Using Environmental Sociology to Work Across Emotions-Based Political Differences

In this radio interview with Cindy Kamp on Catalyst WYCE, we discuss the recent work Strangers in their Own Land by Dr. Arlie Hochschild and the significance of using environmental problems as keyhole issues to work across political difference. We also discuss the history and significance the Community Leadership Program has on the Grand Rapids, MI area in giving students and communities hands on tools to work across political, identity, and emotional divides. We were then able to meet and have deep discussions about this issue when Dr. Hochschild came to deliver her Women’s Studies keynote lecture (pictured above).

Brewing and Environmental Sustainability in Michigan and Alabama

In early February, I gave a presentation of some of my research on how breweries attempt to “do” environmental sustainability. My focus is on water issues, but I am drawn to all the ways breweries attempt to do this important work. Most of my research to date has been on Michigan breweries, but my talk at Auburn University Montgomery allowed me to meet many brewing professionals and others interested in brewing and sustainability in the Montgomery area. One take away from the talk occurred during Q&A where we identified that most brewers are business people looking for a return on investment and that injecting a need to account for environmental and social impacts to the surrounding communities is often missed. In areas that are beginning to dabble in the brewing tourism economy, they have an opportunity to develop best practices that have been tried in other regions. It was also great to meet the robust home brewing community in Montgomery. Sláinte!

Starting Out

Like the aquaponic set up at Growing Power in Milwaukee, WI pictured above, here is my experiment in website creation and attempt to do public sociology in a creative, self-sustaining, fun way. Maybe these pages will fill with drafts of my sociological research, ideas, and arguments? Here is to starting out and trying something new.

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