Tag Archives: sociology

How to Not Lose Your Sense of Self in a Graduate Program

411px-Colonial_Students_in_Great_Britain-_Students_at_the_City_of_London_College,_London,_England,_UK,_1946_D29304

(Source:http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Colonial_Students_in_Great_Britain-_Students_at_the_City_of_London_College,_London,_England,_UK,_1946_D29304.jpg)

So, you’re interested in pursuing a graduate program? Great! Before you start applying you have to; research which schools have the best department to fit your specialties, you apply to as many schools as you can to ensure at least one acceptance, and then you wait, and wait, and wait. The days turn into weeks, which turn into months, and then, you finally get an acceptance! You jump for joy; you cannot hold in your excitement. You want everyone to know that you got accepted into a graduate program. Upon acceptance, you submit your intent to register. Once you get into your program, you start to second-guess yourself, and your ability as an academic. What do you do to maintain your sense of self? (more…)

Technologies of Interviewing: Revamping Qualitative Methods Lessons

Source: "https://openclipart.org/download/173434/interview.svg"

Source: “https://openclipart.org/download/173434/interview.svg”

 

A couple of weeks ago, in my Social Issues in Qualitative Methodology course, I was assigned to give a presentation on the “technologies of interviewing.” At first, I was told by older cohort members that I was lucky because I had the easiest topic: “Just do the history of the recorder.” As I googled the topic, thinking that it would then be some cool history and development I found that my predecessors had just done a timeline of photos of how the recorder has changed over time. How boring! Who would want to sit through a 20 minute lecture, slide after slide, talking about the recorder, especially when we’re supposed to be talking about the social issues involved in qualitative methods?

My advice to you, graduate students, today is to avoid this typical pitfall in your methods classes (as both student and instructor): revamp your lessons so they can be of some actual use! Below I offer an example of how I revamped this “simple and easy topic” to something that students can actually use and learn from.

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How I Survived My First Year of Graduate School (and you can too!)

Around this time last year, I had finally received that life-altering email that had prompted numerous hits of the refresh button by the minute: an acceptance into a doctoral program. At first it was all cheers of joys and phone calls to distant family members and facebook statuses with one-off triple-digit number of likes. As April turned into May turned into June; however, and August was clearly in the horizon, a lot of the thrill started to be replaced by a crippling fear.

Much like anyone who had ever been in this place before, I began self-diagnosing an early case of Imposter syndrome. No way I was ready for this! The selection committee had obviously made a mistake! Even now I get that feeling fairly often, however, somehow I am nearing the end of my first year and I survived! I didn’t fail statistics or get escorted off the campus compounds by security, mirroring a particularly mortifying nightmare. I am still here and I plan to be until I have that Ph.D degree, even if there is a tiny voice in the back of my head asking me if I deserve to be. I am doing well. The hard part is the beginning because it comes with the most variances of uncertainties and insecurities. The hardest bit is over and the rest may resemble a roller-coaster ride more than a walk in the park, but I am all buckled up.

Here are some tips that helped me not only survive but cherish my first year of graduate school. I hope it will help those of you worried about starting out this fall. (more…)

Difference and Support: To be a (Queer) Scholar of Color

Class

(Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AStudenti_ULBS.jpg)

 

For many (Queer) scholars of color (Queer is in parentheses because not all scholars of color identify somewhere on the Queer spectrum), including myself, attending graduate school is an enormous milestone. In my family, I am the first to attend college, let alone a graduate program. It was weird growing up, and to know that no one in your family could help you with your homework. When I was in 8th grade, I helped my cousin with her 12th grade math homework, so she could graduate high school. Although I knew my family would provide moral support, the support I actually needed would not come from them. I went through my undergraduate career without any role models with whom I could identify. Majority of the professors who provided me with opportunities, believed in me, and/or provided what support they could, were, majority, cisgender white women. I am thankful for all the opportunities and countless references these professors have provided for me. Statistically, I knew the amount of (Queer) scholars of color in graduate programs would be minimal: but, I had no idea about the trifling amount of support, or community, I would find in my graduate program. (more…)

Inside the Black Box: How Publishing Works

Source: Shit Academics Say Twitter @AcademicsSay

Source: Shit Academics Say Twitter @AcademicsSay

When I’m not busy working on my classwork, thesis or on Sociology Lens posts, I serve as the inaugural Managing Editor for the new American Sociological Association’s Section on Racial and Ethnic Minorities’ journal Sociology of Race and Ethnicity, published by Sage. In this capacity, I am responsible for the day-to-day functioning of the journal including author inquiries and managing our submission portal. Being in this position gives me an insider position to the black box of publishing a manuscript. First, I will explain the manuscript publication process, and then I will conclude with my “Managing Editor’s list of do’s and don’ts when publishing.” (more…)

Introduction: Graduate Student Advice Month

My first year of graduate school was rough. Really rough. I had a hard time transitioning and moving from an undergraduate institution that I loved to a school (though I love it now) that was no where near the top of my list of schools I wanted to attend. To make matters worse, when I sought out advice from other graduate students, there was no place, no sense of community, for the graduate students to gather and discuss. When I turned to the internet, I was shocked to find that there wasn’t even a sociological blog for graduate students and by students to share our experiences, advice, and woes.

Flash forward to almost a year and a half later, where I am in a much better place with research underway, a completed degree in sight, friends, a few publications, and this role with Sociology Lens. Now with these experiences under my belt, I feel that it is time that I “pay it forward” to fellow and future graduate students who may be in the same place that I was in last year. Sociology Lens, I felt as I was joining the team, was perfect– graduate students, all of which think with a critical sociological lens, writing for graduate students. Who better to give advice than fellow people living through the same situation at the same time? Granted context is always different, whether it be forms of identity, location, department culture, or whatever, current advice from current students is much needed.

With much work and determination, I am honored to introduce that that is what we have upcoming for the month of April: “Graduate Student Advice Month:” real advice from real graduate students for graduate students. We have worked together over the past two months compiling a list of relevant topics pertinent to graduate students today, from publishing to teaching to work/life balance. This thematic month will begin on Wednesday, April 1st with a piece by George Byrne entitled, “Five things I wish I had know before starting my PhD.” Each post will be categorized as “special issue” and tagged with “GradMonth” so that you can easily find each post. Also make sure to check us out on Twitter, comment on our posts, and share our pieces far and wide! Together, we can start a dialogue and strengthen our community. We hope that you enjoy.

 

Check Us Out on Twitter:

@SociologyLens

Huw Davies: @huwcdavies

Scarlett E. Brown: @ScarlettEBrown

Tara Stamm: @TaraStammily

Roger Tyers: @RogerTyersUK

George Byrne: @_GeorgeByrne

Megan Nanney: @mpnanney

Generational Changes in a Time of Evolving LGBTQ Rights

1280px-Russian_Embassy_in_Helsinki,_LGBT_pavement

(Source:http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Demonstrations_and_protests_in_support_of_LGBT#/media/File:Russian_Embassy_in_Helsinki,_LGBT_pavement.jpg)

In an age where millennials are starting to take primacy in the visibility of political change and its climate, especially in regards to LGBTQ advancements, the older LGBTQ generations are realizing that soon enough the millennials will need to take command of their political positions. Many of the older LGBTQ generations have been trailblazers from the start of an era known as the long 1960’s: having been there at the Stonewall riots, to now holding office positions in politics and creating juridical changes. A common thought amongst many LGBTQ activists is once the United States passes Marriage Equality at the federal level, there is nothing left to fight for in regards to LGBTQ rights. I would beg to differ. Once juridical amendments and changes are made, the battle is to secure its practice and implementation. Furthermore, to secure such practices, the LGBTQ community at large needs to orchestrate as one. (more…)

He, Him, His, She, Her, Hers, They, Their, Theirs, Zi, Zir, Hir…: Pronoun Use and Gender Policing

https://texaslynn.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/transgender-pronouns.jpg

https://texaslynn.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/transgender-pronouns.jpg

Have you read the recent New York Times article about Bruce Jenner and about their transition? While their gender identity is not yet confirmed, media has picked up this story and gone wild with the concept of olympian turned family millionaire turned media star is now “turning” into a woman. Every time, however, that I read a new headline about this story, I get shivers up and down my spine, not to mention the amount of pure rage and disappointment on how the media not only misrepresents, but actually oppresses the trans community by mislabeling these individuals with the use of the wrong pronouns. Simply put, refer to the person using the pronoun they identify with.

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Love and Homonormativity: One in the Same?

450px-Gay_wedding_a_by_Stefano_Bolognini

(Source:http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Gay_wedding_a_by_Stefano_Bolognini.JPG)

What is love? Does everyone understand love as how Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines it? Starting from birth, everyone is taught to love: whether it is a family member, the family pet or a close friend. However, we are never socialized how to love an individual not related by kinship. Amorous love between two individuals is more like a trail and error process. Yet, American society would have one think falling in love is as easy as one, two, three: one only needs to watch a romantic movie. With the recent advancements of Marriage Equality, now extended to thirty-eight states, majority of LGBTQ individuals have adhered to a homonormative ideology. Homonormativity, as defined by Lisa Duggan, is, “…a politics that does not contest dominant heteronormative assumptions and institutions but upholds and sustains them while promising the possibility of a demobilized gay constituency and a privatized, depoliticized gay culture anchored in domesticity and consumption” (Duggan 2002). Is this what LGBTQ rights have resulted in, mimicry of heteronormative ideals that subjugate their everyday experiences? Is there only one specific way to love? (more…)

Sexual Microaggressions: The New (Covert) Oppression

https://www.flickr.com/photos/lilithvf1998/22505798/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/lilithvf1998/22505798/

In 2007, Sue introduced the idea of microaggressions- small remarks or statements that carry harmful, derogatory, and/ or discriminatory implications against a group of individuals based on their identity, whether or not those implications are intended or not. Initially this concept was utilized to understand racial microaggressions, but in 2011 Kevin Nadal applied the microaggression framework to sexual orientation. While the concept of microaggressions first appeared in the counseling field, social scientists have begun to utilize this concept to understand the new, more subtle forms of oppression towards people of color, non-heterosexual identified individuals, women and gender non-conformants, among others. What is most important in their analysis, yet often only mentioned in passing, if at all, is the reasoning behind these microaggressions: hegemonic power.

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