When an emotion can be more powerful in curbing impulsiveness than thoughts.
When an emotion can be more powerful in curbing impulsiveness than thoughts.
Part I identifies the health risks of sugar consumption. Part II examines the reasons why sugar is added to so much of our food supply. Part III provides an overview of tobacco regulation, including educational initiatives, warning labels, advertising restrictions, age limitations, and taxes. Finally, Part IV provides a framework for sugar regulation, suggesting that most of the foregoing laws designed to discourage tobacco use should, with the exception of age restrictions and with appropriate modifications, be applied to products with large quantities of added sugar.21 Part IV also suggests regulatory changes within the FDA to remove sugar's classification as a substance that is "generally recognized as safe (GRAS)."22
In addition to looking solely at sugar, Part IV also takes a broader look at how food policy can shift to improve the overall food supply in ways that enhance consumer choice,and proposes the appointment of an Independent National Director of Food, who would have sufficient authority to help neutralize the impact that the food lobby has on food supply.
Healthy foods can paradoxically lead to weight gain.
Early in graduate school, I still believed literature could save us, so I clung to a narrative device that seemed to promise deliverance: focalization. It’s not an especially sexy term; it means that an author writes from the perspective of one character, rather than from narrative omniscience—narrowing the reader’s focus to one person’s purportedly more subjective worldview.
Today, while jailbreaking my dad's phone, I found out the hard way that it's jam-packed full of my mom's nudes. FML
Aside from my Netflix marathons, there are only a handful of network television shows that I make time to actually watch. And the new Fox prime time show Empire is one of them. Like so many great shows, it includes moments of fantasy, joy, and struggle that oftentimes mirror very real social issues that are on the forefront of their viewers’ minds.
For instance, the season two premiere opened with a #FreeLucious concert that paid homage to the #BlackLivesMatter movement, and highlighted the overrepresented numbers of African-American men in our prison systems and their mistreatment by police. The imagery (particularly that of Cookie Lyon in a Gorilla suit and caged) and discourse used within that opening scene speaks to broader national issues. As highlighted by Gene Demby at NPR, however, these narratives are not common within prime time television.In his write-up on the season premiere, Demby discusses the ways that Empire inverts the trope of the police and U.S. justice systems as mostly heroes. Demby argues that Empire is able to divert from the aforementioned narrative due to the writers who are creating these new types of stories and its overwhelming African-American viewership. He raises the question as to how Empire’s opening scene would have been different if it was marketed to a more white, middle-aged, and male audience.
This divide in the types of stories that people prefer to watch is reflected in our own national understandings of American culture, history, government, and judicial systems, for instance.
A recent article from NPR highlights the ways that White and Black-Americans differ on issues of race relations in the U.S. The article draws on data collected for the PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll that corresponds with PBS NewsHour’s town hall meeting “After Charleston” special, moderated by Gwen Ifill. The poll showed that within the U.S., African Americans and Whites view race relations as worsening over the past year. Given the recent police shootings and hate crimes against African Americans, we may be in agreement with this assessment. At the same time, however, the poll also shows that Blacks and Whites disagree – both locally and nationally – on issues of economic equality and social justice.
Some of these findings include:
These numbers are similar to a 2013 study conducted by the Pew Research Center on racial equality.
How is it that residents of the same country can have such disparate views on national issues? We know that much of this stems from the varied social realities that communities of color experience as compared to their white peers.
Does this mean that poor white individuals and families don’t struggle? Or that police officers don’t discriminate (based on class) against poor white men? Or that poor white men and women don’t have ready access to quality education or healthcare? Of course not.
We do, however, live in a system that privileges white bodies and whiteness. This does not negate the very real personal struggles that individuals encounter. But it does mean that non-white peoples experience systems of oppression that operate beyond an individual level.
For instance, drawing from U.S. 2010 Census data, we know that people of color are overrepresented in prisons and are more likely to have experiences with the criminal justice system than white individuals.
One might take a “culture of poverty” or a “ghetto culture” stance and argue that Black and Latin@ culture are the driving forces behind the destruction of both communities and peoples of color. These types of arguments ignore the ways that communities of color (particularly Black, Latin@, and Native-American) are actively excluded from housing, credit, jobs, education, healthcare, voting, and other important resources.
According to a study by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, Black, Latin@, and Native-American children are suspended and expelled at higher rates than white children. They also receive less advanced academic training and courses, and are more likely to attend schools with first-year teachers.
Sociologist Devah Pager shows that the presence of a criminal record is much more restrictive for Blacks than Whites. In her study, Pager hired a group of young college men to apply for entry-level jobs. She made sure to find men who had similar physical characteristics and interpersonal styles. Although these were college students, the men posed as solely being high-school educated with little work experience.
For the study, Pager sent the men in pairs (two white and two black) to apply for entry-level positions. Their resumes and job applications were identical, yet in each pair one of the men would indicate that he had a drug felony conviction and spent time in prison. Among her major findings, she found that Black men with no criminal records were less likely to be hired than a White man with a criminal conviction.
In addition, a study by the Economic Policy Institute shows that austerity policies and governmental shutdowns in the United States have disproportionately affected women and African Americans. This is largely because governmental agencies are more likely to hire women and African Americans than the private sector.
Culture plays a major role in framing our values, beliefs, and traditions. As the above studies show, however, culture alone does not account for the vast inequities within the U.S.
Given these numbers, how is it that White Americans differ in their opinion on racial equality from Black Americans and Latin@s?
This partly flows from white racial segregation. The Atlantic article, “Self-Segregation: Why It’s So Hard for Whites to Understand Ferguson,” notes that for the most part, White Americans live and play in spaces that have few social problems, and mostly interact with other White people. As the article mentions, 75% of Whites navigate spaces that a fully (100%) white.
Conversely, African-Americans and Latin@s navigate social spaces that exhibit higher levels of social problems and tend to interact with a more heterogeneous group of individuals: 65% of Blacks interact only with other Blacks, and 45% of Latin@s only interact with other Latin@s. This social, cultural, and physical segregation along with dominant stereotypes of communities and individuals of color, can negatively influence how White Americans both view and understand racial issues within the U.S.
As a nation, we have built systems that overwhelmingly disenfranchise communities of color, women, and the poor. These policies, structures, and history continue to frame national issues such as racial equity. The way we understand and perpetuate these histories, policies, and structures is framed by where we live, who we interact with, and the images that we see.
Why do you think these perceptions vary so widely? Do shows like the enormously popular Empire have the ability transform perceptions or highlight national issues?
"This is not the first time a sole supply generic drug – especially one that has been approved for use as long as Daraprim – has had its price increased suddenly and to a level that may make it unaffordable."-- Mark Baum, Imprimis CEO
“How we act around teachers.” (vine by Thomas Sanders)
me in 2013: debating the nuances of whether or not a certain piece of media is Problematic, compiling a list of ideologically pure and liberal things to consume
me now: sitting naked in a bog and holding a silver chalice full of mud
Let's just be honest with ourselves: of course people gossip about us [...] This month's One Big Question is what do you want people to say about you after you've left the room, because it's a way for our deepest insecurities to mingle with our private aspirations and come up with something honest and hopeful, and quite possibly, true.
Got a piece of wood furniture that’s all scratched and beat up? Fear not. Olive oil and vinegar can rescue it from that sad state.
More bad news for Rachel Dolezal: While the national NAACP expressed support for her last week, she's losing backers in Spokane, Washington, where she leads the civil rights' organization's local chapter.
Freda Gandy, executive director of the Martin Luther King Jr. Family Outreach Center in Spokane, said Sunday she is angry the NAACP is backing Dolezal, whose actions she said are inexcusable.
“Ethically, I don’t really know how they can say she can be an effective leader when she has lied to an entire community,” Gandy said in an interview with The Spokesman-Review.
It’s a good idea to keep a daily journal, but the words flow better for some than others. If you’re not sure what to write about in your daily journal, use these tips as a starting point.
Joe Pinsker in The Atlantic:
One hundred years ago, “Colored” was the typical way of referring to Americans of African descent. Twenty years later, in the time of W.E.B. Du Bois, it was purposefully dropped to make way for “Negro.” By the late 1960s, that term was overtaken by “Black.” And then, at a press conference in a Hyatt hotel in Chicago in 1988, Jesse Jackson declared that “African American” was the term to embrace; that one was chosen because it echoed the labels of groups, such as “Italian Americans” and “Irish Americans,” that had already been freed of widespread discrimination.
A century’s worth of calculated name changes are a testament to the fact that naming any group is a politically freighted exercise. A 2001 study catalogued all the ways in which the term “Black” carried connotations that were more negative than those of “African American.” This is troubling on the level of an individual’s decision making, and these labels are also institutionalized: Only last month, the US Army finally stopped permitting use of the term “Negro” in its official documents, and the American Psychological Association currently says “African American” and “Black” can be used interchangeably in academic writing.
“Because I said so!”
I’m sure that many of us have either uttered these words or have heard them spoken to us. We hear this phrase expressed in a host of relationships: parent-child, teacher-student, supervisor-employee, and police officer-citizen. Saying this to someone is generally used to get them to obey your authority and do what you are telling them to do with as little resistance as possible.
When we think about obedience to authority, we often think of the famous study by Yale University psychologist Stanley Milgram. Most students have probably learned about the Milgram Experiment where participants were told to administer shocks to people on the other side of a partition. Despite hearing the pleas and cries of anguish from the person on the other side (who, of course, was an actor), the subjects still administered what they thought were electric shocks. In fact, 65% of the participants administered the maximum voltage regardless of the torment they assumed they were inflicting.
Milgram devised this experiment to try to understand how millions of Germans during World War II could support the Nazis and contribute to the Holocaust. Were these people “just following orders” because “someone said so” or was there something deeper at work? In analyzing the results of his work, Milgram made the following observations:
Ordinary people, simply doing their jobs, and without any particular hostility on their part, can become agents in a terrible destructive process. Moreover, even when the destructive effects of their work become patently clear, and they are asked to carry out actions incompatible with fundamental standards of morality, relatively few people have the resources needed to resist authority.
Milgram’s work on obedience and authority was groundbreaking, and his research left a lasting legacy in the field of psychology regarding why people follow orders. However, about fifty years before the Milgram Experiment, sociologist Max Weber offered a similar observation in his attempt to understand why people obey authority. In one of the most important texts of sociological theory, Economy and Society, Weber made the following point:
Every genuine form of domination implies a minimum of voluntary compliance, that is, an interest (based on ulterior motives or genuine acceptance) in obedience.
Much like Milgram, Weber focused on the agency of individuals (their capability to act) and the resources (or lack thereof) at their disposal that contributed to them following orders. For Weber, some people might comply because they are just habitually following orders; for others, they may be more calculating and elect to follow orders in order to achieve some gain. In either case, according to Weber, some degree of human decision making is involved.
Weber elaborated on these ideas of authority, legitimacy, and obedience in a lecture he delivered at Munich University which was published as the essay, “Politics as a Vocation.” Here, Weber outlines three types of authority or domination that may contribute to why people follow orders:
1. Traditional. Weber refers to this as the authority of the “eternal yesterday” which basically means we follow orders and conform to the norms because of the established beliefs of our culture and social group. Accepting an arranged marriage, restricting your diet during a religious holiday, or believing that the male should be the breadwinner and the female the homemaker are examples of traditional authority.
2. Rational-legal. Based on the law and legal precedents, this form of authority emphasizes our “statutory obligations”; in other words, we follow the law of the land—be it the Constitution or other forms of local, state, or federal legislation. Stopping at red lights, paying taxes, and not stealing are examples of rational-legal authority.
3. Charismatic. In this case, authority is obeyed due to the “gift of grace” of the person giving orders. Some people have the type of personality or presence that makes others flock to and follow them. Emulating the actions of the cool kid in your peer group, following the words and advice of a religious leader, or believing the theories and ideologies of a political zealot are examples of charismatic authority.
Source: Wikimedia Commons
We all follow orders in our everyday lives and it’s an interesting sociological exercise to consider why we do so. What are our motivations for doing something that others tell us to do? Why might we follow directions even if we are not comfortable with what’s being asked of us? Why would we obey these dictates even if we know that the directions are morally wrong, ethically suspect, or even outright illegal?
Can you think of an example where you followed the directions of someone but you were not 100% comfortable doing so? Why did you do this? Can you identify the thought process you went through in coming to this decision? Where you influenced by traditional, rational-legal, or charismatic authority? Was it a combination of these? Do you think there were other factors besides these three dimensions that contributed to your decision? What about when you give directions to someone. Why do you expect them to follow you? Why, in the words of Weber, should they “voluntarily comply” with your dictates?
These are great questions to think about not only because they help us understand the subtle, yet complex, processes of social life. In addition, these questions illustrate how seemingly ancient and abstract sociological theories are relevant and even readily apparent in our everyday lives.