Lecture Tomorrow:

SocImages Contributor Caroline Heldman and I are giving a talk together titled “Do Friends Matter? Love, Family, and Friendship in U.S. Culture.”  If you’re in Los Angeles, find us at 6:30pm in Johnson Hall, Room 200.  We’re gonna talk about how great friends are and what short shrift friendship gets in American culture.  UPDATE: Because of the power outages in Southern California, the talk was rescheduled for Tuesday Dec. 6th at 6:00pm (Johnson Hall 200, Occidental College).  Say “hello” if you come by!

I’m also looking forward to talks at Harvard (for Sex Week) and the University of Massachusetts – Amherst (for a conference on public sociology).  Both are scheduled for March; I’ll keep everyone updated and try to arrange a SocImages Meet-Up in Boston.


New Publications:

I’m proud to report that two academic papers of mine came out this month.  The first, in Social Problems, uses the case of female genital cutting (FGC) to explore the challenges of building multicultural democracies.  Called “The Politics of Acculturation,” it traces a controversy between anti-FGC activists and physicians who wanted to offer a genital “nick” to Somali immigrants in Seattle.

The second shows how reporters sometimes have the power to socially construct issues as one-sided, thus creating conditions in which they can act like activists (instead of “objective” observers).  This paper, published in Media, Culture & Society, is called “Journalism, Advocacy, and the Social Construction of Consensus.”

Gwen and I also published two pieces together.  The next in our series of Contexts essays came out.  Titled “Land Management and the American Mustang,” it includes a picture of a burro!  You can’t beat that.

We also submitted a class exercise to TRAILS. In it, we use images to illustrate the social construction of race and racial stereotypes.  It’s been very popular with students.


Post Updates:

Remember that foreclosure firm that mocked people thrown out of their homes at their Halloween party?  Well, they’re closing their doors after Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac declined to give them anymore business.  Bye bye Steven J. Baum PC.

Apparently the company has been getting calls from consumers and reporters regarding the Molson Cosmo/Playboy ads we posted about yesterday.  It turns out the ad campaign is quite old (2002/2003) and they would like to distance themselves from it now.

Also, we’re still trying to figure out exactly what relationship PETA has to the anti-public hair advertisement for the Ministry of Waxing.  Weigh in if you have any insight.


Progress on Course Guides:

Gwen has added race/ethnicity, sex/gender, and health/medicine sections to her SocImages Course Guide for Introduction to Sociology.  It’s a pretty amazing collection.  We’ve got guides for Gender and Methods too.

Please do volunteer if you’re interested in collecting posts for a guide!  We’re happy to have as many as we can, duplicates even.  See our Instructors Page for more.


Best of November:

Our fabulous intern, Norma Morella, collected the stuff ya’ll liked best from this month.  Here’s what she found:



It is super exciting to know that someone at the San Francisco ChronicleThink Progress, The Frisky, and BoingBoing is keeping an eye on us.  They featured our posts on that one sexist joke in every trailer (in this case, The Lorax)the relationship between entrepreneurship and social safety nets, PETA’s attack (?) on pubic hair, and the decline in income for college grads.


Social Media ‘n’ Stuff:

Finally, this is your monthly reminder that SocImages is on Twitter and Facebook.  Gwen and I and most of the team are on twitter, too: