social poaching

Because I am not a real sociologist, I so delight in finding sociologish articles around the web and asking you all “is this for real?!”

Via Jezebel:

“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.”‘

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what good are norms in the internet?

First, read this article about horrible, sociopathic internet trolls who delight in terrorizing and defaming others. Read the whole thing. Feel outrage and shiver at the pictures of the trolls who look like sociopaths even without the context-providing article.

Well, okay, here’s some excerpts:

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yet more on socialization

(Part I about my social anxieties here).

So on Friday, after the movie and bonfire, I went for a handshake and the other person (whom I met just that evening) went for a hug. I ended up kind of tossing up my hands in a “what the bother” fashion and hugging. That was an extremely awkward moment and I am still sort of wincing, but for whose sake I cannot tell. This is not the first time this has happened. I never know what to do in such situations.

I have also heard the remark, when I went for a hug (mind you, upon the second time meeting this person socially, we had hugged the last time, and it was an invite to their house for a dinner party thing), “that was weird” by the person who expected a handshake or slight hand wave. (Yes, it is kind of jerkish to hear that out loud in front of others from the huggee and your then-boyfriend.) So really, I never know what to do. Heaven forbid that some non-European would throw me by going for a cheek kiss, which I am super awkward with in non-date situations. I wish that everyone would agree to stick to hi-fives or something.

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do the right thing

So, my sudden inspiration to get out there and help kids is taking a little longer than I thought. My interview with 826 is on August 18. One month away, and I have some free time now. So, while I wait for that, I’m going to help out at some meal-services-for-the-homeless food preparation events, and an organization I will call GrrlQuest (for the purposes of geographic obscurity)!

Here’s a description of this outdoor-adventure org:

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826 national rocks!! (all caps!!)

I have decided to start volunteering for my local branch of 826 National. Well, I have applied, and will let you know how the interview goes, and whether they accept me. For three hours a week (or every two weeks, or whatever you can spare), I might be staffing the kitschy supply store (depending on your area: for all your superhero, spy, robot or pirate needs!), tutoring kids in creative and expository writing, encouraging the literary arts, helping with college prep, and if I am lucky, they might let me help out with a workshop!

For more information on how YOU can donate to, volunteer for, or buy the products of 826 National:

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how to teach a course on race and gender

Finally! In response to Pitseleh’s bleg for advice:

I am less excited about teaching Ethnicity and Race in the Spring. Actually, to be quite honest, I’m terrified of it. I don’t know this area, hardly at all (outside ethnic enclaves, social capital, Latino/a immigrant literature, racialization) While I know that is something I can learn and prepare in time, I’m also terrified of teaching mostly white, middle class, conservative students that haunt this Midwestern town. Teaching Social Problems (as a TA), I found that racism and sexism where thought to no longer exist. Challenging these assumptions was equated with preaching and trying to push my political beliefs on my students. I am also concerned with debate running out of control in the classroom, like the occurrence summarized by Drek (although I hope I would handle it much better than she did, I’m untried, so who knows?). Also, I honestly have not spent as much time analyzing my own sexist and racist beliefs, unlike this very brave post that made me start thinking of this in the first place. (I’m thinking of having the students read that post with the unpacking the invisible knapsack thing?). How much is being a white woman going to affect how students listen to me, or are willing to challenge me? I’ve read some articles in Teaching Sociology that indicates this is a huge issue.

Besides the syllabi on the ASA website, do you (oh wonderful readers), have comments, sources, and advice for me? Books that you have used that you like a lot? Assignments that seem to work? Any activities from Teaching Sociology that have worked for you? I’ll love you forever for any help you can give me.

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doing other people’s work and your own

So, I will be an RA this summer for a public policy prof, working on coding cases and I need some advice. I’ve been talking to another grad student friend, and she’s suggested 20 hrs/week, so that I’m sufficiently engaged with the project, well remunerated, and still with time to work on advancing my own research.

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this is why there’s a scatterparty at the asa

I’m still not going to ASA, alas, but this is why it’s such a great idea that y’all are having a ScatterParty with solidarity ribbons, and that like good little Marxist sociologists, you are trying to bust up hierarchies and castes between  sociology rockstar, senior faculty, junior faculty and lowly student in the most mingleriffic party of the year–conferences are extremely isolating and uncomfortable for grad students!

crazy blind date

This is a cool service for young unattached urbanites! Go try it and report back your sociological observations!

Welcome to Crazy Blind Date! We like to keep things simple. That’s why on very short notice we can set you up on quick dates with total strangers at public places like bars and coffee shops. You’re not allowed to see their picture or even communicate. Choose your city.

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the culture of workaholism

In writing a review essay about organizational culture and family leave policies, I am always continually struck by the desire–on the part of workers–to assume the responsibilities, hours, roles. It’s a part of their identity within the institution and in their personal lives, and how they define themselves. I am a good worker!

Culture is the hardest to assess and theorize. Yet, there’s some indicia, or “artifacts” of culture, as well as factors that show how “strong” or “weak” an organizational culture is among its management and employees.

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backstage, to your right

Pitseleh and I are having a most awesome discussion about the Goffmanian concept of backstage.  Original post here, followed by part I and part 2.  My tangentially related post here, and a conversation between Pitseleh and I on the elusiveness of the backstage can be found here.

Go read. You know you want to procrastinate. I know you do, because you didn’t install Leechblock, or else you wouldn’t be reading this.

Pitseleh is suggesting that I beg one of you to get me a $10 vistor’s pass to ASA 2008, and I can probably crash at a law prof friend’s house somewhere in Cambridge.  She says that I can sneak into receptions and eat free food, and so all I have to do is scrounge up the airfare. I am sorely tempted, because I really want a Scatterplot ribbon. And given the success of WickedA’s new voodoo doll business, maybe I should start up a boutique of my own.

this sounds like a question for venkatesh

It seems that Venkatesh is on a roll with his rogue sociologist thing. He already has an “ask a thug” feature on the Freakonomics blog, but really, he should have an “ask a rogue sociologist” feature.

From the NYT, comes this sad story and sociological (and legal) question about pro surfer Emery Kauanui, who was beaten to death by a group of five men in La Jolla, who were supposedly members of the “Bird Rock Bandits”. The thing is, the Bird Rock Bandits are not some rough-and-tumble street gang like you’d expect: they are all white, and look like privileged college frat boys who are the gatekeepers to their affluent, exclusive neighborhood:

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