Archive for March, 2008

Links for 2008-03-24

Monday, March 24th, 2008

links for 2008-03-20

Thursday, March 20th, 2008

links for 2008-03-19

Wednesday, March 19th, 2008

links for 2008-03-17

Monday, March 17th, 2008

Girls and money

Sunday, March 16th, 2008

I bought some Girl Scout Cookies on a street corner yesterday. The box says: “The Girl Scout Cookie Program promotes financial skills such as goal setting, decision-making, customer-service and money management.” Okay, I buy it. I mean, literally, I have bought numerous boxes this season (and the last, and the one before that, etc.).*

But there was an interesting part of the experience this time that I thought was worthy of a note. Two girls were selling the cookies (with two women who were presumably their mothers behind them), but a little boy was next to them handling the money. The boy was clearly younger, probably the little brother of one of the girls. I think it’s great that he’s learning math and dealing with money. He should learn about things of that sort. But wait, wasn’t the purpose of this program to help girls learn such skills?

The incident reminded me of an anecdote in Babcock and Leschever’s book Women Don’t Ask:

Once, when their daughter was three, Linda stopped in a drugstore for something and the child saw a stuffed animal she wanted. “Do you have enough money to buy that for me, Mommy?” she asked. “Do girls have money, or is it just boys that have money?” Linda was horrified. Their family habits had unwittingly communicated to their daughter that men control money, not women. She and her husband now make sure that their daughter sees Linda paying for things frequently; they also bought their daughter a piggy bank so that she can have money of her own.

Again, I’m all for little boys learning about money and arithmetic, but the purpose of this program is that girls learn related skills. Given all the situations in everyday life where men are the default for handling money, it would seem important to emphasize girls’ exposure to it in the context of a Girls Scouts program.

To be sure, the girls were quite active in the selling process (attracting folks to the table, offering samples) so it is not as though they were passive observers. But if anything, this suggests that they were not shy to interact with the customers and thus could have been given the responsibility of handling the money. I only recognized these dynamics after I left the table. If I’d been paying more attention, I would have just handed one of the girls the money. Next time.

[*] No worries, I don’t eat most of these cookies myself, I give them to the students in my lab. I also try to make some healthier snacks available as well, but these cookies tend to be pretty popular.

Links for 2008-03-15

Saturday, March 15th, 2008

Links for 2008-03-14

Friday, March 14th, 2008

Mini interview on Canadian radio

Thursday, March 13th, 2008

Usually, when I get invitations for talks or interviews with the press, the focus is my research. Last week, however, in an interesting twist, I got an email from the host of a Canadian radio show asking me to chat with her about my experiences with taking pictures of cheese labels.:) I was amused and was happy to talk. The interview is available here.
I’m glad Spark contacted me, because I didn’t know about the show, but am now happy to have it in my RSS feed reader. Spark taught me about speedcabling, something I’ll have to try in my lab one of these days.

As a mini-update for those not following me on Twitter (most of you, I presume), right now I’m on my way to the University of Minnesota to speak in the seminar series of their Institute for Advanced Study about my research. It’s a campus-wide talk with people expected in the audience from all sorts of departments, which should be fun. It’ll also be nice to catch up with some prominent sociology bloggers.

Links for 2008-03-13

Thursday, March 13th, 2008

links for 2008-03-11

Tuesday, March 11th, 2008

links for 2008-03-10

Monday, March 10th, 2008

links for 2008-03-09

Sunday, March 9th, 2008

links for 2008-03-08

Saturday, March 8th, 2008

links for 2008-03-06

Thursday, March 6th, 2008

links for 2008-03-05

Wednesday, March 5th, 2008

links for 2008-03-02

Sunday, March 2nd, 2008