Reflections on Teaching, III: Untitled

I think that—somewhere nestled between “paying for another year of graduate school” and “distracting me from my dissertation”—most TAs optimistically see their function as, on some level, “helping” their students. If you asked me what that meant nine months ago, when I started teaching, I probably would have answered that my “help” would come in… Continue reading Reflections on Teaching, III: Untitled

On the Appropriate Role for Assault Rifles in a Civil Campus Community

In the “national conversation” that we’re largely not having about militarized policing, I have nothing important to contribute. For what it’s worth, I forced my undergraduate Sociological Theory class to apply different theorists’ analyses to recent events in Ferguson. I’m vaguely aware of ongoing police surveillance, disruption, and violence in communities of color, and I’m… Continue reading On the Appropriate Role for Assault Rifles in a Civil Campus Community

Anomie Soup

Recently I’ve been spending my days working frantically on my book, voraciously reading texts for my qualifying exams and—this is the best, and most exciting, part—talking animatedly about potential dissertation ideas with my colleagues. You could say that, after a two-year hiatus, I love sociology again. The only problem is that it took me getting… Continue reading Anomie Soup

Solidarity

“Has anyone here ever been part of a union before?”  No hands go up. “Does anyone here think they’ll be in a union after they graduate?” Still no hands. “How about this: who thinks they’ll someday be on the other side of a negotiating table from a union?”  Finally, hands go up, along with a… Continue reading Solidarity

November 9th and the Changing Repertoires of Activism

The reports are just rolling in, and boy, has it been enlightening.  A few weeks ago, the University of California Police Department released a report determining that the real source of problems at Berkeley on November 9th was that police weren’t allowed enough “force options”—particular, pepper spray. Shortly thereafter, a quasi-independent review board at Davis… Continue reading November 9th and the Changing Repertoires of Activism