Young. Political. Frequently feminist. Realist. Sarcastic. Anti-child and pro-pets. Dealing with my own personal demons. Trying to see the world as a burgeoning sociologist.
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I am writing a paper for my Gender and Work class, and am having difficulty writing the introduction. Generally, I write excellent introductions because I am able to frame the issue within a larger problem or trend in society. The problem I am having now is framing my paper within its larger sociological implications. In other words, my sociological imagination is fried. The paper I’m writing is about female politicians and the gender scripts they enact in order to negotiate their social status as a woman and the ‘masculine’ occupation of politics, and how in doing so, they actually reproduce traditional gender relations, although the media and voters play a key role in doing so. Can someone help me fit this in within the larger issue of gender in society, or gender and labor specifically?
I want to start with something like “The more things change, the more they stay the same”, but perhaps that is too colloquial for an academic paper…
I’ve decided to make a list of things that I love, so I can look back on them when I’m blue.
I will continue to add to the list over time.
1. Sociology - it continues to amaze me how brilliant sociologists are, how they provide clearer focus on the world, see daily life from new angles and explore their implications
2. Feminism - I consider feminism to be a branch of sociology, particularly because these two loves of mine have fed each other, but it all started with feminism. I’m really grateful for it, and even more grateful that I understand it so easily.
3. Tumblr - strange, I know, but I recently joined twitter and it just cannot compare. Twitter has its purpose, it’s great for tiny sound bites, things that otherwise might be lost, and for getting the word out quickly. I mean, how else would I have known that Amy Winehouse had died within hours, if not for twitter? But tumblr allows me to source things and follow the path back to new tumblrs to follow, which gives me a richer variety of sources.
4. Nailpolish - yes, this list is becoming progressively more trivial, but the little things are sometimes all you have. I realized I have a slight obsession with nailpolish, I own about six or seven shades of purple nailpolish, two dark navy shades, black, deep red, and a variety of lighter shades I branched into on a whim. I love short, dark nails, but I recently discovered this pink taupe colour is perfect, and no one can accuse me of being goth. I am still not great at applying nailpolish, and so I usually remove it about 24 hours later, and put on a new colour. Which is probably why my nails are so screwed up.
5. My future tattoo - I almost have the design all ready, or at least the rough copy, and my friend is going with me to the tattoo place next week to meet the artist and get this started (even though the actual tattooing might not take place for months and months), but just the design makes me happy, just the thought of having it on my body forever. I love what it symbolizes, even though I have a hard time explaining it to everyone. I just know that I lay in bed the other night, and I realized how perfect it was for me, like nothing else. And I’m so happy to be getting a little J in it, for my best friend of over 11 years, because I hope it reminds her how much she means to me, and because it will always remind me of her.
6. Speaking of, my best friend, Julia. I cannot fathom the world without her. It’s funny, because everyone she’s ever met probably knows all about me, and yet I don’t mention her too much or too often to most people. I don’t have to. It’s the most secure friendship I have. It’s touched the deepest. Yes, we talk about mundane and trivial things, but we can go days or a week or more without talking and it doesn’t bother me. I read this quote once, that really seemed to encapsulate our friendship. It was about the wind blowing out a candle flame, but fanning a great flame even higher. It seems like our problems bring us closer together, rather than farther apart. If I could somehow guarantee her a life of happiness, I would do anything.
7. When my littlest brother is surprisingly generous - it always takes me by surprise when he thinks of me, or if I ask for something, he obliges me without any hesitation or annoyance. Of course, he isn’t always angelic, but its nice when he does things like make his pancakes (which are the best, ever) and he gives me the first perfect one.
8. Watching Jeopardy with my family. Watching Jeopardy. So excited to have a TV and cable this year in my apartment. Jeopardy five times a week, baby!
9. My dog, Beau. This morning, literally five minutes after I rolled out of bed and poured a bowl of cereal, my mom said I needed to take Beau to the vet in twenty minutes. As if I’m not grumpy enough in the AM, asking me to leave the house without showering, brushing my teeth, having time to put on makeup or put my contacts in or, worst of all, even had a sip of caffeine… and yet the moment I got in the car and turned around to face my dog, all my irritation and indignation melted away at the sight of my sweet baby’s face. He is so adorable, of course he would be the antidote to my grumpy mood. He is ten years old, and still looks and acts like a puppy. I can’t even think about the fact that he statistically only has a few years left without getting upset. He is the one thing I miss most of all when I’m at university. He is one of a kind.
10. I have a new obsession with home decor. It’s all because of my new apartment, and maybe because I’m so sick of reading glossy magazines full of fluff and makeup. But I am this close to ordering a subscription of Real Simple magazine. And I love going through shops looking at things to decorate a house or apartment with. I wish I actually had the money to buy all the things I wanted, but it’s exciting just to imagine. I miss my apartment actually.
Poli 354: Approaches to International Political Economy
neither of them.
I might only take 3 or 4 courses this semester, don’t ask me why, it’s a personal thing. I am excited to be taking exclusively (or almost) sociology courses though. That’s because I only need three more credits to finish my political science major, so I should probably focus on my other major. I’m also extremely sick of poli sci courses, although I do love IPE, I love the prof teaching the course AND the class is across the street from my apartment. On the other hand, the class starts at 8:30, and I don’t even wake up until 10 most mornings. Decisions, decisions.
Philip Zimbardo, responsible for bringing us the Stanford Prison Experiment (unethical by today’s standards) but critical for helping us understand how human beings can act so inhumanely. Excellent (although disappointingly short) video!
One of the first things that disappears when considering disturbances such as these is perspective. One loses sight of the fact that nine out of 10 local residents aren’t rioting, that nine out of 10 who are rioting aren’t local to the area, and that nine out of 10 of these non-locals aren’t doing it to commit crime. That is to say, it is a tiny minority who are participating and, of those that are, it’s a tiny minority who are doing so solely to commit crime. Crime is a motive, but crowd behaviour is a more complex process, and it is sociology as a discipline that best understands crowd behaviour.
Crowds are irrational. Crowds don’t have motives – that’s far too calculating and rational. Crowd behaviour is dynamic in unpredictable ways, and reason and motive disappear when crowds move unpredictably. But has anyone made a connection with the two media events that dominated media coverage on the same day – the irrationality of crowds on the streets and of traders on the stock market? Both sorts of behaviour are moved by emotion not reason, passions not predictability, and reason disappears. Economists are lauded for their accounts of the irrationality of the market traders, but sociologists get criticised for suggesting that allegations of criminality are a poor account of the irrationality of crowds (Was this the mayor’s Katrina moment?, 10 August).
Sociologists seek to explain – not explain away – these events. An understanding of the impact of social inequalities and deprivation, youth unemployment, racism and ethnic conflict, and crime and policing forms a large part of the concerns of UK sociology. Since most politicians and the police seem to have been taken unawares by the events of the past few days, it seems we need more understanding and explanation, not less, if we are to be able to draw lessons from the current events and prevent their recurrence. The British Sociological Association would be happy to put London’s mayor and his staff in touch with sociologists who could add real understanding to the all-too-easy condemnations of these disturbing events. Professor John Brewer President, BSA Howard Wollman Vice-chair, BSA
If you’ve ever said “it all comes down to money” or if you believe that the economy is the driving force of society then you might be a Marxist. Marx referred to this as historical materialism—the idea that our lives evolve and are shaped by our quest to…
I just need to put it out there that I am SO FUCKING EXCITED for my Gender and Health class this semester.
It’s going to be an entire four months of SEXY SEXY SEXY SEX*
* And by sex, I mean gender.
IT’S JUST SO GOOD AND I HAVE NO ONE TO GEEK OUT OVER IT WITH.
My prof began by explaining that sociological efforts to re-evaluate the intersections between gender and health and especially the medicalization of gender began with feminist efforts. FEMINISTS CREATED THISAAAAAAHHHHHH.
I love these classes where gender isn’t just something thrown in to cover all the bases, like in most of my political science classes. Feminism isn’t tossed about like it’s some minor theoretical base but definitely not brought up on the final or even the midterm.
I just feel like it’s going to make me a better feminist.
THE FIRST TOPIC WE COVER IS INTERSEXUALITY. Beautiful! We have an entire week dedicated to contraception, another one to abortion. We have another week covering gender and mental health, particularly depression, which is so close to home for me. I finally get to see the film Orgasm, Inc!
I’m so fucking used to not talking constantly about my major academic and personal interest in these topics, I just assume (and have tried to bring it up, with major anecdotal failures) that no one cares to talk about them.
I’m also really excited for my political sociology class, because it’s like the perfect merge of my majors and in the first two readings already mentions the feminist movement as a major democratic movement. I love left-leaning departments, universities and people in general!
Don’t get me wrong, I love being a woman. I wouldn’t trade it.
Reading my Gender and Health readings, combined with what I know about the discrimination and oppression women face every day living in a patriarchal society… I just can’t help but think it really sucks to be a woman.
And it’s nothing to do with biology. Yes, things that people with uteruses endure, like menstruation and menopause and pregnancy, etc, aren’t wonderful times either (the last two I can only speculate on) but sociological explanations are the real reason.
“We consider evidence for and against the hypotheses that political conservatism is significantly associated with (1) mental rigidity and closed-mindedness, including (a) increased dogmatism and intolerance of ambiguity, (b) decreased cognitive complexity, (c) decreased openness to experience, (d) uncertainty avoidance, (e) personal needs for order and structure, and (f) need for cognitive closure; (2) lowered self-esteem; (3) fear, anger, andaggression; (4) pessimism, disgust, and contempt; (5) loss prevention;(6) fear of death; (7) threat arising from social and economic deprivation; and (8) threat to the stability of the social system.
We have argued that these motives are in fact related to one another psychologically, and our motivated social–cognitive perspective helps to integrate them. We now offer an integrative, meta-analyticreview of research on epistemic, existential, and ideological basesof conservatism”
“Consider a young man who works in the drug economy. Doing so doesn’t mean he places little if any value on legitimate work. Employment opportunities are limited in the man’s racially segregated neighborhood. There are few neighbors and friends who have social connections to employers, and most of the good jobs are far away. To complicate matters, many of his friends and neighbors are probably connected to the drug trade. Survival and peer pressure dictate that the man will seek out the dangerous, illegal jobs that are nearby, even while he may prefer a stable, mainstream job. Delinquent behavior? Certainly, but more than likely a comprehensible response to lack of opportunity.”
“Men’s bodies and sexuality are taken for granted, exempted from scrutiny, whereas women’s are extensively defined and overexposed. Sexual and social meanings are imposed on women’s bodies, not men’s… men have left themselves out of the picture because a body defined is a body controlled.”
“If you think through the logic of this, you’ll see that so long as power remains privately concentrated, everybody, everybody, has to be committed to one overriding goal: and that’s to make sure that the rich folk are happy—because unless they are, nobody else is going to get anything. So if you’re a homeless person sleeping in the streets of Manhattan, let’s say, your first concern must be that the guys in the mansions are happy—because if they’re happy, they’ll invest, and the economy will work, and things will function, and then maybe something will trickle down to you somewhere along the line. But if they’re not happy, everything’s going to grind to a halt, and you’re not even going to get anything trickling down. So if you’re a homeless person in the streets, your first concern is the happiness of the wealthy guys in the mansions and the fancy restaurants. Basically that’s a metaphor for the whole society.”