Gun Ownership Survey

Several of you have expressed interest in gun ownership/gun control issues.  Regardless of your level of interest, this issue is one currently being debated and there are many social and political organizations on both sides of the debate pressuring for policies.

Today, the PEW Research Center released its most recent survey on gun ownership; according to these findings, 24% of Americans own guns while an additional 13% report that someone in their household owns a gun.  Men, Whites, people living in the South and Midwest, people with lower, comparatively, levels of education are more likely to own guns.  The survey suggests that protection has become much more of a factor in gun ownership than was the case in 1999.

To see more results, click on Pew Center Survey.


Workers in a Gig Economy

A couple of years ago, I found myself leading my daughter’s school Halloween party wearing a business suit with a sweatshirt, a tool belt with hammer, cell phone, earphones, clipboard.  Because I had known all her classmates since preschool, I got away with being dressed as a “Gig Economy professional”- it seemed to fit the Mom who worked, ran everyday and taught Spanish songs to the kids on Thursdays.  The Gig Economy has entered into our lexicon without necessarily a full discussion of the implications.

Here are two, different takes on the gig economy, the first a blog on freelancers from a work historian and the second a slightly older take from the Economist.

Amber found this interesting blog I thought you all might like to see. Thank you Amber.


Mass media has a direct affect on modern culture. This is especially true in the United States where the majority of mass media originates. The moods and attitudes of our society are influenced by messages delivered through mass media channels. Mass media and advertising affect our actions, thoughts, and values. We are at the point where mass media creates and reflects our culture–a mediated culture.

Society controls mass media and vice-versa

A look back through the history of our society will reveal that we were not always influenced by mass media. This is due largely to the fact that our current level of media saturation has not always existed. Television, the most popular mass media medium, was less predominant in the 1960s and 1970s. Even if you were one of the fortunate families to own a television set, only three main channels existed. Additionally, a few public broadcasting and independent…

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Media Consolidation

In class we briefly reviewed two infographics related to media consolidation when we were speaking of medial control.  I wanted to be sure that you could review them yourselves since the layout really requires you to scroll or order the poster-sized version.  The first provides more detail about the various holdings of the big 10 media owners: Top 10 Media Companies.   The second focuses more on media consolidation: Media Consolidation Infographic.

Transitioning and Discoveries

Transitioning and Discoveries

Given our lively panel discussion two weeks ago, I wasn’t able to share with you all of the videos and blogs that I found pertinent to our topic.  This is an interesting blog by Annika, a transgender woman (male to female) who writes about 10 things she wished she had known before transitioning.  She makes observations that we had discussed in an earlier class on gender as a base of inequality.  Enjoy!

Fact Sheet on Induced Abortions

Fact Sheet on Induced Abortions

I found this fact sheet from the Guttmacher Institute, a well-respected research institute on sexual and reproductive health.  It outlines the number of abortions per 100 women and shows a decrease from 1977.  The sheet also discusses contraceptive use and other important facts for those interested in this issue whether you are interested in preventing/putting an end to abortion or supportive of abortion as an option.

Student Post

I’ve been meaning to re-post this excellent student post, complete with great links and questions. Hope you all get a chance to read it. I’ll be posting more very soon.

The change in our society with the growth of the Hispanic population can be seen at many levels. From politicians to the unemployed, there is no part of society that is unaffected by this change. This chart shows the U.S. population by by race/ethnicity in 2002. Last year a statement by the U.S. Census Bureau estimated that most children under the age of one year was a minority as of July 2011. I’ve included a link here. That could mean our children will grow up learning another language just be default, almost like growing up in a bilingual household.

The sheer number of Spanish speakers forces cultural change. I remember hearing people protest having instructions and signs translated into Spanish. I haven’t heard any debates recently, but a few years ago there was a lot of media attention given to people who felt it wasn’t necessary to have Spanish translation for things such as signs and instructions. They claimed that if you live in America you should learn English. Why dispute it? What would they gain? Could it be they were threatened by having information written in a language they didn’t understand? Perhaps they were afraid of the power Hispanics would gain by becoming a more informed people. Despite the protests it’s commonplace to see Spanish translations of anything written for the public and now a DMV website completely in Spanish. Having a more informed public is a benefit to us all, so translations done in several languages whenever possible is a good thing.

Along with large numbers come buying power, and businesses weren’t going to let a little thing like language stop them from target marketing to the Hispanic population. How many times do we hear businesses proudly proclaim “we speak Spanish” in their ads? Once business started to set their sights on the Spanish speaking population, it began to help assimilate the population into American culture and vice versa. When was the last time you ate a breakfast burrito or had a taco dinner? It’s become part of everyday life. Businesses have taken vast steps to incorporate the Hispanic tradition in food, television, music, and so on. The demand of businesses to adapt created unique job needs. Knowing how to speak Spanish is a bonus for any job hunter, even critical for some positions like in a hospital or law enforcement.

Every year that passes, the Hispanic culture becomes more woven into our society. Even my kids speak a little Spanish and have had pinatas at their birthdays as long as they can remember. As far as they are concerned, pinatas and quesadillas are an Asian tradition. It’s just a regular part of their lives.

Finally, just for grins and giggles I tossed in this link for a little glimpse into the raging debate that apparently is still going on about speaking English in America. The comments almost distracted me from finishing up my blog post…enjoy!