Showing posts from March, 2010

Perceptions of discrimination

Some interesting polling data on perceptions of discrimination.

Be Afraid…Be VERRYY Afraid…(not) � The Social Lens

Be Afraid…Be VERRYY Afraid…(not) The Social Lens Originally posted at The Social Lens March 3, 2010 Posted by: Chad M. Gesser Twitter: @profgesser Email: Each semester I cover different aspects of deviance and crime with my Sociology students, and I’m always intrigued to hear their varying perceptions of crime and violence in our community, the nation, and the world. It is inevitable that the prevailing viewpoint is that we do indeed live in a violent society. In discussions this week, I had one particular student who is married to a local police officer share that her husband refuses to allow her to walk, jog, or run alone at night in her neighborhood and community for fear of violence. An argument can be made that he is just being safe, but it certainly does beckon the question: How safe is my community? My country? Society in general? Ten years ago Barry Glassner released his “ Culture of Fear “, which examined how various social forces from me

Durkheim and Anomie � The Social Lens

Durkheim and Anomie � The Social Lens Anomie is one of those concepts in the field of Sociology that can be applied in a variety of ways. Coined by French Sociologist Emile Durkheim in his 1897 study “Suicide”, anomie refers to a sense of normlessness, resulting in individual detachment and disconnection from other members of a group or society at large. Sociologists see society as an organism, much the way the human body is an organism. Society, just like the human body, is a sum of its parts. Staying with the human anatomy and physiology theme, I like to think of the above image as the “skeleton” of society. Below you’ll find the makeup of the “central nervous system”. These are the fundamental elements of culture. Keep in mind that norms are the guidelines and expectations in society. They are not right or wrong, but we as members of society determine at any given moment in time or history the makeup of norms. For example, it once was the norm for males to hold the door o

Issues of Health and Health Care Reform � The Social Lens

Issues of Health and Health Care Reform � The Social Lens The effort of passing health care reform has been a major source of national interest for several presidential election cycles. Until recently though, health care reform was an idea without much substance or potential of being realized in the United States. Health care as a social problem is a very complicated issue. This is precisely why any effort of passing major health care reform has consistently been blocked. There are several dimensions of health that have rightfully generated a substantial amount of interest in the United States over the past decade. The issues surrounding health care are not limited to health care insurance. They include issues of lifestyle and nutrition (including the high incidence of overweight and obese citizens in the United States), the health care costs for the poor, senior citizens, and the health care costs enacted on the government due to a very unhealthy population. Certainly a big fac

Homosexuality: more than just preference � The Social Lens

Homosexuality: more than just preference � The Social Lens The issues that gays face go well beyond social acceptance of their sexual preference. Heterosexuals certainly do not recognize the advantages that they reap in a culture that is deeply rooted in heterosexuality. The Heterosexuality Questionnaire was developed by Martin Rochlin, Ph.D., in 1977. While it certainly appears humorous to the average heterosexual reader, a closer examination can help one examine the social implications of a heterosexual society, particularly if you’re homosexual. 1. What do you think caused your heterosexuality? 2. When and how did you decide that you were a heterosexual? 3. Is it possible that your heterosexuality is just a phase that you may grow out of? 4. Is it possible your heterosexuality stems from a neurotic fear of others of the same sex? 5. If you’ve never slept with a person of the same sex, is it possible that all y