In this February 2018 edition of visual sociology, we do fielwork in the Inner West of Sydney, we travel to Melbourne to speak at a panel, and we come back to Sydney for the last gasp of the Lunar New Year and Mardi Gras celebrations.
Inner Western Sydney
Whilst out on fieldwork, the Sociology of Trolleys gets informed! This trolley is a mature age learner who knows it’s never too late to seek out new knowledge. 9 February
Visual sociology of my travels around the North and South Coast of New South Wales for fieldwork and some overnight training, from early October to the end of November 2017.
During the week, I was doing fieldwork research and look at all the trolleys I saw in one day! It was a Sociology Of Trolleys bonanza. 7 October 2017
Continue reading Out in the Field
14 year old Elijah Doughty was killed by a White man who only received 3 years backdated to his arrest. A jury acquitted him of manslaughter charges, despite CCTV footage and his admission that he went looking for Elijah thinking he had stolen a junk bike that the killer admits had no sentimental value. Meanwhile Elijah’s motorbikes had been confiscated by police as they believed them stolen; however this was false and the bikes were returned to Doughty family after Elijah’s death. Regardless, no person deserves to die, let alone over a dispute. He’ll likely be free in February. This is sooner than an Aboriginal person protesting Elijah’s death who was charged with property damage. Continue reading Justice for Elijah
Do you see the purple booth in the far background? That marks the beginning of this line, for a free (seemingly empty) purple stocking by a chocolate company. I was also impressed at a similar booth where you could get “free” chocolate for liking a brand on Facebook or following them on Instagram. I heard the workers talking and they said they’d hit half a million likes with their promotion.
I’ve been thinking a bit about social marketing lately because I’ve being managing communications and media for research organisations and not for profits for many years now. In general, the social sciences don’t do marketing well and this is especially the case in my field of sociology. Continue reading Marketing Sociology
The idea of “emotion work” recognises that our feelings are shaped by society. Our culture determines how we understand, discuss and act out our emotions. Sociologist Arlie Hochschild has conducted decades of research on how emotion work impacts our jobs. For example she studied how flight attendants are expected to remain calm while irate passengers are rude and make excessive demands. Flight attendants are not paid for this emotion work. They are expressly paid to provide customer service. The additional emotion work is taxing on their personal health and psychological wellbeing. This type of invisible emotional labour affects people in different jobs, but especially impacts women.
Hochschild writes in the journal Contexts:
“Over the last 40 years, the number of service sector jobs has grown. By my estimate, some six out of 10 of those service jobs call for substantial amounts of emotional labour. This work doesn’t fall equally upon the two genders; roughly a quarter of men but half of women work in jobs heavy in emotional labor. Emotional labour has hidden costs, and these fall more heavily on women.”
The work that individuals put into managing their own and other people’s emotions is therefore gendered. Women are conditioned to remain calm, placate others and even smile as clients take out their frustrations on them. Customer service workers are dehumanised because their job expects them to put up with abuse. This type of work takes a heavy emotional toll on women, especially in caring professions.
Office settings also involve a level of emotion work; we see in the way we treat others. The TV show How I Met Your Mother humorously depicted “the chain of screaming,” which is how each level of the management hierarchy yells at their subordinates to alleviate personal grievances instead of dealing with problems in a constructive manner.
“Ethnic Studies and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies bring unique analytical lenses to academic study that help us understand how race, gender, sexuality, and other forms of difference shape individual and group experiences. They help us examine social institutions and the roles these institutions play in maintaining social inequality. And these academic disciplines also help us think about how people can work to bring about changes in the world that create more inclusive, equitable, and just workplaces, families, schools, churches, and other social organisations.” – Professor Susan Shaw, Oregon State University, on Huffington Post.
The louvre, Paris and Heide, Mebourne. Two of the most beautiful art galleries I’ve had the pleasure of visiting.
Bookcase at the Heide Museum of Modern Art, featuring self published gems such as “The Book of Good Deeds” and “Poetry of Dreams.”