“The cultural sociology thing I went to had a lot of talk about how sociology of culture is marginalized within sociology.”
“Isn’t culture like the second biggest section within ASA?”
“Medical sociology is the third biggest section and they feel marginalized, too.”
“Well, medical sociology kind of is marginalized.”
“Of course, I recognize that you might think I’m saying that just because medical is one of my areas. But I don’t feel marginalized within sociology for my stuff with medical. I feel marginalized in sociology for other reasons.”
“I guess between feeling marginalized from sociology and feeling marginalized from society, just about everyone in ASA is covered.”
“It’s like those Little Leagues where everyone gets a trophy.”
Readers of my blog (few, true) know that my childhood was not very fancy, and that my family worked a second job night shift at the LA Times. Well, I suppose my dad and brother had the actual positions, and we all just helped out to make it faster, in the process violating so many labor laws and child labor laws. Ah, good times.
Walking Boston yesterday, from the hotel north via Newbury Street toward Quincy Market, then through the North End, back around Beacon Hill, and back to the convention hotel area. Lots of rehabilitation of old housing going on, upscale condo developments and the associated upscale services. It is pretty, we were having fun. But I could not help but notice how few Black folks there were on the streets. I recently read David Wilson’s Cities and Race: America’s New Black Ghetto. The short version of his argument is that an important part of “revitalizing” cities involved banishing poor Blacks from the [White] affluent civic gaze which, he says, supports the interests of real estate interests who make a lot of money on the creation of value through gentrification and other processes. Part of what he talks about is intense and aggressive policing in many cities to stop and harass poor Blacks who venture into the gentrified areas. I have not studied up on the specific history of Boston, but I could not help but think about this as I was walking around. So when I got back to my hotel room, I used the Census Bureau factfinder mapping site to generate maps of the City of Boston, showing % Black by census tract. This is of course 2000 data, I don’t know what has changed, and did not plot the income distributions. I’ve put a red circle about where the convention hotel site is. As you can see, Black folks are not living all that far from the convention site, but are not very present in this area. I don’t know anything about what is going on locally. Just wondering.
I talked to my spouse between writing this post and figuring out how to post graphics. While I was off working, he took a walk into the medium green (integrated) area on the map (up Columbus Avenue, for any locals reading) and said it seems like an pleasant integrated area with a nice feel. Couples of both races sitting in outdoor cafes. He passed a Black church letting out from services.
Ennea, a project from students at the Eindhoven University of Technology is one of the cooler things I’ve seen in a long time, developed during a six week design class. The students focused on an interesting problem – the problems incoming Dutch high-school students have in building socialization skills. The Dutch education system doesn’t have middle schools, so students go directly from an elementary school to high school, a transition that can be difficult and stressful. Schools assign “tutors” to groups of pupils, and they meet for an hour a week to work on socialization skills. The designers talked with tutors and realized they had very little information about how their students were doing, and designed a fascinating social tool that works as a very clever form of surveillance and behavior tracking.
“Social Poaching” seems to fall under the category of “human behavior that sociologists really don’t need to waste their time on” but that said, it is a phenomenon that most of us have probably encountered in some form. The article goes on to relate numerous anecdotal accounts of social poaching and the ensuing heartbreak and fallout, of “hurt feelings and broken friendships.” I am of the school who keeps her circles separate for the most part, if only because they are so wildly disparate. But some people even go so far as to “intentionally avoid introducing their friends to each other because they like to keep their relationships separate.”‘