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Posts Tagged ‘sociology’

Sounding Sociology and Food on July 8 2011

In sounding on July 8, 2011 at 4:03 pm

I’ve regularly been bowled over and had socks knocked off by the wonderful wonderful sociological blog “Understanding Society.” Really, you should all subscribe to this blog, which makes complex, and current, sociology comprehensible, while explaining its relevance (I also like “Philosophy Bros,” but that’s a different matter).  Here are some of the posts which have entranced me most recently:

Dude, was “Marx an analytical sociologist?” 1. Microfoundations 2. Rational Individual Choices 3. Causal Explanations.  Could be.

Dissecting the social,” more on current analytical sociology.

Thank gods there are also “Alternatives to analytical sociology.”

As for Food Stuff, there are new confirmations of what we’ve known for a long time, all of which have come to me via the excellent blog “Ancient Foods” and the “Agrobiodiversity Weblog.”

There’s a fascinating note that the so-called Green Revolution of the 1960s relied on manipulation of the same gene that ancient domesticating farmers manipulated over 10,000 years ago.  “Ancient Farmers Started the First Green Revolution.”

And of course, agriculture played havoc with our population’s overall health, something we’ve known for a very long time (though few enough of us seem to remember it, day to day). in the Science Daily, (via Ancient Foods), “Dawn of Agriculture took Toll on Health,” including this opening paragraph:

When populations around the globe started turning to agriculture around 10,000 years ago, regardless of their locations and type of crops, a similar trend occurred: The height and health of the people declined.

For you rice fanatics, there’s increasing evidence that rice seems to have had a single origin point of domestication (the Neolithic Yangtze River Valley), and not separate points of domestication.  Southeast Asian patriots may moan about this (there is another theory which argues for a local domestication), but I’m thrilled to know more. Check out the Rice Domestication Roundup at agrobiodiversity weblog.

Laryngitis=Typed Class Notes Introducing Victor Turner

In teach on February 25, 2010 at 11:57 am

I feel pretty good, but have no voice whatsoever.  So, since I have four and a half hours of class to teach today, I’ve spent the morning typing out my introduction to Victor Turner for my class on Ritual.  We’ve spent most of the first three weeks discussing Durkheim’s Elementary Forms and van Gennep’s Rites of Passage, but the students have not been given formal introductions to Marx or Weber in this class (though they’ve likely encountered them elsewhere).

The reason I’m really posting this here, though, is that I’d like to submit these notes to the collective wisdom of both of my readers.  Anything in here you’d care to quibble about?  Let me know!

RITUAL – Introducing Victor Turner
Erik W. Davis

In many ways, Turner sets the stage for contemporary interventions in the anthropological theory and study of ritual. He combines in his person and scholarship a lot of the concerns from conflicting and previously unassociated theoretical approaches: Marxism, Durkheim, and Van Gennep.

Durkheim and His Competitor Trains of Thought

Recall that Durkheim is considered one of the three major founders of Social thought (inclusive of both Anthropology and Sociology), along with Karl Marx and Max Weber. Each of these founders has a distinctive approach to key problems: the nature of the social division of labor, the relationship of economic and social organization to ideology and religion, ‘modernity,’ and the role of institutions in social life.

Each of them were confronted by an apparently radically novel social situation – capitalism – which seemed to break definitively from all previous forms of traditional society. It is difficult to overemphasize the extent to which all three of these thinkers, regardless of their differences, saw the contemporary modern period as a period of profound social flux and change. All of them also tied these changes to capitalism, the new division of labor in society into classes, and the role of religion. Summarizing any of these individual’s thought does violence to their subtlety. However, schematically, we can characterize them in the following ways:

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Sounding on the academy, February 9, 2010

In sounding on February 9, 2010 at 11:16 am

also, I want one.

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