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Winter 2016 Vol. 15 No. 1
Evidence is important. Even the most skeptical rely on tested and re-tested scientific certainty every day. And good sociologists hold scientific evidence suspect even as we use the best we have to make the decisions we must.
One year after Donald Trump’s inauguration, many pundits and citizens alike continue to try to understand the results of the 2016 election. At the heart of the matter is a legitimate question that deserves to be considered not only for its importance to Trump’s victory, but also as it relates to many other governments worldwide and throughout history. The pressing question is: How can voters find a candidate “authentically appealing” even though to many that candidate appears to be a “lying demagogue”?
To slow the spread of the coronavirus, schools across the United States are expecting students to continue learning at home. That means attending real-time class meetings, completing worksheets and online modules, and even taking exams online. Unfortunately, some schools are also holding students accountable for at-home learning, basing grades, course placements, and college eligibility on work completed at home. That accountability, I will argue, has the potential to exacerbate longstanding inequalities in school.
The unequal impacts of COVID-19 demonstrate an urgent need for sociological interrogations of disability as a social category and axis of inequality commensurate with race, class, and gender and intersecting with them. While disability can be a marker of health status, it is also a unique social category with particular politics structuring disabled people’s lives and reflecting interlocking systems of oppression. We provide examples of how the pandemic reveals disability is a societally mediated category of existence that is (de)valued in particular ways.