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The Social Breakdown

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SOC113 - Christmas Rituals & Traditions: Mariah Carey VS Chipmunks

Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas, it’s hard to avoid it. Not only is it a day of celebration for Christian religions, but it has become commercialized and commodified for the sake of consumption and capitalism. Christmas also has a strong culture associated with it, full of rituals and traditions--from decorating the tree to gift-giving to singing in groups in front of people’s houses. Join us this week as we discuss these rituals, and get some tips from our amazing sociology gift guide!

Duration: 00:38:30

SOC112 - (Neo)liberalism and its Discontents

Looking back at its historical origins, the social breakdown crew talks about liberalism and its manifestations in our contemporary world. What is “new” about neoliberalism? John Locke--a British philosopher enshrined in American legal and political doctrine--talks a lot about freedom and liberty, but for whom? To what end? What can be said about conservatism and liberalism as it relates to our sense of self and political affiliations? Join our discussion on neoliberalism and its...

Duration: 00:45:09

SOC111 - A PhDer's Guide to the PhD

A lot of what we talk on this podcast stem from our status as doctoral students (although Penn is finally a newly certified doctor!), but what exactly is a PhD? The PhD is the highest level of education that people usually don’t go for, and the job market for a PhD graduate is quite bleak. So why does anyone bother getting it? Join us this week as we talk story about our own reasons for pursuing a PhD and what PhDs actually do each day besides just thinking!

Duration: 00:48:17

SOC110 - Violence: Nature VS Nurture

Violence can seem very personal and easily attributed to biological tendencies. The recent trend in mass shootings have often been explained by issues related to mental health. It’s easy to blame the individual for acts of violence, but that’s only one way of looking at violence. In sociology, violence actually takes many different forms from verbal to physical to symbolic to systemic. And sociologists have interesting theories to explain why violence occurs. This week we discuss the...

Duration: 00:49:39

SOC109 - Illness & Morality: A Look at Medical Sociology

Is health a privilege or is it a right? As a society, how do we come to understand health and its social origins and outcomes? Though medicine has been understood as a social science that dates back to Hippocrates--the Hippocratic Oath--medical sociology is not even 70 years old yet! The climb to intellectual legitimacy and sound research is recent. When it comes to matters of stress, food, doctor-patient interactions, racism and sexism, medical sociologists have a lot to say and a lot to...

Duration: 00:49:36

SOC108 - Vive La Résistance!

Resist! It’s such a buzzword with deep historical roots, but what exactly is resistance? What does it mean to resist and to struggle? How can we resist? What are some strategies or ways to resist? Many social issues are now at the forefront of the global conversation, especially with Trump’s presidency, from racism to sexual harassment, to basic human decency. Resistance is a difficult and long-drawn out process - it’s not for us, it’s for our children. It’s not for today, but for...

Duration: 00:44:01

SOC107 - Who You Gonna Call? The Crimebusters!

Sociologists might not be able to make a time machine, but we’re certainly good at mythbusting! Social mythbusting that is! Our first topic to bust: Crime. Citizens of any society have preconceived notions of crime, and these ideas can tell us something about the dominant social order, morality, and normative behavior. So, let's discuss! Are we living in the most violent time? Trump wants to blame everything on “undocumented criminals,” but are undocumented immigrants accountable for a...

Duration: 00:44:23

SOC106 - "You're All Sociologists!" Pt. 2 (AKA Don't Be A Dumbass)

Part 2 of our series on how to be a sociologist! Did you know that sociology makes you a better person? Even if you’ve never taken a sociology class, you can still use the sociological perspective to understand the social world. Regardless of where you are in the world and what position you have in society, you do not live in a vacuum. We are all interrelated somehow. Join us this week to learn about how to employ the sociological imagination to see the connections between your personal...

Duration: 00:31:32

SOC105 - You're Beautiful, No Matter What They Say

Words may not bring you down, but your looks may bring you to far places. How do you know you’re beautiful? If it is a social construction, where does this all come from? Beauty is a rich and powerful phenomenon and we all participate in this process. Good looks allow you to be upwardly mobile. Carving out a particular aesthetic is part of a culture built on consumerism and superficial ideas about human bodies. We have to challenge this and break it down, of course. So come join us in this...

Duration: 00:43:20

SOC104 - Consumption, Prosumption, What's Your Function?

What’s your favorite brand? Do you believe in retail therapy? What about how ‘a diamond is forever’? Consumer culture surrounds us in every aspect of our social lives, and is virtually impossible to ignore, especially with the development of the internet and new media technologies that bombard us with ads while providing us with the tools to be creative and powerful consumers. But are you, the consumer, being exploited by big name corporations? Join us as we try to find out!

Duration: 00:40:39

SOC103 - Status and the Paradox of the Celebrity

Why does Kim K get to “break the internet?” Do celebrities reflect our exaggerated imaginations? Where does all that money go? Why does Woody Allen get to make movies and Ben Rothlisberger get to still play football? In this week’s episode we tackle Celebrity status and its presence in contemporary society. Trust us, there is no other status with this much power and mystery... Let’s break it down.

Duration: 00:46:44

SOC102 - Buddha Heads and Crosses: Cultural Appropriation

Last week, we talked about culture and the elements that make up culture. We expand on that notion this week by discussing cultural appropriation-- something that happens in all aspects of our social life, from music to fashion, and even history. Cultural appropriation, from a sociological perspective, is inherently tied to the notion of profit-making in our capitalist society. But how can we, as everyday individuals, appreciate culture without appropriating it? Join us as we try to tease...

Duration: 00:44:41

SOC101 - Red, White, and Blue: Defining American Culture

In this episode, we tackle the concept of culture. ‘Culture’ is one of the most complex words in the English language, and every field has its own way of defining it, including sociology. We break down the various elements that make up culture from a sociological perspective, and focus on American culture-- which is broad, yet rigid-- as our main context. Then, we take a more personal look at how the three hosts have experienced American culture growing up. What do you think it takes to be...

Duration: 00:35:38

SOC100 - "You're all sociologists!"

We are all part of the social world, but what does that mean and, wait, what is sociology? This week’s episode included personal perspectives from Dr. Penn Pantumsinchai and 2 Dr’s in training, Ellen Meiser and Omar Bird defining sociology - what it is and what it isn’t, as well as explaining the goals of public sociology. If you’re concerned with the human condition and examining the social world, this is the podcast for you! We’re all sociologist one way or another - want to know how?...

Duration: 00:40:12

The Social Breakdown Teaser

Introducing a brand new podcast - The Social Breakdown! The sociology podcast that nobody wants, but everybody needs! Our goal for this podcast is to breakdown the complex social world one topic at a time. Check out our short teaser today and tune in for our grand debut on September 20th!

Duration: 00:01:39