“No living being can be happy or even exist unless his needs are sufficiently proportioned to his means.”
– Émile Durkheim
Émile Durkheim, one of the founding fathers of sociology, has developed a reputation as being dry, detached, or no longer relevant in light of the trendy post-structural theorists. I used to think this as well until I read his book, Suicide. Before I knew it, I was hooked on Durkheim. Parts of his work can be extremely engaging and many of his critiques are more relevant today than ever before!
In his discussion of ‘anomie’, Durkheim states that the key to happiness is having our needs proportionate to our means. According to Durkheim our “needs” are our desires. As humans, our desires are infinite and insatiable, unless regulated by social forces. Our “means” are the ability to achieve our goals to satisfy our desire. Contrary to the…
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Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper has made several public comments suggesting that sociology is irrelevant to matters of crime. Last year he used the humorous phrase, “now is not the time to commit sociology.” This year, his anti-sociological sentiment was revealed once again in his comment stating that crime against aboriginal women is not a sociological phenomenon.
The Prime Minister suggests that the police and the criminal justice system are the appropriate response, rather than investigating crime sociologically. His reason is that these are individual criminal acts, not symptoms of problematic social structures.
Harpers comments are not necessarily anti-intellectual. Rather, they are just anti-sociological, As suggested by Jakeet Singh in The Star, his comments are the result of a neo-liberal ideology of individualism:
Harper received a degree in economics and supports the merits of a global free-market, giving him a valid reason why he holds an anti-sociological…
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First, a qualifier.* (Read it yet? Excellent. If not, fine, it’s not going to affect what you read. Just don’t go looking for any handouts afterwards.)
What started out as me laying out my definition of racism turned into a whole list of observations about how difficult it is to even talk about. Not nail down; discuss. Racism is hard to talk about in the finite because the human condition is steeped in it. So I’ve included some of those observations, and in turn allowed them to jack up my perfectly good 500 word piece, turning it into this fucking thesis paper. Really, I was just going to say, “Hey guys, we should try to get this racism definition thing right” but then I kept being confronted with reasons why someone was going to email me and tell me how it was wrong even though they never really thought about it…
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The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for SocioTech’nowledge blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,500 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.
Can Sociology be life changing? That’s what Sam Richards argues in this thought provoking TED talk which explores how the discipline can lead us to reimagine our circumstances and see those connections which we otherwise miss – it reveals hidden commonalities and the vast network of relations within which we are all embedded.
How can an academic discipline like Sociology be life changing? This talk suggests one way by exploring how sociologists teach us to re-imagine our personal problems and ourselves. In the end, we learn that even in our most private and seemingly isolated moments, we may be more connected to others than we realize.
A few months ago, Bonnie Tsui wrote a piece over at Pacific Standarad on Facebook’s Compassion Research Day.
According to Tsui, the social media giant has brought together social scientists from across the Ivy League to help it better understand how people interact online.
Specifically, Facebook was concerned about anti-social social networking behaviour. How can users better communicate their dissatisfaction with unflattering pictures? How can we help teens cope with bullying?
On one level this is all great: Facebook fine tunes its tools so that users are better able to voice their concerns. However, I notice that the newly developed solutions usually involve deeper investment in Facebook: sending messages to other users, opening up conversations with other user.
“The changes have more than tripled the rate at which people send a message directly to another user asking for a photo to be removed. And of those requests, 85 percent of the…
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I posted a reblog about How Much Money Do Coders Make? and got curious about my own future profession: Sociologist.
Here are the results:
How Much Does a Sociologist Make? by Beth Greenwood (Demand Media)
Salary for Sociologists (Also known as: What Is the Average Salary of a Sociologist?
Beginning Salary of Sociologists by Faizah Imani (Demand Media)