comes in threes

Back when I was an undergrad, one would hear references to the “Holy Trinity” of sociology, meaning “Weber, Marx, Durkheim” (with the order perhaps switched around in ways that might or might not be telling about the speaker). Sometime between then and my first years as a faculty member, this changed so that when somebody referred to the “Holy Trinity,” they were at least as likely to be making a reference to “Race, Gender, and Class” (with the order perhaps switched around in ways that might be telling about the speaker). The graduate applications I’ve been reading–in addition to other indicators, such as the tagline here–lead me to think this may be changing again, with the new trinity being “Race, Gender, and Sexuality” (perhaps reflecting its new entrant status, I’ve not yet heard ‘sexuality’ said before race or gender). For those applicants who are interested in issues of “class,” it seems very closely bound up with an interest in either race or gender, whereas numerous applicants are interested in sexuality (mostly, sexual orientation) as a thing in and of itself, as something that “intersects” with gender and race.

I wonder if the “Race, Gender, and Class” section will eventually change its name to include sexuality.  Or if a whole new “Race, Gender, and Sexuality” section will form.

Complete non sequitur: Yesterday I went to B&N to read application files so that I wouldn’t be distracted by the Internet. It was crowded, and the only available seat was next to this small child reading a colorful book and her mother reading a book titled The Explosive Child. I did find it less distracting than trying to read in my office, but I still was distracted by continual wonder about whether the child was going to explode.

Author: jeremy

I am the Ethel and John Lindgren Professor of Sociology and a Faculty Fellow in the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University.

8 thoughts on “comes in threes”

  1. When B was young I read a lot of books about parenting (although The Explosive Child wasn’t one of them). The best one yet was this one.

    A few weeks ago I was at the county library and facing a sort of critical parenting issue, so I decided to check out the parenting section. It was only as I stood at the self-checkout scanning my books that I realized that B could now read and understand the titles of what was in my bag or on my nightstand. I ended up returning half of them right there and wishing they had book covers for parents in my position that we could slip on to hide the true topics/titles of the books.


  2. I knew that’s where your link was going, Jessica. I don’t have kids, but I’ve come across that book in my volunteer work. Every time somebody picks it up I start giggling. I’m pretty sure my parents used a different term for that problem.


  3. ooh ooh ooh, call on me me me!

    If I may be so bold:
    See the current _Gender_&_Society_ (v.22i.1) for a symposium about whether or not sexuality deserves a place alongside race and gender.


  4. I hope you contacted Homeland Security and child protective services. At a minimum, both the mother and the manager of B&N deserve heightened scrutiny (unless she brought her noxious volume from home).


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