Allie Stone - Collections Assistant and Imaging Specialist in Insects, holding a cotton woven tunic from Guatemala, an item from the Economic Botany Collections. Jim Boone - Collections Manager, Insects, holding two paradise birdwing butterflies. Constance Van Beek - Preparator, Fossil Invertebrates, holding the bronze cast replica of Sue’s tooth, one of a dozen especially made for the preparators who worked on her. Laura Briscoe - Collections/Research Assistant, Botany, holding a piece of lace knit from Agave americana fibers from the Azores. Kevin H. - Collections Assistant, Botany, holding an original Schuster botanical illustration. Robert Lücking - Collections Manager and Adjunct Curator, Botany, holding a plastic sign covered with lichens collected in a rain forest in Costa Rica. Matthew Lavoie - Collections Assistant, Botany, holding the model of a cane toad from the imaging lab.

thebrainscoop:

My friend Daniel - photographer, biologist, artist, friendliest person ever - is working on a photo project that highlights staff and volunteers of The Field Museum along with their favorite collections items.

Posing with artifacts and specimens brings a certain ingenuity to the object; perhaps it would otherwise be something easily overlooked in a drawer, its history buried in comparative numbers. Singling out individual articles stresses their inherent uniqueness, and we’re drawn in with a curiosity trying to puzzle out why, out of 27 million items in this museum, these particular people chose the specimens in their hands.

There’s a visceral connection between Laura’s gaze and that agave lace: she’s looking at it so lovingly and holding it so carefully, as if she’s imagining herself sitting in awe at the foot of the person who painstakingly knit the fibers together and watching the entire process come together. Having seen her knit her own scarves on our way home one evening I can fathom the respect she has for not only the collections but also the people responsible for their creation and care.

Throughout Daniel’s portraits he’s been able to capture so well a humbling sense of gratification and pride, a mood that reflects our joy of being here because of the love we have for this world and its achievements. We’re all bursting with the same sense of wonder. 

Check out more portraits in his series, including questions answered by the featured scientists.


Ask the powerful five questions:
What power have you got?
Where did you get it from?
In whose interest do you exercise it?
To whom are you accountable?
How can we get rid of you?
Only democracy gives us that right. That is why no one with power likes democracy and that is why every generation must struggle to win it and keep it; including you and me, here and now. 
Tony Benn 2005.

Via: Phil BC.
[Image Tony Benn and quote as above] High-res

Ask the powerful five questions:

What power have you got?

Where did you get it from?

In whose interest do you exercise it?

To whom are you accountable?

How can we get rid of you?

Only democracy gives us that right. That is why no one with power likes democracy and that is why every generation must struggle to win it and keep it; including you and me, here and now. 

Tony Benn 2005.

Via: Phil BC.

[Image Tony Benn and quote as above]

Since the 1990s Australian law has recognised sexual persecution as grounds for refugee asylum. Still, applicants are forced to go through a protracted process of proving their “gayness.” This excellent video features University of Sydney researcher and activist Senthorun Raj telling the story of Ravi, a Bangladeshi asylum seeker, who was forced not just to establish his sexuality, but to defend his commitment to his queerness. Ravi’s problem was that he was not “visibly” gay in the way the law expected. Yet refuge law on persecution is not simply about looks or physical persecution. Raj writes:

LGBTIQ persecution does not always involve physical violence. Persecution can manifest in persisting psychological abuse, coerced concealment, the inability to subsist, or systemic discrimination that is legitimated/ tolerated by the state. 

In the video, Ravi notes that while his first sexual encounter with a man was consensual it was not pleasurable. This is part of sexuality: we can be attracted to people and not necessarily always enjoy sex equally with everyone. Ravi had also had sex with a woman in the past. This undermined his case as a gay man in the eyes of the Refugee Tribunal. They did not believe that Ravi had “made up his mind” about being gay because of this prior experience.

As Raj points out, sexuality is fluid. Some people can be gay and yet still have had sexual experiences with the opposite gender, or they can gay and not have slept with many people, and you can be gay and not necessarily have enjoyed all your sexual encounters. This works the same for heterosexual people, and yet this somehow doesn’t invalidate their heterosexuality.

This is such an important video to explore the sociology of refugee law and the intersections between migration and queer theory. The story is illustrated wonderfully by Australian artist on Tumblr, Sam Wallman (penerasespaper).

Representing Ourselves:

This film tells how women from different countries are working together on visual projects to create support the development of a multicultural network in a rural area of England.

Women from the Cumbria Multicultural Women’s Network have come together as Alien Films and are active participants in Visible Voice. 

deerstalkerpictures:

We recently shot an interview with PhD Candidate Meg for The University of New South Wales in which she discusses her PhD research subject. Meg is a sociologist whose research consists of visually analysing kawaii subcultures to unpack the meaning behind them, and determine how they relate to power and gender. We will share the video with you when it’s uploaded!

(via sociolab)

instagram.com/p/g3DYXHlHZ-/#jethromullen instagram.com/p/g0QHF7Aw8o/#dguttenfelder instagram.com/p/g1jyECnc1-/#jeffcanoy instagram.com/p/g1yIXcFHQH/#jethromullen instagram.com/p/gtzdcACDW3/#ivancnn instagram.com/p/gx0qAMAw7f/#dguttenfelder instagram.com/p/gx4eMok0yj/#djstaana instagram.com/p/gy8_8juRH4/#omsitoy instagram.com/p/gzUaleFHTz/#jethromullen

instagram:

Surviving the Storm: Documenting the Aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan on Instagram

Want to help the victims of Typhoon Haiyan? Visit the International Red Cross and Red Crescent to learn how you can help.

Typhoon Haiyan, one of the largest tropical storms ever recorded, made landfall in central Philippines on 7 November, resulting in an unprecedented humanitarian crisis. An estimated 4 million people have fled their homes—a figure that outnumbers the displaced populations of Hurricane Katrina and the Indian Ocean tsunami combined.

Thousands of emergency shelters have been set up, and international relief agencies are working around the clock to provide aid, but parts of the Philippines are still lacking basic supplies, medicine or clean water and food.

Photojournalists, reporters and residents have been documenting the relief efforts on Instagram, capturing the resilience of the Filipino people and the massive job ahead for the survivors and countless volunteers.

See more images by following journalists @jeffcanoy, @dguttenfelder, @jethromullen and @ivancnn.

This photoset shows the untapped potential of using Instagram for visual sociology. Visual sociology refers to sociologists taking photos, or creating other visuals to represent sociological phenomena. It also incorporates photos and visuals that sociologists ask their participants to take as part of their methodology.

These photos are not visual sociology because they have not been taken by sociologists, but they show the importance of documenting significant events as well as everyday life in a visual format.

These photos show a diversity of experience, with ordinary people reproducing their world from their own point of view. Rather than having events selectively documented by journalists, or simply described by the words of outsiders, photos taken by locals open up a new avenue of perception that would otherwise be less accessible without the use of social media.

Follow the #Haiyan hashtag on Instagram and you’ll see various posts documenting the plight of survivors, the devastation and clean up over those who died, and the various efforts to provide shelter, necessities and to rebuild. You’ll see people expressing gratitude over the distribution of humanitarian aid from Government, aid agencies, groups, individuals and international donations such as this school from Washington; volunteers showing their work; and photos of people coping with the disaster in various ways, including young people playing sports

Visual sociology receives minor attention within our discipline. Having researchers use a visual methodology is a powerful way of illustrating the sociological imagination. More on this soon. In the meantime, you can follow my #VisualSociology series using that hashtag on Instagram. 

Bedouin warrior by Cultural Collections, University of Newcastle on Flickr.

This photograph is from an album created by Lt Thomas Gerald George Fahey who served in the Australian Light Horse in the Middle East during World War 1.

The Bedouin are comprised of various Arabic tribes who were forced into a precarious nomadic lifestyle in the late 19th Century under Ottoman rule. Some Bedouin tribes fought alongside the Turks during the First World War. During the early 1960s, severe drought forced many Bedouin away from a herding lifestyle, and most now live in large cities such as Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Iraq, Tunisia, Libya, Saudi Arabia and Syria. 
 

Bedouin warrior by Cultural Collections, University of Newcastle on Flickr.

This photograph is from an album created by Lt Thomas Gerald George Fahey who served in the Australian Light Horse in the Middle East during World War 1.

The Bedouin are comprised of various Arabic tribes who were forced into a precarious nomadic lifestyle in the late 19th Century under Ottoman rule. Some Bedouin tribes fought alongside the Turks during the First World War. During the early 1960s, severe drought forced many Bedouin away from a herding lifestyle, and most now live in large cities such as Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Iraq, Tunisia, Libya, Saudi Arabia and Syria. 

 

Short video explaining Bourdieu’s Field Theory.  Uses football/soccer as a way to illustrate the concepts of habitus and doxa. Basic production but lovely example of visual sociology.

Kristen Schilt discusses how a more sophisticated understanding of transgender experiences have shaped sociology’s approach to sexuality and gender. She notes that in traditional sociology, such as in Harold Garfinkel’s Studies in Ethnomethodology, transgender people have been seen to be “over-doing gender… that they have to be 120% male or 120% female because they’re trying to show to the outside world this is real, this is valid.” Schilt’s study, Just One of the Guys, finds that transgender men are not welded to a dominant style of masculinity (also known as hegemonic masculinity). They are comfortable with representing their gender identities in diverse ways. Instead, it is transgender men’s cis-gender co-workers who are invested to policing gender in constrained ways (men don’t wear earrings, men cut their hair in particular ways and they wear particular styles of clothes).


We must remember that intelligence is not enough. Intelligence plus character- that is the goal of true education.”

- Dr Martin Luther King.
Dr Martin Luther King Jr was born on the 15th of January 1929. Our American colleagues and others might know that King had a degree in sociology and theology (of course!). As the Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Sociology notes, King remains “a public sociologist par excellence.” In celebration of the passing birthday of this pre-eminent sociologist and progressive activist, I made you this, with one of my favourite quotes by King. Here, he argues that education is not simply about accumulating knowledge, but rather to develop a sense of morality based upon principles of social justice and then acting upon these values.
As an applied and public sociologist, we can see how Luther’s sociological training influenced his “change management” leadership style, which David Frantz describes as:

building a vision, networking, communicating powerfully, identifying and dealing with differences, creating leverage to motivate people, and conceptualizing alternative strategic paths. (p.157)

If you’re still studying sociology and you wonder what you can do with a sociology degree, think about King as a model for what applied sociologists can achieve outside academia. 
Read more on Sociology at Work. High-res

We must remember that intelligence is not enough. Intelligence plus character- that is the goal of true education.”

- Dr Martin Luther King.

Dr Martin Luther King Jr was born on the 15th of January 1929. Our American colleagues and others might know that King had a degree in sociology and theology (of course!). As the Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Sociology notes, King remains “a public sociologist par excellence.” In celebration of the passing birthday of this pre-eminent sociologist and progressive activist, I made you this, with one of my favourite quotes by King. Here, he argues that education is not simply about accumulating knowledge, but rather to develop a sense of morality based upon principles of social justice and then acting upon these values.

As an applied and public sociologist, we can see how Luther’s sociological training influenced his “change management” leadership style, which David Frantz describes as:

building a vision, networking, communicating powerfully, identifying and dealing with differences, creating leverage to motivate people, and conceptualizing alternative strategic paths. (p.157)

If you’re still studying sociology and you wonder what you can do with a sociology degree, think about King as a model for what applied sociologists can achieve outside academia. 

Read more on Sociology at Work.

The “father of sociology,” Auguste Comte, features in the second animated video in the 60 Second Adventures in Religion series by Open University. Comte developed a theory positivism to argue that social phenomena could be studied through data collection and experiments fashioned on the practices of the natural sciences. His premise was that the philosophical development of science followed three stages:

1. Theological - nature has a will of it’s own. This stage is broken down into three stages of its own, including animism, polytheism, and monotheism.

2. Metaphysical state - though substituting ideas for a personal will.

3. Positive - a search for absolute knowledge. 

Link to video via Brain Pickings.

Open University puts the (animated) spotlight on two sociologists who were critical of organised religion. This one is on Karl Marx and his enduring dictum: “Religion is the opium of the people.” Marx used this phrase to argue that religion is a mechanism to entice poor and disadvantaged people to accept suffering and inequality as part of life (through the enticement of higher rewards in the afterlife). The original quote is drawn from the Introduction to A Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right. In context, Marx’s original quote reads:

Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.

The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness. To call on them to give up their illusions about their condition is to call on them to give up a condition that requires illusions. The criticism of religion is, therefore, in embryo, the criticism of that vale of tears of which religion is the halo.

Criticism has plucked the imaginary flowers on the chain not in order that man shall continue to bear that chain without fantasy or consolation, but so that he shall throw off the chain and pluck the living flower. The criticism of religion disillusions man, so that he will think, act, and fashion his reality like a man who has discarded his illusions and regained his senses, so that he will move around himself as his own true Sun. Religion is only the illusory Sun which revolves around man as long as he does not revolve around himself.

The video is from the series: Religion as Social Control - 60 Second Adventures in Religion.

Video link via: Brain Pickings.