A teacher has to make clear fundamental ends and valuations, and therefore he [sic] is a deeply religious man [sic] when he accepts this as his [sic] highest duty. If we want to save the world we need educators of powerful personalities. Objective Knowledge is not all that students need. We need responsible development of youth so that they will understand that service to mankind (sic) must be their goal – Albert Einstein
So what’s with professional athletes and violent behaviour? Are these individual just “thugs” or is something else going on. In this short article Earl Smith traces some of the social, class, and economic roots of questionable athlete behavior showing that even the seemingly random nature of some types of social behavior can in fact be understood and explained by some simple, sociological analysis.
One of the first things the sociology initiate learns is about the “sociological imagination.” This concept is used to illustrate, the power of sociology. Sociology can help you, you are told, if you just use its concepts to understand your life. Here is an example of what it means to apply the sociological imagination. Drawing on research in gender, criminology, sentencing biases, and a number of common sociological themes, this author examines his own life through a sociological lens, applying the “sociological imagination” to explode a common bias and blind spot in our modern cultures. Think you can do the same? You’re welcome to submit.
In this article William Hathaway, renowned peace author and activist, discusses the tenor of our times, revanchism, which refers to a global attempt by the elites to “turn back the clock” and reinstate a social order characteristic or earlier, more imperial, times. Do you agree? Is he correct that our countries are now operating as imperialists in a global prison, sweatshop, and war zone environment?
Classroom controversies are short and provocative articles designed to encourage classroom debate. They revolve around current, often hot button issues, and are likely to generate considerable classroom dialogue. Please feel free to print as many copies of these articles as you need.
An educator speaks about pedagogy, critical thinking, and connecting with students. Education is about creating a safe place for exploration, for confronting the hard social, political, and psychological realities of our existence. But it’s also about honesty, exposure, and trust. It is not easy moving beyond the rigid and stereotyped roles of the cardboard educator, but we try to be more than the boxes we find ourselves in.
This article originally appeared in Volume Three of The Electronic Journal of Sociology. It is reproduced here as part of the debate on the challenges of higher education.
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