I post erratically, depending on what else I’m doing. My posts about racial interactions and teaching about race should be well categorized. The category “public sociology” will turn up quite a few posts about the nitty gritty of being in public meetings. Here I am listing some popular posts and a few less-popular posts that I’m fond of, including the “Farmtown” series, which is listed and indexed in order at the bottom of this page.
Choices, Consequences and Constraints This was the post that “went viral,” as they say, about the stresses I felt when my children were young and my spouse was traveling and about the context of a whole life. The follow-up on privileges which stressed how privilege shaped by choices was much less popular. The posts categorized as “life” and “family” include other personal essays about family life and encounters with mortality.
My essay on Christmas, religion, and cultural domiance. In this I talk about the dilemmas of being assertively myself while appreciating the humanity of others who are different from me, as well as complaining that the idea of separation of church and state is completely unhelpful in understanding the problems of cultural dominance.
Popular “professional advice” topics (These were posted on Scatterplot, where they got a lot of comments from sociology professors and graduate students.)
- About Names (on choosing your “professional name”)
- Advice for New Assistant Professors
- How to Be a Good Advisee
Quirky essays I like that were not all that popular with anyone else: Symbolic Dominance, Culture and Religion in which I reflect on the problem of being who I am while trying not to oppress others. Two essays on my battles with garlic mustard, in which I reflect on ethnic conflict, Invasive species and Garlic Mustard Massacre. It is probably instructive that I like these essays but everyone else thinks they are weird.
The “FarmTown” series.I spent two days at a conference on racial disparities in education and criminal justice put on by a predominantly-Black group at a “directional” campus in a very White part of the state. This was a very moving and educational experience for me and I wrote a lot about what I observed. It’s a lot of reading but it is some of my favorite writing. (Other essays tagged “public sociology” also talk about experiences in the trenches of working for social change.)
- The Set Up (Opening Meeting)
- Getting Information (Community people seek information, how my talk was received, youth panel and reflections on this)
- White Supremacy (Long post with many examples/stories from different parts of the conference)
- Extracts from White Supremacy (A much shorter post with a few of the most important stories from the much longer post)
- About the Children (Extended discussions about education.)
- What’s Going On (Panel discussion and workshops that raise issues about different programs)
- Inspiration and Challenge (Notes on a quaisi-sermon meant to inspire us to action.)
- Ideas and Wrap Up (The “what will we do next” session.)
- Reflections on the Experience (I make a few summary comments)