the void

homeless-familyNothing sums up the toxic mix of brutality and blundering at the DWP than the news that homeless families are being housed in hotels at a cost of almost £3000 a week.

BBC London last night reported on the families kicked out of their homes due to the Housing Benefit cap who are now being put up in hotels at huge cost to the tax payer – an entirely predictable scenario for anyone who has a basic understanding of the housing and benefits system.

The Housing Benefit cap was introduced after lurid stories appeared in the tabloids about families living in £2000 a week Kensington mansions.   David Cameron himself denounced the housing benefit system that led to people claiming £100,000 a year.  The truth was not so dramatic and it turned out that less than five families were actually receiving that much in benefits – which it should be repeatedly…

View original post 387 more words

Sociology at its best. :}

Inequality by (Interior) Design

Bill_WattersonOne of my favorite sociologists is Bill Watterson.  He’s not read in most sociology classrooms, but he has a sociological eye and a great talent for laying bare the structure of the world around us and the ways that we as individuals must navigate that structure—some with fewer obstacles than others.  Unlike most sociologists, Watterson does this without inventing new jargon (or much new jargon), or relying on overly dense theoretical claims.  He doesn’t call our attention to demographic trends (often) or seek to find and explain low p values.

Dad pollRather, Watterson presents the world from the perspective of a young boy who is both tremendously influenced by–and desires to have a tremendous influence on–the world around him.  The boy’s name is Calvin, and I put a picture of him (often in the company of his stuffed tiger, Hobbes) on almost every syllabus I write.  Watterson is the artist…

View original post 1,264 more words

Socialisation at work again…

Mad Momma Moogacat

One day last summer Bug and I were at the local zoo, by the elephant exhibit, minding our own business, and looking at the elephants.  I heard someone loudly point Bug out to his son and say, “look– she’s from the same place as the Asian elephant.” 

Dear boneheaded dude at the zoo, and lots of other clueless white people out there: my child is not your geography or diversity lesson.  She doesn’t exist to educate you about race.  She’s a person, and entitled to some dignity.

Here’s the thing. One of the things white people are told is that they need to be around people of color in order to understand racial issues.  It’s great to just say be around black people, Asian people, Latinos, etc.  But it seems that white people always want to do that on our terms and that persons of color are supposed to smile and gratefully be white people’s diversity lessons. …

View original post 398 more words