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Image: pixabay.com

Image: pixabay.com

by Michael L. Rosino, Devon R. Goss, and Matthew W. Hughey

One only need picture the typical American corporate boss (white, male, and wealthy) in order to conjure up the history of discrimination and inequality within the business realm. Over the past few decades, business leaders have attempted to address these problems through efforts oriented at increasing diversity. For instance, in 2014, major tech companies including Google, Apple, Twitter, and Facebook released their diversity statistics in reports to the media under pressure from journalists and activists. While the reports revealed the overwhelming white masculinity of the modern corporation, the companies still framed their statistics as reflecting their commitment to diversity.

The release of these reports garnered media speculation about the causes of this lack of racial and gender diversity and the implications for the future of race and gender inequalities. Alongside news publications such as the New York Times and Washington Post, articles in business media outlets such as Forbes, Businessweek, and The Wall Street Journal also weighed in on “Silicon Valley’s Diversity Problem” as these elements of the 4th estate have long discussed diversity initiatives in the business world.

Despite the active discussion on the wide spectrum of abstract issues around diversity, business media outlets generally present business diversity in highly specific terms. Activists and scholars might argue that diversity—especially along the lines of race, gender, and sexuality in the business sphere—matters due to concerns about macroeconomic stability, ethical fairness, and/or social justice. However, articles published in business media outlets often discuss the merits of business diversity efforts solely in terms of the “business case” for diversity.

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Source: buffy.wikia.com

Source: buffy.wikia.com

Now that 55 million U.S. children are back in school, parents, teachers and school administration have been gearing up for the rest of school year ahead. However, one group of individuals who are often overlooked in our cultural imaginations of schools are the lunch ladies (also referred to as school food service employees). More importantly, this group of workers are poorly misunderstood and are often not considered at all. Not only are lunch ladies invisible in academic research, but they are invisible in our national conversation about the quality of school food.

It is important to draw our attention to the work of food service employees so that we may have a better understanding of how they impact children’s health. Although overlooked in considerations of children’s health, lunch ladies do have an impact on children’s lives each day.

When we do see portrayals of lunch ladies in popular culture, they are often portrayed as one-dimensional. This undermines our ability to consider lunch ladies as partners in improving children’s school meals. Based on a media content analysis, I have found that lunch ladies are more often than not portrayed as villains. Read More

It’s not easy being a social scientist during this election season, particularly if you like to feel well-informed.   I don’t know about you, but on many days I am confronted by a flood of information that I feel woefully underequipped to process.  Perhaps I should not let this bother me.  I tell students in my research methods class that good scientists should be comfortable acknowledging what they do not know.  It is just hard sometimes to take my own advice. Read More