About Me

Currently a graduate student at the University of South Carolina, I study urban sociology and inequality. Originally from Western Pennsylvania, I am particularly interested in how changes in regional economic structures effect stratification and mobility opportunities, particularly for the working class. I also participate in the scholarship of teaching and learning.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Interesting Links, 9/2/11

When I see things like this, I realize how desperately many of us want more art in our worlds.

I am disappointed Slippery Rock, PA is not on this list.

Suburban sprawl is still ugly.

Oh, hey! It is Labor Day weekend...
...Literally following in the footsteps of union officials in Wisconsin, union leaders in my favorite city are making a political statement with their Labor Day parade.  They are not inviting and refusing to allow politicians who are perceived to work against the labor movement to participate in the parade.  Despite this decision's potential political ramifications, I believe this other thing they are doing to underscore the unemployed has a stronger potential symbolic impact:
"Marks said that while the Labor Day event always features unemployed workers marching with their affiliated unions, this is the first year there will be a special place for the unemployed in the parade to emphasize the need for job creation."
We need to find a way to invest in people.

Speaking of work, while we say we value the individual work ethic in the U.S., I sometimes wonder if we should re-evaluate the extent to which we value some work over other kinds of work.

Sticking with the Labor Day theme, I read this intersting blog post about the young generation of workers and their use of the internet.  As Horning writes in this post, young workers:
"may self-brand as neoliberalism forces them to -- they may participate in that indirectly productive institutionalized narcissism on Facebook and elsewhere -- but they also extract the cultural surplus and engage in forms of collaborative production that promise to elude capital while remaining socially useful."
I suppose that is what I am doing with this blog - self-branding as neo-liberalism has encouraged me to.

Speaking of academics blogging, here is a good blog post considering debates about academic blogging, including issues of authority and visibility.

College continues to become more expensive, and is too expensive for too many kids.  As this columnist argues, it is "No surprise, we rank 15th among 29 nations in the number of entering students who complete college. We are (similar to health statistics) just ahead of Mexico and Turkey."

If you are considering taking on student loan debt to go to graduate school, consider if you could work in this environment for five to seven years.  The graduate school experience is often not dissimilar to what is depicted in the video. (Thanks to Rocco DeMaro for recently causing me to be aware of this video, by way of his excellent blog).

As uncomfortable as some sociologists seemed to be about having the annual meeting in Las Vegas, folks are still talking about it.

The Pirates have had an awful week on the field, but 40 years ago they did something socially important.

On the theme of Labor Day, here is one of my favorite paintings, "Work" by Ford Madox Brown: