Santa Claus a Form of Panoptical Surveillance

In light of the Christmas season, I have been listening to Christmas songs, but I was particularly disturbed this year when the song “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” came on. This song has become a cornerstone of the Christmas season, performed by artists such as Justin Bieber, The Jackson 5, Mariah Carey and even Bruce Springsteen. When I really listened to the lyrics, I began to think how the song operates as a form of panoptical surveillance for children.

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Politicians or Nascar Drivers?

When politicians are given this much money from specific groups, are they really representing the interests of the people? What would politics look like if candidates had to be open about their sponsors? We used Open Secrets and Business Insider to find out!

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Token Black Guy

This clip is from the movie “Not Another Teen Movie” which mocks the common characters and plots of teen movies. One of the common characters is the “token black guys”, who inhabits every group of popular boys, but never really says anything more than “d**m”, “s**t” and “that is wack”. This clip shows two black guys at a party, where one of them approaches the other saying that he is supposed to be the only black guy at the party. The other guys says that he understands and leaves the party.

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Mouse Tales

Garfinkel’s breaching experiments are designed to test the reactions of other people to oneself. Garfinkel comes out of the tradition of Ethnomethodology, which studies the understanding of how people understand their social world. Examples of breaching experiments in the modern world (besides ours) are flash mobs or people standing backwards in an elevator. If someone intentionally breaks a social norm for the sake of research, it is considered a breaching experiment. Garfinkel thought that we can break the rules in order to learn the rules.

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I Gave Him Like a Traditional African Name: OJ

This clip is from the movie “Bruno” starring Sasha Baron Cohen as the reporter Bruno. In this part of the movie, he is on a reality television show with his new son, OJ, whom he adopted from Africa by swapping him for an Ipod. This goes to show that black people, especially black children in America are treated as commodities rather than people. To Bruno, this seems perfectly normal, especially since many celebrities adopt children from other countries.

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What’S Wrong With Santa Claus?

This week we are discussing Critical Theories of Race/Racism as well as Critical Theories of Feminism/Queer Theory. Although the struggles of racism and for women and sexualities are different, the basic principle is that these people want to be considered equal, whether socially, culturally or under law. These videos are both from The Office, where Michael Scott tell his employees that they cannot be Santa Claus. In the one where Phyllis (a woman) wants to be Santa, Micheal says “it’s insane! A woman Santa- where does it stop?” Commenting that if women are allowed to be Santa what other crazy things will they be able to do?

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