Pixar's Purl

Pixar's Purl

Pixar SparkShorts, 2019, 8:43… Purl, directed by Kristen Lester and produced by Gillian Libbert-Duncan, features an earnest ball of yarn named Purl who gets a job in a fast-paced, high energy, bro-tastic start-up. Yarny hijinks ensue as she tries to fit in, but how far is she willing to go to get the acceptance she yearns for, and in the end, is it worth it?

Residential v Occupational Segregation Today

Residential v Occupational Segregation Today

Vox, 2019, 6:48… We work in diverse places. We live in segregated ones. America policies engineered our segregated homes. But the workplace? That had the chance of being a place where we interact with people of other races — and form meaningful relationships. These maps show that this hasn't exactly happened. In fact, the most personal parts of our lives is still very segregated.

Play Labs

Play Labs

Quartz, 2018, 4:59… At more than 513 “play labs” in Uganda, Tanzania and Bangladesh, kids participate a child-centered curriculum built by a team of global play scholars delivered in a space designed by architects, right down to the corners for stories, crafts and dreaming.

Anarchist Commune

Anarchist Commune

Vice, 2018, 30:55… Manisha Krishnan travels to Poole's Land, an anarchist commune on the western edge of Canada to figure out what exactly is drawing young people to live on the periphery of society. She ventures into the rainforest and confronts a variety of her deepest fears, but ultimately finds enlightenment in the spirit of the people who inhabit this mysterious place.

Work and Social Control (Feature)

"Billion Dollar Deals and How They Changed Your World", Episode 3: Work -- BBC, 2017, 58:37 -- 

How does the power elite view their employees in 2017? First off, they remove the human element by calling them "performers" (as opposed to people) and are introducing technologies that further solidify a panoptical structure of control... This hour-long episode has shocking examples of economic and employment changes which are discussed in a corporate ideological framework. Technological impacts on education are discussed too. Concepts evident here include the work/life balance, the power elite, neoliberalism, panoptical surveillance, depersonalization, class struggle, and many more...

Available FREE for a limited time on YouTube. Original video link here:

Millennials, Rent, and Home Ownership

Young Americans Are Worried They'll Be Renting Forever -- Vice News, 2017, 2:28 --

A good short video (sponsored by GEICO) on how Millennials are being excluded from the housing market and how they adapt to (and transform) the changing American dream of homeownership.

Islam and School Holidays

Before Organizing the Women’s March on Washington, Linda Sarsour Fought for Muslim Holidays in NYC -- Vox, 2017, 4:37 --

This is a good example of religious privilege in American society—Christian students do not have to choose between honoring a religious holiday with their family or going to school to learn and advance one’s education. While students may commonly view missing a day or so of school as no big deal (or even desirable), missing classes may seriously disadvantage those who are highly invested in their education (especially if education is the key to social mobility). This is also a good example of competing social institutions.

Winning at Capitalism, Losing at Life?

Fleeing South Korea (101 East) -- Al Jazeera, 2016, 24:28 --

An interesting and contemporary look at South Korean immigrants in the United States. We learn that 88% of young South Koreans (millennials) want to leave the country, but why? The answer seems to be in the unbearably competitive (i.e., long) work schedule. It appears that South Korea's neoliberal economy has created unattainable standards of materialism and an unsatisfying work/life balance. As a result, many young South Koreans see the social status structure of America as more desirable-- a view made more interesting when we consider how many Americans feel that Europeans have better policies towards vacations, parental leave, shift length, and more. 

Rational Living with WeLive

Vice News Tonight: Living the WeLife -- Vice Media, 2016, 3:44 --

Max Weber would have a fit if he saw this for here we see the iron cage of rationality applied to the home. WeWork is a company which applied McDonaldization to the work/office space and now is branching out into the home/apartment market with WeLive. The residents- in this rationally-ordered "commune" seem to view domestic life as just another burden best taken care of by some dispassionate expert. The goal seems to be a aimed at creating a maximum-efficiency environment where one can fully and completely devote their energies to their work. For $4,875 per month you can enjoy a dorm-like environment where your physical space and living schedule has been planned in a manner that can be called "the WeWork circle of life". 

The Collective Shaming of Deviance on Benefits Street

Charlie Brooker's Weekly Wipe -- BBC, 2014, 6:26 --

This is a humorous example from the UK of the functional role of deviant behavior. We see society come together to shame those receiving benefits from the state (known as welfare in the US). This is also an insightful example of how deviants are exploited for entertainment and ridicule. "Poverty porn" would be a good term to discuss in addition to the many sociological concepts evident in the clip.