Structuralism is essentially the study of Saussure’s linguistics applied to the study of the underlying structure of a society’s means of communication(s) that give that society’s words contextual meaning.1 Roland Barthes may not have been the first to analyse Saussure, but he penetrated its implications more than anyone at the time.  Barthes defined structuralism as… Read More

In order for propaganda to be effective, it must contain an element of perceived truth.  Goebbels understood this, Karl Rove understands this, and bell hooks understands this as she abundantly explains in Where We Stand:  Class Matters.  The intent is to help us understand how and why we live in a class society.  Analyzing every… Read More

Tommy Lee Jones’ The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada begins as a story of honour between close friends and quickly devolves into multiple perspectives of an archetypal quest for masculine redemption and second chances.  For Pete Perkins, the rancher and Melquiades’ best friend, Belmont, the local sheriff, and Norton, the border patrolman, each quest is… Read More

Max Weber’s study of history, economics, and law allowed him to analyse social movements in their microcosm, especially his views of Rationalisation.  Critics have argued that Weber viewed rationalization as progress, while, I would counter that Weber described it as a modern reality, much as Machievelli described power and the state in The Prince.  Weber’s… Read More

In chapters 8-10 of The Price of Inequality, Stigitz concentrates on the battle of the federal budget, monetary policy, and fixing what is described throughout the text as woefully desperate and dire.  He addresses many varied points and somehow misses a few others that some would deem obvious such as what some would describe as… Read More

John Crowley’s Boy A tests our perceptions of social acceptance of a boy/young man  (Eric/Jack) in arrested masculine development who has had few opportunities to properly mature outside of a prison/youth detention culture for fifteen years.  Crowley contrasts this vis a vis Jack’s male co-workers and the masculinity of his girlfriend Michelle’s romantic advances as… Read More

Anthony Giddens, in Capitalism and Modern Social Theory, reintroduces us to the first self-described sociologist, Emile Durkheim.  Giddens, analyses the three areas of importance that Durheim fixated on:  1) He worked to establish sociology as an academic discipline in order to advance his belief that sociology has value and that it should be studied, 2)… Read More

In chapters 4-7 of The Price of Inequality, Stigitz concentrates on the importance of inequality, the fragility of democracy, influence and propaganda, and the rule of law.  Here, he continues to utilize sweeping generalities but fails to analyze those generalities in detail.  In fact, he uses some of the same tactics that have been used… Read More

From the outset, director Alfonso Cuaron tests and questions collective sexual mores and taboos in Y Tu Mama Tamabien, forcing us to question, forcing us to think, forcing us to reevaluate.  Full frontal nudity confronts us almost before the opening credits have finished.  And given that graphic violence in U.S. media is an accepted norm… Read More

Anthony Giddens, in Capitalism and Modern Social Theory, discusses the development and evolution of Karl Marx from a youth to a theorist with Marx analyzing his own time and specific epochs in history to determine what he later determined to be patterns of economic development towards capitalism.  Marx’s focus was on three subjects:  1. His… Read More

In The Price of Inequality, Joseph Stiglitz focuses primarily on the economic and the political, on why the US economic system is failing, rather than other factors that may contribute to inequality.  Although he admits to sweeping generalities, his analysis of inequality is probing.  His explanation of grievances could be used to explain how a… Read More

Bryman, A. (2008). Social Research Methods (3rd ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press, USA. Some of you may or may not be interested in this, but this was essentially my crash course/note taking in sociology methods.  I keep it here for future reference.  I may or may not modify it or add to it.… Read More

This site is many things for me.  It is a sketch pad for doodles, for fleshing out article ideas, and for suggestions from friends, like this one below.  “Yes I watched TV more in those days. In fact there is a channel here that features a lot of the best shows of the 60s and… Read More

At the point I wrote this passage, I was convinced that the subject of propaganda was one which I might be unable to introduce to my academic general public.  While I believe that academia is better suited to accept the word on its own terms, I still observe more than subtle indications that the word… Read More

The following are books read and referenced in the recent past and present.  All sources are paraphrased and page referenced for further reading and referral. Lippmann, W. (1997). Public opinion. New York:  Free Press Paperbacks Press Inaccuracy: q.v. biographies of John Adams, Alexander Hamilton, and Sam Adams. (p.xi ) Assumptions: There are at least two… Read More

For two and a half years, I worked for two television stations in Savannah, GA.  I learned first hand how personal bias in television news functions from station owner, station manager, news director, assignment editor, producer, reporter, photographer (me), and even editor (usually one of the above). Notwithstanding the sincere protestations of objectivity that were… Read More