The Joe Biden Moment: How Social Movements Can Capitalize on the Problems of Political Parties

So far, the response has been mixed. Some Democrats have urged the party to come down “hard” on Biden, noting that this is the only way to get him to change his behavior. Others argue downplay Biden as “touchy-feely” and argue that Democrats should be careful and not take the issue of sexual harassment in the workplace “too far.” At the time of this writing, women’s rights groups have largely been silent on Biden’s behavior. However, it would not be surprising if some groups, particularly those lacking strong relationship with the Democratic Party machine, used Biden as a rally point to build their supporter base and fill their coffers in the near future.

“Stir, or Get Away from the Pot”: Uncertainty Over Future Municipal Broadband Ownership is a Bad Idea

If you like the idea of municipal broadband, you’re not getting it. But all of the talk of “we might change our mind in the future” has the potential effect of degrading the quality of existing non-municipal broadband services. As an alternative, the City could formally disclaim any interest in municipal broadband and examine, in consultation with private broadband providers, if there are current city policies that are barriers to broadband upgrades. “Stir, or get away from the pot” indeed.

Sex and Love in the Digital Age

The point here is that while America may be caught in a sex recession, there is reason to believe that digital technologies also deepen our connections – and we simply have not observed and named the phenomena yet. In a time where gender and gender relations are in flux, it is reasonable to expect that how we connect and relate to one another is shifting as well.

There Is More to Women’s Political Participation than Voting

Journalists covering the 2018 mid-term elections enjoy spinning out narratives about cleavages in American society when it comes to voting. The gender gap is one of the tales they can weave together through data and first-person accounts. While gender differences in voting patterns are certainly important, it comfortably fits with a broader tendency to downplay women’s leadership and engagement throughout history. It is critical that we remind journalists, our students, and ourselves, that the gender gap in voting does not capture women’s political contributions or their political diversity. Women’s engagement matters well beyond their votes.       

From the Classroom: Antitrust Law and Tech Giants

One of the most satisfying parts of the assignment was that I challenged the students to write both a government and a defense memo that were so balanced in their arguments that I could not tell which side they personally favored. Virtually all of the students succeeded in doing so.

Teacher Strikes: Why Now?

Will teachers in Oklahoma, Kentucky and Arizona win their battles? It is difficult to say if teachers will get some or any of their demands met. Politicians, however, would be wise to note that there isn’t a groundswell of parents calling for teachers to get back in the classroom – and that, in some cases, parents are joining their kids’ teachers on the proverbial picket line. This suggests that a new kind of Parent-Teacher Organization may be in the works – one that politicians’ may find difficult to ignore.

From the Classroom: Students Co-Create A Social Movement Photovoice Blog Following the Parkland, FL School Shooting

Engagement in visual-centric blogging introduces students to a popular form of public sociology that develops the sociological imagination. As Lisa Wade and Gwen Sharp, founders of Sociological Images, note, sharing compelling images and social scientific analysis in blog form is an effective way to engage a non-scholar audience in developing understandings of social science principles.

The Common Denominator of Mass Violence: Guns AND Men

The United States has a unique problem with gun violence, but the solutions to this social problem are more complex than curving access to weapons of war. If we are truly committed to building a society free from all forms of violence, we cannot limit ourselves to proximal solutions. We must be honest about a fundamental source from which violence emerges in our culture: the socialization of boys and men.

Newspaper Endorsements Do Matter – At Least for Ballot Measures

Those seeking information will respond to information provided by newspapers as one of the only (if not the only) source of guidance on ballot measures. This is especially important in mid-term elections where casual voters often stay home. Our next election—2018—is slated to have a number of constitutional amendments on the ballot, including a measure to allow some former felons to vote in our elections.