I am reposting this from the CSRN website. Consumer Studies should definitely be an official section of the American Sociological Association, and this year we are initiating a drive to make it so! We need 200 email signatures.
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The Consumer Studies Research Network (CSRN)
 is seeking to become an offical section of the American Sociological Association.

If you are interested insupport this effort, copy and paste the statement below and email it to csrn2011@camden.rutgers.edu. In sending this email, I certify that I am an ASA member and that I pledge to join the Sociology of Consumers and Consumption section as a dues-paying member for at least the next two membership years once it commences.

If you are not an ASA member but intend on becoming one in 2011, it is ok to support section status so long as you follow through and join ASA by Jan 1, 2011. 

 CSRN website: http://csrn.camden.rutgers.edu/  If you have any questions, contact Dan Cook dtcook@camden.ruitgers.edu
 
So finding time to blog is harder than I thought. I don't know why I thought it would be easy. Here is a quick round-up.
This video is going around this week, and I like how it ties in with some of the themes I teach around consumer culture, namely the notion of "manufactured need" and how production (and post-production and post-consumption) processes are obscured by the brand image. The video ends on a bit of a pollyanna-ish note though. Even if people are seeing through their need for bottled water, there are plenty of consumer products (and new ones all the time) that still end up as false needs for many of us, and brand image is still very powerful, and capitalism still requires expansion and new products and new markets.

Earlier this week, I gave a little talk/had a conversation with about 10 freshmen from the Honors House here at BC. They're required to go to various events/talks throughout the year, and I was asked to provide a little perspective on the sociology of popular culture. The organizer and I decided to focus on gay and lesbian (and GLBTQ) representations in the media after I shared that I usually use the wonderful documentary The Celluloid Closet in my course. It was a fun little hour. I was also joined by a senior representative from the new Queer Peers program at BC, which is intended to provide support to the queer community at BC. We watched some clips from Modern Family, Will & Grace, Current TV, and a clip about the Adam Lambert controversy. There are just so many interesting things to talk about in this area, since there seems to be progress in these representations, in terms of the number of them, and their seeming acceptance on mainstream TV- yet this often masks many of the ways this community still struggles for mainstream social inclusion. Hopefully, I was able to share something with these students that was new to them.

I didn't get to use this clip, but I really liked the portrayal of Justin's coming out and his first kiss on Ugly Betty the other week. Not only is he a rare portrayal of a non-white gay male, but his story has been handled with a real delicacy. And his first kiss ended up being a really sweet moment, all the more notable for the way it was really SHOWN. The camera didn't pull away, it was treated as important as any teenage first kiss might be treated on a TV show.
OK, off to the ANT class I am auditing, which I also want to write about soon.