Posts Tagged ‘COURSE ANNOUNCEMENTS!’

Attention: Time is Running Out for Blog Postings!

Monday, March 28th, 2011

Just a reminder: FIVE blog postings (and TEN comments) are required.  That means you must post on upcoming material five different weeks (by the Tuesday of the relevant week, unless otherwise specified) — and there aren’t many weeks left.

Also, if you want a score and credit for your blog post, the title of the post must include Blog # (i.e., Blog 1, Blog 2, Blog 3, Blog 4, Blog 5, respectively) and it must address at least TWO eligible course items (text, video, mp3, etc.).

FYI, as stated on the course syllabus, “participation” accounts for 20% of your final grade (midterm = 35%, final exam = 35%, and two short written assignments = 10%).   Participation grades are based on blog posting/comments and preparation for and active participation in class discussion, including in-class assignments.

Course requirements include a midterm (35%) and final exam (35%), two short written assignments (10%), short written responses to the assigned readings (5 total), as well as preparation for and active participation in class discussion (20%).

Eligible material for Tuesday blog posting deadline

Monday, March 21st, 2011

Benjamin Barber: Scholar for dollars? – Foreign Policy

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

Over the last couple of weeks there’s been increasing attention to the lavish support for research on “civil society” and democracy furnished by none other than Libya’s Gadaffi clan.  As it turns out, Benjamin Barber is among the scholars receiving substantial funding from the Gadaffi family — and unlike many others, he’s not apologetic.  Below is a link to an interview with Barber on the subject that appears in Foreign Policy.  And here’s a follow-up piece from Daniel Drezner: “Thoughts about IR scholars for dollars.”

INTERVIEW BY BENJAMIN PAUKER | MARCH 7, 2011

As a longtime advisor to Saif al-Qaddafi, Benjamin Barber knows him just about as well as any Western intellectual. Barber — president of the CivWorld think tank, distinguished senior fellow at the Demos think tank, and author of Strong Democracy and Jihad vs. McWorld — was among a small group of democracy advocates and public intellectuals, including Joseph Nye, Anthony Giddens, Francis Fukuyama, and Robert Putnam, working under contract with the Monitor Group consulting firm to interact with Col. Muammar al-Qaddafi on issues of democracy and civil society and to help his son Saif implement democratic reforms and author a more representative constitution for Libya. It’s all gone horribly wrong. But in this interview, Barber argues that his intentions were responsible, tries to understand Saif’s remarkable about-face, and worries for the future of Libya and the young man he knew well.

Interview here: “Understanding Libya’s Michael Corleone

Midterm review sheet

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

Here’s the midterm review sheet.

SOC 279 Midterm Review Sheet – Spring 2011

It’s also posted in Handouts/Resources.

Last chance to post before midterm!

Saturday, March 5th, 2011

Below is the last set of eligible content for blog postings before the March 15th midterm (Ch. 18 is included, since we didn’t get very far into it yet).  Posts should address at least two items.  Especially if you haven’t already, I suggest posting for 3/8 deadline — the exercise can help you prepare for the midterm.

Only a handful of students appear to be participating in the blog (posting and/or commenting). NOT GOOD.

Remember, at least 5 postings and 10 comments are required.  Also, comments made on any posts (including news items, videos, etc. that I add regularly) here count towards the 10 required comments.

Ch. 18, “Commodity Chains and Marketing Strategies: Nike and the Global Athletic Footwear Industry,” (Miguel Korzeniewicz) pp. 163-172.

Ch. 20, “Incensed about Inequality,” (Martin Wolf) pp. 183-189.

Recommended (video-stream): “Hans Rosling: No More Boring Data,” TEDTalks, February 2006. (21 min)

Ch. 21, “Is Globalization Reducing Poverty and Inequality?,” (Robert H. Wade) pp. 183-189.

Recommended (video-stream): “Joseph Stiglitz – Problems with GDP as an Economic Barometer,” Asia Society, 2/5/2008.

Assignment 1 – Rubric & References (adding links)

Saturday, March 5th, 2011

Assignment # 1: grading rubric: Essays will be graded on the basis of content, writing, and formal requirements. Scores will be assigned for each subcomponent below, where:

1 = poor / 2 = needs work / 3 = good / 4 = excellent

Content: How well does essay address the following?
Geographic move:
Change in meaning/practice:
“Creolization”/other course concepts:
Writing
Organization, structure, and development:
Clarity and style (readability):
Mechanics (grammar & punctuation):
Formal requirements (Y/N)
Length:
Deadline:

Note on references & links: You may use online sources for your essays, including Wikipedia.  Use your judgment regarding credibility.  Keeping with the style for blogs, it is recommended that you add links to online sources in your post.  Instructions for inserting links can be found here:  http://help.qwriting.qc.cuny.edu/putting-a-link-into-your-post/

Revised pre-midterm schedule

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

Below is the schedule/content leading up to the March 15th midterm.  I decided to take out a reading (Stiglitz, Ch. 24) and push it forward.  That leaves us with extra time to go over the material.  Since that Hannerz was a handful, I want to review the key ideas and (competently) present some examples next class, as well as give you a chance to discuss the ideas in smaller groups.  This should be helpful in conceptualizing your essays.  I’ll talk about the US-based band, Vampire Weekend, and cultural “sampling”/appropriation and authenticity.  Time permitting, we’ll turn to global commodity chains (Ch. 18) and begin the Economic Globalization section — though it will be obvious that “culture” plays a critical role in the design and marketing of consumer products.  I’ll bring a handout with a list of definitions of key economic terms.

March 3 – Economic Globalization

Introduction, pp. 159-162.

Ch. 18, “Commodity Chains and Marketing Strategies: Nike and the Global Athletic Footwear Industry,” (Miguel Korzeniewicz) pp. 163-172.

Recommended (audio-stream): “The World in a T-Shirt,” Special Series, All Things Considered, NPR, 4/28/2005.

March 8

Ch. 20, “Incensed about Inequality,” (Martin Wolf) pp. 183-189.

* Video: “Hans Rosling’s 200 Countries, 200 Years, 4 Minutes – The Joy of Stats,” BBC Four, 11/26/2010. [in-class]

Recommended (video-stream): “Hans Rosling: New insights on poverty and life around the world,” TEDTalks, March 2007. (21 min)

March 10

Ch. 21, “Is Globalization Reducing Poverty and Inequality?,” (Robert H. Wade) pp. 183-189.

Recommended (video-stream): “Joseph Stiglitz – Problems with GDP as an Economic Barometer,” Asia Society, 2/2/2008.

March 15 – Midterm exam

Eligible content for 3/1 blogs

Saturday, February 26th, 2011

Choose at least two items from the list below.  I advise covering at least one text from the course reader (i.e., Ch. 12, 17, or 18), so that you have some analytical framework/concepts to apply to any cases (examples) you might discuss.

Ch. 12, “The Global Ecumene,” (Ulf Hannerz) pp. 105-115.

Ch. 17, “Strategic Inauthenticity,” (Timothy D. Taylor) pp.  151-155.

Video (stream):Yegelle Tezeta,” Mulatu Astatke (1974) and  “As We Enter,” Nas & Damian Marley (2010)

Recommended:

Ch. 18, “Commodity Chains and Marketing Strategies: Nike and the Global Athletic Footwear Industry,” (Miguel Korzeniewicz) pp. 163-172.

Recommended (audio-stream): “The World in a T-Shirt,” Special Series, All Things Considered, NPR, 4/28/2005.

Interview w/Chrystia Freeland on ‘The Rise of the New Global Elite’

Friday, February 25th, 2011

Following up on Labor & the TCC…

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

I will post slides on this and “The Rise of the Global Elite” shortly.

Collective bargaining: A collective agreement functions as a labor contract between an employer and one or more unions.  Collective bargaining consists of the process of negotiation between representatives of a union and employers in respect of the terms and conditions of employment, such as wages, hours of work, working conditions and grievance procedures, and about the rights and responsibilities of unions.

  • The US Congress enacted the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) in 1935 to protect the rights of employees and employers, to encourage collective bargaining and to curtail certain private sector labor and management practices, which can harm the general welfare of workers, businesses and the U.S. economy.
  • Article 23 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights identifies the ability to organize trade unions as a fundamental human right. Item 2(a) of the International Labor Organization’s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work defines the “freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining” as an essential right of workers.

Highlights from the 2010 data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics:

In 2010, the union membership rate–the percent of wage and salary workers who were members of a union–was 11.9 percent, down from 12.3 percent a year earlier, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported [1/21/2011]. The number of wage and salary workers belonging to unions declined by 612,000 to 14.7 million. In 1983, the first year for which comparable union data are available, the union membership rate was 20.1 percent, and there were 17.7 million union workers.

The data on union membership were collected as part of the Current Population Survey (CPS), a monthly sample survey of about 60,000 households that obtains information on employment and unemployment among the nation’s civilian noninstitutional population age 16 and over.

  • The union membership rate for public sector workers (36.2%) was substantially higher than the rate for private sector workers (6.9%).
  • Workers in education, training, and library occupations had the highest unionization rate at 37.1%.
  • Black workers were more likely to be union members than were white, Asian, or Hispanic workers.
  • Among states, New York had the highest union membership rate (24.2 %) and North Carolina had the lowest rate (3.2 %).

From today’s Daily News: “Wisconsin protests: Gov. Scott Walker got big bucks from billionaire Tea Party fundraisers”.  The article refers to the Koch brothers, noted by Freeland in the Global Elites article as two of the top ten wealthiest Americans.

For more background and news on the Wisconsin protests:

“State Budgets and Public Unions,” The Diane Rehm Show, WAMU/NPR, 2/21/2011

GritTV special from Madison, Wisconsin, 2/22/2011

This Editor’s blog, from Kai Wright of Colorlines considers “How much of the current demonization of public workers is racialized?”:

“Who Are All These Evil Public Workers? Black People”

<!–[if !mso]> <! st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } –>

Collective bargaining: A collective agreement functions as a labor contract between an employer and one or more unions. Collective bargaining consists of the process of negotiation between representatives of a union and employers (generally represented by management, in some countries[which?] by an employers’ organization) in respect of the terms and conditions of employment of employees, such as wages, hours of work, working conditions and grievance-procedures, and about the rights and responsibilities of trade unions. The parties often refer to the result of the negotiation as a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) or as a collective employment agreement (CEA).

Article 23 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights identifies the ability to organize trade unions as a fundamental human right.[3] Item 2(a) of the International Labour Organization’s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work defines the “freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining” as an essential right of workers.[4]

NLRB (1935)

In 2010, the union membership rate--the percent of wage and salary workers who were members of a union--was 11.9 percent, down from 12.3 percent a year earlier, the U.S.Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The number of wage and salary workers belonging to unions declined by 612,000 to 14.7 million. In 1983, the first year for which comparable union data are available, the union membership rate was 20.1 percent, and there were 17.7 million union workers.
The data on union membership were collected as part of the Current Population Survey (CPS), a monthly sample survey of about 60,000 households that obtains information on employment and unemployment among the nation's civilian noninstitutional population age 16 and over.
Highlights from the 2010 data:
--The union membership rate for public sector workers (36.2%) was
substantially higher than the rate for private sector workers (6.9%).
--Workers in education, training, and library occupations had the highest
unionization rate at 37.1%.
--Black workers were more likely to be union members than were white, Asian, or Hispanic workers.
--Among states, New York had the highest union membership rate (24.2 percent) and North Carolina had the lowest rate (3.2 percent).

WE ARE BROKE, WE HAVE TO TIGHTEN OUR BELTS!!!!

Eligible content for 2/22 blogs

Sunday, February 20th, 2011

We’re a bit behind schedule.  Next class, we’ll focus on Ch. 7, “Sociology of the Global System” and the recent article, “The Rise of the New Global Elite” (PDF via link below).  So that means you have a lot of options for blog post subjects.  Remember, you need to address at least two items from the list below:

Ch. 7, “Sociology of the Global System,” (Leslie Sklair) pp. 62-69.

Recommended (audio-stream): “P.K. 14,” Global Hit, PRI’s The World, 9/08/2010. http://www.theworld.org/2010/09/08/p-k-14/ (Click on “Play” icon on top for radio story; play youtube clip for video of recent live performance in Brooklyn, Power House Arena, 11/9/2009).

Recommended (video): “Lee Fang & Michael Whitney: Conspiracy Tactics from the Chamber,” GritTV, 2/16/2011. (13 min)

* “The Rise of the New Global Elite,” (Chrystia Freeland) The Atlantic, Jan/Feb 2011.

Recommended: “When Democracy Weakens,” (Bob Herbert) New York Times, 2/11/2011.

Scheduled for February 24 – Cultural Globalization:

Ch. 13, “How Sushi Went Global,” (Theodore C. Bestor) pp. 121-125.

Ch. 14, “McDonald’s in Hong Kong,” (James L. Watson) pp. 126-134.


The Plot to Take Down WikiLeaks

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

This piece from Wired (link below) is one of the more entertaining accounts of this developing story (it’s also been covered in the major papers, NYT, Washington Post, LA Times).  As  I mentioned in class, a collection of hacked emails indicates three private security firms created proposals for both the US Chamber of Commerce and Bank of America describing plans to discredit/silence critics of the Chamber (unions and liberals activists) and BofA (WikiLeaks and its supporters).

Spy games: Inside the convoluted plot to bring down WikiLeaks

Spy Games: Inside the Convoluted Plot to Bring Down WikiLeaks,” Nate Anderson, Wired (originally published in Ars Techhnica), 2/14/2011.

This youtube video takes you through the Anonymous hack of HBGary — “the art of info war.” (2 min)

Put on your data analyst hats! Earn credit for a blog post.

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

“What are we?” In what terms did we identify ourselves?

Or is Huntington’s question a bad question? An outdated question?

Below is a quick and dirty grouping of our answers to the question “What are you?” in today’s class. I copied everyone’s answers below, keeping your original punctuation and capitalization. Responses with asterisks (*) could be re-categorized in one or more different ways.

Action Alert: If you want to earn credit for one blog posting, analyze the data below. Post by Sunday (2/20).

Granted, not everyone took this seriously – or even interpreted the question the same way. The assignment is to critique and analyze the data below in some way. Your choice. Get creative. Don’t over-think it. Just try to make sense of the data, to the extent possible.  Feel free to speculate about what the data reveals about social identity. One paragraph will suffice.

One idea is to re-categorize the answers in a different way. Or create better names for the categories. Look for patterns in the data (the punctuation, for example). Assuming you took it somewhat seriously, you may choose to write about what you wrote, or how you interpreted the question. Or critique the question and propose a “better” one, i.e., one that would elicit better, more valid responses about identity.  Or you can critique the data (e.g., argue it isn’t valid or is unreliable). These are just a few examples of what you might write about in your blog post. Bonus points if you can weave in a reference to material from the course (reading, etc.).  But try to at least say something about what our results say about Huntington’s “Clash of Civilizations” hypothesis (and you might argue that we didn’t set up a good test).

For those interested in critiquing the data, you should note, if you haven’t already, that the presentation of the data below is missing some (possibly critical) information contained in the original, raw data. Do you know what it is? Write about that and possible effects/distortions.

Note: sample size (n) = 33

Nationality/Ethnicity/Race (8)

American

American-Dominican

Italian/American

*I am a person girl from Pakistan

outgoing white American…?

Korean American

Persian American (and very proud)

*Guyanese-American Working Class Student [could be a category of its own, e.g., social class identity; also fits in category below]

Role within organization (Queens College) (6)

Student

student studying to become a teacher

*hard-working student who body builds for fun

*female student

I am a psych major

professor [This would be my response for this exercise -NH]

Religion/Ethnicity/Nationality (4)

I am Catholic

I am Jewish

Persian Jew

*Determined Jewish American [Note: Determined is written above Jewish]

Species (5)

Human (x 2)

human

A Human being

I am a human being

Personal qualities (personality traits?)/states of mind (4)

“outgoing”

kindhearted

“patient”

confused

Hobbies/passions (3) [I’m not sure either of these labels really captures this]

Car Guy

I play sports

Writer

Gender/Age (2) [+ 2 above?]

I’m a19 yr old girl

girl

Don’t Know (1) [What’s a survey without a “Don’t Know” response?]

I don’t know anymore.

SAD=seeing Obama HOPE posters in all local #Yemeni bodegas while US kills their brothers n sisters in a secret war & sides w/dictator vs ppl

Content for Feb. 15 blog postings

Friday, February 11th, 2011

Below is the list of items you may blog about for the next round (due by 2/15).  Your posts should address at least two items.

As you read Barber and Huntington, think about how Egypt’s uprising/revolution(?) fits into their respective paradigms.  Where do pro-democracy protesters fit in the struggle between “McWorld” and “Jihd.”  Does this popular uprising follow Huntington’s predictions for conflict in the post-Cold War world?

Ch. 4, “Jihad vs. McWorld,” (Benjamin Barber) pp. 32-38.

Ch. 5, “The Clash of Civilizations,” (Samuel P. Huntington) pp. 39-46.

Recommended (video): Benjamin Barber: “McWorld in Flames; Who Takes Charge in Egypt?, GritTV, 2/3/2011. (11 min)

Ch. 7, “Sociology of the Global System,” (Leslie Sklair) pp. 62-69.

Recommended (audio-stream): “P.K. 14,” Global Hit, PRI’s The World, 9/08/2010. http://www.theworld.org/2010/09/08/p-k-14/ (Click on “Play” icon on top for radio story; play youtube clip for video of recent live performance in Brooklyn, Power House Arena, 11/9/2009). [excerpt, in-class]

A Pessimistic Take on Multiculturalism in London, the UK

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011
Here’s a report on the recent speech by UK Prime Minister that I mentioned in class.  I’m posting it not only because it follows up on the discussion in Ch. 1, “Liberty Renewed,” but also because Cameron’s concerns about the threat that “un-assimilated” ethnic minorities pose to British national identity echos Samuel Huntington’s concerns about threats to American national identity (“The Hispanic Challenge”), which we’ll read about later in the semester.
5 February 2011 Last updated at 13:55 ET – The Guardian

State multiculturalism has failed, says David Cameron

Click to play: David Cameron said Britain had encouraged different cultures to live separate lives

David Cameron has criticised “state multiculturalism” in his first speech as prime minister on radicalisation and the causes of terrorism.

At a security conference in Munich, he argued the UK needed a stronger national identity to prevent people turning to all kinds of extremism.

He also signalled a tougher stance on groups promoting Islamist extremism.

The speech angered some Muslim groups, while others queried its timing amid an English Defence League rally in the UK.

As Mr Cameron outlined his vision, he suggested there would be greater scrutiny of some Muslim groups which get public money but do little to tackle extremism.

Ministers should refuse to share platforms or engage with such groups, which should be denied access to public funds and barred from spreading their message in universities and prisons, he argued.

“Frankly, we need a lot less of the passive tolerance of recent years and much more active, muscular liberalism,” the prime minister said.

Human rights

“Let’s properly judge these organisations: Do they believe in universal human rights – including for women and people of other faiths? Do they believe in equality of all before the law? Do they believe in democracy and the right of people to elect their own government? Do they encourage integration or separatism?

“These are the sorts of questions we need to ask. Fail these tests and the presumption should be not to engage with organisations,” he added.

The Labour MP for Luton South, Gavin Shuker, asked if it was wise for Mr Cameron to make the speech on the same day the English Defence League staged a major protest in his constituency.

There was further criticism from Labour’s Sadiq Khan whose comments made in a Daily Mirror article sparked a row.

The shadow justice secretary was reported as saying Mr Cameron was “writing propaganda material for the EDL”.

Conservative Party chairman Baroness Warsi hit back, saying that “to smear the prime minister as a right wing extremist is outrageous and irresponsible”. She called on Labour leader Ed Miliband to disown the remarks.

Meanwhile, the Muslim Council of Britain’s assistant secretary general, Dr Faisal Hanjra, described Mr Cameron’s speech as “disappointing”.

He told Radio 4’s Today programme: “We were hoping that with a new government, with a new coalition that there’d be a change in emphasis in terms of counter-terrorism and dealing with the problem at hand.

“In terms of the approach to tackling terrorism though it doesn’t seem to be particularly new.

“Again it just seems the Muslim community is very much in the spotlight, being treated as part of the problem as opposed to part of the solution.”

In the speech, Mr Cameron drew a clear distinction between Islam the religion and what he described as “Islamist extremism” – a political ideology he said attracted people who feel “rootless” within their own countries.

“We need to be clear: Islamist extremism and Islam are not the same thing,” he said.

The government is currently reviewing its policy to prevent violent extremism, known as Prevent, which is a key part of its wider counter-terrorism strategy.

Click to play: Inayat Bunglawala from Muslims4Uk says Mr Cameron is “firing at the wrong target”

A genuinely liberal country “believes in certain values and actively promotes them”, Mr Cameron said.

“Freedom of speech. Freedom of worship. Democracy. The rule of law. Equal rights, regardless of race, sex or sexuality.

“It says to its citizens: This is what defines us as a society. To belong here is to believe these things.”

He said under the “doctrine of state multiculturalism”, different cultures have been encouraged to live separate lives.

‘I am a Londoner too’

‘”We have failed to provide a vision of society to which they feel they want to belong. We have even tolerated these segregated communities behaving in ways that run counter to our values.”

Building a stronger sense of national and local identity holds “the key to achieving true cohesion” by allowing people to say “I am a Muslim, I am a Hindu, I am a Christian, but I am a Londoner… too”, he said.

Security minister Baroness Neville-Jones said when Mr Cameron expressed his opposition to extremism, he meant all forms, not just Islamist extremism.

“There’s a widespread feeling in the country that we’re less united behind values than we need to be,” she told Today.

“There are things the government can do to give a lead and encourage participation in society, including all minorities.”

But the Islamic Society of Britain’s Ajmal Masroor said the prime minister did not appreciate the nature of the problem.

“I think he’s confusing a couple of issues: national identity and multiculturalism along with extremism are not connected. Extremism comes about as a result of several other factors,” he told BBC Radio 5 live.

Former home secretary David Blunkett said while it was right the government promoted national identity, it had undermined its own policy by threatening to withdraw citizenship lessons from schools.

He accused Education Secretary Michael Gove of threatening to remove the subject from the national curriculum of secondary schools in England at a time “we’ve never needed it more”.

“It’s time the right hand knew what the far-right hand is doing,” he said.

“In fact, it’s time that the government were able to articulate one policy without immediately undermining it with another.”