Eye on Society: Doing Sociological Research

Photo by Anne-Lise Heinrichs, Flickr, Creative Commons Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 05.06.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief Introduction In the late 1990s, Oregon had one of the highest rates of hunger among the 50 states, and a higher rate than would have been expected from its more average level of poverty. Sociologist Mark S. Edwards of[…]

A Sociological Understanding of Deviance, Social Control, and Crime

Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 03.15.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief 1 – Deviance 1.1 – Introduction Merton’s Social Strain Theory: This diagram depicts Robert K. Merton’s Social Strain Theory. Deviance, in a sociological context, describes actions or behaviors that violate informal social norms or formally-enacted rules. Among those who study social norms and their relation[…]

The Sociology of Social Groups and Organization

Elegant Company Dancing, by Thomas Rowlandson / Yale Center for British Art via Wikimedia Commons Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 03.02.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief 1 – Types of Social Groups 1.1 – The Nature of Groups Social Identity Approach: The explanatory profiles of social identity and self-categorization theories. In the social sciences, a social[…]

An Introduction to Social Psychology

Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 03.03.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief Defining Social Psychology: History and Principles Introduction The field of social psychology is growing rapidly and is having an increasingly important influence on how we think about human behavior. Newspapers, websites, and other media frequently report the findings of social psychologists, and the results of[…]

Understanding Social Interaction

Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 02.28.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief 1 – Introduction 1.2 – Overview In sociology, social interaction is a dynamic sequence of social actions between individuals (or groups) who modify their actions and reactions due to actions by their interaction partner(s). Social interactions can be differentiated into accidental, repeated, regular and regulated.[…]

The Sociology of Socialization

Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief 1 – The Role of Socialization 1.1 – Introduction Socialization prepares people for social life by teaching them a group’s shared norms, values, beliefs, and behaviors. 1.1.1 – Overview The role of socialization is to acquaint individuals with the norms of a given social group or society.[…]

Looking at Culture: Symbolism, Adaptation, and Ideology

Creative Commons Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 02.15.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief 1 – Culture and Society 1.1 – Culture and Biology 1.1.1 – Overview Culture relates to nature (our biology and genetics) and nurture (our environment and surroundings that also shape our identities). Human beings are biological creatures. We are composed of blood and[…]

What was the Beguiling Spell of Jung’s ‘Collective Unconscious’?

Detail from the Mandala of Jnanadakini, 14th century, Tibet. / Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York By Dr. Antonio Melechi / 02.19.2018 Honorary Research Fellow, Department of Sociology University of York The first decades of the 20th century saw a raft of psychological terms fall into popular usage. Freudian notions of ‘denial’ and ‘displacement’, ‘projection’[…]

What Holds a Community Together?

By Dr. Dieter Duhm / 03.19.2017 Sociologist 10 Ways to Thrive Communally After a hundred years of failed community experiments since Monte Verità in Ascona, one is justified in asking: What holds a community together, what stops it from failing, and how is its power increased? Here are ten things that hold a community together:[…]

Deep Roots of Community Resilience

Photo by Kaori Brand, UNU      By Dr. Robert Blasiak (left), Dr. Sana Okayasu (center), and Dr. Ikuko Matsumoto (right) / 08.13.2012 Blasiak: Research Fellow, Agricultural and Life Sciences, University of Tokyo Okayasu: Associate Researcher, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies in Hayama, Japan Matsumoto: Associate Researcher, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies in Hayama, Japan Victor Hugo once wrote[…]

Psychoanalysis and American Sociology

By Dr. Lauren Langman / 06.18.2016 Professor of Sociology Loyola University Chicago Marx and Freud have two things in common, first of all they both revealed what was behind appearances yet was kept from awareness. For Marx capitalism was an economic system that depends on the exploitation of labor and immiseration of the proletariat which[…]

The Changing Nature of Sacred Spaces

The Multi-faith Chapel at Hebrew Senior Life / Newbridge On The Charles, Dedham, Massachusetts. Randall Armor, CC BY-NC-ND By Dr. Wendy Cadge / 04.26.2017 Professor of Sociology and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Brandeis University Congregational membership in the United States is slowly declining. Data from the General Social Survey show that 17 percent of[…]

Sociological Perspective and the Elements of Culture

Photo by Isla Haddow-Flood, Wikimedia Commons Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 02.26.2017 Brewminate Editor-in-Chief Introduction Social Issues in the News “Cows With Gas,” the headline said. In India, cows are considered sacred by that nation’s major religion, Hinduism. They are also an important source of milk and fertilizer. It is no surprise that India[…]

The Face of Rural America and Its Indispensable Contributions

The view from Wyoming County, Pennsylvania. Cropped from nicholas_t/flickr By Dr. Kenneth M. Johnson / 02.20.2017 Professor of Sociology and Senior Demography University of New Hampshire Rural people and issues generally receive little attention from the urban-centric media and policy elites. Yet, rural America makes unique contributions to the nation’s character and culture as well[…]

Are We a Culture of Addicts?

By Leslie Garrett / 02.22.2017 Is Addiction the Result of Nature or Nurture? If there’s one constant among addicts of all types, it’s shame. It’s what makes us lie and hide. It’s what keeps us from asking for help – though we don’t think we need it because we’re also good at lying to ourselves.[…]

Sociological Theories of Karl Marx

Photograph of Karl Marx, by John Jabez Edwin Mayall, 1875 / International Institute of Social History, Amsterdam, Netherlands Lecture by Dr. Iván Szelényi / 10.01.2009 Professor Emeritus of Sociology Yale University Theory of Alienation Marx’s Early Life Karl Marx’s house in Trier, Germany / Atlas Obscura So now we move into the nineteenth century. It’s[…]

How Neighbors Turned Unused Buildings into a Thriving Community Hub

Fair State’s annual Co-Optoberfest brings Northeast Minneapolis together through beer, brats, and Bavarian-style merriment every fall. As rents rise and independent businesses in Minneapolis lose their leases to large national chains, a first-of-its-kind co-op found a solution. By Christa Hillstrom / 02.03.2017 After years of brewing at home, Evan Sallee and his partners at Fair[…]

Adam Smith: The Invisible Hand

Portrait of Adam Smith (the Muir Portrait, after the family who once owned it, probably painted posthumously, based on a medallion by James Tassie), c.1800 / Scottish National Gallery, The Mount, Edinburgh Lecture by Dr. Iván Szelényi / 09.24.2008 Professor Emeritus of Sociology Yale University Smith in a Historical Context Balliol College, Oxford University We[…]

Origins of Classical Utilitarianism: Jeremy Bentham

Portrait of Jeremy Bentham, by Henry William Pickersgill / National Portrait Gallery, London Lecture by Dr. Ian Shapiro / 01.20.2000 Sterling Professor of Political Science Adjunct Law School Professor Director, MacMillan Center Yale University Enlightenment Tradition I: Classical Utilitarianism We’re going to start talking about classical utilitarianism, and we’re going to use as our point[…]

Jean Jacques Rousseau: Popular Sovereignty, General Will, State of Nature, and Education

Portrait of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, by Maurice Quentin de La Tour, late-18th century, pastel on paper / Musée Antoine-Lécuyer By Dr. Iván Szelényi / 09.17.2008 Professor Emeritus of Sociology Yale University Popular Sovereignty and the General Will Rousseau in a Historical Context 1714 View of Basel, Bale, Geneva / Village Antiques, Creative Commons Jean Jacques Rousseau[…]

Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu: The Division of Powers

Portrait of Montesquieu, 1728, oil on canvas / Palace of Versailles, Wikimedia Commons Lecture by Dr. Iván Szelényi / 0915.2008 Professor Emeritus of Sociology Yale University Montesquieu in a Historical Context Emblem from the Palace of Versailles of Louis XIV as the “Sun King” / Wikimedia Commons We move to eighteenth century France. We move[…]

John Locke: Equality, Freedom, Property, and the Right to Dissent

Oil painting portrait of John Locke / Wikimedia Commons Lecture by Dr. Iván Szelényi / 09.10.2008 Professor Emeritus of Sociology Yale University Locke in a Historical Context   Left: Charles II, by John Michael Wright  c.1660–1665 / National Portrait Gallery, London Right: A 1656 Samuel Cooper portrait of Oliver Cromwell / National Portrait Gallery, London[…]