Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Scholarly Resources and Research materials #6

Sources Found Via Gale Virtual Reference Library

- Social Movements

  Source: International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. Ed. William A. Darity, Jr.. Vol. 7. 2nd ed. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2008. p603-608. 

- Student Movements
   Source: Encyclopedia of European Social History. Ed. Peter N. Stearns. Vol. 3: Social Structure/Social Protest/Deviance & Crime/Social Problems. Detroit: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2001. p301-310. 

- Protest
  Source: International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. Ed. William A. Darity, Jr.. Vol. 6. 2nd ed. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2008. p564-566.

Sources Found Via SAGE Reference Online

- Collective Movements and Protest
  Source: Markoff, John. "Collective Movements and Protest." Encyclopedia of Group Processes & Intergroup Relations. Ed. John M. Levine and Michael A. Hogg. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE, 2009. 104-11. SAGE Reference Online. Web. 20 Mar. 2012.  

- Social Movement Theory
  Source: Staggenborg, Suzanne. "Social Movement Theory." Encyclopedia of Social Theory. Ed. . Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE, 2004. 754-60. SAGE Reference Online. Web. 20 Mar. 2012.

Rutgers RIOT Review #5

The Rutgers RIOT Application is an internet based tutorial that effectively explains and demonstrates how to utilize the resources available to students at Rutgers via the libraries and databases owned by the school. It follows a simulation style approach to introducing the methods to conduct research via online resources and how to utilize certain keywords or databases in order to obtain the most relevant information for the desired research topic. I found it very enlightening in the sense that it explained many methods of finding and validating articles and how to utilize things such as the bibliography to further expand and locate more information. Overall it was a great application and I am glad I was exposed to it.

I plan on using the library resources to conduct immense amounts of research on my topic. I would like to access news paper articles and other periodicals and media available in order to gain a better perspective on events that occurred in the past at Rutgers and other schools throughout the nation and how the relate to what is occurring today and whether or not any of the protesting that has happened in the past was efficient and effective in completing or satisfying the goals that were desired by the protesters at the time. I definitely want to be able to utilize the databases to find valid and academically admissible content as well in order to maintain the strength and validity of my research paper.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Privatization and Protest #4

Privatization and higher education are gaining notice in the public eye and the direct result of this has been protesting at many colleges through out the world. Students are fighting back against the potential shift towards privatization by taking a stand. The fact is that privatization and protests will become more and more common as the shift progresses towards a privatized solution for the growing financial strain on public academic institutions. There are many questions that should be answered and such as who is investing in the institutions, what their motives are, why they are investing, what does private investment mean in the long-term for institutions and in the short-term. Protests and privatization go hand in hand, and currently students and faculty are trying their hardest to change the way things are headed. A quick google search shows close to a hundred different instances of students protesting against budget cuts and privatization. Protesting may be a means for the students of public institutions to defend their institutions from becoming privatized.

Questions I have for the Librarian #3

What do you think would be the most effective and efficient database to use for finding more information on protests at academic institutions?

Is there a website or school resource that can help make it easier to cite sources found on the internet and in the library?

Are there any specific books or records/newspaper articles that are accessible in the library that demonstrate a relationship between Protests and their successes or failures in the past?

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Guest Lectures at Rutgers *Extension

On friday the 24th I attended a conference presented by "The center for Cultural Analysis" titled,  "The Public University in the 21st Century". The conference was running all day and I missed most of it due to other classes however I did get to catch a lecture from a former professor of the Philosophy department at Middlesex University in the UK. He was initially planning on speaking on the philosophical and financial aspects of the private and public university however after the days talks he changed his direction a little bit. He explained the situation in England and other parts of Europe, a situation which is entirely possible in the future in the US. He described how many nations had completely gotten rid of their "boards of education" or similar entities and given all responsibility to divisions that handle economic and financial duties. These nations governments have laid out goals for increased privatization and the effects have been profound. The focus on vocational and technical skills has completely devalued the disciplins of the arts and humanities. People's primary focus, and the governments focus are on providing technical and specialized areas of education. The professor also explained that there is literally no federal or state level funding provided for institutions in England anymore which means that their cirriculum and faculty have lost the autonomy that they once enjoyed and tuition has increased "300 %", equivalent to about $15,000 at the minimum. The anger and protests in the UK are with good reason because the government has turned the Deans of institutions there into "managers" who are no longer academically tied to the school, their seemingly sole function is to provide an economically efficient product. The professor ended his discussion with a statement that implied that this is very possible and can happen here in the US if it is allowed to.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Where does the Moral Compass Point?

 "He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it." - Martin Luther King Jr.

Another big question that has come to my mind is this: Who decides what is moral and immoral. Is morality a construct of society, is it hardwired into our brains or is it something used universally to balance our actions?

In the case of privatization who decides what is "morally" right and wrong? Corporations are being portrayed as the bad guys but are they really bad guys? In their opinion privatization must be a good thing regardless of how much money it's going to make them. What about students? Why do we feel (if we feel anything at all) so infuriated about it? Is there an immediate distress caused to us? I think there is in the form of tuition hikes and increased strain on the education system however I believe in Darwin's theory of evolution as do most college educated students...so can this whole situation be viewed as a form of evolution? Is a "thinning" of the herd what is needed? Is nature trying to maintain balance...or is greed the root of all evil.

I think that this issue should be viewed by everybody from all perspectives. There may be many positives to privatization, now that may just be the business major inside of me talking but regardless is it a lesser evil than it's being conveyed as? The government doesn't have enough money, and if they give more money to the education system it will be a good thing, right?

When I think about people arguing that the state and fed need to spend more money on education I always have this same thought play in my head, this image...

You're driving to school, you're a commuter, and you hit a pothole...and another pothole, and another and another. What do you do? You get mad, you blame the Government. You say, "Why can't they fix these potholes, they have enough money to do it. Why don't they give more money fix the roads and potholes in New Brunswick?" It's like a paradox. If the Government were to give a lot, a lot  more money to the education system then I feel like us, the students, would find something else to complain about. I don't know if that makes sense to you but if it does, and you can grasp the gist of what I'm trying to explain then you may have a slight understanding of how I feel....

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Research Topic #2

After today's class discussion my interest has been aroused. I think I'd like to research and write about the effects of protest in a college environment. How the school acknowledges student protests and whether they are able to truly have any effect on the subject in question. I think it would be cool to interview some deans and faculty and learn their opinion on the effectiveness of collegiate protests and if they themselves lend their alleigence to the student body when and if they do protest. I also want to know how truly willing the general student body at Rutgers is to really protest. Is protesting something that has lost it's appeal for students in the 21st century. Can students coordinate using social networks and technology to make an effective protest and demand what we want and how willing are we to do it? I want to know how many people wake up everyday and ask themselves what they are going to do about something that they want changed. How many students know the proper methods to actually inhibit a change? Are there channels through which students can voice their opinion effectively in lieu of protesting. Can students acquire what they want to achieve without protesting like..what are the methods that can be used and will be heard by the faculty and deans.