Archive for October, 2018

For Tuesday, 11/6 (SOC 227)

October 31, 2018

Prep

In Class

  • Love & Biochemistry
  • Marriage & Its Discontents

For Next Time!

  • Guest Speaker: Nick Weissman, Co-Producer, For Ahkeem 
  • Hammond & Cheney (2016), ‘Communication’
Advertisements

For Thursday, 11/1 (SOC 1102)

October 31, 2018

Prep

In Class

  • Midterm Grading
  • The Creative Class Thesis

For Next Time

  • TBA

Richard Florida, ‘Cities and the Creative Class’ (2003)

October 29, 2018

This article was published in a peer-reviewed scholarly journal, which means it’s written by an academic expert on the topic and is addressed to other experts (or at least, to an academic audience). Although it’s pitched at a rather high level of understanding, you should challenge yourself to at least grasp the main points: being able to read and comprehend academic articles gives you firsthand access to cutting-edge research; you’ll no longer be dependent on journalists or Wikipedia to translate and curate ideas for you. Nevertheless, if you find the going really tough, here are a couple of short interviews that you can turn to, plus a brief Op-Ed essay Florida published a few years ago, plus an Op-Ed by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, which gives you a sense of the then-conventional wisdom that Florida was questioning:

 

REFERENCES

Richard Florida, ‘Cities and the Creative Class’, City & Community 2:1 (March 2003) 

For Saturday, 11/3 (SOC 1102 CN)

October 28, 2018

Prep

In Class

  • TBA

For Next Time

  • Local Music Scenes and the Creative Class

For Tuesday, 10/30 (SOC 227)

October 25, 2018

Prep

  • Review Hammond and Cheney (2016), ‘Dating and Mate Selection’
  • Read Heather Murphy, ‘Why Scientists Are Battling Over Pleasure’ (10 April 2018)
  • Read Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice, Vol. I. We should at least get to the first chapter on Tuesday, if not the whole first third, so you should start reading from now. There are numerous versions online, but you can also get cheap hard copies secondhand at Strand Books or your local bookstore.

In Class

For Next Time

  • Midterm Due by 23:59, 10/31/18 (Wednesday)
  • HW: Pride and Prejudice Casting Call
  • Hammond & Cheney (2016), ‘Marrieds and Non-Marrieds’
  • There’ll be at least one more reading (TBD)

For Tuesday, 10/30 (SOC 1102)

October 25, 2018

No new reading for next time — that should give you a bit more time to work on your midterms — but be prepared to discuss the question I raised at the end of class, namely, just what is the Pruitt-Igoe ‘myth’ that the makers of the film we finished Thursday are trying to debunk? What conclusions do they want us to draw from the story they tell?

Prep

In Class

  • What is the Pruitt-Igoe myth?
  • Discussion: The City in Black and White
  • Review: Writing Your Midterm: Do’s & Don’t’s

For Next Time

  • DUE 10/31: Midterm Exam
  • Bill Gates, ‘Information Revolution Will Transform Our Jobs, Lives’, Seattle Times (29 November 1995)
  • Richard Florida, ‘Cities and the Creative Class’, City & Community 2:1 (March 2003)

For Thursday, 10/25 (SOC 1102)

October 24, 2018

Prep

In Class

  • Film: The Pruitt-Igoe Myth (cont’d)
  • Discussion: The Growth of the City in Black and White
  • Review: The Midterm and How to Submit It

For Next Time

  • Bill Gates, ‘Information Revolution Will Transform Our Jobs, Lives’, Seattle Times (29 November 1995)
  • Richard Florida, ‘Cities and the Creative Class’, City & Community 2:1 (March 2003)

For Saturday, 10/27 (SOC 1102 CN)

October 24, 2018

I’ve been waiting for some feedback from Carlo about how things went last weekend, but haven’t heard anything (how’d things go?); absent further information, I’d say we ought to discuss last week’s readings in detail. Let’s just add one fairly short article:

Prep

In Class

For Next Time

  • TBA

‘For Ahkeem’ (2017)

October 23, 2018

Watching For Ahkeem adds even more detail to an essay like Ta-Nehisi Coates’ essay on the black family in the age of mass incarceration — and in fact, the filmmakers have similar concerns: one of the main issues they thematise in the study guide that accompanies the film is the so–called ‘school-to-prison pipeline’. Here is how they explain it:

By all available measures, the United States incarcerates its youth at a much higher rate than  any other country in the world, with 130,000 youth  being incarcerated each year. […] Alarmingly, for many students the point of entry into the  criminal justice system is their classroom. The term school-to-prison pipeline is a metaphor for  a complex blend of policies and practices that contribute to a student being funneled out of the public education system and into juvenile or criminal justice systems. In For Ahkeem, we see  two examples of this beginning with Daje being  removed from her traditional school and placed in the court-supervised alternative school, the  Innovative Concept Academy. In Antonio’s case,  we watch as he becomes disengaged from his  schooling, becomes incarcerated, and navigates  the justice system without adequate legal support.  There are many factors that contribute to and maintain the school-to-prison pipeline and its impact on students. Here, we will detail three  of the most well-documented components: the enforcement of zero-tolerance disciplinary  policies in schools; the use of exclusionary discipline that removes or reduces the opportunity  for students to learn; and the criminalization of misbehavior in schools.

I think it makes sense to kick off our own discussion of the film by considering their questions regarding this issue:

  1. What parts of For Ahkeem and Daje’s story resonated most with you? Why?
  2. Have you personally experienced the school-to-prison pipeline or seen it at work in the life of a  classmate?
  3. Have you ever noticed a discrepancy in the way you were disciplined for misbehavior vs. the  way one of your classmates was disciplined? What types of things do you think influenced that  discrepancy? 
  4. How is Daje’s educational journey similar or dissimilar to your own? To people in your  community?
  5. Who are the stakeholders that you think need to be involved in changing the school-to-prison pipeline in your school, school district or state?
  6. Did you notice that Antonio was in an adult court even though he was only 17 years old? Was  this surprising to you? Why or why not?
  7. Why wasn’t Antonio allowed to sign up for the job training program? What other types  of challenges do you think Antonio may face as a formerly incarcerated person and/or as  someone with a felony conviction?

I have some questions of my own that I’d like to add, but since this is already a good bit to chew on, I’ll wait until we see each other in person to pose them.

For Tuesday, 10/23 (SOC 1102)

October 19, 2018

I won’t be in class on Tuesday; I’ll still be getting back from Austin, TX, by way of Denver, CO (I’ll be walking around both of them with an eye to the claim that we’re currently living in a ‘mid-sized city moment’!). So we’ll start a really great documentary on Tuesday, and finish it up and discuss on Thursday. Remember that if you volunteer to do a Pecha Kucha on one of the readings below, you won’t have to present until Thursday!

Prep

In Class

For Next Time

  • The Pruitt-Igoe Myth, cont’d