This page is devoted to musings based on my own experiences teaching, the peer-reviewed literature, and any blogs/websites/feeds that I find interesting, useful, or important.
The Use of Films as “Visual Texts” to Help Teach Sociology [posted 01/16/2012]
Many faculty use various forms of media to complement their lectures and course readings. I use mainstream films, documentaries, and films created specifically as pedagogical tools in my classes, as well as audio podcasts and other forms of visual/audio media. What are some good films to use and where can they be found? The Media Education Foundation, for example, has many films dealing specifically with how the media influences sociological processes such as commodification and medicalization, among many others. Their films serve as excellent visual displays of the commercials and programming that viewers are exposed to, and help you as a faculty member illustrate the underlying importance of these images. See their website here: http://www.mediaed.org. Additionally, here is a recent story from Dr. Daniels on films she has used and recommends for teaching sociology: http://thesocietypages.org/specials/documentaries/.
Notes on the Commodification of Childhood [posted 03/14/2012]
Honors Introduction to Sociology regularly studies the commodification and commercialization of childhood. One area where children are micro-targeted and where emotional attachments to material objects are made is the Internet. Check out some of the sites they found and their characteristics: