Tagged: Concepts

Internal Prestige System of Sociology

Arthur Stinchcombe: Internal Prestige System of Sociology

What is Sociology? This perennially jarring – but valid – question cannot be answered without making sense of the diverse strands of research within the discipline. It is not enough to learn of distinct methodologies without knowing how they stand together. To this end, Arthur Stinchcombe’s (1984) commentary may serve...

Annette Lareau Parenting Styles

Annette Lareau: Parenting Styles & Unequal Childhoods

Struck by a wave of random joyfulness, I returned home from tuition one day galloping with my front hoofs up. My mother, seeing my excitement, interrupted: “Finish your homework first!” I was momentarily puzzled. I can’t be happy until I finish my homework? Then I realized she misinterpreted my hand gestures....

Erving Goffman - The Moral Career of the Mental Patient

Erving Goffman: What Makes One A Mental Patient?

Psychological disorders, says the charitable. Craziness, says the uncharitable. An ‘alienative coalition’, says the sociologist Erving Goffman. Before you dismiss this as conspiracy talk, let’s look more closely at what he meant. ‘Coalition’ means an alliance of different parties, and ‘alienative’ refers to isolating someone. Goffman argues that a mental...

Erik Cohen Typology

Erik Cohen: Which of 4 Types of Tourists Are You?

“上车睡觉, 下车尿尿.” This rhyming refrain is used to describe the ways of package tourists: Sleep on the bus; pee off the bus. Indeed, that was what I found myself doing when travelling overseas in my teenage years. And then my family started travelling free-and-easy. What easy?! But travelling need not be placed in...

Max Weber Sociology and Social Action

Are You In It for the Sociology Degree?

You’d think sociologists are best-equipped to debunk stereotypes. Surprise then, this semester, when ALL 3 of my NUS Sociology lecturers, in cordial but resigned tones, levelled essentially the same accusation at us students: That we are in it for the degree. The most subtle instance came during a Social Thought lecture on...

Karl Marx Theories

The Estranged Labour of Online Surveys

Money is burdensome. As Karl Marx lectured, “wage is but a necessary consequence of labor’s estrangement”. Money is what we deserve for hours x hours of unsatisfying work. But extra money is different. Extra money is a bonus we are not entitled to receive. Extra money is a guilty pleasure we derive for getting more...

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