Inequal thru Music&Film
- Pacific Sociological Association. 11/10/2020 - present. Position : Member.
- Utah Academy of Sciences, Arts, and Letter. 08/01/2019 - present. Position : Member.
- American Sociological Association. 06/01/1990 - present. Position : Member.
Sociologists of the past and present have been endlessly fascinated by human interaction. From Georg Simmel, to C. Wright Mills, to Patricia Hill Collins, to Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, sociologists have continuously explored the relationships between individuals, social groups, and societal systems. Their sociological imagination tellingly locates the individual squarely in the midst of concrete social circumstances, and links the individual life to the life of the society. Our structures, then, are never far from our persons.
When I teach, I am attempting to instill this very sociological imagination in my students within courses which primarily examine and grapple with issues of race, class, gender, and sexuality, as separate as well as intersectional axes within a matrix that has fundamental implications for the lives of real individuals, families, and communities. Essentially, I hope to instill in my students an understanding that the individual life is framed and shaped by social structures, for better or worse. Ultimately, I hope to instill in my students a sense of social justice with regard to individuals and communities who experience the inequity that social structures can create and maintain as well as a desire to do something about this inequity.
Sociology of Rock and Roll
It has been about 60 years since the popular musical genre called rock and roll or rock 'n' roll made its appearance. Some even argue that it can trace its roots further back still to the mid-19th century in Manhattan's Five Points district where African and European influences combined to shape a new musical style. Whatever its roots and early beginnings, from its inception, rock and roll music has been a distinctly American blend with elements of blues, rhythms and blues, country, folk and gospel music. This wedding of musical styles in U.S. history with concomitant implications for social relations-race-and classed-based at the outset-is the central, focus of this course. Fundamentally, this course is a historical, theoretical, and ultimately, sociological exploration of rock and roll music. The course will examine rock music from its roots, to its appearance it the late 1940s and early 1950s, to its evolution throughout the 20th century and into the 21st century. Students will be invited to explore the socio-cultural aspects reflected in and affected by this popular music including race and class relationships as well as some of the ways that institutions help to reinforce and shape musical genres.
Ethnic Minorities in America
Did you know that a young, urban, black American male is less likely to live to the age of 40 then a young man in a Third World nation? Sociologists and other social scientists are currently describing a disturbing amount of racial and ethnic inequality in the U.S. This course is a historical, theoretical, and ultimately, sociological exploration of American inequality through an examination of racial/ethnic groups and women in the United States.
Exploring Social Inquality Thru Music & Film
During the election campaign for President Barack Obama, our forty fourth President and our first African American President, one of candidate Obama's famous campaign mantras were the words "Yes We Can!" Soon the catch-phrase, reminiscent of other calls to action such as "we shall overcome" and "si se puede" for underserved populations and populations of color in U.S. history facing issues of social inequality, became a popular music video released by hip-hop musician and raper Will.i.am. This wedding of issues of social inequality in U.S. politics and society with popular culture media such as music and film is the central focus of this course. Fundamentally, this course is a historical, theoretical, and ultimately, sociological exploration of race, ethnicity, class, and gender as axes of inequality in the United States, through the lens of music and film media. Materials examine the interaction between personal experiences and social structures as students explore how individuals carry varying degrees of penalty and privilege depending on their position within a complex matrix along axes of race, ethnicity, class, and gender that affects everyone in society. Students will be invited to explore the ways that people experience and respond to the matrix, that is, structures of racial/ethnic, class, and gender inequality, and the ways that people help to reinforce and reshape those structures.
Deviant Behavior/Social Control
Sociologists of the past saw the study of deviance as the study of "nuts, sluts, and perverts." Contemporary sociologists have a more nuanced and critical perspective on the subject. This course is an historical, theoretical, and ultimately, sociological exploration of the field of deviant behavior, describing and analyzing particular forms of socially defined deviant behavior including murder, rape, prostitution, and illegal drug use, among other topics covered.
Are children today more violent than in the past? What are the current trends and patterns in the delinquency committed by juveniles today? Juvenile Delinquency explore the nature and extent of delinquency, various theories explaining why juvenile delinquency occurs, and different types of delinquency, as well as the state of and issues in the juvenile justice system. Overall, the goal of this course is to enable students to think sociologically and critically about issues related to juvenile delinquency.