With apologies to Howzi, from whom I ripped off the idea
Last night I caught the Show Veronica Mars for the first time, a show that as far as I can figure out is about some spunky young lady who solves mysteries, ala Nancy Drew, but is bit more cynical and shows more skin than I ever remember Mz. Drew doing. Anyway, in last night's episode, there was a powerful guest spot from Dan "Homer Simpson" Castellaneta as a...wait for it...sociology professor. Now, for the record, he did not wear a leather jacket with tweed elbow patches on it, only to find out that it's supposed to be a tweed jacket with leather elbow patches, thereby ruining a perfectly good jacket (correction, two perfectly good jackets!).
In the episode, the hard-assed sociology prof tempted his students into spending a weekend recreating the Zimbardo prison experiment (well, they didn't call it that, but 'taint to many people who did that exact study) with promises of not having to do the final paper. This got me thinking about two interesting ideas for teaching. The first would be submitting students to studies that would never pass the IRB instead of making them do papers I have to grade.
But the other thought was about how you rarely see sociology profs portrayed on television, or hear about sociologists in general. As Uggen recently pointed out, there are many famous sociology majors floating out there, form Dr. King, to Joe Theisman, to Regis, to Pete Seeger, and even the Gipper himself, Ronnie Reagan. While every list you can find wih a quick and easy google search turns up the same list of names compiled by the ASA a few years back, surely there must be famous sociology majors missed by that one list. It has now become my mission to find those people, and out them for the sociologists that they are.
The sad thing is, I'm legitmately kind of excited about this. Sigh...