Sociology Culture


The sociology of culture concerns culture—usually understood as sets of cognitive meanings—as it is manifested in society. For Georg Simmel, culture referred to "the cultivation of individuals through the agency of external forms which have been objectified in the course of history".[1]

Cultural sociology first emerged in Weimar Germany, where sociologists such as Alfred Weber used the term Kultursoziologie which translated means cultural sociology.  Cultural sociology was then "reinvented" in the English speaking world as a product of the "cultural turn" of the 1960s.  This 'turn' ushered in structuralist and so-called "postmodern" approaches to social science.  This particular type of cultural sociology may loosely be regarded as an approach incorporating cultural analysis and critical theory. Cultural sociologists tend to reject scientific methods, instead hermeneutically(i.e.the art or process of interpreting) focusing on words, artifacts and symbols.

"Culture" has since become an important concept across many branches of sociology, including resolutely scientific fields like social stratification and social network analysis.  As a result, there has been a recent influx of quantitative sociologists to the field. There is now, after more than half a century of this development,  a growing group of sociologists of culture who are, confusingly, not cultural sociologists.  These scholars reject the abstracted postmodern aspects of cultural sociology, and instead look for a theoretical backing in the more scientific vein of social psychology and cognitive science.  "Cultural sociology" is one of the largest sections of the American Sociological Association. The British establishment of cultural studies means the latter is often taught as a loosely-distinct discipline in the UK. Wikipedia has a useful article on this subject for readers who would like a more extended discussion of the sociology of culture. (1) Levine, Donald (ed) Simmel: On individuality and Social Forms, Chicago University Press, 1971. pxix.


In a review of Michael Denning's book(London, Verso, 2004) Culture in the age of three worlds by Christine Boyko-Head we read that: "Within the last fifty or so years, culture, as a topic, has moved into the foreground of history, criticism, politics, current events and our daily lives. It is no longer merely confined to the quiet spaces of art institutions, or the yellowing pages and memories of the keepers of folktales and myths. An awakening occurred that "the masses had culture and culture had a mass . . . what's more culture mattered" (Denning, 1). It contributed and contributes to the wealth of nations in ways that move beyond the accumulation of treasures in museums, galleries and collections, and "the general process of intellectual, spiritual and aesthetic development" (R. Williams, Keywords, p.90, 1983.). It is, in fact, a way to "win the battle of democracy" (Denning, 225) as we see "new forms of struggle and solidarity in places we never thought to look" (Denning, 234).

Michael Dennings' book Culture in the age of three worlds discusses the rise of cultural studies as a phenomenon generated from the demise of the three worlds and the rise of global economies and politics. At the onset, Denning plays the role of the omnipotent sage analyzing and interpreting cultural developments over the last fifty years; Denning does not side with one definition of culture over another, one theory of its force, or manifestation in our evolving global civilization. Nor, does he answer Jonathan Tomlinson challenge that "What we need to understand is not what culture is, but how people use the term in contemporary discourse" (5). Go to this link at a free online journal Other Voices: The ejournal of Cultural Criticism  for more:

The following internet sites have some my posts on sociology and culture. If my posts are not immediately apparent when you arrive at the access page, just scroll-down a few lines and they will be visible.


In today’s world, there is no escaping the influences of globalization and technological advancement. These factors have led not only to a growing interconnectedness between people all over the world, but also to the development of technological hubs, which has lead to the
emergence of what one writer dubs 'technological metropolises'. These cities experience a form of migration that goes beyond the normal rural-to-urban migration, as people migrate to these cities from far away not simply because of the allure of urban life or the destitution of rural life but because of specific opportunities offered by the global and technological nature of the city.

Two distinct groups of people, it is argued in the following article, reside within these cities: the knowledge migrants who decided to move to the city because of the opportunities it provided, and the native population who are living in a city that is rapidly leaving them behind in its development. In order to understand how these cities affect the identity of their inhabitants, this article takes an exploratory look at the interaction of the attitudes and predispositions of these two aforementioned groups. The article looks at how the attitudes and predispositions of these two groups of people toward the changes taking place within these cities affect their identity formation.  This article explores what these technological metropolises mean to their inhabitants. For more on this subject go to that article entitled "
Technological Metropolises and Their Inhabitants" in the online technological journal Social Cosmos Vol 2(2011) at:


It’s not just reality TV shows telling us how to remodel, refashion & rework our homes & gardens. Reinvention is also being taken up by institutions, corporations as well as by politicians and governments who see the makeover as a way to turn their fortunes around. This idea of a fresh start or a clean slate is enticing but can we really expect instant transformation? Anthony Elliott examines a range of 21st century reinvention practices and reflects on modern life and the rise of frenetic living. Highlights of the reinvention revolution presented by the School of Sociology, ANU Canberra on September 2014 download the audio at:


The sociology of literature is a subfield of the sociology of culture. It studies the social production of literature and its social implications. A notable example is Pierre Bourdieu's 1992 Les Règles de L'Art: Genèse et Structure du Champ Littéraire, translated by Susan Emanuel as Rules of Art: Genesis and Structure of the Literary Field (1996). For more go to:  None of the 'founding fathers' of sociology produced a detailed study of literature, but they did develop ideas that were subsequently applied to literature by others. Karl Marx's theory of ideology was directed at literature by Pierre Macherey, Terry Eagleton and Fredric Jameson. Max Weber's theory of modernity as cultural rationalisation, which he applied to music, was later applied to all the arts, literature included, by Frankfurt School writers such as Theodor Adorno and Jürgen Habermas. Emile Durkheim's view of sociology as the study of externally defined social facts was redirected towards literature by Robert Escarpit. Bourdieu's work is clearly indebted to Marx, Weber and Durkheim


Part 1:

The year I began my pioneering-travelling life and the year before I took my first course in sociology, Jurgen Habermas, sociologist and culture theorist, published his book The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere(1962).  Habermas was, then, a student of the Frankfurt School of Social Research-which since the 1930s had been advancing a Marxist critique of western capitalism( go to this link to explore the meaning of this term: and its discontents.  Habermas wrote The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere (1962) to explore the status of public opinion in the practice of representative government in Western Europe.  Habermas defined the public sphere as a virtual or imaginary community which does not necessarily exist in any identifiable space. In its ideal form, the public sphere is "made up of private people gathered together as a public and articulating the needs of society with the state.” -Ron Price with appreciation to Jurgen Habermas, op.cit., p.176. For more on Habermas go to: For more on the Frankfurt School go to:

Through acts of assembly and dialogue, the public sphere generates opinions and attitudes which serve to affirm or challenge and, therefore, to guide, the affairs of state.  In ideal terms, the public sphere is the source of public opinion needed to "legitimate authority in any functioning democracy" -Ron Price with thanks to Paul Rutherford, Endless Propaganda: The Advertising of Public Good, University of Toronto Press, Toronto, 2000, p.18.

Part 2:

In that same year, 1962, I was 18 and my family moved to a nearby town about 10 miles down the road in the Golden Horseshoe of southern Ontario.  I did my matriculation studies.  That same year Jacques Ellul, sociologist, philosopher and theologian,  echoed Habermas' concerns in his Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes(1962).  Ellul's term "the propaganda of integration" included biased newscasts, misinformation and political education which worked over time to shape the individual to suit the needs of social mechanisms.  Ellul argued that propaganda is necessary in a democracy, even though it can, in the process, create zombies of its citizens. "Propaganda is needed in the exercise of power for the simple reason that the masses have come to participate in a wide range of ways in the political affairs."

In 1962 Herbert Marcuse, sociologist, philosopher and political theorist, was finishing his One-Dimensional Man: Studies in the Ideology of Advanced Industrial Society. This book analyzed the new "voice of command" used by managers, educators, experts, and politicians. This style of address, appropriated from advertising, had a hypnotic effect, argued Marcuse. The syntax of this "voice of command" speech and writing is abridged and condensed, giving the language more directness and assertiveness; it uses an emphatic concreteness, constant use of "you" and "your," and endlessly repeats images to fix them in people's minds. This style of rhetoric in Marcuse's terms creates the "one-dimensional" citizen, incapable of protest or refusal. -Ron Price, Pioneering Over Four Epochs, April 7th 2006.


I believe my journey, intellectual and otherwise, becomes more complete through the study of biography.   Our personal troubles are, partly, public problems. Such was the view of sociologist C.Wright Mills in his Sociological Imagination(1959) written the year I became a Baha'i.

It's about linking happiness
to understanding, keenness
of our tests, the test to be
happy and confident both
within and without the Baha'i
community, a whole of life process. forcing, you're not responsible
for the present condition in the community,
only a small part. Trust to the life processes
set in motion within our life in this Cause and
in your own dear life which seems to take the
whole of life to decode, process, interpret.

Ron Price
22 January 2002 to 8 July 2011


Part 1:

The term sociological imagination was coined by the late Columbia University sociologist, C. Wright Mills (1916-1962), in his book which bears that name. It refers to an ability to perceive the meeting places between histories that are vital to any mature sociological understanding, and personal biographies. To phrase it another way, it allows the researcher to view individual human lives as they are shaped by social structures, cultures, and histories.  Sociology, seen in this way, promotes a better understanding of the human condition through the study of social constructions beyond the individual level. Unfortunately, it appears as though Americans, in particular, with their enduring psychologism, that is, a bias toward explanations of human social behavior in terms of psychological categories, have difficulty in developing a sociological imagination.

The sociological imagination is a “quality of mind” and heart—which enables its possessor both to grasp the world and to be affected by it. This sociological imagination involves both reason and sensibility, reflection and feeling, thought and passion; and since these components are not isolated but in constant interplay, it above all involves what I wish to call ‘sensitive’ reason.  It is well known that the sociological imagination is that extraordinary “quality of mind” which enables us “to grasp the interplay of man and society, of biography and history, of self and world”, “to shift from one perspective to another” (from macro to micro, from politics to psychology, from a religious to a military organization), “to range from the most impersonal and remote transformations to the most intimate features of the human self—and to see the relations between the two”, and to understand “the intimate realities of ourselves in connection with larger social realities."

Part 2:

Mills’ social science is thus a humane social science, sensitive to the daily experiences of the ‘ordinary men’ he often refers to. Mills’ purpose in this attempt to connect with the men and women in the streets is not to flatter them with attention or to offer them some comforting promise; rather, by linking biography and history, individual and society, self and world, Mills sought to show, first of all, that underlying people’s experience of difficulty, anxiety or apathy and the troubles and issues they confront are the fundamental problems, the problems of reason and liberty, which are not only the imaginative sociologist’s problems but also theirs. He also sought to communicate this knowledge to ordinary women and men, for “the social scientist is not only an ‘ordinary man’”, and “his very task” is “intellectually to transcend the milieux in which he happens to live”. Ordinary women and men are one’s fellows whom one identifies with, not the altogether other of the ‘neutral’ observer, and our common humanity is here shown by the common fundamental problems we face. this is the Marxian side of Mills’ social science, the side driven by the quest for emancipation or, as he used to say, liberation, from alienating social relations.


I could place the following into the "Literature: Modern" or the "Sociology: Cultural Anthropology" sub-sections of my website. But the following interview with Professor Nancy Bentley who holds a Ph.D. in American literature and culture from Harvard University and chairs the Department of English at the University of Pennsylvania seemed relevant to this part of my website on "Sociology: Culture."  Bentley has published two books: Frantic Panoramas: American Literature and Mass Culture 1870-1920 (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009) and The Ethnography of Manners (Cambridge University Press, 1995 and 2007). She is also the co-author of Volume Three of the Cambridge History of American Literature as well as the Bedford Cultural Edition of Charles Chesnutt's The Marrow of Tradition. She serves on the Editorial Board of PMLA, ALH, andNineteenth-Century Literature; has received fellowships from Yale, Penn, Dartmouth, and Boston University; and has been honored with the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching. For this interview in Americana: The Journal of American Popular Culture(Spring 2013, Volume 12, Issue 1) go to:


According to R. E. Ewin in his 2002 article Reasons and the Fear of Death, death can be defined as an irreversible loss of consciousness, or capacity for social interactions. It is an irremediable feature of human existence. Individual and societal responses to death frequently imitate life, and provide a rich source of data for cultural studies of different societies. The rituals adopted for the disposal of human remains exemplify one of the most visible responses to death. Although the disposal of the dead is a universal practice, the methods of such disposal are often dependent upon certain attitudes that are socio-culturally determined.  In John Davies' book 1994 Ritual and remembrance: response to death in human societies, we come across the calculation that 100 billion humans have died in the last 10,000 years.

Of those that have died, relatively few retained a degree of personal fame or left durable monuments for posterity; their death was to some extent transcended in contemporary memory and literature. The urbane voices that reach us from the past come from the few who had opportunities to speak or act; which was at the expense of armies of faceless, nameless strugglers with little hope but that, in an afterlife, they might have a chance of a less grim existence. For more on this theme go to Niyi Awofeso's article "Burial rituals as noble lies – an Australian perspective," in The Journal of Mundane Behaviour, Vol. 4, No. 1, May 2003.


Fredric Jameson(1934- ) is an American literary critic, and Marxist political theorist. He is best known for his analysis of contemporary cultural trends. He once described postmodernism as the spatialization of culture under the pressure of organized capitalism. Jameson's best-known books include Postmodernism: The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism, The Political Unconscious, and Marxism and Form.  Jameson is currently William A. Lane Professor in The Program in Literature and Romance Studies at Duke University. In 2012, the Modern Language Association gave Jameson their sixth Award for Lifetime Scholarly Achievement. Most of my study of Jameson, since the 1990s when I taught sociological theory to students studying human services, has been under an umbrella of sociology rather than politics or literary criticism. For this reason I have placed Jameson and his work in this part of my website.  For more on Jameson go to:


Gun violence in the United States continues to far outpace that in other developed nations. Since 1960, between 1 and 1.5 million Americans have died from firearms, either in suicides, homicides, or accidents. Statistics are complex and I leave it to readers with the interest to do some Googling to get more details and more accurate figures than the ones I present here.  By this grim metric, though, however the statistics are presented, the USA is unquestionably a world leader. The US firearms homicide rate is twenty times higher than the combined rate of the next twenty-two high-income developed nations.  Between 2000 and 2013, there were more than 30,000 gun deaths a year in the US, for an average of more than forty every single day.  Since 2001, the first year of the 21st century, there have been between 60,000 and 75,000 nonfatal gunshot injuries per annum. For some data from 1990: .....For more go to:


The contamination of High Art by Popular Culture; the infiltration of the Mainstream by marginal Subcultures; the interruption of Theatrical/ Literary Illusion by 'random' Reality; the challenge to the domination of 'conventional' Reality by the contamination of Illusion, by the subconscious drive, the Surreal; the visionary Romantic ethos as a challenge to the Protestant work ethic; Poor Art, poor materials as Anti-Spectacle; faux Populism and the 'ironic' celebration of cliché and all the rest.

All co-opted, celebrated and packaged side by side in the eternal present of the Museum, and inhabiting the same space as Big Brother and Little Britain,  magazine and mass Attention Deficiency Disorder; in a dystopian world where everyone is a celebrity (including artists) and everyone is a critic (excepting artists); both absolutely essential and totally disposable, both subversive and mainstream at the same time. The Triumph of Culture as the emancipation of banality. For more of this article at the online electronic journal, go to:


Confronting an anti-intellectual age of reality TV and talk show zoos, which cuts across social class boundaries while exploiting the poor and their problems for economic profit, critical sociology advocates the social scientific study of domination and oppression, as well as emancipation, that is, the liberation from oppression.
Critical theory is a school of thought that stresses the examination and critique of society and culture, drawing from knowledge across the social sciences and humanities. The term has two different meanings with different origins and histories: one originating in sociology and the other in literary criticism. This has led to the very literal use of 'critical theory' as an umbrella term to describe any theory founded upon critique. According to critical theorist Max Horkheimer a theory is critical in so far as it seeks "to liberate human beings from the circumstances that enslave them" (Horkheimer 1982, 244). For more go to:


Part 1:

A sizeable proportion of Doris Lessing’s(b.1919) devotees embraced her 1962 classic The Golden Notebook as their bible. This book has become her most famous and influential work, the story of a writer's divided selves: political, literary and sexual; an account of the breakdown of tradition, the importance of socialism and, in the late 1950s and early 1960s, of voting labour. "Everything's cracking up,” she wrote. The book sold millions of copies and anticipated the social shifts of the sixties. Her fans still look to her as some banner-waving outrider for the feminist cause with some words of wisdom on every issue under the sun.

But Lessing has grown very contrary in her late adulthood and old age, making statements and writing novels that have confounded her fanbase. Lessing says she plays with ideas in her books. “People are always asking writers for definitive answers,” she states, “but that's not our job." When asked questions she uses mischievous evasion tactics and iconoclastic stylings, signs of a mind that is restless, but not wandering, wrote one critic.

Part 2:

Lessing states that in the late 1950s there was an enormous energy in society.  In those years communism began to shred before the eyes of its committed adherents. Her book The Golden Notebook was about this shredding and about feminism. She says that her overriding concern when she writes is to get to the heart of some matter. "Books have been my life,” she states simply and with emphasis, “I was educated on them.'' She is not one of those writers who sits around worrying about posthumous fame. Much of her work has aspects that are autobiographical and she has written two volumes of straight autobiography, Under My Skin an
d Walking in the Shade.--Ron Price with thanks to “More is Lessing,” The Daily Telegraph, September 25, 2004.

The first world you remember
in the twenties and thirties has
disappeared as you say; even
socialism and liberalism, as
C.Wright Mills added back in(1)
’59, have lost their power to be
the centre and to hold the fort
for this beleaguered humanity
doing battle with the phantoms
of a profoundly, & quite wrongly
informed imagination & sinking
deeper into a slough of despond
and its endless gloom & doom.

And me, a child of that first 7 Year Plan
and the dawning of the Second Baha’i
Century—as you were marrying again,
finding communism and that new hope
for the world which would last only 15
years—one of your abandoned hopes
which seems to still spring eternal in
your breast—and, as if through some
fortuitous conjunction of circumstances,
we the people would be able to bend the
conditions of human life into conformity
with our prevailing human desires. I wish
you well, Doris Lessing with your hopes.

Sadly, I feel the foundations of your
confidence are frail containing some
desperation to believe, but not really
understanding the meaning and the
magnitude of the great turning point
of history we have passed and are
passing through....But, as you say,
Doris, writers do not really have all
the answers; it is high time people
stopped looking to them for their
so very often illusory prescriptions.

(1)  C. W. Mills, The Sociological Imagination, 1959.

Ron Price
18 October 2007 to 8 July 2011


Time, habit, tradition, an intimate knowledge of a way of life, metaphysical symbols, convictions, all must find some home in the creative imagination if it is not to starve and be tyrannized by the brontisaurissmus that is the technological society of our time. The withdrawal of all natural means for expressing the unity of personal life is the major cause of the distraction, irreligion, and unrest that mark the proletariat of all countries.-With thanks to Susan Langer, Philosophy in a New Key, London, 1948, p. 235.

It is such a little thing really: this feast,
a deepening, these books on the shelf,
a feeling of meaning, of shared purpose,
amidst all this endless distraction, community—
as much or as little as I want—and authority
internalized, although seen now, symbolized
in a place of beauty that brings fresh water
down from a falls of power and continuous
renewal. Individuality defined in interaction,
as indeed it must, in norms quite clearly seen
in complex social relationships, vivid and evocative
without which we are monstrosities;1 compelling
interdependencies, sparks of rubbing difference,
the search for community endless, richly coloured.

Ron Price
9 March 1997

1 John Dewey wrote that “individuals who are not bound together in associations....are monstrosities.” (Quoted in Robert Nisbet, ibid., p.140.)


Indigenous people are people defined in international or national legislation as having a set of specific rights based on their historical ties to a particular territory, and their cultural or historical distinctiveness from other populations that are often politically dominant. The concept of indigenous people defines these groups as particularly vulnerable to exploitation, marginalization and oppression by nation states that may still be formed from the colonising populations, or by politically dominant ethnic groups. As a result, a special set of political rights in accordance with international law have been set forth by international organizations such as the United Nations, the International Labour Organization and the World Bank.The United Nations has issued a Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to guide member-state national policies to collective rights of indigenous people—such as culture, identity, language, and access to employment, health, education, and natural resources. Although no definitive definition of "indigenous peoples" exists, estimates put the total population of indigenous peoples from 220 million to 350 million. For more of this overview go to:


Always use the word ‘Africa’ or ‘Darkness’ or ‘Safari’ in your title. Subtitles may include the words ‘Zanzibar’, ‘Masai’, ‘Zulu’, ‘Zambezi’, ‘Congo’, ‘Nile’, ‘Big’, ‘Sky’, ‘Shadow’, ‘Drum’, ‘Sun’ or ‘Bygone’. Also useful are words such as ‘Guerrillas’, ‘Timeless’, ‘Primordial’ and ‘Tribal’. Note that ‘People’ means Africans who are not black, while ‘The People’ means black Africans. Never have a picture of a well-adjusted African on the cover of your book, or in it, unless that African has won the Nobel Prize. An AK-47, prominent ribs, naked breasts: use these. If you must include an African, make sure you get one in Masai or Zulu or Dogon dress.

In your text, treat Africa as if it were one country. It is hot and dusty with rolling grasslands and huge herds of animals and tall, thin people who are starving. Or it is hot and steamy with very short people who eat primates. Don’t get bogged down with precise descriptions. Africa is big: fifty-four countries, 900 million people who are too busy starving and dying and warring and emigrating to read your book. The continent is full of deserts, jungles, highlands, savannahs and many other things, but your reader doesn’t care about all that, so keep your descriptions romantic and evocative and unparticular. Go to for more:


Part 1:

This Latin expression, carpe diem, "seize the day," has been making the rounds in popular culture more frequently in recent years.  I write about this idea in the following prose-poem.  The Roman poet Ovid(43 BC to 17 AD) used the words 'carpe diem' in the sense of, "to enjoy, seize, use, make use of."  It is a misconception that it says "seize the day" partly due to an imperfect translation.(1)

Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson set to work early in 1963 putting their radio astronomy receiving system together. I had no idea at the time since I was 18 and studying nine matriculation subjects in the most demanding part of my formal education. My interest in sport and girls back then far exceeded my enthusiasm for either physics or astronomy. In the early months of 1963, as the Baha’is of the world were preparing to hold their first international election, these two American scientists, Penzias and Wilson, were most concerned about the quality of the components they were adding to the system they were developing. It was a system they had been given to do their work and the existing components of that system had superb properties for the work in which they were engaged.(2)

Part 2:

These two men began a series of radio astronomical observations so as to make the best use of the careful calibration and extreme sensitivity of their system. Of the various projects they were working on, the most technically challenging was a measurement of the radiation intensity from the Milky Way galaxy at high latitudes. This endeavor resulted in the accidental discovery of cosmic microwave background radiation. Wilson gave a detailed description of the development of their system in his 1978 Nobel lecture. Their discovery established the Big Bang theory as the unquestionable and leading contender by far for the explanation of the origins of the universe. For this discovery they were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1978. -Ron Price with thanks to (1) 
Charlton T. Lewis,(1890). "carpō". An Elementary Latin Dictionary, American Book Company, NY, and (2) Arno Penzias, “Autobiography,”; and Robert Wilson, Nobel Lecture, 8

The balance of opinion
was now shifting to the
Big Bang hypothesis,(1)
just as the apex was finally
placed on this System and
that charismatic Force was
finally and fully given the
seal of good-housekeeping,
institutionalized in a unique
victory of consolidation
beyond the reach of our
understanding in these years
at the start of the tenth,
the tremendously long
final stage of history
which was finally off
and running, in the first
Plan launched to which
we were asked, yet again,
to: carpe diem--seize the day;
seize the day and go forward.

(1) in the early 1960s

PS. Carpe diem was an important part of the philosophy of the apostle Paul as expressed in Philippians 3:7-16. Carpe diem, seize the day, has been an important part of Baha’i philosophy as I have understood it in my life. The Universal House of Justice wrote in its first Ridvan Message in April 1964: “we must seize the opportunities of the hour and go forward…..” Wellspring of Guidance, p.27.
  Robin Williams' character in the film Dead Poets Society (1989) says, "Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary." The American Film Institute ranked this line number 95 in its list of the 100 best quotations in American film history.   Robin Williams also played the centeral character in the film version of Saul Bellow's novel Seize the Day, American Film Institute (2005). "AFI's 100 Years…The 100 Most Famous Movie Quotes".  The TV series Community has paid homage to Dead Poet's Society's use of the phrase by having an annoying professor in the vein of Robin Williams, who over-enthusiastically makes his students "seize the day" to pass the class.