Welcome to The Sociological Cinema!
This site is designed to help sociology instructors incorporate videos into their classes. Check out our blog, look through our pics page, and search our growing database of video clips. Each clip is tagged with appropriate sociological themes and organized for busy instructors. We invite you to join the discussion and comment on how you have used the videos in your classes, and to submit a clip of your own. Enjoy!
Video of the Week
On March 31st, California, Texas, Colorado, and parts of Arizona will officially celebrate César Chávez Day. As a celebrated holiday, it is meant to commemorate the legacy of César Chávez and continuing public dialogue on the values that motivated his activism. This includes a commitment to workers' rights, fair wages, and benefits for workers. On March 31, 2008, then-Senator Barack Obama promoted celebrating it as a national holiday. He stated: "Chavez left a legacy as an educator, environmentalist, and a civil rights leader. And his cause lives on. As farmworkers and laborers across America continue to struggle for fair treatment and fair wages, we find strength in what Cesar Chavez accomplished so many years ago. And we should honor him for what he's taught us about making America a stronger, more just, and more prosperous nation. That's why I support the call to make Cesar Chavez's birthday a national holiday. It's time to recognize the contributions of this American icon to the ongoing efforts to perfect our union."
Our video of the week from reminds us of the need to teach about Chávez's life and work in public education. It is a clip from CNN's Anderson Cooper 360 featuring a debate between Tom Horne (Arizona superintendent of public instruction) and sociologist Michael Eric Dyson on the need for school curricula to incorporate alternative racial or ethnic histories of the United States. Amongst other things, Horne argues "we should be teaching our kids that this is the land of opportunity, and if they work hard, they can achieve their dreams, and not teach them they're oppressed"; noting that teaching oppression is a "downer." Dyson argues that the stories of Caesar Chavez, Dr Martin Luther King, and others must be told to understand American history and democracy, and that full knowledge of our past helps us find relief from oppression. Like the fight to make César Chávez Day a national holiday, the fight to incorporate the struggles of these heroes into our history textbooks, function as important spaces for promoting a culture of workers' rights, social justice, and racial awareness. Read more.