Gender is a hot topic among Sociology students. And so it is among American citizens. The failed campaign of what would be the first female US president coincided with the election of someone recorded on tape boasting of sexual misconduct. If you take a cultural angle towards politics, the backlash of the #MeToo campaign would hardly be surprising.
While the ethical contradictions between the sexual misconduct allegations and legal processes are hard to reconcile, it is a better time than ever to challenge our habitual ways of thinking about sex and gender. For a start, do you believe that girls should enter the arts while guys play sports, that girls should stay at home for guys to work outside, that girls can cry but guys must not?
NUS SC2217 is the module for which my notes are most incomplete. The readings total about 70, though most of them were optional. Not that I adhered to the arbitrary classification; I read only those which caught my interest. While there is a certain messiness to the module, it does symbolize the inescapable sketchiness of ethnographic field notes.
From ‘The Vocation of Science’ (1919: So pardon the masculine language) [Amazon]
Who Is Max Weber?
A German sociologist – regarded as one of its three founders – and political economist. He surfaced in 1864, and departed in 1920. In his time, he argued that capitalism developed out of a Protestant ethic, which regarded work as a religious calling. As the religion became peripheral, capitalism decoupled from its roots and established itself as the dominant force in society. This yields what Weber (or his translator Parsons) called the “iron cage” of rationalization in social life.
A Croatian-Austrian philosopher. He surfaced in 1926, and departed in 2002. In his time, he writes radical polemics which fundamentally challenged the logic of Western institutions. He was a boldly deviant thinker under-appreciated by both the left and the right in later years. Look him up if you aspire to be a subversive activist, are inspired by visionaries, or have grievances against the education system. I guess that’s all of us?