why i’m pro “animals and society” and think “the sociology of food” should be more central to the discipline

There, I said it. Beyond my friendship with Colin Jerolmack (“the pigeon dude”) who has guided me to respect the animals and society section, I just read Mark Bittman’s article in the NYTimes, “Rethinking the Meat-Guzzler” and thought to myself, “sociologists should work more on this relationship”. The Times has been doing a series of articles on meat (Jamie Oliver’s “new goal” of  understanding why meat is cheap is less interesting than Bittman’s, but still worth a gander). I have become more and more concerned with our agricultural practices over the last five years. Some of this has nothing to do with sociology, emerging instead through my work as a chef in Madison for a food collective
organized around sustainable food. And some because of casual reading on the issue – in particular Pollan’s book which I found insightful (though the narrative voice annoyed me). Bittman’s piece makes me realize at a full sociological study can (and should!) be done on this relationship. Continue reading “why i’m pro “animals and society” and think “the sociology of food” should be more central to the discipline”

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: Continue reading “comes in threes”

jeremy’s sure been quiet lately

What’s with me? Don’t I have any ideas for posts? Actually, I have a great idea! Yesterday I read something by a sociologist that included this passage about her/his research process that I thought was so implausible and conveniently self-serving that the post calling it out practically writes itself. But, for political/niceness reasons, I’m not going to post it. What’s more, I’ve a great idea for a post about whether it’s really more about political reasons or niceness reasons that I’m not posting it, but I can’t post that without worrying that I’m giving away who and what I’m talking about, and if I was going to do that I might as well post the original post that I’m definitely not going to post. So, here I am, mum. Mum!

Problem is, when you have an idea for a post that you can’t write, it has this strange capacity to cognitively crowd out other post ideas. It’s like a brainstone that needs to pass in order for you to blog again.

Besides two other subjects of major recent preoccupation for me have been: Continue reading “jeremy’s sure been quiet lately”

solve for x

Overheard:  “It’s a weird coincidence.  If you put all my positions on major political issues together, I’d say that I am farther to the left than x% of the American population, which means that I’m to the right of x% of the population of American sociologists.”