Video and Multimedia

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Video Links

  • The American ‘Ethnic’ Food Section 
    An American visits a grocery store in Berlin and explores the “ethnic” foods aisle and its selection of American foods—macaroni and cheese, blueberry muffin mix, barbecue sauce, and so on.
  • From Jesus to Christ – The First Christians 
    This program considers the beginnings of Christianity. Over the course of four hours, scholars discuss recent archaeological findings that provide clues about the life of Jesus and his early followers.
  • Gospel of Intolerance 
    Many evangelical Christians believe that the culture war against sexual “immorality” has been lost in the US and so they have decided to focus their efforts on African nations. This New York Times video looks at the influence of the evangelical Christian movement in African nations, such as Uganda.

Audio Links

  • No Secular Music for Funerals, says Australian Catholic Church 
    The Catholic Church in southern Australia has banned the playing of romantic ballads, pop and heavy metal music, and football anthems at funerals. The church wants the music at funerals to be sacred “rather than a secular expression of the individual’s life.”
  • Muslim Holiday Eid Keeps Texas Butcher Busy 
    Brief description of Eid (Muslim holiday). Interview with a butcher in a small Texas town who provides halal (acceptable to those who follow Islamic dietary law) meats for grocers who serve the North Texas Muslim community.   
  • Inside Access: Photographer Captures the Taboo 
    Interview with a photographer who captures sub- and counterculture groups on the margins. He discusses his techniques for gaining entry to these often secretive groups and how he gains the trust of members. He mentions that it is often difficult to determine which events are staged and which are real. Very similar to what field researchers confront when studying groups that do not welcome outsiders.
  • 337: Man vs. History 
    This program presents stories about people taking history into their own hands. In the first act, a man with no practical experience hatches a plan to curb the violence in Iraq. He thought he could get the Sunni resistance to sit down with Coalition forces to negotiate a cease-fire. So he hooked up with a member of the Iraqi parliament and headed to Baghdad and Amman, where, remarkably, doors opened to him.
  • 380: No Map 
    Norms are defined as culturally expected rules of conduct.  Norms may be ambiguous or contradictory.  This episode reveals stories of people who find themselves in situations far from the beaten path, where there are no guidelines and no useful precedents

Professional Resources

  • Sociology of Culture 
    The American Sociological Association Section on the Sociology of Culture exists to encourage development of this perspective through the organized interchange of ideas and research. The Section on Culture considers material products, ideas, and symbolic means and their relation to social behavior [self-characterization].

Data Resources

There are a number of major surveys and survey organizations that regularly collect data on individual’s knowledge, beliefs, attitudes, and practices. Among the better known of these are:

  • GSS 
    The General Social Survey (GSS): The GSS is a regular, ongoing omnibus personal interview survey of U.S. households conducted by the National Opinion Research Center. . . . The first survey took place in 1972, and since then more than 40,000 respondents have answered more than 3,500 different questions. From Americans’ racial attitudes to the number of guns owned by women to musical preferences over a lifetime, the General Social Survey measures the trends in American attitudes, experiences, practices, and concerns [self-characterization]. 
  • The Gallup Organization 
    Gallup Polls: The Gallup Organization is one of the world’s largest management consulting firms. Gallup’s core expertise is in measuring and understanding human attitudes and behavior. . . . Gallup . . . conducts The Gallup Poll, the world’s leading source of public opinion since 1935 [self-characterization].
  • Roper Polls 
    Roper Polls: Founded in 1947, the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research is the leading educational facility in the field of public opinion. The center exists to promote the intelligent, responsible, and imaginative use of public opinion in addressing the problems faced by Americans and citizens of other nations [self-characterization].
  • Pew Global Attitudes Project 
    The Pew Global Attitudes Project is a series of worldwide public opinion surveys that encompasses a broad array of subjects ranging from people's assessments of their own lives to their views about the current state of the world and important issues of the day. More than 200,000 interviews in 57 countries have been conducted as part of the project's work [self-characterization].

Other Resources

  • The Evolutionary Theories in Social Sciences 
    The field of biology presents a very different explanation to the development of humans than sociology.  Over the years, a specialized area of sociology, called Sociobiology, has developed to attempt to bridge the gap between the nature (i.e., biology) versus nurture (i.e., sociology/culture) controversy.  The Evolutionary Theories in Social Sciences website serves as the premier information site for scholars interested in evolutionary thought in the social sciences [self-characterization].
  • ELNA 
    Is a cross-culturally universal language possible? Supporters of Esperanto believe so. According to the nonprofit organization of Esperantists and supporters of Esperanto in the United States, “ is a language introduced in 1887 by Dr. L.L. Zamenhof after years of development. He proposed Esperanto as a second language that would allow people who speak different native languages to communicate, yet at the same time retain their own languages and cultural identities. Esperanto is four times easier to learn than other languages.”
  • Horace Miner’s Analysis 
    Stimulate cross-cultural study and understanding through Horace Miner’s classic 1956 analysis, “Body Ritual Among the Nacirema.”
  • Smithsonian 
    A great way to consider how people understand their own culture is to look at how museums represent cultural artifacts and history. The Smithsonian Institution is called "America's Attic" because it houses a little bit of almost everything from American history and culture. At this site, you can browse or search through selected images from the Collections of the Office of Imaging and Photographic Services. Included are images from current exhibits, Smithsonian events and historic collections.