Social Movements

Prohibition Silent Civil Rights March Suffragettes

This week we will examine the elements of a successful social movement and practice reading research articles.  Bring a laptop if you can.

Before Apr 27:


Writing Tips infographics


Health, Socially Defined and Unequally Distributed


The way we view dying and death is, not surprisingly, culturally determined.  Are we open and accepting?  In denial? Staving it off for as long as possible? We will spend the first hour considering death and dying in America through a discussion of the short film Northfound.

Our second hour we will look at mental illness in the United States.  How it is defined and who is affected.

For April 20:


Part 2 of the different high school videos,

One of the first social epidemiology studies and a great read, The Ghost Map by Steven Johnson.  Describes the effort to understand and stop a cholera epidemic in 19th century London.

A prime example of social definition of illness in The Spirit Catches You and Then You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman.  Presents California doctors trying to treat epilepsy in a young Hmong patient.

FOLLOW-UP from class:

Mental health Quiz

TED talk on stigma of mental illness.

Health Powerpoint



There is so much we could look at with of public system, goals, financing, school choice, preschool, higher ed, etc etc etc.  We are going to narrow our focus to high school and college.

Primary question: Does education reinforce existing stratification or provide a way to overcome it?

By Apr 13:

  • Read Hayley Glater, The Atlantic, March 30, 2017 What If Students Only Went to School Four Days a Week? 
  • Read Tristan Bridges, Sociological Images, Mar 20 , 2017 Racial and Educational Segregation in the US
  • Write a response paper: Summarize both articles and answer the primary question.
  • And one last thing…pick a paper topic.  Where can you find a topic?Check your book – at the end of each chapterLook back over your papers – what were you interested in?  What made you mad? Or excited? Or hopeful?Look back over the blog posts – which readings were interesting to you?

    A sociology blog, thesocietypages series “There’s Research on That”

    Narrow it down, for example:

    Education  to  gender difference to  Math performance/achievement by boys and girls in middle or high school



ListenHow For-Profit Colleges Sell “Risky Education” To The Most Vulnerable, Mar 27 Fresh Air on NPR

How to Get Low-Income Students Into Selective Colleges   Hidden Brain on Morning Edition April 12, 2017

Read: The difference between top-tier colleges and mid-level may  not matter for middle-upper income students

Watch: These may be found in the library or on streaming services.


The Lottery

Waiting for Superman

Hoop Dreams

Video from class:  A Tale of Two Schools Part 1 and Part II






Here is the video I hoped to watch last week  Generation Like a follow-up to Merchants of Cool  Both videos explore the economic and social power (or is it exploitation) of teens.

On Prison and Race: 13th directed by Ava DuVernay 

To do by Dec 15:

Paragraph 1 summary

Paragraph 2 respond to the following question

There are four functions of prison: deterrence, rehabilitation,  retribution and social protection. The threat of prison is supposed to act as a deterrent or discouragement from even committing a crime.  The rehabilitation function is to give prisoners the skills they may need to succeed in life outside of prison.  The third function is retribution or a sort of payment for crime committed against society.  This is like the eye for an eye rule – the criminal took something and now society will take the perpetrator’s freedom. And finally, prisons serve to protect the public from dangerous people.  Most researchers agree that where American prisons are the weakest is in the rehabilitation of inmates as indicated by the high recidivism or rearrest rate, see the chart below.

What elements of Hadden prison would you recommend American prisons use to improve the rehabilitation of prisoners? And why (supporting quote or evidence is always appreciated!)

Percent of released prisonners rearrested within 3 years by offense, 1994

Youth and Aging

Is it young vs old?  Maybe in some ways.  In 1970 a large percent of the population was 15 years and younger.  This is a society that has to pay attention to children and teens.  But as birth rates fall and life spans extend, we are seeing a change in the world age distribution. As the global population becomes less youth heavy what changes do you think we will see?

From The World ReShaped

This week the young, the old and the in-betweens.


POP Quiz on Marriage

Before Dec 8:

–Read both articles and take notes:

Laurence Steinberg, “The Case for Delayed Adulthood

Dominic Preston, “Wasting Your 20s with a Purpose”

Notes should include: author’s main idea, reasons, evidence and their so what?

–Watch TED talk and take notes as above:

Meg Jay “Why 30 is Not the New 20”

–Write a response paper:

How will you view your 20s?  As extended adolescence with no responsibilities and lots of fun? As a time with few responsibilities and purposeful exploration? Or as a time to begin adulthood with all of its responsibilities?

Paragraph one – Answer the question “How do you view the 20s and why?”Include at least two supporting quotes.

Paragraph two- Based on paragraph one – describe what your 20s will look like.  Consider jobs, schooling, living situation, relationships, etc



The Fine Art of Adulting