Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Unequal States of America

The Economic Policy Institute just released a report describing growth in income inequality since the early 20th century across American states. In describing such changes, it provides an interactive showing relative gains/losses for income groups (1% versus 99%) by state.

Monday, January 26, 2015

BBC's "a history of ideas" video series

Under its A History of Ideas series, BBC Radio 4 is distributing short, but instructive videos that address key ideas in philosophy and sciences. Above is a recent clip outlining Marx on alienation. (See YouTube for collection.)  

Saturday, January 17, 2015

toxic price of leather

Jenna Garrett writing in Feature Shoot brings this graphic video by Sean Gallagher to our attention, The short film documents the devastating health and environmental effects of unregulated leather industries in Kanpur and the surrounding area which produce goods for the global market

Saturday, January 3, 2015

snobby white chicks

This post was contributed by Nari Kim from this fall's introductory sociology class. This post was later cross-posted to The Sociological Cinema.

In this clip from the movie White Chicks, FBI agents, Kevin and Marcus (played by Shawn Wayans and Marlon Wayans), pick up the Vandergeld twins whom they are to supposed to protect. The sisters (played by Brittany Daniel and Jaime KIng) are white, young, and rich, as shown through their consumption of expensive goods such as private jet and designer clothes. Upon meeting, one sister demeans the agents by declaring “we already gave to the United Negro Fund.” Taken a bit back, the agents explain that they are supposed to drive them to their destination and protect them while there. In response, the women throw their bags at the agents and order them to clean up their dog's mess. As they get situated in the car, Marcus is surprised to discover that he is relegated to the cargo area as his seat is reserved for the dog. While driving, the women further bask in their privilege, noting that this isn't just “a” week, but “the” week at the Hamptons, and that only the "hottest of the hottest" (i.e., themselves) will be on the cover of the local magazine, detailing the lives of the rich and famous. In all, the twins make no effort to disguise their assumption of superiority to the agents by virtue of race and class. This clip would serve to humorously introduce any of several important stratification-relevant concepts, including status inequality, white privilege, and conspicuous consumption.