Twinkies, Black Friday and contemplating capitalism

Several times already this holiday season, my stepdaughter has asked whether her father or I will take her shopping on Black Friday.  Sadly for her, the answer is a unanimous, "No."  It doesn’t seem that there’s anything specific she’s looking to … [Read more...]

What to wear: reflections on clothing and identity

If you could dress in a way that perfectly reflected who you are on the inside, what would you wear?This is a question that’s been on my mind lately.  In one of my classes, we’re talking about school dress codes, and how they reflect certain cultural … [Read more...]

The Sociology of the NFL Replacement Officials

Courtesy of Those of you watching the Monday Night Football game last night between the Denver Broncos and the Atlanta Falcons witnessed first hand the thin line between social order and chaos along which all of us tread on a daily … [Read more...]

Why we should sweat the small stuff: lessons from my gender class

This fall will be my 10th year of teaching sociology of gender at our small college campus, and you’d think after ten years I’d know everything there was to know.  But my students continue to teach me and sometimes to remind me in new ways of the … [Read more...]

The duck and the whale

Driving back from a visit to see my family in Kentucky this Sunday, I witnessed a recurring tragedy or just another day on the road, depending on your point of view.  There’s a lake or inlet on the north side of U.S. 50 right outside of Aurora, … [Read more...]

The pathology of modern life: loneliness

This week, I read an article on The about the relationship between Facebook and loneliness, called, “Is Facebook Making Us Lonely?”  In a nutshell, the answer is no.  Not really.  If you are lonely, Facebook will make you lonely.  If you … [Read more...]

The corner store and the coffee shop: sociological reflections on place

The following is the text of my speech from the closing session of the National Main Streets Conferences in Baltimore this Wednesday:Thank you all so much for having me here today.  It’s good to be in a room full of people who love place, appreciate … [Read more...]

A Post About Teaching Because My Brother Says I Never Talk About It Anymore

So, I’m instant messaging my brother the other day.  He is also a professor at a liberal arts college.  Being a professor at a liberal arts college  might be a genetic disease that just hasn’t quite manifested in my sister yet.  My brother teaches … [Read more...]

The NFL Combine, race and bodies

As a big fan of the NFL, I cannot quite resist the call of the Combine, the annual celebration of freakish athletic ability and the source of the intimate information sportscasters have about how quickly a linebacker can run 40 meters.  Here’s the … [Read more...]

My hands smell like turkey (redux): reflections on a long-time vegetarian eating meat

It's Thanksgiving week, and so I decided to re-post this reflection on a vegetarian eating turkey in honor of the holiday.  Though I had started this blog before this post, it was a rather attenuated thing, and so I like to think of this as my first … [Read more...]