Last week the board discussed the introduction to friend of the site Lisa Wade’s new introduction to sociology textbook Terrible, Magnificent Sociology. We used this as a jumping off point to discuss the relationship between emancipatory sociology and sociology as the pursuit of social facts, what that means for teaching, and how we can incorporate that into the public sociology work we do here at TSP. Going “back to the basics” was helpful for us, particularly as we have undergraduate board members and board members from outside the discipline.
This year we have rebooted our “media beat.” Led by intrepid new board member, S, each week during our board meetings we share coverage of sociologists and sociology in mainstream news outlets. In the past we have shared content like this on the site (most recently in our Clippings format). We know we gain valuable perspective when we better see how “the other” understands the work that social scientists are doing in the world. This knowledge helps guide our thinking about how to make the information and content we share more approachable and relevant for our audience.
Last week we prepared for our board meeting by re-watching Aldon Morris’ 2021 ASA presidential address. We used this as a jumping off point for a discussion about emancipatory sociology: what does it mean for us and our work at TSP? This is a big, complicated conversation. We didn’t reach any conclusions and we’re excited to continue the discussion over the coming weeks. We are also wondering what our readers think. Do you have ideas, suggestions, or reflections about how TSP could engage with emancipatory sociology? Drop us a line at email@example.com.
This week we have it all: research on imposter syndrome, conversations on how to handle gender inequality at home, what the pandemic parenting meant for gender inequality, and an intro to the theoretical work of W.E.B. Du Bois.
Last week one of our new board members did their first round of discovery pitches, bringing three new research articles to our weekly board members that would make good discovery pieces. It was exciting to see the field from some fresh eyes and got us excited about what’s to come for TSP.
Last week the editor’s of the Berkeley Journal of Sociology joined us for our board meeting. With our board of undergrads and grads, and their graduate student leaders, we wondered what public sociology will mean for the next generation of scholars. It was an exciting and inspiring meeting, full of promise that young scholars will continue to expand the boundaries of public soc.
Next week marks the launch of our new newsletter format. This week we stick with our oldie-but-a-goodie.
On TSP this week we highlighted research contextualizing cultural change and the church. Our partner and community pages wrote on orientalism and the media, the risk of genocide in Afghanistan, and queer recruitment panic. Plus, a new podcast from Give Theory a Chance.
It’s the start of the new semester and TSP is back! We are excited to continue sharing new social science research and highlight the work of our partner and community pages. We are also planning exciting changes to this newsletter format (more info on that below)
This week board member Daniel Cueto-Villaloboswrote on new research that shows that urban food deserts might be a myth, but that food access remains challenging for poor residents as “who lives where” in cities and suburbs undergoes change
To better engage with our audience, we’re planning some changes to our newsletter format. We hope to use this space to share our vision of the field and our excitement for new developments and research in sociology. If you have comments or suggestions, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
Next week marks the anniversary of the tragic, now-world infamous police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. It has been a year of mourning, of anger, angst, and anxiety, of trauma, of uncertainty and fear. To mark this inauspicous milestone, the Minnesota Historical Society Press has produced a new book entitled Sparked: George Floyd, Racism, and the Progressive Illusion.Sparked is a collection of powerful, first-person essays from scholars and other civic leaders documenting how the lived experiences of people of color in the Twin Cities, especially Black residents, stand in contrast to Minnesota’s progressive civic reputation and ideals. It is a book that we believe can be the basis for further, meaningful reflection, even reckoning, with Minnesota’s complicated history with race, racial disparity, white supremacy, and racism itself.
We are proud to say that we here at the Society Pages played a role in helping bring this book into being. It started within days of Floyd’s killing last June. Our former colleague and long-time TSP contributor Walt Jacobs approached us with the idea of doing a small series of essays from scholars, mostly scholars of color, who had worked or studied at the University of Minnesota and since left. He wanted them to write about their experiences of race and racism in Minneapolis and Minnesota more broadly. Jacobs’ core idea was to capture the complexity of race in Minnesota–not only the tragedies and traumas but also the deep paradoxes and even possibilities one encountered in the Twin Cities. This tension was reflected in the series title: “Wretched / Wonderful.”
Amid the trauma and chaos of the summer of 2020, supporting and editing this series felt like something constructive we could do–something rather small and symbolic but constructive nonetheless. Little did we know what it would turn into.
Working with Walt in the weeks that followed, we received dozens of inquiries and requests about the series, from folks eager wanting to know whether if and how they could to contribute to it. With the help of our amazing TSP editor and board member Amy August (now a professor at San Jose State University and one of the co-editors of the MNHSP book with Walt and Wendy Thompson Taiwo), we edited and published over 20 essays over the course of the summer.
These essays would become the backbone of the Sparked volume. In celebration and support of the book, we will–over the course of coming weeks–be re-running the essays that first appeared on TSP last summer in their original form. We do this to recapture the intimacy and immediacy of the essays–and again with great pride in the role our team and these authors played in helping to bring Sparked into being. We will also share some short supplementary discussion materials and questions, developed by Edgar Campos and the editorial teams at Sparked and TSP.
The Historical Society is sponsoring a special launch event tonight featuring four of the book’s contributors–including Walt himself!–talking about the paradoxes and challenges of race and racism in Minnesota and what meaningful steps toward racial justice might look like. We hope it will be the first of many such conversations to come. Details can be found at this link.
Welcome back! This week we cover new research on how low-income moms address “diaper need.” Our partner and community pages featured content on the impact of student loans, the “Beth Schneider effect” in the sociology of sexualities, and the Amernian community’s connection to Minnesota.
Diaper Desperation by Nikoleta Sremac. We cover new research that shows that diaper need is an issue with consequences for health, stress, and stigma. In the face of this challenge, low-income moms employ labor-intensive strategies in order to maintain their children’s diaper supply.
Happy Friday! This week we cover new research that examines the reasons for the slowdown in casual hookups. As always, our partner and community pages featured important and interesting pieces on the racial consequences of underfunding public universities, the obligation mothers feel towards their children, and the significance of public naming of genocide.