Lectures

Classroom Controversy

Research Summary

occupy-wall-street

The Corporate Welfare State & Growing Inequality in American Society

Unlike a lot of people out there, I am one to say I TOLD YA SO. The current growth in inequality, the current "mess" in the global financial system, the weird political machinations that seem to directly contradict the principles upon which modern democracies were founded, these were all predicted decades ago by Sociologists. So what are you going to do? Well, read this article, but slowly. There's a lot of enlightening Sociology in this article. If it gets a little thick, pop on over to the forums and ask Owen a question. in the global financial system, the weird political machinations that seem to directly contradict the principles upon which modern democracies were founded, these were all predicted decades ago by Sociologists. So what are you going to do? Well, read this article, but slowly. There

Read More »

Facebook and family

Facebook and Family  “I was hesitant to add family members on Facebook at first, but I’ve grown to enjoy it.  I’m not very good at keeping in touch with family, so I feel like if I’ve posted on Facebook I’ve done enough”—Mark, a Facebook user from California Facebook is everywhere!  However, the effects of Facebook on society are still unfolding. The company states that “Facebook’s mission is to make the world more open and connected. People use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family, to discover what’s going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them.”  Facebook users create their own profile pages, which contain biographical data, current events, and photographs.

Read More »

Research Commentary

Stephen Haking's Stubbornly Persistent Illusion

Stephen Hawking’s God: A Stubbornly Persistent Illusion

Homo sapiens has enjoyed singular success at tweaking the environment because of the unique psycho-social wiring of the human mind ( Pagel ). Hearkening back to the nature-nurture debate, the human mind is a multi-dimensional intellectual construct that emerges from the complex combination of human biology (id), psychology (ego), and sociology (superego).  The human mind, and sense of self does not emerge purely in response to the growth of an operational brain. It takes healthy, well-functioning gray matter and long term, psycho-social training, learning, nurturing and emotional cultivation in order to create a context in which “the light can switch on” in a human mind.

Read More »
Good Science

Redefining Reality: Seeing is Disbelieving

Epistemology = How do we know the world that we know? Ontology = What is the nature of the world that we know? In this short article Dr. Tim argues not only that the world is a materialist presence that exists independent of our observation (his ontological statement), but that this materialist presence can be known basically through a process of empirical trial and error. The empirical trial and error is necessary because the human is fallible, given to delusion, and open to manipulation and contrivance. That much is true, we are too easy to fool it seems. But is that in our nature, or is it a function of our flawed socialization process? That's the rub. Personally, I think socialization but then hey, this a Sociology journal and I'm a sociologist, so maybe I'm biased (or maybe, it is the Truth).

Read More »
no-racism

Requiem for Trayvon Martin: When Will America Stop Destroying the Lives of Black Boys

Introduction: From time immoral, history has provided us with myriad examples of the mistreatment of one group of people by another.  The Old Testament reminds us that the people of Moses were abused and enslaved by the ancient Egyptians. The period that inaugurated the rise of the empire building  nations of Western Europe, and the conquest of the global economy by capitalism, gave rise to pogroms in Western Europe (during the period of the Black Death) and Russia targeting Jewish members of the human family. 

Read More »

Radicalization – Causes and Consequences

Yesterday, 7th of July 2013 was the eighth anniversary of the terrorist attack in London. The attacks led the British government to launch initiatives to identify why and how one becomes radicalized[1] and develop measures to counter the terrorism threat. The initiatives involved funded of think tanks, coopting Muslim organizations, as well as terrorism legislation. However, the efforts of the government and its partners haven’t had much effect on individuals becoming radicalized, as the murder of Lee Rigby and the rise of far-right extremist group the English Defense League (EDL) over the past few years indicate.

Read More »

Commentary

A Biracial Journey to Understanding Identity

I can remember at about the age of eleven being at one of the many Arabic parties I would attend growing up.  The women were all laughing and dancing, their head scarves off, no men in the room.  They wore beautiful dresses and their hair and makeup were fully done.  They looked so elegant as I watched them belly dance effortlessly.  I remember wishing my hair was as dark and as thick as theirs.  I also wished my skin was as tan and my eyebrows as pretty.  Why did I always have to feel like the white girl at the Arabic party?  My cousins, aunts, and grandmother often introduced me as such:  “ This is Amira, Mazen’s daughter. She’s American.”

Read More »

Terrorist groups and European fighters in Iraq

  At present there is no independent Kurdish state but the ‘land of the Kurds’ crisscrosses Syria, Turkey, Iraq and Iran. However, the Iraqi Kurds have been able to gain autonomy from Baghdad. Kurdish aspirations for an independent state stem back to the days of Empire and the post First World War treaties, which carved up Ottoman territories. The two treaties that concern the Kurds are: Treaty of Sèvres signed in 1920, which mentions an independent Kurdish state and the Lausanne Treaty, signed three years later in 1923 that makes no mention of a Kurdish state.

Read More »

Obama, human rights and ISIS

Western leaders have suddenly woken up and realised that ISIS is a regional global security threat. This realisation has also forced policy makers and security experts to abandon their orientalist monocles. The desire to act ‘now’ by launching airstrikes on ISIS targets and by providing military and humanitarian aid to the Iraqi and Kurdish authorities raises questions about the ‘real’ motivations. Justifications for intervention President Obama’s reasons to intervene in Iraq, as he has said is to stop ‘these barbaric terrorists in order to protect Americans and prevent an act of genocide.’ He added, ‘the terrorists have taken over parts of Iraq and have been brutal to religious minorities, rounding up families, executing men, enslaving women, and threatening the systematic destruction of an entire religious community, which would be genocide’.

Read More »
Psychosis_5_0

Getting Ahead: A Case Study of Social Class in the USA

This photo of my parents reveals much about their personalities (hers vivacious and outgoing, his withdrawn and closed off), their relationship (little real contact), and also the times. The typicality of their lives reveals much about the USA. My mother was a farmer’s daughter whose father lost the farm to the banks, and they had to scrabble along in the slums of the big city, St. Louis. All her life she yearned for her bucolic childhood when everything was “nice.” My father was a coal miner and the son of a coal miner from West Virginia. He hated the mines so much that after the Second World War he stayed in the military as a professional soldier.

Read More »