In this episode we are joined by Elise Paradis, Assistant Professor at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Toronto. Elise introduces us to the work of John Meyer and the value of neo institutional theory as an alternative to more functionalist or conflict-oriented perspectives. In particular, Elise demonstrates the importance of the concept of “decoupling” through her work on the gap between policy and practice in the operating room.

In this episode we are joined by Stefano Bloch, Assistant Professor in the School of Geography & Development at the University of Arizona and author of Going All City: Struggle and Survival in LA’s Graffiti Subculture.  Stefano reflects on his initial encounters with the writings of Henri Lefebvre as an undergraduate literature major and discusses how Lefebvre’s ideas have served as a foundation to all of his scholarly research and teaching since. Stefano also provides useful advice for how we need to approach theory as ideas and tools to be applied rather than eternal truths.

“It is as if the pages came alive. Everything that I had thought was drowning in jargon and overly convoluted… all of sudden started to make sense to me because I was hanging each of those words on this view of the world that I had already held inside me, which was the perspective of the world and the built environment as a graffiti writer.

In this episode we are joined by Clifton Evers. Clifton is a lecturer in media and cultural studies at Newcastle University and founding member of The Shadow Places Network. Clifton discusses how reading Raewyn Connell forced him to reflect on his own lived experience with and performances of masculinity and sent him down a research path that both builds on and complicates many of her foundational concepts.

“Her theory is very productive and that is the best thing you can say about a theory.”


In this episode we are joined by Tristan Bridges, editor of the Journal of Men and Masculinities and Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Bridges joins us to reflect on the influence Raewyn Connell has had on his understandings of masculinity and power from his initial encounters with her writings to his more recent scholarship.
*This podcast is the first of three hosted by Alysha Rios, an undergraduate sociology major at SUNY Brockport, who makes podcast hosting look far easier than it is.

In this episode of Give Theory a Chance, we speak to Alex Manning, Assistant Professor of Sociology at Hamilton College. Alex explains how his work builds on and complicates Annette Lareau’s writings on class reproduction and parenting. In particular, Alex explains his own work on elite youth sport and a form of concerted cultivation employed by parents of color across the economic spectrum. We also discuss how Lareau provides a model of how do theory in a manner that is intellectually impressive and impressively accessible.

In this episode we speak to Stephen Cho Suh, an Assistant Professor of Sociology and Women’s and Ethnic Studies at the University of Colorado – Colorado Springs. Stephen explains how Edward Said’s writings on Orientalism shaped his research on the popularity of Korean American chefs in South Korea’s food and beverage industry. We also discuss how Said’s critique of knowledge production raises fundamental questions about who does research and what stories are told.

In this episode we are joined by Timothy Recuber, an assistant professor of sociology at Smith College and author of Consuming Catastrophe: Mass Culture in America’s Decade of Disaster. Recuber introduces us to the work Colin Campbell and discusses how he adapted Campbell’s concept of autonomous self-illusory hedonism for his research on media consumption of disasters. Recuber also reflects on the challenges of drawing on theories that transcend disciplinary boundaries.

In this episode we speak to Jaime Kucinskas, an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Hamilton College and author of The Mindful Elite: Mobilizing from the Inside Out. Kucinskas explains how reading George Herbert Mead shifted her understanding of the self away from the individualistic model so popular in the United States towards seeing the self as a product of the social environment. We discuss the profound impact that realization had for Kucinskas, both as a scholar and as a person in the world.

In this episode we are joined by Seth Abrutyn, Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of British Columbia. Abrutyn joins us to speak about his initial encounters with the writings of Emile Durkheim and how his current research on suicide was both inspired by and offers important correctives to Durkheim’s famous work. Abrutyn also reflects on whether as a discipline we are guilty of deifying the classic theorists and whether the social theory syllabus is in need of a dramatic re-working.

In this episode we speak to Jeffrey Montez de Oca an Associate Professor of Sociology and the founding director of the Center for the Critical Study of Sport at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. Montez de Oca shares tales from his circuitous path to Marxism and reflects on how he came to realize that Karl Marx provides the tools necessary to help us understand the alienation and inequalities brought about by capitalism.