New Books in Sociology is an untapped resource for the classroom. In these podcasts, the hosts spend about an hour talking with the author of a new sociological book. While they are all interesting, a recent podcast caught my (aspiring genocide scholar) eye. Evil Men, by James Dawes, draws on firsthand accounts of convicted war criminals. This podcast would make a fantastic assignment in a course covering genocide, human rights, international law, or criminology. Below are a few questions that could accompany the podcast.
- Who did Dawes choose to interview, and why?
- Why were interviews an appropriate research method for this project?
- Were people willing to talk with Dawes? Why do you think this was the case?
- What did Dawes learn about why these “evil men” committed the crimes they did?
- What do his findings tell us about why people commit war crimes? Based on what you have heard, do you find anything problematic about drawing scientific conclusions from his book?
This podcast could also be paired with several other activities on Teaching TSP, such as these activities about the Milgram experiment and this activity about power.