Emile Durkheim's Division of Labour in Society - In this episode, Eric Hsu and Louis Everuss pay yet another visit to their dear friend, Emile Durkheim. They have a chat about his noted work, the Division of Labour in Society, which advances thought-provoking ideas of how social order is maintained in the modern world. Eric laments something about this episode. He wishes he could have slipped in the line, 'if you can't beet them, join them', when he and Louis repeatedly talk about beets to illustrate one of Durkheim's points.
The Great Globalization Debate - In this episode, Eric Hsu and Louis Everuss discuss how some sociologists have come to theorize the phenomenon of globalization. They do so by examining what’s come to be known as the ‘Great Globalization Debate’, as described by David Held et al.’s highly influential work, Global Transformations. Eric and Louis believe fans of the cult television show, the Sopranos, will especially enjoy this episode, as they probably spend too much of it doing a bad impersonation of the deplorable (yet memorable) Sopranos character, Richie Aprille.
David Beer's Power through the Algorithm - In this episode, Eric Hsu and Louis Everuss look to unpack David Beer's article in New Media & Society, titled, 'Power through the Algorithm'. Beer's work theorizes how algorithmically driven media technologies affect our experience of social life and how power might be expressed in distinctive ways in the contemporary era. At one point in this episode, Louis demonstrates that he sees eye-to-eye with the TikTok generation by complaining that concert-goers spend too much time on their smartphones at concerts these days.
Matthew Desmond and Mustafa Emirbayer's What is Racial Domination? - In this episode, Eric Hsu and Louis Everuss explore sociological understandings of race by examining Matthew Desmond and Mustafa Emirbayer's article on 'What is Racial Domination?' in the Du Bois Review. Desmond and Emirbayer articulate how race structures and affects people’s experience and they theorize how race informs power relations. To explain a particular way sociologists have come to understand racism, Eric discusses what it would be like to tear Louis's arm off.
Shoshana Zuboff's Surveillance Capitalism - In this episode, Eric Hsu and Louis Everuss have an in-depth chat about Shoshana's Zuboff's theory of 'surveillance capitalism', which postulates the existence of a new variant of capitalism that significantly involves the digital monitoring of people's behaviours. Eric and Louis mainly base their discussion on Zuboff's 2015 article in the Journal of Information Technology, which explains how capitalism in the contemporary era may be based in some respects on a new logic of accumulation. Because there is so much ground to cover, Eric only manages to slip in one of his celebrity impersonations into the episode. He tries to do a brief impression of George Takei, leading many listeners to think, 'oh my!'.
George Ritzer and Nathan Jurgenson's the Rise of Prosumer Capitalism - In this episode, Eric Hsu and Louis Everuss consider George Ritzer and Nathan Jurgenson's theory of prosumer capitalism as articulated in their article in the Journal of Consumer Culture. Ritzer and Jurgenson investigate how there might be something novel and unique about prosumption in the digital world, which signals a shift in the way capitalism operates. Louis lets everyone know in this episode that he is rubbish at making cold rolls, so no one should ever ask him to make any.
Linsey McGoey's Philanthrocapitalism and its Critics - In this episode, Eric Hsu and Louis Everuss examine the concept of 'philanthrocapitalism' by considering a sociological critique of it by Linsey McGoey in Poetics. Philanthrocapitalism is a portmanteau of philanthropy and capitalism and it describes how the these two phenomena are thought to be increasingly linked to good effect in the contemporary era. McGoey provides us with an interesting way to understand what is or is not novel about philanthrocapitalism and what about philanthrocapitalism we should be concerned about. At one point in the episode, Eric disses Batman for not doing enough to address the issue of fair taxation in Gotham.
The Ambiguous Legacy of Kuhn in Sociology - In this episode, Eric Hsu and Louis Everuss discuss the ambiguous legacy of Thomas Kuhn's work in the field of sociology by unpacking an article by Zaheer Baber in the Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society. Some sociologists have used Kuhn's concepts to advance a social constructionist view of science. But Baber cautions us from wholly embracing this interpretation of Kuhn's work. Louis claims in this episode, without a hint of sarcasm, that everyone has universally accepted and praised the scholarly work he has produced. (He is however annoyed that his articles haven't received as many citations as Kuhn's books have.)
Thomas Kuhn's Structure of Scientific Revolutions - In this episode, Eric Hsu and Louis Everuss discuss Thomas Kuhn's noted work, the Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Kuhn puts forward a provocative theory of how scientific knowledge develops. While Eric and Louis ditch their old cheaply assembled recording setup for new microphones and an upgraded soundmixer, they try to preserve the essence of their sociology podcast by laughing too hard at their own jokes and and by continuing to do bad celebrity impersonations.
Patricia Hill Collins's Black Feminist Thought (ft. Frances Wyld) - In this episode, Eric Hsu and Louis Everuss have an introductory conversation about Patricia Hill Collins's work, Black Feminist Thought, which makes a notable contribution to standpoint theory. Through concepts like the' matrix of domination' and the 'interlocking nature of oppression', Collins sensitizes readers to the importance of considering other social variables, in addition to gender. Collins develops a theoretical framework to understand how various forms of oppression intersect and relate to one another in socially consequential ways. Our guest this week is Dr Frances Wyld, Lecturer in Aboriginal Studies in the Justice & Society Academic Unit at the University of South Australia (UniSA).
Dorothy Smith's Feminist Standpoint Theory - In this episode, Eric Hsu and Louis Everuss examine Dorothy Smith's account of feminist standpoint theory. Smith's work problematizes the view that sociological forms of knowledge are uncritically objective, preferring instead to highlight the ways in which knowledge is situated and unevenly produced. At one point of the episode, Eric and Louis confuse 'entomology', the study of insects, with 'etymology, the study of the history of linguistic forms. The mistake should bug them more, but un-bee-lievably it doesn't.
Michel Foucault's Disciplinary Society (ft. Katrina Jaworski) - In this episode. Eric Hsu and Louis Everuss examine some key ideas from Michel Foucault's text, Discipline and Punish, which provides an innovative account of how power has come to be covertly expressed in the modern world. To illustrate one of Foucault's ideas, Louis admits that he occasionally watches silly Youtube clips at work when he thinks no one is watching him. Our guest this week is Dr Katrina Jaworski, Senior Lecturer in Cultural Studies in the Justice & Society Academic Unit at the University of South Australia (UniSA).
Michel Foucault's Power/Knowledge - In this episode. Eric Hsu and Louis Everuss have a conversation about Michel Foucault’s unique theoretical understanding of power, which tries to unsettle how it is normally thought about. Eric and Louis explore how Foucault’s account of power highlights how it can be subtly expressed and how it can emanate from a multitude of different points.
Emile Durkheim's Theory of Suicide - In this episode, Eric Hsu and Louis Everuss discuss Emile Durkheim's sociological study of suicide. In a conversation about a somber topic, Eric somehow manages to slip in a bad impersonation of Arnold Schwarzenegger. Louis does not follow suit and bizarrely refrains from performing impressions of any ageing Hollywood action stars.
Emile Durkheim's Social Facts - In this episode, Eric Hsu and Louis Everuss unpack one of Emile Durkheim's most important contributions to the field of sociology, his concept of 'social facts'. This leads Eric and Louis to talk about a lot bizarre topics. Eric goes on a mini-rant about how he disapproves of people who lie on their beds with their shoes on. And Louis wants everyone to know that his marriage to wife, Sarah, was not the result of any coercion (even if Durkheim's theory of 'social facts' might say otherwise).
Paul du Gay's In Praise of Bureaucracy - In this episode, Eric Hsu and Louis Everuss explore whether or not bureaucracies unfairly get a bum rap in sociology. This leads them to discuss Paul du Gay's thoughtprovoking argument about the virtues of bureaucracies in the contemporary modern world. Louis gets the opportunity in this episode to talk passionately about Australian politics, which normally makes him a very popular person to be around at large family gatherings.
Max Weber's Bureaucracy - In this episode, Eric Hsu and Louis Everuss examine Max Weber's theory of bureaucracy. They discuss why it continues to have resonance in the 21st century and totally unprompted by anything or anyone and without a hint of sarcasm, they ponder if they might be the best sociology instructors in the entire world.
Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels' The Communist Manifesto - In this episode, Eric Hsu and Louis Everuss discuss one of the most noteworthy texts in classical sociology, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels' The Communist Manifesto. Eric somehow manages to slip in two awful impersonations of Gordon Ramsay.
Zygmunt Bauman's Thinking Sociologically - In this episode, Eric Hsu and Louis Everuss delve into Zygmunt Bauman's erudite account of sociology. They explore Bauman's fascinating argument that sociology should not be simply equated with common sense. Eric does more than one bad impression of Donald Trump in this episode.
C. Wright Mills's The Sociological Imagination (ft. Paula Geldens) - In this episode, Eric Hsu and Louis Everuss explore the introductory chapter of C. Wright Mills's influential text, the Sociological Imagination. Our guest this week is Professor Paula Geldens, Executive Dean of the Justice & Society Unit at the University of South Australia (UniSA).