My next instalment of the #SociologyOfTrolleys: There are many studies on why *online* shopping trolleys are abandoned (poor website design; lack of incentive or commitment by customers; and so on), there is little attention given to the reasons why people abandon shopping trolleys in everyday life. 

Researcher Franck Cochoy has done some research on how shopping trolleys shape shopping behaviour (for example, by visually representing the volume of our spending by virtue of how full our trolleys are). But this research does not examine abandoned carts.

Many people think that trolleys are abandoned because kids are using them to push each other around. As such wayward trolleys are often seen as an act of social deviance by young people. In my forthcoming posts I’ll look at how abandoned carts are policed both informally at the community level and more formally through rewards and penalties (it’s actually a lucrative business). The truth about shopping trolley “deviance” is less about youth and more about social class. 

#sociology #visualsociology #trolleys #shopping #shoppingcarts #shoppingtrolleys #youth #deviance #socialscience #class #society #culture High-res

My next instalment of the #SociologyOfTrolleys: There are many studies on why *online* shopping trolleys are abandoned (poor website design; lack of incentive or commitment by customers; and so on), there is little attention given to the reasons why people abandon shopping trolleys in everyday life.

Researcher Franck Cochoy has done some research on how shopping trolleys shape shopping behaviour (for example, by visually representing the volume of our spending by virtue of how full our trolleys are). But this research does not examine abandoned carts.

Many people think that trolleys are abandoned because kids are using them to push each other around. As such wayward trolleys are often seen as an act of social deviance by young people. In my forthcoming posts I’ll look at how abandoned carts are policed both informally at the community level and more formally through rewards and penalties (it’s actually a lucrative business). The truth about shopping trolley “deviance” is less about youth and more about social class.

#sociology #visualsociology #trolleys #shopping #shoppingcarts #shoppingtrolleys #youth #deviance #socialscience #class #society #culture

ever-so-slightly-monstrous:

“Here is how the internship scam works. It’s not about a “skills” gap. It’s about a morality gap. 1) Make higher education worthless by redefining “skill” as a specific corporate contribution. Tell young people they have no skills. 2) With “skill” irrelevant, require experience. Make internship sole path to experience. Make internships unpaid, locking out all but rich. 3) End on the job training for entry level jobs. Educated told skills are irrelevant. Uneducated told they have no way to obtain skills. 4) As wealthy progress on professional career path, middle and lower class youth take service jobs to pay off massive educational debt. 5) Make these part-time jobs not “count” on resume. Hire on prestige, not skill or education. Punish those who need to work to survive. 6) Punish young people who never found any kind of work the hardest. Make them untouchables — unhireable. 7) Tell wealthy people they are “privileged” to be working 40 hrs/week for free. Don’t tell them what kind of “privileged” it is. 8) Make status quo commentary written by unpaid interns or people hiring unpaid interns. They will tell you it’s your fault. 9) Young people, it is not your fault. Speak out. Fight back. Bankrupt the prestige economy.”

The moral bankruptcy of the internship economy | Sarah Kendzior (via brutereason)

solarbird added: see also the intrinsic fraud of the prestigious internship. (via solarbird)

sociolab:

“The Myth of Bootstraps goes something like this: I never got any help from anyone. I achieved my American Dream all on my own, through hard work. I got an education, I saved my money, I worked hard, I took risks, and I never complained or blamed anyone else when I failed, and every time I fell, I picked myself up by my bootstraps and just worked even harder. No one helped me. This is almost always a lie. There are vanishingly few people who have never had help from anyone—who never had family members who helped them, or friends, or colleagues, or teachers. Who never benefited from government programs that made sure they had electricity, or mail, or passable roads, or clean drinking water, or food, or shelter, or healthcare, or a loan. Who never had any kind of privilege from which they benefited, even if they didn’t actively try to trade on it. Who never had an opportunity they saw as luck which was really someone, somewhere, making a decision that benefited them. Who never had friends to help them move, so they didn’t have to pay for movers. Who never inherited a couch, so they didn’t have to pay for a couch. Who never got hand-me-down clothes from a cousin, so their parents could afford piano lessons. Who never had shoes that fit and weren’t leaky, when the kid down the street didn’t. Most, maybe all, of the people who say they never got any help from anyone are taking a lot of help for granted.”

Shakesville: This Is Not a Solution; This Is the Problem. (via brutereason)

nothingman:

You ever read a news headline where every word before you even read the actual article just gives you a sick sensation right in your soul?

This is a resplendent example of White male privilege: a police funded by the rich for the rich, in one of America’s most gentrified White states, generating an economy that largely serves the interests of White men:

a narrow vision of capitalism once again threatens to leave many Americans behind. Our nation’s failure to achieve equal educational opportunity has exacerbated race-based economic disparities and produced two starkly different American economies.

And while women have made strong gains in professional life, they remain dramatically underrepresented in many of the most profitable sectors. Silicon Valley is hardly the only place where this is evident, but addressing it here is crucial to turning the tide. [My emphasis.]

In March, Rev. Jesse Jackson wrote to tech leaders such as  Facebook, Apple, Twitter, HP, and Google: 

Technology is supposed to be about inclusion, but sadly, patterns of exclusion remains the order of the day.

And just to be clear: this unequal distribution and access of technological innovation in Facebook’s case seems to be funding a higher quality police force for elites.

Some people see that technology is value free - as if it simply developed by talented individuals and later adopted by the masses. This view fails to take into account how technology is both shaped by, and shapes, social interaction and how technology reflects social hierarchies. This is an example of how technological progress shapes economic inequality, notions of risk and safety. It doesn’t have to be this way - people make these choices to serve their interests, rather than focusing on collective good.

Sociologist Shamus Khan on Re-framing Poverty

Programs that focus on the “culture of poverty” and the alleged “attributes” of poor people don’t get to its root cause, which is, quite simply, that millions of people don’t have enough money. Poverty is not a fixed trait; we can easily make people less poor by giving them enough money so that they’re no longer poor.

There’s considerable evidence that this method works. Progressive thinkers have recently suggested that, in light of such evidence, a guaranteed basic minimum income should be central to addressing poverty and building a better society. But let’s not assume that this is just a liberal idea cooked up by the economically naive: Conservative economist Milton Friedman argued that a similar idea, in the form of a “negative income tax,” might be the path to prosperity. In imagining the poor as moral failures, we have created an elaborate system of government surveillance, security and regulation, infantilizing and demonizing those who are suffering. Instead, we might look to policies like a guaranteed basic income or a negative income tax, in which we give people money and treat them with the dignity their humanity entitles them to.

Source: Al Jazeera.

ever-so-slightly-monstrous:

“Just owning books in and of itself is a telling social marker, and the number of books you own is another one. The bookshelfie and shelfie alike are ways not just to geek out with fellow book fiends, but also to send a signal about your cultural, social, and class position. Owning large quantities of books, being familiar with them, frequently referring to them, working in an industry where books are valued, these are all markers of upper middle class status, reflecting education, purchasing power, and social privilege.”

s.e. smith, ‘Is the ‘Shelfie’ Just Intellectual Wankery?,’ xoJane (via se-smith)

Speaking as the grandaughter of immigrants, as the daughter of working-class people (all of whom had piles and piles of books),  as somebody who grew up poor, and who has been broke on and off for most of her adult life, who has worked as a secretary and a customer service rep…

…speaking as somebody who drives a car that’s old enough to drive itself…

…speaking as somebody who didn’t have the money to finish college…

…I call bullshit on this. 

Books can be bought second-hand, inexpensively. They can be got at thrift stores, for crying out loud, and all you need to enjoy them is a place to sit and enough light to read by. Books are re-usable and storable. You can buy them when you have a little money and keep them for later.

And they give us something to do on the bus.

For those of us who do ride or who have ridden a lot of buses.

They are, in terms of dollars per hour, the cheapest way to educate, solace, or entertain yourself. 

I have a lot of books because they are cheap, not because they are expensive. 

ETA: I agree with some of the points that the OP is making about the potential for elitism and pretentiousness in framing, but the quoted segment above is elitist nonsense in its own right. Only the middle class is intellectually curious? 

(via matociquala)

——

Warning: Scott unexpectedly blows his top a bit.

Oh, my. Where to even begin…

S.E. Smith’s piece is written with something resembling good intentions, but it’s predicated on a recontextualization of the act of book ownership that is ludicrous and insulting. It also features a defining-down of the term “upper middle class” that would be pretty breathtaking even without the rest of the junk surrounding it, but I’m not even going to really dwell on that. Let’s talk a little bit about the economics of books.

The mass-market paperback is an industrial artifact that strikes us as a bit out of place these days, not so much a fish that has smoothly evolved to walk on land but a fish that flops about after its water has receded, fighting to stay alive. The MMPB, which only truly came into being during and after World War II, was mass in a way that most of us barely comprehend in 2013 because its former sales spaces have been killed off in a process lasting more than thirty years. These things used to be bloody everywhere… every grocery store, every pharmacy, every newsstand, every gas station, every department store. The ubiquitous MMPB significantly pre-dates the era of specialized national chain book retailers (like B. Dalton, Waldenbooks, Borders, B&N, themselves now slain or transmuted by shifting commercial landscapes). The main point is, there was a time when exposure to the chance to buy cheap paperbacks was 100% integrated into the experience of going out to buy any of the other necessities of life. The rudimentary book aisles at Wal-Mart and other surviving ‘big box’ stores in 2013 are simply not analogous; not in their depth of selection, not in their price points, not in their physical accessibility.  

Return to the phrase “cheap paperbacks.” This too is critical. The MMPB was meant to be inexpensive and disposable. It was meant to attract impulse buyers. It wasn’t meant to be printed on acid-free archival paper and passed down as an heirloom for generations to come. It was banged out cheaply to be sold cheaply… or pulped if it didn’t sell quickly enough. 

These books were not status symbols of the “upper middle class.” They were dirt-cheap popular entertainment for all social classes, and all social classes were tempted by racks of the things nearly every time they entered a retail establishment. Remember that… these days the book aisle at Wal-Mart is a place you seek out on your own initiative. Forty years ago, cheap books were something the store would have tried to sell to you at multiple points, in the places you find now DVDs and candy bars and cut-rate video games. Cheap books WERE the DVDs and cut-rate video games of forty years ago.

Now, grandpa isn’t here to lament that time has moved on, kids. Grandpa likes DVDs and video games quite a bit. Grandpa just wants you to remember that books were targeted for sale to everybody, everywhere, and were not doled out of vaults at country clubs. 

We also need to talk about those magic places called used book stores, where even high-quality editions were (and are!) available at prices so low they make the fresh MMPB on a supermarket rack seem like it’s printed on sheets of iridium. I grew up in the 1980s on a steady diet of visits (thanks, mom!) to the land of the dime book, the quarter book, and the fifty-cent book. Reference books might run a dollar. Library discard sales were similar treasure hunts; so many potential hours of entertainment and education compressed into such a tiny price tag! I’m not even talking about the other major haunt of my youth, the public library, because I think it’s sufficient for my point to focus solely on book experiences that came directly out of the wallet. 

This was not, and is not, a necessarily expensive hobby. This was not, and is not, some sort of elitist fucking class marker of the indolent and narcissistic.  

"Owning large quantities of books," "being familiar with them," and "frequently referring to them" aren’t symptoms of elitism. They were, and are, and ought to be ASPIRATIONAL SYMPTOMS OF BASELINE LITERACY AND CULTURAL APPRECIATION. Social crusaders in every age of our modern world have understood that functional literacy is part of the very BEDROCK of building and empowering a population to be something other than terrified serfs. Literacy is a common weapon and books are common treasures. Trying to re-frame the act of building a personal library as shameful posturing for the rich and privileged is bullshit. It’s anti-intellectual concern trolling predicated on the flabbergasting notion that the poor don’t have an interest in books or what they represent. It’s no fucking different than the depraved right-wing notion that the poor can’t “really” be poor if they have such luxuries as refrigerators and running tap water available to them.

(via scottlynch78)

Reblogging for commentary. I own tons of books. SO many books. Like, thousands of books. My family is hardly “upper middle class”-we’re lower middle class on a lucky/good day. That sort of happens when your mom’s a teacher and your dad’s a dryland farmer. We have little enough money that my college education was paid for primarily by a needs-based scholarship. And still, *we have books*. The library booksale, where you could buy books for a dollar an inch or five dollars a flat; Goodwill and Arc and Savers, where you can buy books for fifty cents if you hit the tags right; the bargain bins at Barnes and Noble, where you can get giant hardcovers for four dollars if you play your cards right; donations from friends and family; there are SO many places to acquire and buy books. So s.e. smith is being pretty damn classist in and of zirself to say that poor people can’t read or don’t have any means to. Kindly stop. 

(via geekygothgirl)


—————————


(via darkestgreen)

…books are a durable good.  I mean, yes, if we’re talking about small children’s books, they’re probably not going to last for more than one reader, but anyone old enough not to smear jam on the pages is typically not consuming a book by reading it. 

You may well have consumed your own interest in the book, yes, because how many times are you really going to feel compelled to re-read the latest science-horror or whiteguy-thriller or weirdo-conspiracy airport-market best-seller that you bought for a bit of literary popcorn?  But be that as it may, the book itself—the object conveying the story—is still perfectly usable.  Whenever you have something like this, you’re going to get quite a healthy second-hand market.  In the case of books, that second-hand market’s been thriving since before our parents were kids. 

So yes, posting a picture of your stuffed-to-bursting bookshelves does convey a certain amount of social information, even if nothing else can be deciphered.  You, person who posted a picture of your bookshelf, are A Reader.  You read books, or at least you’d like people to think you do.  We do not need to be able to read the titles and authors on the spines to see that you believe reading books is important.  As a way to convey purchasing power? Not so much, unless your shelves are stacked with nothing but leatherbound early editions or brand-new, recently-released books.

And, of course, let’s not forget the number of bookcase pictures that have nothing whatsoever to do with rarefied intellectual aspirations.  The photo of the floor-to-ceiling bookcase with every Dragonlance book ever printed arranged in chronological order by story rather than publication date is not meant to communicate that the owner has strong opinions on the applicability of Marxist theory to freecycling.  The picture of the cozy armchair next to a shelf containing the five most recent entries in the “Left Behind” series next to Daily Devotionals and Chicken Soup for the Christian Soul is not meant to say “I work in an industry where books are valued.” They signal social information and social status, yes, but thinking of it purely in terms of mainstream economic elitism is like trying to describe a sphere using a single axis.

(via
stuckinabucket
)

Just owning books in and of itself is a telling social marker, and the number of books you own is another one. The bookshelfie and shelfie alike are ways not just to geek out with fellow book fiends, but also to send a signal about your cultural, social, and class position. Owning large quantities of books, being familiar with them, frequently referring to them, working in an industry where books are valued, these are all markers of upper middle class status, reflecting education, purchasing power, and social privilege.

s.e. smith, ‘Is the ‘Shelfie’ Just Intellectual Wankery?,’ xoJane (via se-smith)

Speaking as the grandaughter of immigrants, as the daughter of working-class people (all of whom had piles and piles of books),  as somebody who grew up poor, and who has been broke on and off for most of her adult life, who has worked as a secretary and a customer service rep…

…speaking as somebody who drives a car that’s old enough to drive itself…

…speaking as somebody who didn’t have the money to finish college…

…I call bullshit on this. 

Books can be bought second-hand, inexpensively. They can be got at thrift stores, for crying out loud, and all you need to enjoy them is a place to sit and enough light to read by. Books are re-usable and storable. You can buy them when you have a little money and keep them for later.

And they give us something to do on the bus.

For those of us who do ride or who have ridden a lot of buses.

They are, in terms of dollars per hour, the cheapest way to educate, solace, or entertain yourself. 

I have a lot of books because they are cheap, not because they are expensive. 

ETA: I agree with some of the points that the OP is making about the potential for elitism and pretentiousness in framing, but the quoted segment above is elitist nonsense in its own right. Only the middle class is intellectually curious? 

(via matociquala)

——

Warning: Scott unexpectedly blows his top a bit.

Oh, my. Where to even begin…

S.E. Smith’s piece is written with something resembling good intentions, but it’s predicated on a recontextualization of the act of book ownership that is ludicrous and insulting. It also features a defining-down of the term “upper middle class” that would be pretty breathtaking even without the rest of the junk surrounding it, but I’m not even going to really dwell on that. Let’s talk a little bit about the economics of books.

The mass-market paperback is an industrial artifact that strikes us as a bit out of place these days, not so much a fish that has smoothly evolved to walk on land but a fish that flops about after its water has receded, fighting to stay alive. The MMPB, which only truly came into being during and after World War II, was mass in a way that most of us barely comprehend in 2013 because its former sales spaces have been killed off in a process lasting more than thirty years. These things used to be bloody everywhere… every grocery store, every pharmacy, every newsstand, every gas station, every department store. The ubiquitous MMPB significantly pre-dates the era of specialized national chain book retailers (like B. Dalton, Waldenbooks, Borders, B&N, themselves now slain or transmuted by shifting commercial landscapes). The main point is, there was a time when exposure to the chance to buy cheap paperbacks was 100% integrated into the experience of going out to buy any of the other necessities of life. The rudimentary book aisles at Wal-Mart and other surviving ‘big box’ stores in 2013 are simply not analogous; not in their depth of selection, not in their price points, not in their physical accessibility.  

Return to the phrase “cheap paperbacks.” This too is critical. The MMPB was meant to be inexpensive and disposable. It was meant to attract impulse buyers. It wasn’t meant to be printed on acid-free archival paper and passed down as an heirloom for generations to come. It was banged out cheaply to be sold cheaply… or pulped if it didn’t sell quickly enough. 

These books were not status symbols of the “upper middle class.” They were dirt-cheap popular entertainment for all social classes, and all social classes were tempted by racks of the things nearly every time they entered a retail establishment. Remember that… these days the book aisle at Wal-Mart is a place you seek out on your own initiative. Forty years ago, cheap books were something the store would have tried to sell to you at multiple points, in the places you find now DVDs and candy bars and cut-rate video games. Cheap books WERE the DVDs and cut-rate video games of forty years ago.

Now, grandpa isn’t here to lament that time has moved on, kids. Grandpa likes DVDs and video games quite a bit. Grandpa just wants you to remember that books were targeted for sale to everybody, everywhere, and were not doled out of vaults at country clubs. 

We also need to talk about those magic places called used book stores, where even high-quality editions were (and are!) available at prices so low they make the fresh MMPB on a supermarket rack seem like it’s printed on sheets of iridium. I grew up in the 1980s on a steady diet of visits (thanks, mom!) to the land of the dime book, the quarter book, and the fifty-cent book. Reference books might run a dollar. Library discard sales were similar treasure hunts; so many potential hours of entertainment and education compressed into such a tiny price tag! I’m not even talking about the other major haunt of my youth, the public library, because I think it’s sufficient for my point to focus solely on book experiences that came directly out of the wallet. 

This was not, and is not, a necessarily expensive hobby. This was not, and is not, some sort of elitist fucking class marker of the indolent and narcissistic.  

"Owning large quantities of books," "being familiar with them," and "frequently referring to them" aren’t symptoms of elitism. They were, and are, and ought to be ASPIRATIONAL SYMPTOMS OF BASELINE LITERACY AND CULTURAL APPRECIATION. Social crusaders in every age of our modern world have understood that functional literacy is part of the very BEDROCK of building and empowering a population to be something other than terrified serfs. Literacy is a common weapon and books are common treasures. Trying to re-frame the act of building a personal library as shameful posturing for the rich and privileged is bullshit. It’s anti-intellectual concern trolling predicated on the flabbergasting notion that the poor don’t have an interest in books or what they represent. It’s no fucking different than the depraved right-wing notion that the poor can’t “really” be poor if they have such luxuries as refrigerators and running tap water available to them.

(via scottlynch78)

Reblogging for commentary. I own tons of books. SO many books. Like, thousands of books. My family is hardly “upper middle class”-we’re lower middle class on a lucky/good day. That sort of happens when your mom’s a teacher and your dad’s a dryland farmer. We have little enough money that my college education was paid for primarily by a needs-based scholarship. And still, *we have books*. The library booksale, where you could buy books for a dollar an inch or five dollars a flat; Goodwill and Arc and Savers, where you can buy books for fifty cents if you hit the tags right; the bargain bins at Barnes and Noble, where you can get giant hardcovers for four dollars if you play your cards right; donations from friends and family; there are SO many places to acquire and buy books. So s.e. smith is being pretty damn classist in and of zirself to say that poor people can’t read or don’t have any means to. Kindly stop. 

(via geekygothgirl)


—————————


(via darkestgreen)

…books are a durable good.  I mean, yes, if we’re talking about small children’s books, they’re probably not going to last for more than one reader, but anyone old enough not to smear jam on the pages is typically not consuming a book by reading it. 

You may well have consumed your own interest in the book, yes, because how many times are you really going to feel compelled to re-read the latest science-horror or whiteguy-thriller or weirdo-conspiracy airport-market best-seller that you bought for a bit of literary popcorn?  But be that as it may, the book itself—the object conveying the story—is still perfectly usable.  Whenever you have something like this, you’re going to get quite a healthy second-hand market.  In the case of books, that second-hand market’s been thriving since before our parents were kids. 

So yes, posting a picture of your stuffed-to-bursting bookshelves does convey a certain amount of social information, even if nothing else can be deciphered.  You, person who posted a picture of your bookshelf, are A Reader.  You read books, or at least you’d like people to think you do.  We do not need to be able to read the titles and authors on the spines to see that you believe reading books is important.  As a way to convey purchasing power? Not so much, unless your shelves are stacked with nothing but leatherbound early editions or brand-new, recently-released books.

And, of course, let’s not forget the number of bookcase pictures that have nothing whatsoever to do with rarefied intellectual aspirations.  The photo of the floor-to-ceiling bookcase with every Dragonlance book ever printed arranged in chronological order by story rather than publication date is not meant to communicate that the owner has strong opinions on the applicability of Marxist theory to freecycling.  The picture of the cozy armchair next to a shelf containing the five most recent entries in the “Left Behind” series next to Daily Devotionals and Chicken Soup for the Christian Soul is not meant to say “I work in an industry where books are valued.” They signal social information and social status, yes, but thinking of it purely in terms of mainstream economic elitism is like trying to describe a sphere using a single axis.

(via stuckinabucket)

(via ever-so-slightly-monstrous)

On STEM Women, we did a series of posts on women who are pioneers in STEM (Science Technology Engineering & Math). I wrote a piece about Evelyn Boyd Granville, who was only the second African American woman to gain a PhD in Mathematics in the USA, in the early 1940s. I especially loved reading all her personal recollections of the sacrifices that her mother and aunt made to put her through university. It seems a moot point to say that parents play a pivotal role in their children’s success. This is not so simple when we understand the empirical evidence of how institutional and social forces can limit parents and children from disadvantaged backgrounds. Parents don’t always know how to support girls into STEM careers, and more importantly, they don’t always have the resources or knowledge about where to seek additional help. This is especially pertinent for the careers of minority women in STEM.
Granville was raised in a single parent home by Julia Boyd, her poor working mother who wholeheartedly supported her daughter’s education. This was a very brave move given that in the 1940s, there were few educational or work opportunities for women in science, let alone for minority women. Granville recalls:

I saw black women - attractive, well dressed women - teaching school, and I wanted to be a teacher because that’s all I saw. I was not aware of any other profession… I did not receive a scholarship the first year at (Smith College), and I was told later that they didn’t see how in the world a poor child as I could afford to go there. 

Granville faced much discrimination along the way, not just in finding work despite her obvious brilliance, but in other ways that should have impeded her progress. For example, she was not able to find accommodation in New York when she moved there to undertake her postdoctoral work. 
Learn more about this phenomenal woman from our STEM Women page on Google+! High-res

On STEM Women, we did a series of posts on women who are pioneers in STEM (Science Technology Engineering & Math). I wrote a piece about Evelyn Boyd Granville, who was only the second African American woman to gain a PhD in Mathematics in the USA, in the early 1940s. I especially loved reading all her personal recollections of the sacrifices that her mother and aunt made to put her through university. It seems a moot point to say that parents play a pivotal role in their children’s success. This is not so simple when we understand the empirical evidence of how institutional and social forces can limit parents and children from disadvantaged backgrounds. Parents don’t always know how to support girls into STEM careers, and more importantly, they don’t always have the resources or knowledge about where to seek additional help. This is especially pertinent for the careers of minority women in STEM.

Granville was raised in a single parent home by Julia Boyd, her poor working mother who wholeheartedly supported her daughter’s education. This was a very brave move given that in the 1940s, there were few educational or work opportunities for women in science, let alone for minority women. Granville recalls:

I saw black women - attractive, well dressed women - teaching school, and I wanted to be a teacher because that’s all I saw. I was not aware of any other profession… I did not receive a scholarship the first year at (Smith College), and I was told later that they didn’t see how in the world a poor child as I could afford to go there. 

Granville faced much discrimination along the way, not just in finding work despite her obvious brilliance, but in other ways that should have impeded her progress. For example, she was not able to find accommodation in New York when she moved there to undertake her postdoctoral work. 

Learn more about this phenomenal woman from our STEM Women page on Google+!

Sociology of Class & Australian Politics

I’ve been reflecting on some of Australia’s political uproars from last year. This one comes to mind because it makes explicit Australia’s enduring class struggle for power. The Palmer United Party became embroiled in a derogatory exchange about Australian voters who are supposedly “bogans.” An email was leaked where Dr Alex Douglas (former MD), a Queensland MP in the Palmer United Party, calls Australian voters “bogans” who live “empty lives” and survive on a “diet of grease.” He also says of bogans: this is a “world we see daily and quietly hope will disappear.” These words exemplify class derision. Bogan is a colloquial term used on working class and rural Australians who are seen to be uncouth or poorly educated.

After the media backlash to the email, Douglas and Palmer, both wealthy Queenslanders, have attempted to paint themselves as “bogans” - as average Australians. Palmer says of Douglas: ”He’s a bogan for voting for Campbell Newman.” Douglas says:

There’s a little bit [of bogan] in all of us… If we all realised there was a little bit of bogan in us and we weren’t so derogatory about them, we’d probably all just have a better life… [Referencing his love for the film The Castle] You like those people because they have a humanity, they’re real, they’re not fake.

Clive Palmer, a mining magnate and “self-proclaimed billionaire” also says he’s “spent most of [his] life as a bogan.” He says he loves eating chips, and that he used to eat McDonalds. Plus he wears ugg boots and goes four-wheel driving. That’s the most striking evidence of bogan credentials you’ll ever see right there.

Palmer also evokes his party’s alliance with the Motoring Enthusiasts Party (MEP) as further proof of his bogan kudos. He even jokes about the MEP’s infamous video where he throws kangarro poo. He says: “what’s so insulting about that? It’s a lot of fun.” What a larrikin! Palmer just like Real People who Fling Faeces for Fun!

Palmer was elected as the member for Fairfax after a drawn out voting count. He has run into ongoing criticism for his lack of knowledge of Australian policies and his seeming disinterest in political processes. He sent a staff member instead of showing up to his first Parliament House induction briefing.

Australia is uncomfortable with class discussions. Everyone thinks they belong to the middle class, but there is still a cultural soft sport for the “Aussie battler;” a working-class ideal of the hard-working, struggling farmer or struggling family who just wants a “fair go.” Palmer has evoked these ideas by appealing to the “bogan” persona. 

Australian sociologists are also uncomfortable with diverging from neo-Marxist analyses of the economy. We collectively prefer to largely critique economic rationalism, but we give little empirical attention to the ways in which markets are a “cultural creation.”

Palmer’s party runs on a platform of redistribution of wealth that appealed to working class Australians in rural regions. In fact, his party opposes carbon tax that would impact on the mining industry in which he is personally invested. 

Source of quotes: The Age.

crackerhell:

gbg-g:

thewhitemankilledthetruth:

almondskeyes:

almondskeyes:

“White Teachers VS ‘Innercity’ Students: Deception in Media Portrayal”

So I spent many hours making this video for an education class……

Basically, I analyzed several “white savior teacher movies” and gave some insight on what this does for audiences

I made this last night and it’s kinda long but I think it’s important you know?

bless this post

This is a whole lotta truth. I’m just gonna add, another detrimental aspect of this narrative is that it affects how teachers and prospective teachers view themselves in a classroom. The public school teaching force is overwhelmingly made out of middle class white people, primarily white women, when the student body is nothing of the sort, so the narrative ends up being played out by teachers who think it could really work this way, and when they fail, b/c this shit is structural, it leads to a lot of blaming of the students. I’m just gonna drop links to a book here 

http://readabookson.tumblr.com/post/31681971350

The book is Black Students, Middle Class Teachers and he spends a couple chapters talking about this gap between the teacher’s world and the students. Though he does lean a bit heavy on the religion for me.

wow these movies are actually worse than i thought

This is a really great video. The analysis fits in with the Magical Negro trope (which I’ve described here). This term describes how Hollywood films tend to cast minorities in supporting roles that aggrandise the White protagonist as the saviour of minorities. 

(via marvelous-merbutler)

flanneryogonner:

Found from various places online:

The Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire

Angela Y. Davis - Are Prisons Obsolete?

Angela Y. Davis - Race, Women, and Class

The Communist Manifesto - Marx and Engels

Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches by Audre Lorde

Three Guineas by Virginia Woolf

Critical Race Theory: An Introduction by Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic

The Black Image in the White Mind: Media and Race in America- Robert M. Entman and Andrew Rojecki

Ain’t I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism - bell hooks

Feminism is for Everybody - bell hooks

outlaw culture - bell hooks

Faces at the Bottom of the Well - Derrick Bell

Sex, Power, and Consent - Anastasia Powell

I am Your Sister - Audre Lorde

Patricia Hill Collins - Black Feminist Thought

Gender Trouble - Judith Butler

Four books by Frantz Fanon

Their Eyes Were Watching God - Zora Neale Hurston

Medical Apartheid - Harriet Washington

Fear of a Queer Planet: Queer Politics and Social Theory  - edited by Michael Warner

Colonialism/Postcolonialism - Ania Loomba

Discipline and Punish - Michel Foucault

The Gloria Anzaldua Reader

Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative? by Mark Fisher

This Bridge Called by Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color by Cherríe Moraga & Gloria Anzaldúa

What is Cultural Studies? - John Storey 

Cultural Theory and Popular Culture - John Storey 

The Disability Studies Reader 

Michel Foucault - Interviews and Other Writings 

Michel Foucault - The History of Sexuality, Vol. 1Vol. 2Vol. 3 

Michel Foucault - The Archeology of Knowledge 

This blog also has a lot more. 

(Sorry they aren’t organized very well.)

(via marvelous-merbutler)

longreads:

“In the postindustrial economy, feminism has been retooled as a vehicle for expression of the self, a ‘self’ as marketable consumer object, valued by how many times it’s been bought—or, in our electronic age, how many times it’s been clicked on. ‘Images of a certain kind of successful woman proliferate,’ British philosopher Nina Power observed of contemporary faux-feminism in her 2009 book, One-Dimensional Woman. ‘The city worker in heels, the flexible agency employee, the hard-working hedonist who can afford to spend her income on vibrators and wine—and would have us believe that—yes—capitalism is a girl’s best friend.’”
-Susan Faludi, in The Baffler, on the Lean In movement and the history of feminism and capitalism. Read more on Sheryl Sandberg here.
***
Image via Wikimedia Commons
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I see problems with a narrow conception of feminism, but I always think it’s worth reading examinations of how feminism is a potential disruption to capitalism. High-res

longreads:

“In the postindustrial economy, feminism has been retooled as a vehicle for expression of the self, a ‘self’ as marketable consumer object, valued by how many times it’s been bought—or, in our electronic age, how many times it’s been clicked on. ‘Images of a certain kind of successful woman proliferate,’ British philosopher Nina Power observed of contemporary faux-feminism in her 2009 book, One-Dimensional Woman. ‘The city worker in heels, the flexible agency employee, the hard-working hedonist who can afford to spend her income on vibrators and wine—and would have us believe that—yes—capitalism is a girl’s best friend.’”

-Susan Faludi, in The Baffler, on the Lean In movement and the history of feminism and capitalism. Read more on Sheryl Sandberg here.

***

Image via Wikimedia Commons

We need your help to get to 5,000 Longreads Members.

Join Longreads now and help us keep going.

I see problems with a narrow conception of feminism, but I always think it’s worth reading examinations of how feminism is a potential disruption to capitalism.

Black transgender people had an unemployment rate of 26%, twice that of transgender people as a whole, and four times the general population. 34% reported income under $10,000/year, more the double the poverty rate of all trans people, and over eight times that of the general population.

These studies confirm what many in the community already know: that those with intersecting identities such as being a trans-woman and a person of color experience one oppression compounded by another.

http://www.basicrights.org/news/trans-justice-news/new-studies-examine-violence-directed-at-transgender-people-of-color/ (via stoppingviolencegivingvoices)

(via nothingman)

[H]onouring the achievements of black filmmakers by declaring it “their” year does them a disservice. Lumping together heavy dramas with lighthearted romcoms simply because of the skin colour of the actors or director prevents these films from being measured against the whiter counterparts that actually share their genre — inadvertently ghettoising the former and protecting the latter from scrutiny. It’s difficult to imagine pulling, say, Blue Is the Warmest Colour, The Great Gatsby, The Hangover Part III, and The Fifth Estate into a story declaring 2013 the year of the “white movie.”

….[A]fter a number of conversations with directors and writers and filmmakers who all happen to be black, one thing quickly becomes apparent: There is no such thing as a black movie.

…[W]hen studios fail to recapture the box office magic with the formula of a previous hit, it casts doubt on all films by black directors. “Jennifer Aniston, Justin Timberlake, Vince Vaughn, they can make a flop — make five flops — and they’ll still get hired and execs will say, ‘That particular movie doesn’t work,’” [Holiday writer and director Malcolm D. ] Lee said.

That kind of nuanced analysis doesn’t often extend to movies by black filmmakers, largely because of the limited vocabulary we use to describe those films; in the language of the industry, race (and gender) of the audience and cast typically trump genre. But using “black movie” or “chick flick” as a lens through which we view bona fide hits like The Butler or Bridesmaids — rather than “sweeping historical drama” or “hilarious ensemble comedy” — leads to largely anaemic and cynical attempts at improving diverse representation.

This is an excellent essay by Deputy Executive Director of Buzzfeed, Shani O. Hilton. Hilton deconstructs the problem of talking about “Black films” as a genre, including similar euphemisms: “race-themed,” “African-American-themed,” “Black-themed,” and “ethnically diverse.” Hilton notes that films that include a few African American actors does not mean it is “ethnically diverse.”

Hilton also raises issues of gender and class. Most so-called “Black films” are centrally stories about men directed by men. African American women directors have even more problems than their male counterparts getting their films recognised. Also, “Black films” tend to portray working class or struggling characters, and so well-educated, middle-class African Americans are largely absent from widely released films.

There’s a great discussion about the possibilities of new distribution and funding methods to increase the types of films that are made.

I highly recommend you read the whole thing on Buzzfeed and discuss!