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Sociology 1020
Kim Luton

17, 18 and 43 are missing Chapter 19 – If Men Could Menstruate - We would think quite differently about menstruation if it were associated with the dominant group (men) rather than the subordinate group (women) - Influence of gender norms on societal views and consequential personal views Chapter 20 – The National Conversation in the Wake of Littleton Is Missing the Mark - Idea of the importance of gender specification; shootings in Littleton are blamed on bullying and marginalization, but what many fail to notice is the trend of violent males (vs. females) - Problem = what defines a man? Power, strength, muscle, authority o Movies and actors o Sports o Mass media - The two shooters were not “manly”, but they had access to a great equalizer; guns - If the shooters were girls, everyone would see that as the dominant variable, but because it‟s boys we talk about the crime in a gender neutral way, and find other reasons to accredit their behaviour to o Why are girls that are growing up in the same environment as the boys not developing into violent people? Because they‟re not expected to, it‟s the unfortunate role of a male in today‟s society Chapter 21 – Fraternities and the Collegiate Rape Culture: Why Are Some Fraternities More Dangerous Place for Women? - Existence of high-risk and low-risk fraternities in the community, gender relations and attitudes toward sexual relations vary between the two o Low-risk frats tended to have less loud music and thus more of an ability to interact, and subsequently lower levels of rape (women of whom the brothers do not know are at a higher risk for rape, rather than sisters or friends, “faceless”) o High-risk frats discourage committed relationships and routinely degrade women, whereas many brothers in low-risk frats were in relationships and thus interacted kindly with women - Alcohol consumption at all fraternities intensified attitudes and orientations of rape culture - Men (brothers) control alcohol = control party = control rape culture Chapter 43: Teaching Challenges in Higher Education - Allahar and Cote, in Ivory Tower Blues: A University System in Crisis (2007), claim that the university system in North America has become dysfunctional and is only getting worse. - The common expression, “those who can‟t do, teach,” plainly shows how in the university environment, research ability is of first-rate importance, while teaching ability is second place in significance. - He claims that effective teaching in university is hampered by the two components of education inflation: credential inflation and grade inflation. - Students nowadays have less patience for learning abstract concepts. This is partly because of the fact that they are now part of an audio-visual tradition, instead of a literary one. - The prevalent cult of self-esteem [of which the praise movement is an important component] views students as fragile creatures who must be protected from anything that could cause them discomfort, including low grades. Through such ideology, university has become a sort of kindergarten. - We are today living in a world of highly competitive market economies in which credentials have become of utmost importance for the attainment of many professional positions. This great demand for credentials has led to more credentials being offered by many schools, which in turn has led to credential inflation. - As credentials have become all the more numerous and prevalent, today‟s occupations require more diplomas and degrees than they did in the past. With degrees so prevalent, the value of a degree has eroded. To counteract this crisis, many schools have adopted undemocratic policies that involve restricted access to their programs. - Grades are now the ticket to admission into university programs and occupations, and this crucial importance of grades has led to grade inflation. Students are under great anxiety and pressure to achieve the grades they will need to meet their academic and professional goals. - P. 259: “So compared to the 1960s, the behaviour of today‟s politically empowered students is far more individualistic and self-serving to the point where the University of Western Ontario‟s official motto is: Major in yourself.” - University admission committees have lost their trust in high school credentials. And so, a parallel industry of standardized exams has grown to great importance. Universities use standardized exam grades as a tool for deciding whom to admit to their competitive programs. - P. 257: “In my 27 years as a professor at three different universities, I have never once gone to a class unprepared and all I ask is that they return the courtesy” - Chapter 40 - Stars and Bars - Attempts to address the problem of racism - flawed in that they focus too much on the individual and the individual‟s beliefs. Such an individualistic focus will not repair the institutionalized racism that impacts and harms to so many lives. - P. 239: “What is institutionalized racism? Basically, the term refers to the fact that society is organized in ways that function to disadvantage particular social groups.” - P. 239: “Basically, he [Daniel Lazare] argues that racial and class biases in the U.S. have produced „the largest detention system in the advanced industrial world,‟ one that functions to disenfranchise a racial underclass.” - In the U.S., 737 of every 100,000 individuals are incarcerated. This is twelve times the rates of Britain, France, other Western European countries, and Japan. 1 in 32 people are under some form of surveillance by the criminal-justice system. The situation is particularly appalling for African-Americans. P. 240: “By the mid-1990s, 7 percent of black males were behind bars, while the rate of imprisonment for black males between the ages of 25 and 29 now stands at one in eight.” - An important cause of children being raised in single families is the fact that they have a parent who is locked up. - In 2002, only 19 % of those sentenced with felonies committed a violent crime. Trafficking or possession of drugs composed 31 % of felony sentences, while fraud accounted for 32 % of such sentences. - P. 240: “Several of the leading Democratic candidates, for example, have recently come out against the infamous 100-to-1 ratio that subjects someone carrying ten grams of crack to the same penalty as someone caught with a kilo of powdered cocaine.” - The U.S. incarceration rate has been rising since the mid-70s, and rose dramatically during the 80s and 90s. - The crack wave that exploded during the 80s led to a panic concerning this drug that came to be called „the new devil substance.‟ This led to the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986 that carved in stone the 100-to-1 drug penalty ratio referred to above. - Crack came to cause so much terror because of concern with black abuse of cocaine. This has led to the fact that black drug users are twice as likely as white drug users to be arrested. Furthermore, once arrested, black drug users are more likely to be incarcerated than are white drug users. - It is common to hear that since the 70s, the U.S. economy has had striking success that has included a significant narrowing of the wage gap between whites and blacks. What is not mentioned is that this is only the case because the incarcerated U.S. population has not been included in the equation. P. 242: “If workers behind bars are counted, then it quickly becomes apparent „that young black men have experienced virtually no real economic gains on young whites‟ and that the real black unemployment rate is up to 20 percent greater than official statistics indicate.” - An experiment involving fake resumes with and without criminal sentences for white and black job applicants has shown that black applicants with criminal records face double penalization. Only 5 % of such applicants are called back. What we see is in fact a nearly complete exclusion from the labour market. - Robert Martinson incorrectly stated in what came to be an extremely influential article that rehabilitation programs don‟t work. The truth is that while many don‟t work, some do. P. 244: “In short order, Martinson‟s article became the bible of the vengeance-and-punishment set, which seized on it as proof that rehabilitation was a lost cause and that the only purpose of prison was to penalize wrongdoers. Once this ideological impediment was removed, the criminal-justice system slid downhill with remarkable speed. If punishment was good, then more punishment was better.” Martinson‟s article resulted in horrific crime measures. Exaggerated sentences for minor crimes, brutal prison practices, and increased violence between and among prisoners and jail guards. - The U.S.‟ prison policy is not evidence based – it is not crafted to reflect the data we have accumulated. Instead of being pragmatic and utilitarian, “it is a moral policy whose purpose is to satisfy certain passions that have grown more and more brutal over the years….Moralism of this sort is neither rational nor democratic, and the fact that it has triumphed so completely is an indication of how deeply the United States has sunk into authoritarianism since the 1980s. With the prison population continuing to rise at a 2.7 percent annual clip, there is no reason to think there will be a turnaround soon” (p. 244, 245). - Chapter 28 – Social Science Theories of Religion - Critical and nontheological (non-religious) reflection on religion was established as a formal activity in the late nineteenth century (late 1800‟s). - Social science theories of religion that were created could fall under two main categories: o Those who sought to explain religion (Weber) o Those who sought to explain religion away – (Marx, Freud, Durkheim). - Ultimate issue was the persistence of religion (i.e. Would it always exist? If not, why? If it did, how? etc.) - Marx o “Dialectical materialist” o Believed that the ultimate reality was not an issue of spirit but matter. o Reality (whether it be political or social) is shaped by the struggles between social classes over the control of the material means of production (material resources). o Saw religion as an illusion à a technique used by the ruling class to ensure the working class remained under control o To him, religion was an „opiate‟, a drug that leaves the working class subdued in their current circumstances as they look forward to the afterlife and the hope of spiritual rewards instead of material possessions in this life. - Limitations to Marx‟s argument o Marx consistently perceived religion as a mechanism to blind individuals to the injustices they suffered in their lives. Following this line of thought, it would make more sense that society would be motivated to combat these injustices when society became more secular (as religion would no longer be able to blind the masses o Religion often a „motivating‟ force for people who‟ve been oppressed o Marx‟s argument was always considered scientific in the past because it dealt with material reality. Yet, Greeley argues that in reading Marx‟s work on religion what one finds it a great number of a
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