Monthly Archives: January 2008

three lessons to young researchers from gang leader for a day

(Book available here.) 1. If you are going to test a survey in an obviously dangerous public housing project, do not have your first question be arguably the worst survey question I have ever seen. (here) 2. If you hear a person planning a drive-by shooting of another person, you are under a legal–as well […]

are we allowed to plug our stuff here?

To answer foodgirl‘s question: absolutely. To pull said plug from a long comment thread: My dissertation is about the foie gras controversies in the US and France and looks at the nexus of movements, markets, and the state in defining morality and virtue. My other project was about ‘virtuous food’ movements – the connections and […]


Belle Lettre asks me what the word “normative” means in sociology.  Norms figured heavily in my lecture on “Morals” just last week, so why not:

where his mouth is

I’ve said it’s the great thing about prediction markets: either you can accept their implied probabilities as correct, or you can show that your disagreement is not just prattle by trying to make money off their “errors.” A friend of mine, “J.,” has been sulking around complaining that the rest of the world does not […]

race names 2: caucasian

I just went along with a major report that uses the word Caucasian throughout (along with African American). I personally hate the word Caucasian, I associate it with scientific racism*, it seems smarmy to me, it makes my skin crawl. But I know a lot of people use it if they think the color names […]

what ever happened to…

That idea of Jeremy’s where grad students ask questions about things they’ve heard about the discipline, the job market, navigating grad school, etc.? And then folks who’ve been around the block chime in and answer. Wasn’t that going to be a regular feature of this blog? I really liked the idea. It was first suggested […]

the state of affairs.

Did anyone else watch the State of the Union address last night?

one of these things is not like the others.

The contents of my campus mailbox today: Corridor of Shame: The Neglect of South Carolina’s Rural Schools Cruel and Unusual: Sentencing 13- and 14-Year-Old Children to Die in Prison The Pacific Sociologist: January 2008

why i’m pro “animals and society” and think “the sociology of food” should be more central to the discipline

There, I said it. Beyond my friendship with Colin Jerolmack (“the pigeon dude”) who has guided me to respect the animals and society section, I just read Mark Bittman’s article in the NYTimes, “Rethinking the Meat-Guzzler” and thought to myself, “sociologists should work more on this relationship”. The Times has been doing a series of […]

comes in threes

Back when I was an undergrad, one would hear references to the “Holy Trinity” of sociology, meaning “Weber, Marx, Durkheim” (with the order perhaps switched around in ways that might or might not be telling about the speaker). Sometime between then and my first years as a faculty member, this changed so that when somebody […]


Even as scientists in the United States are calling for the presidential candidates to participate in a debate about science, and to take back the role of Science Adviser from its current status as a travesty, Canada announces that it will eliminate its National Science Adviser position. That is moving in the wrong direction.

jeremy’s sure been quiet lately

What’s with me? Don’t I have any ideas for posts? Actually, I have a great idea! Yesterday I read something by a sociologist that included this passage about her/his research process that I thought was so implausible and conveniently self-serving that the post calling it out practically writes itself. But, for political/niceness reasons, I’m not […]

books on blogs

The New York Review of Books has a piece reviewing ten books on blogs. Not great, but kinda interesting. We need to write more about superheros.

solve for x

Overheard:  “It’s a weird coincidence.  If you put all my positions on major political issues together, I’d say that I am farther to the left than x% of the American population, which means that I’m to the right of x% of the population of American sociologists.”

we hit our 100,000th view today

Next stop, 1,000,000!


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 223 other followers