This week, Eric Plemons joins the conversation and Jose Marichal makes a return visit as well. After introducing the Improv Hotline at 612.242.AGIL, we have a discussion about teaching social theory, the value of reading original texts, and the challenges of tuning out distractions for sustained reading and writing. Our final segment is a lengthy discussion of the impact of the 2010 midterm elections.

By the way, be sure to watch the feed because we’ve got another new episode we recorded last week coming your way in just a few days. Editing is hard.

Download Improv #17

This week, John Sides from The Monkey Cage joins us for a discussion about podcasting, blogging, and political blogs. The show is split into four segments:

  1. A discussion of podcasting and public social science inspired by John’s post on political science podcasts.
  2. The history of The Monkey Cage and a discussion of the perception of blogs by academics.
  3. A discussion of political blogs sparked by John’s article on the subject.
  4. How blogging can actually help with academic research and teaching.

Download Improv #16

David Phillippi from Mind of Modernity joins the conversation this week. We kick things off with a discussion of liberal professors and political bias in sociology. Arturo unleashes his inner radical, pleading with us to “be the counter-narrative”, while Jon and Chris bring him down with a depressing case for the End of Sociology.

Download Improv #15

This week, we have two special guests: Gwen Sharp from Sociological Images and Don Waisanen from ThickCulture.

First, we talk about a couple of Gwen’s recent posts on Soc Images regarding whiteness, cowboys, and the Republican’s “Pledge” and the mythology of being a country boy/girl. (Oh, and vajazzling.)

Second, we talk about Stephen Colbert’s Congressional testimony. Don thinks it missed the mark, we compare Colbert and Stewart, and discuss the complexity of satire and irony in politics.

Download Improv #14

Three topics this week*:

  • Arturo talks about his journey into the world of online discussion forums and blog comments
  • Phil Davison, who has a bachelor’s degree in Sociology, a bachelor’s degree in History, a master’s degree in Public Administration…and a master’s degree in Communication.
  • We discuss Urban Legends: Why suburbs, not cities, are the answer.

Download Lucky #13.

* Well, actually last week: this was recorded on September 16.

This week Jesse, Jon, and Arturo (on location at the Denver airport) talk about What the Tea Party Really Wants by David Brooks and Gail Collins. Topics include: the success of Glenn Beck; morality and the market; the idea that “everybody’s to blame” for the sad state of the economy; and the power of catchy anecdotes against data and experts.

Episode #12…gogetit!

This week we talk about two articles:

Download and Enjoy!

Jon, Arturo, and Chris are joined by Jose Marichal (of ThickCulture) and Alexandre Enkerli. A wide-ranging discussion ensues, and we tackle questions such as:

We also manage to start a discussion about pornography on the internet and end up talking about the failure of consensus in the Senate. Try to guess how we get from point A to point B on that one.

Various links referenced in the episode:

Improv Number Ten!

This episode we talk about ourselves.

First, Jon and Arturo gaze at our podcasting navels. We discuss The Society Pages, our plans for Office Hours, and discuss what we’ve learned about producing podcasts and conducting interviews.

Second, at about 42 minutes in, Jesse and Chris join the mix and we navel-gaze as sociologists and academics about e-books, academic publishing, and the state of sociology.

So go grab a fuzzy navel, and listen to improv #9.

What deep sociological insights about race, nationalism, and culture can be gleaned from the world of competitive hot dog eating? We try really hard — possibly too hard — to provide an answer to that question. Then we turn our attention to Nerdcore hip hop and a discussion about music, race, identity, and authenticity.

So put this on a bun and eat it: episode #8!