The Wire Shows Up in Many Classes

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A former Org Theory student, Evan Unger, sent me this story.

Interestingly, the classes aren’t just in film studies or media studies departments; they’re turning up in social science disciplines as well, places where the preferred method of inquiry is the field study or the survey, not the HBO series, even one that is routinely called the best television show ever. Some sociologists and social anthropologists, it turns out, believe The Wire has something to teach their students about poverty, class, bureaucracy, and the social ramifications of economic change.

I was at a cofnerence last year in Baltimore with a whole session on the show.  One of my favorite stories is that it is very popular in the UK and Germany.  I wonder how you translate the show into German?

What did you think about the portrayal of virtue and corruption amongst the drug gang (Stringer and Avon), Omar and Bump (the murder detective), and Stringer and the construction managers?

The article points out that professor like me use the show to present a view of urban life that students can relate to.  Wouldn’t, you know, going into impoverished areas be a better way to build empathy?

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Lunch With Dot Thompson

In preparation for writing my paper on The Smartest Guys in the Room, I met with the Management research librarian, Dot Thompson.  I arranged a meeting with her ahead of time through the Bertrand Library web page and she was thus aptly prepared to guide my research.  Dot guided me through the library’s databases and showed me three particularly helpful programs.  Continue reading

Child labor in India: Can organizations make a difference?

India has one of the fastest growing economies in the world; however it still suffers with poverty, illiteracy, highest child birth death rate, malnutrition, among others. When studying the country something that caught my attention was the amount of child labor occurring in the country. Many companies have suppliers in India and I began researching if they have been doing something to help this growing problem. To my surprise, a lot of suppliers alleged that providing jobs to children was part of the Indian culture. However, do you think that an 8 year old heading to work considers that part of their culture? Furthermore, why are these children working at such a young age? Continue reading

“Gendered peer effects”

I read an interesting article this week, “Gendered Peer Effects”.  Though this article is about schools and student performance, I feel the points mentioned can be directly related to all organizations and what they need to do to make sure they reach their goals.  The main topic of the article is how the “bad peers” in a group, in this case a classroom of students, has the largest effect on the performance of that group.  “We show that a large fraction of “bad” peers at a school – as identified by students in the bottom 5% of the ability distribution – negatively and significantly affects the cognitive performance of other schoolmates.” This should present an important new goal for management: how do they deal with the bottom 5%? Continue reading

As School Exit Tests Prove Tough, States Ease Standards

I chose this article mostly because I am from California, a state whose public school are at the bottom of the barrel.  Obviously, something has to be done to get students more interested in learning.  It seems that the general policy (and this isn’t really based of of anything specific) is to dumb everything down so everyone can do it.  In California, a handful of my friends attended public school and this is the consensus that they’ve all come to.   It is undeniable that this is a problem, but how can it be fixed.  My article talks about one way our government is trying to fix the public school systems. Continue reading

My participation isn’t low… my connection is slow! Revisited

I chose to evaluate the post “My participation isn’t low… my connection is slow!” which looked into the use of Second Life and other virtual worlds for the classroom.  This was very interesting to me because my cousin is in an advanced nursing program, which uses Second Life for lectures and office hours. I also find the concept of being able to “attend” class while geographically being located anywhere that you have an internet connection very intriguing.  I also found the use of humor in the beginning captivating enough to want to read more.  The article was interesting because it touched on the idea of people evolving as technology evolves.  Technology that is new affects people differently depending on how old they are when it comes out.

Continue reading