My Favorite Episodes of the “Hidden Brain”

One of my favorite podcasts is the “Hidden Brain” (it’s also a show heard on National Public Radio). It’s not only extremely well-produced but it’s a good example of how social science can shed light on important issues. As a public sociologist I respect host Shankar Vedantam‘s effort to bring social science to a wider […]

Red Pill or Blue Pill?

If only seeing the world with the sociological perspective was this easy! Click here or on the image below to watch a classic scene from The Matrix, then take the poll to record which pill you would take.

Why Voting Matters?

Here is a “sneak peek” episode from my soon-to-be launched “After Class Podcast“.   This episode is on a timely topic given it’s election day.  So give it a listen, leave some feedback, then go vote! If you are undecided about who to vote for, check out the platform based voters guide I posted here I […]

Voting Guide: A Platform-Based Approach

In our political system, deciding who you should vote for is pretty simple: 1) read the Platform for both major political parties, 2) consider whose priorities and policies you agree with most, and 3) vote for the candidates from that party. But few voters ever read the platforms. Instead they base their decisions on the […]

How “Setting Bail” Undermines the U.S. Justice System

Check out this segment of a TED Radio Hour episode documenting how profoundly unjust the system of setting bail is. A great example of an “inconvenient fact” that our criminal justice system is fundamentally unfair – particularly when it comes to how it deals with people charged with a crime but who cannot post bail. […]

Illinois Congressional District Map

Here is a map of the 18 Congressional Districts in Illinois. The map is interactive so you can zoom in to find which district you live in. Bloomington/Normal is divided right in half by the 13th and 18th Districts but all of the ISU campus is located in the 18th Congressional District, currently represented by […]

Illinois House of Representatives – District Map

Here is the district map for the state House of Representatives in place since 2012. There are 118 Illinois House Districts in all. On the eve of the 2018 General election, 67 of these seats were held by Democrats and 51 held by Republicans. Most of the Town of Normal and all of Illinois State […]

Sociologically Relevant Segments this week from NPR

Here are four segments this week from National Public Radio that struck me as particularly relevant to some of the topics we are discussing in my courses. Why More Men Don’t Get Into The Field Of Nursing Story illustrating the power of gender roles and gender as a social institution. New Book Looks At Why […]

Please Remain Seated

Next week four thousand ISU students wearing long gowns and funny hats will walk across a stage and receive an empty red diploma cover in a ritual marking the end of a successful college career.  The mood at the various commencement ceremonies on campus is festive.  At the one I participate in each year as […]