Frequently Asked Questions

What does Stimpunks mean?

Stimpunks combines “stimming” + “punks” to evoke open and proud stimming, resistance to neurotypicalization, and the DIY culture of punk, disabled, and neurodivergent communities. Instead of hiding our stims, we bring them to the front.

Everything that was normally supposed to be hidden was brought to the front.

Source: Punk subculture – Wikipedia

Stimpunks follows the terms cripple punk and genderpunk.

It’s about rejecting pity, inspiration porn, & all other forms of ableism. It rejects the “good cripple” mythos. Cripple Punk is here for the bitter cripple, the uninspirational cripple, the smoking cripple, the drinking cripple, the addict cripple, the cripple who hasn’t “tried everything”. Cripple Punk fights internalized ableism & fully supports those struggling with it. It respects intersections of race, culture, gender, sexual/romantic orientation, size, intersex status, mental illness/neuroatypical status, survivor status, etc. Cripple Punk does not pander to the able bodied.

Source: Urban Dictionary: Cripple Punk

Before I discovered Cripple Punk – a term originating as an angry post on someone’s blog and transforming into a global movement for disability pride – it never occured to me that I could like my leg braces.

Source: Cripple Punk: The hashtag that helped me wear my disability with pride | Life

Genderpunk: a colloquial term for culture and resistance against gendernormativity; an identity that in and of itself is a resistance against gender norms, homophobia and transphobia, oppression and societal status.

Your gender has nothing to do with your eligibility to be genderpunk. If you agree with the mindset, no matter how you identify, you can be a part of the movement. 

Source: Have A Gay Day : What is ‘Genderpunk’?

What is stimming?

Self-stimulatory behavior, also known as stimming and self-stimulation, is the repetition of physical movements, sounds, or words, or the repetitive movement of objects

Source: Stimming – Wikipedia

Stimming is a necessary part of sensory regulation. Stimming helps keep me below meltdown threshold. “Stimming is a natural behavior that can improve emotional regulation and prevent meltdowns in stressful situations.” “Let them stim! Some parents want help extinguishing their child’s self-stimulatory behaviors, whether it’s hand-flapping, toe-walking, or any number of other “stimmy” things autistic kids do. Most of this concern comes from a fear of social stigma. Self-stimulatory behaviors, however, are soothing, relaxing, and even joy-inducing. They help kids cope during times of stress or uncertainty. You can help your kids by encouraging parents to understand what these behaviors are and how they help.

Source: I’m Autistic. Here’s what I’d like you to know. – Ryan Boren

We have five external senses:

  1. Taste
  2. Smell
  3. Touch
  4. Sight
  5. Hearing

And three internal senses:

  1. Proprioceptive
  2. Vestibular
  3. interoceptive

We engage those senses with stimming for a few reasons:

  1. Self-regulation
  2. Sensory seeking
  3. Expression

while stimming I am able to unravel the everyday ordinary barrage of sensory and social information that becomes overwhelming.

Source: The Predictability, Pattern and Routine of Stimming | Judy Endow

What is digital sociology?

The gospel of the new economy is the transformative power of a diverse, genuine network.

The price of relevance is fluency.

Chance favors the connected mind. Opportunities for serendipity increase with bigger, more diverse networks. Build personal learning networks. Expose yourself to new perspectives. Listen in solidarity. Be in the space. When we seek perspectives different than our own, share hunches, and connect ideas, we participate in created serendipity.

Yet these seemingly serendipitous events, are also based on our willingness to create connections and be in the space, and to put in the effort in the first place.

I often tell people that if you start connecting with others in online spaces, you won’t just find great ideas, but the great ideas will find you.

Source: Created Serendipity – The Principal of Change

Serendipity is strongest in the streams emerging from the intersections of multiple networks. These streams “are the opposite of extractive: they are open, inclusive and capable of creating wealth in non-zero-sum ways.They are where our systems are best understood.

The tools of digital sociology help us be in the space. The tools of digital sociology help us understand and serve our clients and customers.

There’s a constant complaint from people in positions of power, mostly men, who keep making the ridiculous assertion that they’re not able to speak in public. What they actually mean is they no longer understand the basis of the criticisms they face. And it’s a phenomenon we see from so many people who have a public platform, whether they’re CEOs or comedians or other cultural figures.

Some of this is a familiar issue: the powerful think that ordinary people have no right to criticize them. There’s nothing new there, and certainly a lot of the dismissive reactions are simply these people thinking that they’re better than their critics, and so don’t have to listen to the pushback. But even those who think they should still be at least pretending to take feedback from the public are mystified by what they’re hearing.

But there is something new that’s also helping cause all this fuss: the rate of change in culture is increasing.

Suddenly, even the most powerful people in society are forced to be fluent in the concerns of those with little power, if they want to hold on to the cultural relevance that thrust them into power in the first place. Being a comedian means having to say things that an audience finds funny; if an audience doesn’t find old, hackneyed, abusive jokes funny anymore, then that comedian has to do more work. And what we find is, the comedians with the most privilege resent having to keep working for a living. Wasn’t it good enough that they wrote that joke that some people found somewhat funny, some years ago? Why should they have to learn about current culture just to get paid to do comedy?

Here’s the thing, though: It’s not that hard. It’s not difficult at all to ask people how they want to be identified. It’s not tricky to listen to what people are saying about their concerns and their issues, and to try to understand what that means about how culture is evolving. It’s not hard at all to be humble about unfamiliar aspects of society and ask for information in respectful ways, then take those responses into consideration going forward.

And in fact, that’s the simple price of continued cultural relevance. If someone wants to maintain power in culture, all that’s required is a sincere and honest engagement with those who are granting that power through their attention and support. All it takes is a little bit of curiousity and some basic human decency, and any of us who are blessed with the good fortune to have a platform will get to keep it, and hopefully to use it to make things a little better for others.

Source: The price of relevance is fluency

But, there is something sociology must do. It is our disciplinary imperative to understand societies. Just as communication studies understands forms of communication, sociology must understand the social. If we have learned anything from internet studies it is that the internet is central to every form of social interaction in advanced modern societies. It is moving capital, reshaping global flows, building new institutional forms, reshaping firms, shifting our forms of social interaction and impacting our concept of the self. If internet studies is right, and I believe it is, then to understand modern societies we must understand what about the society is digital.

Source: Why Is Digital Sociology? – Tressie McMillan Cottom

As I see it, digital sociology will:

observe macro changes in the digital society

observe changes in institutions that shape the digital society

observe and explain the effect of macro and institutional changes on groups

observe and explain micro effects and the everyday life of the digital society

Source: How Digital Sociology? – Tressie McMillan Cottom

The sociological imagination, as C. Wright Mills described it, is the task of comprehending the ways in which biography and history, the individual and society, intersect (Mills, 1959).

Digital technologies simultaneously offer liberatory possibilities for destabilizing old hierarchies while at the same time they create mechanisms for retrenching well-established patterns of inequality, stratification, and domination. It is through the recognition of this tension that we have come to see the need for the critical practice of what we now call “digital sociology” (Wynn, 2009; Orton-Johnson and Prior, 2012; Carrigan, 2013; Marres, 2013; Lupton, 2014; Orton-Johnson et al, 2015). Digital sociology provides a lens through which to understand the individual and society after digitization.

digital sociology is concerned first with social problems (social inequality, race, gender) and then with technology (Wajcman, 2002).

the need for digital sociology is now.

It is this inclination toward interdisciplinarity that Collins identifies that gives rise to digital sociology. “Digital sociology is best understood as an interdisciplinary practice,” writes Noortje Marres (2013). And this in line with how we think of the work collected here: making a contribution to digital sociology while drawing on an interdisciplinary practice. This collection is a response, in many ways, to Collins’ observation that as we become more interdependent and more interconnected, we need an interdisciplinary sociology to make sense of the networked world. A wide array of pressing social issues, and contemporary attempts to address them, make digital sociology necessary.

To understand such endeavors and the problems they are trying to address, we need scholars who are trained to understand digital technologies and who have sociological training that is linked to a politics of liberation. This “liberation sociology” takes the perspective of those seeking liberation from oppressive conditions, and is the framework from which we need to understand what it means to be a child that receives “one laptop” from a US-based non-profit or someone who uses an “app for their own good” coded by someone else (Feagin et al, 2015). As we conceive it, digital sociology is rooted both in interdisciplinarity and in the politics of liberation.

While the early days of the internet had many people, from commercial advertisers to esteemed scholars, contemplating how digital technologies might allow us to escape embodiment, few believe this now. As we move into the era of the Internet of Things, the digital realm is no longer a destination, somewhere to go that is separate from us, it is in thing, in us and on our bodies (Howard, 2015; Neff and Nafus, 2016).

Source: Digital Sociologies . Policy Press.

What is equity literacy?

With this in mind, my purpose is to argue that when it comes to issues surrounding poverty and economic justice the preparation of teachers must be first and foremost an ideological endeavour, focused on adjusting fundamental understandings not only about educational outcome disparities but also about poverty itself. I will argue that it is only through the cultivation of what I call a structural ideology of poverty and economic justice that teachers become equity literate (Gorski 2013), capable of imagining the sorts of solutions that pose a genuine threat to the existence of class inequity in their classrooms and schools.

Source: Poverty and the ideological imperative: a call to unhook from deficit and grit ideology and to strive for structural ideology in teacher education

We must avoid being lulled by popular “diversity” approaches and frameworks that pose no threat to inequity—that sometimes are popular because they are no real threat to inequity. The basic principles of equity literacy help us ensure we keep a commitment to equity at the center of our equity work and the broader equity conversation.

The Direct Confrontation Principle: The path to equity requires direct confrontations with inequity—with interpersonal, institutional, cultural and structural racism and other forms of oppression. “Equity” approaches that fail to directly identify and confront inequity play a significant role in sustaining inequity.

The Equity Ideology Principle: Equity is more than a list of practical strategies. It is a lens and an ideological commitment. There are no practical strategies that will help us develop equitable institutions if we are unwilling to deepen our understandings of equity and inequity and reject ideologies that are not compatible with equity.

The Prioritization Principle: In order to achieve equity we must prioritize the interests of the students and families whose interests historically have not been prioritized. Every policy, practice, and program decision should be considered through the question, “What impact is this going to have on the most marginalized students and families? How are we prioritizing their interests?”

The Redistribution Principle: Equity requires the redistribution of material, cultural, and social access and opportunity. We do this by changing inequitable policies, eliminating oppressive aspects of institutional culture, and examining how practices and programs might advantage some students over others. If we cannot explain how our equity initiatives redistribute access and opportunity, we should reconsider them.

The “Fix Injustice, Not Kids” Principle: Educational outcome disparities are not the result of deficiencies in marginalized communities’ cultures, mindsets, or grittiness, but rather of inequities. Equity initiatives focus, not on “fixing” students and families who are marginalized, but on transforming the conditions that marginalize students and families.

The One Size Fits Few Principle: No individual identity group shares a single mindset, value system, learning style, or communication style. Identity-specific equity frameworks (like group- level “learning styles”) almost always are based on simplicity and stereotypes, not equity.

The Evidence-Informed Equity Principle: Equity approaches should be based on evidence for what works rather than trendiness. “Evidence” can mean quantitative research, but it can also mean the stories and experiences of people who are marginalized in your institution.

Source: Basic Principles for Equity Literacy

Briefly, deficit ideology is a worldview that explains and justifies outcome inequalities— standardized test scores or levels of educational attainment, for example—by pointing to supposed deficiencies within disenfranchised individuals and communities (Brandon, 2003; Valencia, 1997a; Weiner, 2003; Yosso, 2005). Simultaneously, and of equal importance, deficit ideology discounts sociopolitical context, such as the systemic conditions (racism, economic injustice, and so on) that grant some people greater social, political, and economic access, such as that to high-quality schooling, than others (Brandon, 2003; Dudley-Marling, 2007; Gorski, 2008a; Hamovitch, 1996). The function of deficit ideology, as I will describe in greater detail later, is to justify existing social conditions by identifying the problem of inequality as located within, rather than as pressing upon, disenfranchised communities so that efforts to redress inequalities focus on “fixing” disenfranchised people rather than the conditions which disenfranchise them (Weiner, 2003; Yosso, 2005).

At the core of deficit ideology is the belief that inequalities result, not from unjust social conditions such as systemic racism or economic injustice, but from intellectual, moral, cultural, and behavioral deficiencies assumed to be inherent in disenfranchised individuals and communities (Brandon, 2003; Gorski, 2008a, 2008b; Valencia, 1997a; Yosso, 2005).

And this is the surest sign of deficit ideology: the suggestion that we fix inequalities by fixing disenfranchised communities rather than that which disenfranchises them. This, then, is the function of deficit ideology: to manipulate popular consciousness in order to deflect attention from the systemic conditions and sociopolitical context that underlie or exacerbate inequities, such as systemic racism or economic injustice, and to focus it, instead, on recycling its own misperceptions, all of which justify inequalities (García & Guerra, 2004; Jennings, 2004). It deflects our scornful gaze from the mechanisms of injustice and the benefactors of these mechanisms, and trains it, instead, on those citizens with the least amount of power to popularize a counter-narrative, just as the dominant “achievement gap” discourse draws attention away from underlying systemic conditions, such as growing corporate control of public schools, and pushes it toward “at-risk” youth from “broken” homes whose “culture of poverty” impedes them from “making it.” Deficit ideology defines every social problem in relation to those toward the bottom of the power hierarchy, trains our gaze in that direction and, as a result, manipulates the popular discourse in ways that protect and reify existing sociopolitical conditions (Brandon, 2003; Yosso, 2005).

Source: Unlearning Deficit Ideology and the Scornful Gaze: Thoughts on Authenticating the Class Discourse in Education

Attend to the practices, policies, and aspects of institutional culture that traumatize children at school

We must infuse trauma-informed education with a robust understanding of, and responsiveness to, the traumas of systemic oppression

Dislodge hyper-punitive cultures and ideologies

Being trauma-informed means consciously cultivating space in our mental models so that, even if we know nothing about a particular set of circumstances, we avoid the temptation to mindlessly apply rules.

Source: How Trauma-Informed Are We, Really? – ASCD