Monthly Archives: July 2010

a philosophy cheat sheet for social theory

As I’ve been preparing to teach, for the first time, an Advanced Social Theory graduate seminar this fall, I’ve realized that it would be helpful to have a “cheat sheet” of philosophical terms useful for social theory. I am going to put one together and distribute it the first day of class. I ask you, […]

for profit education*

Today, almost tens of billions of tax dollars are being dedicated to funding for profit institutions that have little interest in their clients than extracting as much from them as possible. These institutions are not what you might think they are. They’re schools. And the live off government money providing almost none of the earnings […]

obesity and life trajectories

This morning NPR had a story about this study, which followed high-school grads to age 40. It uses “growth mixture models” (I’m not sure what these are) to identify two latent classes: one of “normative,” gradual growth in weight from normal weight at high school graduation to higher weight at 35 or 40, the other […]

the spiral of textbook costs

There’s a mildly interesting exchange on the NY Times website about textbook prices. The authors and commenters hit most of the pertinent facts, with a fair sprinkling of misinformation as well (like implying that the typical textbook

ask a scatterbrain: setting up talks

So, now that the book is coming out soon, a bunch of people have said, “you should set up talks.” Here’s the thing: I don’t know what this means, or how to do it. I mean, it’s not like I can show up in LA, drop by UCLA, and say, “hey there! here to give […]

rape by deception

I haven’t seen much press about it here, but upon returning from Israel a few of my colleagues told me about a court case that shows the salience of race and racism in Israel. The story is this: a man and a woman had sex. Both willingly. But the man had lied. He introduced himself […]

helpful advice

From CNN, an article on road rage. Below a picture of road rage, the author provides a helpful tip. “Close your eyes and think of something calming if anger is flaring up, experts say.” While driving? Well, if experts say so…

dreklet on the way

I’m on vacation for a week and I miss all the big news: Drek and Wife are expecting! Congratulations, Drek!

the boy who cried FAST!!

May 11: Subj: 2010 ASA – Housing Is Open and the ASA Hotels are booking up FAST!! June 11: Subj: 2010 ASA – Housing Is Open and the ASA Hotels are booking up FAST!! July 16: Subj: 2010 ASA Housing – Hotel Rooms Are Booking Up Fast!

ask a scatterbrain: course material online

I understand that many of you folks have experimented with blogs in your class. I have been thinking about trying to structure my classes in ways that opens them up to a broader community. I’ve been looking at MIT’s Open CourseWare (which now has over 2000 courses online!), as well as some of the things […]

in case you’re wondering what to buy me before asa

I want this.

ask a scatterbrain: qualitative informants

I’m posting this question for a friend. I suggested for a project she’s working on that she consider asking focus group participants about what they think others might say about the same issues. The idea is to think about these (relatively few) respondents as informants about the field in which they move. In this case, […]

adjudicating between networks and taste

I just read Frédéric Godart and Ashley Mears’ article in Social Forces, “How Do Cultural Producers Make Creative Decisions?: Lessons from the Catwalk.” The article is based on both ethnographic work and an interesting network analysis of fashion design firms “linked” by contracts with the same models.


I wonder if we could start a blogcast series this fall in which sociology job candidates with multiple offers announce their decisions live on Scatterplot. Anybody know how to do streaming live video in WordPress?

canada dumps long-form census

I’m a little late catching up to the news, and dismayed to learn about the unexpected decision by the Industry Minister to stop administering the long form of the Canadian census to 20% of households. The Minister cites the desire to avoid invasion of privacy, which would be laughable if it weren’t so sad, as […]


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