Monthly Archives: January 2011

firsthand account of what’s going on in cairo

A great account from the NY Review of Books blog. From yesterday:

making social facts easy to understand

Below is a guest post from Nathan Palmer, creator of a site focused on spreading ideas and resources for teaching sociology. “Uh Professor, I think you are way off on this one. I know what your sociology research tells you, but people round here aren’t like that.” Teaching students to see beyond the individual […]

rip, milton babbit

Famous for writing, “Who cares if you listen?”* – an essay that reflected on the gulfs between composers listeners, Babbit was one of America’s great composers. He also taught Stephen Sondheim, which is a little hard to guess if you listen to his music. Here’s his second string quartet, which you can follow along with […]

frances fox piven under attack

January 24, 2011 Dear members of the Collective Behavior and Social Movement Section of ASA We write to express our outrage at the way in which our esteemed colleague, Frances Fox Piven, has been pilloried, even terrorized, by both the right wing media (most especially Glenn Beck of FOX News) and character-assassinating, vicious, right wing […]

ask a scatterbrain: crossover sociology

I am finally getting around to writing the second paper based on letters-to-the-editor data I collected in 2002 (!). I’m trying to decide whether to submit the paper to a sociology journal or a political science journal. Background: I think this will be a good paper, at least as important as the other one I […]

disingenuous men write disingenuous reviews

Alternative title: a too-long angry rant about how people (or the editors of people) with easily identifiable bugs in their bums when they write mean reviews should identify said bugs when they publish said reviews

my trip to the us consulate

Or, how the United States wasted a day of my life. Did you know that Americans with dual citizenship must declare the U.S. to be their “primary citizenship” (whatever that means) and must use their U.S. passport to enter the United States? I did not, but I have heard rumour that if a border guard […]

is civic literacy fiscal literacy?

From The Monkey Cage, I took the American Civic Literacy quiz. It’s tough but interesting – I got 100% right, which puts me slightly ahead of John Sides and Mike Munger. Which is kind of ironic, because Munger is a libertarian, indeed formerly a libertarian candidate for governor of NC (I don’t know Sides), and […]

boundaries of performativity, continued

Over on OrgTheory, a discussion of the apparent constancy of color perceptions morphed into a(nother) discussion of performativity and, by inappropriate extension, postmodernism and epistemological skepticism. Rather than hijack that post, I’m moving over here to post some thoughts and critique of Teppo Felin and Nicolai Foss’s paper, “Social Reality, the Boundaries of Self-Fulfilling Prophecy, […]

today’s arrival

Get your copy before they’re gone!

help wanted

I’m interested in identifying different adjectives that appeared in front of a particular not-uncommon noun in sociology. Think of, say, adjectives that precede “theory.” This search by no means needs to be exhaustive of anything, but I want it to be broad. So I’m trying to think if there is an efficient way to do […]

office hours (2)

Like Jeremy, I did an interview with the “office hours” folks about the book. I can’t bear to listen to it (I hate listening to myself being interviewed). But I recall the interview being really enjoyable. Thanks to Jon Smajda for doing it!

you’ve got the power to rank sociology

Brilliant idea by Kieran Healy and Steve Vaisey to invent a new ranking system for sociology programs: head-to-head matchups clicked by all of us mouse-wielding adjudicators of quality. Click here and spend the day voting on which program is better: Indiana vs. Harvard? Florida State vs. U of Minnesota? Cornell vs. Stanford? You make the […]

should i add postmodernism back into my theory course?

The postmodernism firestorm over on OrgTheory contains a delicious irony to me: I actually did not teach postmodernism the last time I taught my graduate theory course, for reasons much like Fabio’s #4: other theory seemed more relevant to contemporary sociological practice. When I teach the class again in fall ’11, I’m wondering whether I […]


Things you learn as department chair: Did you know departments pay to be listed in the ASA Guide to Graduate Departments? It’s $300–on top of whatever we pay to be a “Department Affiliate”–or roughly the cost of a fax machine for our graduate students. Does anybody use the Guide to Graduate Departments, or at least, […]


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