  • David S. Meyer, ‘How Social Movements Matter’, Contexts 2(2013): 30-35 (also in Goodwin & Jasper 2015) [Presenter: Tee]