Week 1: Introduction

Hello Everyone! My name is Katrina Rivers-Williams, I am a sociology grad student at VCU (*counting on my fingers…*) this is my fourth semester??? Let’s just say I have two semesters left (including this one). My undergraduate degree is in Sociology, and conflict theory seems to be my concentration at the moment. I am a … Continue reading Week 1: Introduction

Jean Baudrillard

Simulacra and Simulations “Welcome to ‘the desert of the real’ ”, or something to that effect, is the notorious line that Morpheus tells Neo when he’s informing him of the true reality in which he lives–as opposed to the machine induced simulation that Neo thought he was living in. Morpheus, in that instance, was quoting […]

WHAT.THE.FUNK.

However unintentionally, I have made McKenzie Funk’s book Windfall the ‘mascot’ of most things ‘climate-change’. Some of the ideas in his book have become almost like a frame of reference for me in terms of getting my mind wrapped around certain concepts, and the massive implications of it all. Funk mentions disaster scenarios discussed by […]

Jurgen Habermas

Civil Society, Public Opinion, and Communicative Power In “Civil Society, Public Opinion, and Communicative Power” Habermas describes public opinion in terms of political discourse, democratic functioning in terms of collective agreement, and the difference between public discourse and private discourse. Essentially, Habermas states that the ‘political public sphere’ is a forum to elect officials, because […]

William Julius Wilson

The Declining Significance of Race: Revisited but Not Revised Wilson’s ‘Declining Significance of Race’ is essentially a rebuttal to the argument that race is not less of an issue of significance than economic deprivation, or class immobility. More specifically, this particular article is in response to a colleague, Charles V. Willie, arguing that Wilson’s assertion […]

Patricia Hill Collins

Black Feminist Thought as Critical Social Theory In Black Feminist Thought Patricia Hill Collins argues that the oppression of any group is “inherently unstable“ (Collins 398). This idea of oppression as an insupportable structure is her focus in terms of the oppression of black women. The “ inherent instability” lies in the fact that, as […]

Pierre Bourdieu

Cultural Reproduction & Social Reproduction Pierre Bourdieu explores the function of education in society in terms of class, more specifically cultural capital. He notes that education functions to reinforce the standards of the elite, teaching the masses to appreciate, or at least operate, within an established structure that operates in favor of, and to support […]

Parsons & Merton

Talcott C. Parsons– Categories of the Orientation and Organization of Action [Talcott C. Parsons & Edward A. Shils] Parsons and Shils develop a theory on human action that divides the process of human behavior into four categories of analysis: “(1) Behavior is oriented to the attainment of ends or goals or other anticipated states of […]

Gilman & Du Bois

Charlotte Perkins Gilman– Women and Economics Gilman begins her exploration of the role of women in society by comparing human women to her animal equivalents. She notes that nowhere else in nature does the female of the species depend so completely on her male counterpart for survival. She then begins to deconstruct why this may […]

Simmel & Mead

Georg Simmel– Exchange Simmel refers to an exchange as “the purest and most concentrated form of all human interactions in which serious interests are at stake (Applerouth, 233).” He recognizes that both in the realm of goods, and economics, and social interactions the premise of an exchange remains the same: [Simmel sees an exchange as] […]

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