Media

How Visual Sociology Ended Child Labor

How Visual Sociology Ended Child Labor

Vox, 2019, 6:35… Child labor was widely practiced until a photographer showed the public what it looked like. The 1900 US Federal Census revealed that 1.75 million children under the age of 16, more than one in five, were gainfully employed. They worked all over the country in cotton mills, glass blowing factories, sardine canneries, farms, and even coal mines. In an effort to expose this exploitation of children, the National Child Labor Committee hired a photographer to travel around the country and investigate and report on the labor conditions of children.

Moral Panics & Music

Moral Panics & Music

Vox, 2019, 20:50… While the PMRC’s involvement was allegedly sparked by some raunchy lyrics from Prince’s 1984 album Purple Rain, the debate over rock lyrics had been infiltrating American culture and politics for a decade. The driving force behind that debate was the rise of heavy metal, a genre that saw explosive popularity with the launch of MTV in 1981, and the growing influence of the religious right, who saw rock music as a powerful threat to Christianity.

Fox News & The False Consciousness

Fox News & The False Consciousness

Vox, 2019, 8:37… Carlson’s show is meant to distract Fox News viewers from Republican economics, channeling their frustration and anger at groups that don’t deserve it. That kind of misdirection produces what Marxist theorists call “false consciousness”: when workers are tricked into accepting their own exploitation.

Blackface in America

Blackface in America

Vice News, 2019, 2:37… Ralph Northam is still the governor of Virginia—for now. But he’s facing increasing pressure to resign after a conservative media site unearthed a photo of a man in blackface on Northam’s page in a 1984 medical school yearbook. Northam insists it isn’t him in the photo. And the New York Times today reported that a group of his medical school classmates is standing behind him.

Political Protest at the Oscars

Political Protest at the Oscars

The Verge, 2017, 3:45… The Academy Awards is an opportunity for Hollywood’s best to speak out about the political causes that concerned them the most, on the biggest stage possible. But in a time when voters are divided and everyone’s a pundit, it’s easy to forget that the Oscars weren’t always a home to politics. From Marlon Brando to the creators of Moonlight, we take a look at the history of the Oscars as a moving, and sometimes miscalculated, home to political protest.

Advertising & Alcohol Regulation

Advertising & Alcohol Regulation

USA Today, 2018, 5:43… Millions of Americans will hoist a glass this holiday season. And convincing you to do so is big business! In the US alone, 2 billion dollars is spent on alcohol advertising each year. Perhaps well worth it, as it results in 162 billion dollars in annual alcohol sales. You heard us right, it's not just your in-laws who are driving you to drink.

The Problems of Border Security TV

The Problems of Border Security TV

Al Jazeera, 2018, 9:55… For the past few years, Border Security TV has become a regular fixture on airwaves around the globe. It's a subgenre of reality TV where camera crews follow border control officials as they search for illegal goods, interrogate suspicious newcomers, and deport those deemed unwanted. Its popularity, some say, is a clear sign of the times.

Happiness is an Unopened Box

Happiness is an Unopened Box

The New York Times, 2018, 4:14… On the internet, we can vicariously consume more stuff than we could ever actually buy, touch, or even see in our lifetimes. Are these videos eliminating a desire, or creating one? From Internetting with Amanda Hess.