Thursday, October 23, 2014

Bristol Palin and Malala Yousafzai, a Memoir Comparison on Jezebel

I recently posted this article on my Facebook page:

The article compares the memoirs of the two young women.  One of my former students wrote this in response:

I've been trying to write out why this article bothers me, and I feel like I just can't put my finger on it. What do we gain by comparing these two women this way? What point was this article trying to make? That Bristol Palin is a moron? Do they just want to make fun of someone who clearly isn't doing well? Bristol Palin was mocked by an entire nation for something that happens to teenagers all the time. She has been and apparently still is being used as a political tool, and as fodder for gossip. So what if she wrote a book about it? Why does her story have to be compared to Malala's? Why can't we discuss it as someone coming to terms with, I don't know, being bullied by an entire country, feeling like she has to justify her life? Or does the article just want to make her look like a dumb white girl? I found this article to be INCREDIBLY petty.

Here is my response:

As I was reading it, while Bristol was the main target, she remains for me, the personification of the ugly and narcissistic American. She has made various choices to put herself in the media eye after her mother did so. She is damaged and easily made fun of. That said, she is emblematic of Americans and how immature we are. Was she the comparison? Yes. Has Malala gotten a lot of press for her amazing acts of courage? Yes. Are they incredibly different? Yes. I see one as the ideal and one as the clown in terms of what we expect from our young people. Bristol is the caricature of American teens--uneducated, stupid, pregnant, beer-drinking, etc. Malala is who we aspire to be. What better way to see he difference than with a side by side comparison. I understand your issue with the article, but understood it in a different way.
Perhaps a dissection or discussion of this kind of article would be appropriate for a gender or sociology class.

The Teaching High School Sociology web site

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Emotions, Language, and the Untranslatable

This is a cross-post to both the Teaching High School Sociology and Psychology Blogs.  This chart shows primary emotions and the less-used words that are related.  The chart also offers us some untranslatable nuanced terms that are found in other, non-English languages.

It is an infographic that I found from Mental Floss at this address:

The Teaching High School Sociology web site

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

New Epithet for Whites

I was catching up on some inline reading and discovered this little gem.  The article is about a new possible epithet for whites.  The term itself has been around for a while, but not in the racial epithet context.

"Douchebag: The White Racial Slur We've All Been Waiting For"

I am not sure if it would be usable for the high school class--many communities would take issue with the language used, but it provides a great deal of context for those at the college level and adults in general.

The article examines different terms in history, both for whites and non-whites.  It's just a really good overview that makes a case for this term.  Great fodder for discussion.

The Teaching High School Sociology web site

Monday, October 20, 2014

Return to Posting-Several Articles of Note

It has been far too long.  I will endeavor to return to posting regularly on this blog.

Here are links to a couple of recent articles that could easily be tied into any sociology class.

Why Poor Kids Do Not Stay in College

This link has the interactive graphic:
This is excellent for socioeconomic status and stratification

Poor Kids Who Do Everything Right Still Don't Do Better Than Rich Kids Who Do Everything Wrong
another good article on stratification and inequalities in our current economic system

Sexy Halloween Costumes that Barely Resemble Their Real-Life Counterparts

San Francisco Radio "Bans" Lorde song Royals until after the World Series.  
Nice in-group/out-group stuff with this one

The Teaching High School Sociology web site