S1 – Blog 04: The Gender Gap: What are the Greatest Concerns for Young Women Growing Up in Rural America?

We are pleased to share this interview with Dr. Lori Baker-Sperry from Western Illinois University Department of Women Studies.  We asked Dr. Baker-Sperry several questions concerning the topic of gender, especially in regards to rural America.  This interview prompted us to interview key community leaders to also share their experience with things like gender stereotypes and advice to women growing up in rural America today.  Dr. Baker-Sperry provided us with several links to her responses as well that you will find helpful.  We hope you enjoy and please contact us with any questions you might have. 

S1 – Blog 03: Notable Rural Americans – What Lessons Can We Learn from the Passing of John Mahoney?

Many Americans recognize beloved actor John Mahoney from his days as Frasier's dad, Martin Crane on the hit NBC sitcom.  However, most natives of Forgottonia may not realize that Mahoney actually lived in McDonough County for a time as a young man.  Although he was actually born in England and associated most with living in Chicago, he came to Macomb, IL to live with his sister where he studied at Quincy University and joined the army to help him become a citizen faster. 

S1 – Blog 02: Burma Shave Ads and Materialism: What are the Consequences of Conspicuous Consumption?

Burma-Shave was a brand of shaving cream famous for its humorous advertisements during the 1920s (check out the link here to see some examples for yourself).  They had a reputation sort of like Geico does today; a company known for doing unconventional commercial advertisements with their own quirky sense of style.  Yet perhaps another reason for their success lies not in the content of their ads, but new trends in American life in the 1920s that emphasized more materialistic values of status and wealth.  Or as sociologist and economist Thorstein Veblen called conspicuous consumption; spending money on luxurious goods to flaunt the wealth and status of the buyer.  

S1 – Episode 06: Education Puts Food on the Table: What Can We Do About Job Loss in Rural America?

We previously spoke with Forgottonia native Dr. Trenton Ellis about job loss throughout  rural America. In this interview Dr. Ellis mentioned factors like technology, globalization, and the lack of economic diversity as contributing to job loss. Since our talk with Dr. Ellis was so rich in material and we didn't want to depress you by …

S1 – Blog 01: The Big Five: What are the Biggest Problems Facing Rural America Today?

A recent podcast on NPR Ted Radio Hour asked the question ¨What are the 5 biggest problems in the world?¨ (you can listen to the podcast here or search ¨Ted Radio Hour¨ on iTunes or wherever you listen to podcasts). Let's take a closer look and then ask the question ¨What are the 5 biggest problems …

S1 – Episode 05: Value Pollution: Why Should We Ban Advertisements in School?

The following is a portion of the transcript from our interview with Tim Kasser about value pollution. On this edition we return to our conversation with Dr. Tim Kasser, a psychology professor at Knox College who is no stranger to rural living. We were extremely fortunate to speak with Dr. Kasser, he is the well-known …

S1 – Episode 04: Well-Being: Are We Happier in a Small Town?

We've explored a number of topics revolving around social problems we face in rural America, but just because we're studying problems in rural America doesn't mean everyone is miserable. Rural places are awesome places to live and there's endless amounts of great things going on. But here´s our essential question today -  can one make …

S1 – Episode 03: Job Loss: Why Are So Many Jobs Leaving Rural America?

From January 2016 to January 2017, the region known as Forgottonia lost approximately 2,775 jobs.  To learn why, we sat down with Dr. Trenton Ellis, a rural sociologist from Black Hills St. University.  Although he lives in Spearfish, South Dakota, Ellis is a native of Forgottonia growing up in Canton, IL and graduating from Spoon River College in 2005. After SRC, Ellis completed undergraduate and master’s degrees from Western Illinois University in Macomb.  In 2009 he matriculated to South Dakota State University’s Department of Sociology and Rural Studies where he graduated with a PhD in sociology in 2015. In 2016 he was awarded an outstanding Teaching Award at BHSU.

S1 – Episode 02: Child Abuse: Is Child Abuse in Rural America Worse Than Ever?

On this episode we wanted to share a cool experience we recently had in our psychology class. We were visited by the lovely Mrs. Karen Hahn a social worker from Psychology Specialists in Canton, IL. Karen’s visit is definitely consistent with our objective to examine the social problems we face in our own context of rural America; specifically these 16 counties in western IL referred to by many as Forgottonia. In fact if we want firsthand insights of what exactly the issues are and what it takes to overcome them, I’m not sure there’s anybody better to talk to then a social worker like Karen.