Video and Multimedia

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Video Links

  • Is Wal-Mart Good For America? 
    Wal-Mart is a ubiquitous and controversial presence in American consumer-culture. Though many decry the retail giant for its labor practices and believe it has played a significant role in loss of U.S. manufacturing jobs, many of us continue to shop there because we want the low prices and convenience it offers. Through interviews with economists, manufacturers, retail industry experts, and business analysts, this program offers an even-handed consideration of how Wal-Mart has affected and been affected by U.S. consumer-culture.
  • Chase Bank Reportedly Has Man Jailed Over Check They Issued Him 
    Ikenna Njoku went to the bank to cash a check but the teller believed that the check was a forgery and called the police. Njoku was taken to jail and remained in jail even after the bank realized its mistake. The errors of judgment made by the bank caused him to lose his vehicle and his job.
  • Futurama- Bureaucrat’s Song 
    Hermes sings a song about being a bureaucrat.
  • Inside Small Schools 
    Adlai E. Stevenson High School in The Bronx was once a dangerous school that had poor performance ratings. In an effort to improve student safety and educational outcomes, the school was divided into 9 “small schools” that would be more flexible and allow more personal interactions between educators, administrators, and students. This New York Times video examines the successes and failures of this “small schools” experiment.
  • The Legacy of Tailhook 
    This New York Times video revisits 1991’s Tailhook scandal, an incident that drew attention to the little-discussed problem of sexual assault in the U.S. Navy. It provides a look at how the Navy responded to allegations of sexual assault at the time and how things have (and have not) changed since then.

Audio Links

  • This American Life 215: Ask An Expert 
    Act One of this program reports on the "Recovered Memory" movement. In the early 1990s people across America turned to experts in psychology for help and many people were told that the source of their problems could be traced to traumatic events they could not even remember, to memories that had to be recovered through special techniques. In the last ten years, this whole approach to psychology has fallen out of favor. So what happened that so many experts came to believe in a treatment that turned out to make many of their patients worse, not better and what happened when the patients and therapists figured all this out?
  • This American Life 350: Human Resources 
    This episode features a true story of little-known rooms in the New York City Board of Education building. Teachers are told to report there instead of their classrooms. No reason is usually given. When they arrive, they find they've been put on some kind of probationary status, and they must report every day until the matter is cleared up. They call it the Rubber Room. Average length of stay? Months, sometimes years. This program also examines other stories of the uneasy interaction between humans and their institutions.
  • Walking Away From The House She Can Afford 
    When Heather Baker took out a mortgage to purchase a home valued at $465k house, she figured it would be a good investment. With the collapse of the real estate market, she estimates that it is worth $225k. Though Baker can afford to make the payments, she has decided to stop paying the note and allow the bank to foreclose on the property because she does not want to lose even more money.

Web Resources

Professional Resources

  • The two major American Sociological Association (ASA) Sections on these issues are:

Economic Sociology
Organizations, Occupations, and Work
Section on Political Sociology
Environment and Technology
Economy of the World System
Journals include: Administrative Science Quarterly
Work and Occupations

Data Resources

  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics 
    The Bureau of Labor Statistics is the principal fact-finding agency for the Federal Government in the broad field of labor economics and statistics.
  • The National Congregations Study 
    The National Congregations Study used the model of the NOS to generate a nationally representative sample of religious congregations. Congregations—the relatively small-scale, local collectivities and organizations in and through which people engage in religious activity—are a basic unit of American religious life.

Other Resources

  •—Exposing the Iron Cage! is a Web site whose purpose is to help spread the word about McDonaldization and explore the wide-ranging impact this process has on our society [self-characterization].
  • To gain an appreciation of the scale and scope of major multinational corporations, visit the Web sites of some of the biggest:


  • The financial infrastructure of global capitalism is promoted by:

International Monetary Fund (IMF)
World Bank

  • WTO 
    The rules of trade between nations facilitated by the World Trade Organization (WTO).
  • The Third World Traveler 
    For a criticism of the IMF, World Bank, and WTO—the “Three Stooges of Corporate Folly”—and transnational corporations and world trade generally, see The Third World Traveler.
  • Catholic Relief Services 
    A religious perspective on the need for international debt relief and reform of international financial institutions can be found at the Web site of Catholic Relief Services.
  • This Nation 
    This Nation: Institutions.  If you are in need of a good online overview of basic U.S. governmental institutions, this is the place to go. The site also includes a discussion of the bureaucracy, with emphasis on the challenges of reform. Links to Web resources you can use to access government Web sites are also provided [self-characterization].