Child Welfare
Ethnography and Folk Culture
Ethnic Studies
Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender Studies
Social, Political, and Economic Issues in America
Women's/Men's Studies

American Teen
In this documentary experience what the life of a high school senior is really like through the eyes of five real-life very different teenagers living in a small Indiana town. Features the Prom Queen, the Jock, the Rebel, the Geek, and the Heartthrob. Produced and directed by Nanette Burstein. 2008. 101 min. DVD X1926

Malls R Us
Documentary that examines the social significance of shopping malls. Looks at North America's most popular and profitable suburban destination-the enclosed shopping center-and how for consumers they function as a communal, even ceremonial experience and, for retailers, sites where their idealism, passion and greed merge. Written and directed by Helene Klodawsky. 2008. 78 min. DVD X2319

Description from Icarus Films catalog

Contents: Disc 1. The Campaign / directed by Tom Cohen -- The Big Game / directed by E.J. Vaughn -- Disc 2. Second time around / directed by Peter Davis -- Community of praise / directed by Richard Leacock, Marisa Silver -- Disc 3. Family business / directed by Tom Cohen -- Disc 4. Seventeen / directed by Joel Demott, Jeff Kreines.

Inspired by the studies of Robert and Helen Lynd in 1929 and 1935, this classic six-part series by Peter Davis explores both the continuity and the change embodied in the people and institutions of one Midwestern community: Muncie, Indiana. Campaign: Follows two candidates, Jim Carey and Alan Wilson, in a Muncie, Indiana mayoral race. Big game: Captures the annual basketball game between the Muncie Central High School Bearcats and the Anderson High School Indians. Second time around: A couple plan a second marriage for each and air their attitudes toward marriage, money, children, and social problems. Community of praise: Examines faith working in the lives of a family whose fundamentalist beliefs are revealed in how they deal with both the emergencies and the oridinary problems and strife of daily life. Family business: Documents a family of ten who all differ in attitudes toward work but struggle to keep their father's pizza franchise in Muncie, Indiana, from bankruptcy. 120 min. DVD X4544

People Like Us
How do income, family background, education, attitudes, aspirations, and even appearance mark someone as a member of a particular social class? Discusses how social class plays a role in the lives of all Americans, whether they live in Park Avenue penthouses, Appalachian trailer parks, bayou houseboats or suburban gated communities. Travels across the U.S. to present stories of family traditions, class mobility, and different lifestyle choices. Contents: Part 1. The choices you make reveal your class (Joe Queenan's balsamic vinegar tour ; The trouble with tofu ; How to marry the rich) -- Part 2. A tour through the landscape of class (WASP lessons ; Bourgeois blues ; Tammy's story) -- Part 3. Blue collar life in a white collar world (Gnomes r us ; Friends in low places ; Don't get above your raisin') -- Part 4. Understanding the rules of the game (All you need is cash ; Most likely to succeed). Produced and directed by Louis Alvarez and Andrew Kolker. Dist. The Center for New American Media. 2001. 124 min. DVD 8442; vhs Video/C 8953

Philosophy, the Social Context
London School of Economics professor Ernest Gellner discusses contemporary philosophy, its historical and social backgrounds, and its role in modern society. Gellner examines the radical expansion of scientific knowledge and its dehumanizing effect on society as expressed by sociologist Max Weber. Marxism's messianic expectation is blamed for its failure to reconstruct society. Gellner dismisses today's philosophy of relativism as unworkable. 1977. 46 min. DVD 1881

A documentary exploring the social phenomenon of punishment. The forms of punishment that a society chooses, and what it deems a crime, illustrate that society's values. How is justice pursued and punishment meted out? Looks at the history of punishment, beginning with early compensatory forms of justice, Hammurabi's Code and the Law of Moses. Socrates' execution and Roman and medieval forms of justice are analyzed in a historical context, underscoring the fact that punishment was often intended as a deterrent rather than as a reformatory measure. Discusses contemporary forms of punishment, including the death penalty, along with the ways in which these sentences reflect what society values. 2003. 53 min. DVD 5039

Social Class in America
Are social classes pre-determined? This vintage film aims to examine this question during an era when many citizens of various races and social classes were still not extended complete civil rights. This 1957 documentary follows three boys from three different social classes in the United States. It is a fascinating look at the history of socioeconomic determinism in the U.S. that tries to push the idea that social classes in America are determined before people are born, despite what we like to believe. 1957. 15 min. DVD 9243

Watch this film online (via Internet Moving Image Archive)

Sociology is a Martial Art (La sociologie est un sport de combat)
Documentary on influential sociologist Pierre Bourdieu whose work is concerned with elucidating the processes of symbolic violence and cultural domination in various areas of social life. The camera follows Bourdieu as he lectures, attends political rallies, travels, meets with his students, staff and research team in Paris and includes Bourdieu in conversation with Gunter Grass. Directed by Pierre Carles. 2001. 140 min. DVD X1151; vhs Video/C 9772

Description from First Run catalog

Betancourt, Alex. "Pierre Bourdieu: Sociology Is A Martial (2001) (La Socialogie Est Un Sport De Combat)." Film & History , May2007, Vol. 37 Issue 1, p85-86, 2p UC users only
Laberge, Yves. "Sociology is a Martial Art." International Sociology, May2006, Vol. 21 Issue 3, p491-495, 5pUC users only
Porton, Richard. "Sociology is a Martial Art." Cineaste, Fall2003, Vol. 28 Issue 4, p72-72UC users only

Way We Live: Introduction to Sociology
2005. 27 min. each installment

Connections. What is sociology? In this introductory lesson various perspectives are offered by leading sociologists for understanding the complex interplay of individuals, groups, and relationships in society, and how they provide a context for living and a roadmap for understanding life's limitations ... and possibilities. Students Rising Above, a program that helps disadvantaged youth succeed in school, is featured in this episode. DVD 4796

Truth be Told. Sociological research and methodology is often the subject of debate among sociologists. The pursuit of objectivity in sociological research, critical sociology, and the idea of sociology as a science ... each has transformed the way sociologists approach sociological research. This lesson also includes discussion of quantitative and qualitative methodologies, and features a segment on sociologist Mitchell Duneier and his research on New York City homeless populations. DVD 4797

Common Ground. Values, beliefs, traditions, language and material goods form the subject of this lesson about the components of culture. Opens and closes with a look at the Amish -- a group whose members in Southeastern Pennsylvania maintain language and other cultural traditions unique to early Germanic settlers to the region. The American values of individual rights and consumerism are also discussed. DVD 4798

Fitting In. Humans are born without any culture. For virtually anyone the process of socialization begins with the family and continues through other social agents such as school, peer goups and mass media. The popularity of reality television shows that offer "extreme makeovers" [of persons] is highlighted in this lesson as an example of the desire to fit in. DVD 4799

Face to Face.This lesson looks at how such aspects of social interaction as language, humor and emotion can shape and change the way we view the world around us. Nowhere is this interaction more visible than in the fusion of language and emotion which characterize the world of politics. But social interaction in the more mundane world of everyday life can be just as significant. This lesson begins with a stand-up comedy show that helps us further understand the significance of humor, as both a form of self-expression and as a culturally specific method of social interaction. DVD 4800

All Together. Whether a small group or a multinational corporation, every organizaton has its own culture. This lesson looks at organizational behavior and includes discussion around the ideas of Frederick Taylor and "scientific management," corporate culture and the pitfalls of bureaucracy. As we see in the Outward Bound program, every organization has its own unique culture that is likened to the values and norms of the wider society. DVD 4801

Against the Grain. eviant behavior? Programs like Delancey Street Foundation operate "outside the norm" by assisting convicted criminals to become productive members of mainstream society. Differing views on sexuality and violent crime are explored in the lesson, as are some of the moral, religious and psychological factors that play a role in understanding deviant behavior. DVD 4802

Matters of the Flesh. Conflicting views about sexuality permeate American culture. These conflicts play out in a variety of ways, from how we perceive sexually explicit materials to how we legislate on the issue of abortion. This lesson looks at the concept of sexuality and explores different attitudes towards sexuality education, abortion and sexual orientation. We meet Renee Walker (BACHE), a concerned mother who objected to the sexuality education program (CryBabies) at her son's middle school because she believed the program was biased. DVD 4803

Ups and Downs. Since the 1950s when opportunity reached its peak, the gap between the "haves and have nots" has grown. This lesson looks at social stratification and the dimensions of social inequality that exist in the United States, as seen in the story of an immigrant from Eastern Europe who, along with her family, comes to the U.S. with virtually nothing, and eventually manages to open and operate a successful child care business. DVD 4804

Worlds Apart. Why can one continent be relatively affluent and another mired in poverty? This lesson looks at stratification on a global scale and introduces the ideas of globalization and neo-liberalism. The lesson features Doctors Without Borders -- an organization whose stated aim is to serve populations in need anywhere in the world irrespective of religious, political or social barriers that may exist. DVD 4805

Venus and Mars. Are men and women really that different? Society tends to emphasize differences more than similarities. This often leads to competition, and in some cases, inequality. Gender issues and stratification, the gender divide in the workplace, the impact of Title Seven, and the women's movement are explored in this lesson. As illustrated in the example of a female football team, it can take a lot of determination to defy the agents of socialization and overcome gender basis. DVD 4806

Colors. For racial and ethnic minorities, the struggle for recognition and equality is nothing new. Perhaps nowhere is this more visible than in the United States. The polarizing effects of stereotyping, racial prejudice and discrimination, and its impact on generations of Black Americans are discussed. Learners will also meet the Bazzy family - an Arab-American family in Michigan who must cope with local misconceptions and generalizations about Arab culture in the wake of 9/11. DVD 4807

Golden Years. The longevity revolution, cross-cultural differences, stereotypes -- all present challenges to meeting the needs of America's growing population of elderly adults. This lesson explores issues surrounding aging, death and dying, and features the Jewish Home for the Aged in San Francisco -- a nursing home that provides a rich array of programs for it residents. DVD 4808

Working World. Today we live in a rapidly changing economic and social climate that emphasizes the bottom line. What is the impact on society? What role does globalization play? The situtation faced by striking grocery workers illustrates some of the frustrations experienced by employees in today's changing global economy. This lesson also includes a discussion around the impact one retail giant in particular is having on workers, the economy, and the world -- Walmart. DVD 4809

Balance of Power. Too often government only hears from insiders with access to money and education, which is why grass roots movements in the form of local and statewide initiatives often represent the best way for the average person to make his or her voice heard. This episode looks at the sociology of politics as illustrated in the California ballot initiatives Proposition 68, to expand legalized gambling [on Indian lands], and Proposition 71, for the support of stem cell research. DVD 4810

Family Matters. The traditional or nuclear family of the 1950s and 1960s is what most of us think of when asked to define "family." But the idea that there is a typical family is perhaps little more than a myth. This lesson considers the diversity of family forms that exist today and cultural shifts that are changing the definition of "family." You will meet the Scott-Chung family and a lesbian couple who discuss their decision to start a family. DVD 4811

In God We Trust. Most religions define themselves by their respective rituals and traditions. What is remarkably consistent, however, is the role that virtually all religions play in the lives of their followers. Religion in the United States, its effect on the tapestry of American society, and its delicate relationship with politics are the focus of this lesson -- which also features a look at Catholicism and Voodoo in New Orleans. DVD 4812

Learning Curves. The type of education a child can expect to receive may have less to do with the teacher but more to do with socioeconomic status, race and culture. These and other factors make the question of how best to educate American children a complicated one. In this episode you will meet two families who have chosen different approaches to educating their children. The growth in home schooling as an alternative to conventional education is explored. DVD 4813

Taking the Pulse.Health care in the United States has reached a crisis point, despite advances in medicine and technology. Yet this is not necessarily the case in other parts of the world. This lesson looks at health and society, and explores such issues as inequities in health care coverage, the economics of providing care, alternative medical treatments and ethical questions including right-to-die. Particular emphasis is placed on one of the most serious sexually transmitted diseases -- HIV/AIDS. DVD 4814

Rise and Fall. This lesson reviews population, urbanization and the environment from a sociological point of view. While each of these is often analyzed separately, it is the dynamic, constantly shifting interplay among all three that is perhaps most significant. Topics covered include fertility, mortality, migration, population growth, global climate change, and sustainability." As a case study looks at positive and negative effects of the building boom in Fresno, California. DVD 4815

Mass Appeal. Social movements are not a new phenomenon. Fundamental to all social movements, past and present, is the idea of collective identity. But other factors that are at play often determine whether a social movement will be a success or failure." Looks at the women's movement, civil rights and the gay rights movements as examples of American social change through united social action and also at the recent ANSWER Coalition (Act Now To Stop War and End Racism). DVD 4816

Waves of Change.What is social change and what are its causes?" This final lesson of the series provides a deeper understanding of both the concepts and the consequences at the heart of social change. As a case study this segment documents how the Winnemen Wintu, a Native American tribe in the Shasta-Trinity Area of Northern California, have been negatively impacted by U.S. Government water and land policies. DVD 4817

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