A conversation between a seasoned sociologist, Social Monster, and a sociology neophyte, Generic Asian Man.

I started making the Social Monster Comic series during the first few years of coursework of my Sociology PhD when I experienced culture and class shock in my program. Graduate students and professors were speakng academic jibberish, making grand claims about the world and knowledge and then often thinking that they were better than other people who didn't understand their theories! I realized was that all these people in my program were studying "society" but most of them didn't know shit about everyday life out of the confines of the university walls.

Drawing these cartoons during seminars was a fun way for me to learn sociological concepts and served as a therapeutic process to deal with the absence of time and space in graduate school. I have a backlog of cartoons to upload! But here's a few for now.


Social Monster #8 - Sociologist Working for the White House

crazy monster blank mr. president crazy monster blank mr. president

crazy monster blank mr. presidentcrazy monster blank mr. president

crazy monster blank mr. president

crazy monster blank mr. president

Social Monster: Hi, I'm a premier sociologist who has published in the top sociology journals of the world. I would like a job as the first federally approved Sociologist with the Obama White House Administration.

White House Man: Ok, please suggest a hypothetical poilicy to fix our relationship with the middle east.

Social Monster: My plan would be to explain to all that political problems are socially constructed. Once we understand how we are structered by structered structures, we can undo the structures that structure us.

White House Man:  Hmmmm... don't think the White house needs your services right now.

Social Monster: But the USA needs a sociologist!

White House Man: Why?

Social Monster: Sociologists understand society better than anyone! That's why we avoid society!


Social Monster Cartoon #7 - The Applied World

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Picture 8


Social Monster: Congratulations on your new sociology Phd. You are now a deemed an EXPERT of racial inequality in low-performing,  racially heterogenous,  mid-sized, Episcopalian, public high schools of Alabam


Social Monster: Which university will you be teaching at?

Generic Asian Man: I'm going to become the principal of the lowest performing high school in Birmingham, Alabama.

Social Monster: WHAT, you'll be working in the applied world? Just because you are an expert on the problem doesn't mean you should solve it!  Society is not place for a trained sociologist. Your degree has been revoked.


Social Monster #6: psychologist or sociologist?

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Generic Asian Man: Shit shit WTF I'm having a mental breakdown! Who shoudl I see? A psychologist or a sociologist?


Social Monster: How hard do you want to work?

Generic Asian Man: Not very hard

Social Monster: See a sociologist. A psychologist will blame you or your family - all which requires processing. A sociologist will balme your mental problems on society

Generic Asian Man: ok how do I find one?

Social Monster: Just apply to graduate school for sociology.


Social Monster #5 - It's All about Capital

Generic Asian Man:  I have more money than you!


SocialMonster: Oh Yeah?  I have more cultural capital than you!

Generic Asian Man:  I create your cultural capital!!

SocialMonster:  You little misrecognized structured bitch.

Background: I drew this cartoon during a seminar discussion on Pierre Bourdieu's Distinction. I become so depressed I read Bourdieu because it feels like no matter what, the working class or the marginalized are always screwed. To counterbalance my feelings,  I drew a cartoona la Bourdieu. To understand this cartoon here's a quick primer on Bourdieu.


Bourdieu tried to show that there are more ways than just using money to dominate people - and that people use "culture" to also reproduce their superiority. He conceptualized this as "cultural capital." For example, he said public education is a way social hierarchy is reproduced.  When a school sends their students on an art museum fieldtrip,  this can be an example of the  the dominant class enforcing their tastes upon the students of what is considered to be artistic and valuable for education.


Bourdieu was trying to point out that the contradiction with public education is that it's supposed to INCREASE equality, but instead it PERPETUATES inequality.  When teachers and textbooks force into black kids that they need to know about European art and memorize European history, this is one way of reproducing the hierarchy of whites on top and blacks on bottom.   Of course textbooks give Blacks one month for their anti-slavery  heros, and a chapter on third world Africa,  - and of course we say the West colonized Africa, but one month of heros or 1 chapter of lesson plans is not enough.  Even though we are past the plantation days,  school classrooms and curriculum ensure that racial superiority stays alive in more subversive ways.  It's all one big structure of structured domination! AHHHHH!

Social Monster #4 - Help Fire!

Crazy Monster #4: Sure I will Help!


Generic Asian Man: Help Fire!!! We need more help!!!


Social Monster:  Sorry I'm busy thinking.  But I will help you socially deconstruct the situation from a culturally materialistic Point-of-View ex post facto.

background: today is the second day of the San Diego wildfires.  Raquel, Kevin, Brian and I are sitting here working on our research while the rest of San Diego is burning down - of course we are online and keeping up with the news at the same time.  Raquel at one point said how much she now realizes firefighters are symbolic social heros.  She said although it's their jobs  - they are out there fighting the fires while we are working on our research proposals.  and then I said - well it's not like a bunch of sociologists would EVER agree to help a fire - we would only volunteer to help socially deconstruct the situation after the fires were done burning.  So with that story - I bring you Crazy Monster #4:  Sure I will Help!



Social Monster #3 - Be My Friend

Crazy Monster #3  - Be My Friend

Generic Asian Man: Can I be your friend?

Social Monster: No!

Generic Asian Man: Why?

Social Monster: Cuz I'm a sociologist, we don't need friends!
background: this is dedicated to my  Leah.  We are in the 2nd year of our 7year endeavor for world power. Leah has decided her dissertation will be about friendship networks.  However, when she told some professors about this - their first question was - why are friends important?  The professors werent' fishing for a theoretical answer, they literally just wanted to know what was the sociological significance of studying friendship. And this is coming from the mouths of sociologists who supposedly really understand society....hmmm and we wonder why sociologists don't exist outside of the confines of the university walls.  

Social Monster #2 - What do you want to be when you grow up?

Crazy Monster #2

Generic Asian Man: What do you want to be when you grow up?

Crazy Monster: I wanna be a Sociologist

Generic Asian Man: Have you met one before?

Crazy Monster: uhhhh shiiit...no!

Crazy Monster #1 - I'm a sociologist beeotch!

crazy Monster #1


Crazy Monster: I understand People better than you!

Generic Asian Man: Why

Crazy Monster: Cuz I'm a Sociologist Beeeotch!