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News stories tagged with "sociology"

Sociologist Douglas Harper
Sociologist Douglas Harper

The moral economy of milk: lessons from Italy

In the 1970s, Douglas Harper moved to Madrid in St. Lawrence County. He started documenting the family farming traditions of 50 contiguous dairies. He was especially interested the concept of "changing works," neighbors pooling their labor to get big projects done, like harvesting or barn-raising. In 2001, Harper published a book about what he saw, called Changing Works: Visions of a Lost Agriculture. Now Harper's a sociologist at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. He returns to the North Country Wednesday to speak at SUNY Potsdam. He's about to release a new book about more small, sustainable dairy farms, these in Italy. Harper told David Sommerstein American agriculture needs to reclaim what it lost when farms got bigger and bigger.  Go to full article

Exploring Kerouac?s On the Road

35 SUNY-Potsdam students hit the road this week for an audio documentary project to explore the places that inspired Jack Kerouac's book, On the Road. 2007 marks its 50th anniversary. Dr. Audrey Sprenger says the students will read Kerouac's writings as if they were maps and then follow these maps out into the world to the places where they were set - San Francisco, Denver, Chicago, New York City and Lowell, MA. Sprenger told Todd Moe that the students will document the people they meet using words, sounds and images, and add their own chapters to the story of American life.  Go to full article
Oil escaping the containment boom around the NEPCO barge.
Oil escaping the containment boom around the NEPCO barge.

Slick of '76: The Social Impacts

30 years ago today, on a foggy morning, the NEPCO 140 barge hit a shoal in the St. Lawrence River near Alexandria Bay. The barge spewed 300,000 gallons of thick, gooey oil into the river. The "Slick of '76," as it's known today, stretched as far downriver as Massena. It remains among the largest inland vessel oil spills in the United States. Next week on The 8 O'Clock Hour, we'll hear from the people who saw the spill unfold, the people who helped clean it up, and the people who are passing on the memories of the oil spill to a new generation. Today, Martha Foley talk with someone who tried to measure the Slick of '76 in human terms. John Omohundro is a professor of anthropology at SUNY Potsdam. In 1976, he got a grant from the Coast Guard to study the spill's impacts on people's work, their recreation habits, their social networks.  Go to full article

Air Conditioning & Upstate's Decline

Many people are grateful for air conditioning in their offices and homes when temperatures rise, but air conditioning has had a negative effect on much of the Northeast. A new book devoted to the history of air conditioning says artifial cooling is a contributing factor to upstate New York's economic decline during the 20th century. Karen DeWitt reports.  Go to full article

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