My favorite theorist that we studied thi…

My favorite theorist that we studied this semester was Gilman because I could relate to what she was saying. I am curious to know what your favorite theorist was and why.

In chapter six in Hurst there was a disc…

In chapter six in Hurst there was a discussion about organs. There was a kidney up for auction on ebay and the bidding had reached 5.7 million dollars. The was the point that ebay stopped the bidding. What do you guys think about the selling of organs?

I really like the post about Engels, tha…

I really like the post about Engels, that information in really interesting. It is always nice to hear about a theorits personal life, it can sometimes help you understand their theories more or give you something you can use to help remember them by.

I found the Hurst readings really helpful. The chapters are clear and its helpful that they weave the different theorists together and help point out some commonalities and comparisons.

Also thanks for posting the real end of the Buffy episode I wish we could have seen that.

Today is the birthday of Friedrich Engel…

Today is the birthday of Friedrich Engels! Everyday I read the Writer’s Almanac which is a radio/newsletter production that Garrison Keillor hosts. In it he talks about famous events that happened that day and famous people (mostly literary) whose birthday it is. There are two things in Engels blurb that caught my eye. 1) “Engels decided to go back to Germany, but on his way he stopped in Paris to meet Karl Marx at a café and talk. They ended up becoming good friends, and Engels ended up staying in Paris. He helped Marx with the book he was working on, and a few years later, they co-authored the Communist Manifesto (1848)” !!! (this was not mentioned in Edles and Appelrouth but I just think its an interesting factoid to know.
2) This quote of Engels ties into our class discussion on Hurst’s decision of which theorist to include. He said he chose theorist that were not just “armchair theorist”. Although the theorist he chose are questionable for that reason, Marx definitely was a man of action. Engels said ” An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory.” Do you agree?

So I talked to my sister (another Buffy …

So I talked to my sister (another Buffy fan) and she informed me that I was a little off in the ending of the episode. Yes she is in a class with other invisible kids but they are being trained to be assassins for the FBI. haha. Much worse than I thought. The seasons do get better though! It was just really cheesy in the beginning.

Mead’s concept of the I and the me Mead…

Mead’s concept of the I and the me

Meads conception of the I and me have parrels to Gilman.
The I and the me are in a constant state of opposition with one another. Such as with Gilman’s critique of gender relation, the idealized construction of the I( self concept of gender) engages in a perpetual tug of war with the me( society concept of gender) in conflict with each other. The “I” wants to assert and dissolve the “me”, but with the dissolution of the me, the I cannot exist because the “I” mirrors the “me”. Also, the “me” cannot frame itself without the existence of an “I”. So with Gilman’s self constructed concept of gender,it does not stand alone in its construction without taking parts of the me , and society’s cementation of its construction of gender cannot exist without the the conflict either( there is a codependent relationship).

George Herbert Mead was a symbolic inter…

George Herbert Mead was a symbolic interaction theorist, which is a belief that society is made up of individuals creating and recreating meaning. Just as Meghan previously stated there is a major focus on the individual. Specifically, Mead wrote about the “mind” and how we perceive our “self”. Overall I really enjoyed Mead and he is tied with Simmel for my favorite social theorist that we have discussed and this may be because some of Mead’s ideas are similar to Simmel’s. For example, Simmel’s idea of Fashion as a way of identity where people think what a certain outfit says about themselves. Fashion is a way to make yourself seem a certain way. Similarly, Mead’s idea that the mind has the ability to objectify ourselves and to see what other people see is very analogous to Simmel’s idea. Another idea that I found interesting was Mead’s idea that humans are distinguished from animals through symbols and specifically through language and that there is no inherent meaning to language except the meaning we have brought to it through consensus of understanding. This idea is very similar to a theoretical article by Nietzsche called “On Truth and Lies in a nonmoral sense” where he talks about how there is no absolute Truth because language is something that is created in order to exert power and there is no inherent meaning to it and the only way meaning is created is through consensus from society. I find it very interesting that Mead and Nietzsche have similar beliefs about language and it’s meaning since Mead seems like an optimistic theorist whereas everything I have heard about Nietzsche is pessimistic.

I think Mead is easier to relate to than…

I think Mead is easier to relate to than any of the other sociologists we have discussed this semester. It might be because we grew up in America and have that more individualistic mind set as Mead explains. Mead’s theories behind meaning and symbols are that things only have meaning because we give them meaning and we can give things different meanings. There is no meaning apart from social reality. Language could be the prime example of this but also be a complex example as well. Language is made up of symbols that only have meaning because we social constructed them to. There is no meaning of language that we don’t bring to it.
Mead focused on how we derive meaning from the world around and how reflexivity allows us to do so through thinking through our options differentiating us from other animals. So could it be the fact that we give things mean that makes us different from other animals?
Now looking back at my notes they are not too clear about symbolic interactionism. I have that there is more emphasis on the individual and generalized social attitudes and that we get to those attitudes through interaction. Is that all we had or am I missing something??

Similarly to Meghan I found Anna Julia C…

Similarly to Meghan I found Anna Julia Cooper’s life more interesting than her theories. One of her ideas that really bothered me was when she explains that women (including both white and colored women) are responsible for the moral upbringing of society through education. I think it is crucial to educate society but the fact that it is the women’s responsibility is sexist not only to women but men as well. This idea puts all of the responsibility solely on women instead of broadening it to men. One can read it and think she is saying that men are incapable of providing a moral upbringing to children in society or one can read it and think she means that women’s place is solely in the home where her job is to teach children the “moral ways” of society. Either way one reads it she comes off sexist and hypocritical seeing that she was caught in a scandal where her morality was questioned. Although I do not like her feminist theory, I did like her article “Women vs. The Indian” where she starts off with a story about a black woman who is not accepted to take a type writing class because of the color of her skin. She starts off this article with a sarcastic tone, which really drew me in and made me want to read more. Overall I think that her writing style is much better than her ideas.

Anna Julia Cooper was spoken of highly i…

Anna Julia Cooper was spoken of highly in the introduction of her book. The author thinks she should be studied more and seems to be perplexed that she is not grouped with W. E. B. DuBois and Booker T. Washington. Anna Julia Cooper was a black feminist and she makes some valid points but her arguments are not as forward thinking and progressive as one might assume or hope for. In class as we discussed her work, most did not agree with what she was saying or saw her as behind in her thinking. She was racist against Muslims and it seemed as though she thought a woman’s place was in the home and taking care of the family. However she did put an emphasis on education and for a majority of her life worked in schools and for the improvement of education. She took in seven children throughout her life. Scandal surrounded part of her life when she was forced into exile in the Midwest for five years after she was fired from her administrative position at the M Street School. She worked as a teacher, principal and had various school administration positions. She wrote throughout her long life and did travel some and speak. Cooper lived in Washington D.C. most of her life and she worked in various schools, she focused on providing education, at one point leading a school that met in her house. I am on the fence about her, some of her ideas are vague and others are discriminating. I found her life more interesting than what she wrote about.

I also have a question about Anna Julia …

I also have a question about Anna Julia Cooper. In Chapter 5, she brings up Susan B. Anthony and Anna Shaw, but makes a comment about them being “too noble.” Having always known at least Anthony as a prominent feminist figure, this confused me a little. Anyone understand what she meant by this?

Another quote in this chapter that I liked and thought was a good argument against racism and discrimination is this:
“In the first place she imagines that because her grandfather had slaves who were black, all the blacks in the world of every shade and tint were once in the position of her slaves. This is as bad as the Irishman who was about to kill a peaceable Jew in the streets of Cork, – having just learned that Jews slew his Redeemer.”

I was reading chapter 3 in Anna Julia Co…

I was reading chapter 3 in Anna Julia Cooper and ran across this quote, “Whatever the attainments of the individual may be, unless his home have moved on pari passu, he can never be regarded as identical with or representative of the whole.” I was a bit confused about this quote. Can someone help me out with what she was trying to say?


In some respects, Dubios opinion about t…

In some respects, Dubios’ opinion about the role of the church in improving the state of the black community does coincide with Marx’s argument that religion is the opiate of the masses.
W.E.B. argues that the church did not do enough to help the black community. In this argument, it does seem that he is making the case that the role of the church revolves around pacifying the black community. churches do not prescribe to social change or progression obtained with the use of duress or violent revolts.The church instructs the oppressed to accept their lot in life and to absolve their oppressors.

In class, I pointed out a connection bet…

In class, I pointed out a connection between Simmel and Du Bois’ theories on double consciousness and the stranger. I did not realize that this connection would come later in our readings, but I was happy to see it. Edles and Appelrouth said,”Both theorists emphasized the sense of otherness that not only inhibits social solidarity, but also prevents the formation of a unified sense of self” (350). They go on to point out that both use the metaphor of a veil. I think the main difference is that Du Bois is focusing his analysis on blacks, whereas Simmel extended the theory to many groups.

In class, it seemed like not everyone agreed that this was a good connection. I was wondering if anyone has any ideas about how Simmel and Du Bois’ theories on this are not related? What do you think are the major differences between the two theories?

Dubois and the idea of the double concio…

Dubois and the idea of the double consciousness.

Dubios addresses the concept of the double consciousness from the perspective of blacks interactions within society in the context of , but he doesn’t address the double consciousness within the black community. Both of which are tightly interlinked with each other.

W.E.B. DuBois 3rd point that Erin brough…

W.E.B. DuBois 3rd point that Erin brought up in class:”It is the duty of the Negro to raise himself by every effort to standards of modern civilization and not to lower those standards in any degree,” reminded me of Bill Cosby’s speeches on the black community that made news several years ago. After class I wanted to see if Bill Cosby had said anything recently. Cosby’s last publication was “We Can’t Blame the White People Any Longer”. You can find it here:
Bill Cosby is very harsh towards the black community and disappointed. It is interesting to me that Cosby’s speech although radical has the basic idea of W.E.B. DuBois point.

I think the fact that “women were large…

I think the fact that “women were largely prohibited, both formally and informally, from becoming scientist and sociologists in the nineteenth and early twentieth century” (Edles and Appelrouth, 2010: 233) has the most impact of the absence of women theorist in the classic theory discourse.
I think people are uncomfortable with gender issue and ignore them to a certain extent. In one of my economics classes I had to debate for comparable worth and everyone in my class said I had the “harder” side. It was interesting to me that a gender inequality was seen as a rational economic choice. I think in some ways many gender inequities are a part of our society so people are blind to them. Therefore, making it uncomfortable when they are discussed as well as leading people to believe they are not an important issue.

I thought the discussion in class today …

I thought the discussion in class today about that status of women’s representation in sociological theory was interesting, especially since I am doing an independent study on this topic. I know Nick brought up that he felt like the reason more women are not included in theory is perhaps because their theories are not quite as neutral as say, Marx or Weber’s (Nick can correct me if I misinterpreted this – class was several hours ago). And I would say that it is true that women are typically the ones who study gender inequality.

I am curious to know what other people’s thoughts were on this matter. Do you think that because women are the ones who typically study gender that this affects their representation in theory or “the canon” of sociology? Is gender theory in general less neutral than other major perspectives?

I found Charlotte Perkins Gilman really …

I found Charlotte Perkins Gilman really interesting. Though she did not have much formal education or higher education in studying sociology she knew what she was talking about and had great insight into gender inequality.
In The Yellow Wall Paper, though it is a novel, she goes into a description of falling into madness. The novel is autobiographical and Gilman says she almost went mad after the birth of her daughter. The remedy, a rest cure, was said to be rest, less stimulation and more time with the new baby. This remedy was the opposite of what Gilman craved and needed, she realized this and put in an end to the bed rest and isolation remedy she was being put through.
Gilman’s ideas about gender inequality are very persuasive. She argues that if a woman’s place is in the home because of her child-bearing responsibilities when in fact most of a woman’s work is actual house work not just doting on the children. She explains how moist of what stay at home wives do is mostly housework or other business around the home.
I also agree with her point of how if a woman is dependent on a man then she is stripped of her freedom. Her social and economic status is then determined by her husband’s occupation and status. She does not own her labor, her labor is owned by her husband if he owns the home and she is merely living and working in it. This is quite a statement to make and was even more taboo when Gilman originally published Women and Economics in 1898.

Herbert Gintis- I was able to go to his …

Herbert Gintis-
I was able to go to his speech (and he came to two of my classes), but I do not think I have any more insight on his stance on capitalism. However, one point he made in my Mirco class was that costumer has the root word custom in it. Therefore the idea is buyers and sellers have an on going relationship and I think from that we are to assume that each will play fair since it is not a “one-shot game”.

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