Monthly Archives: March 2011

response from tomaskovic-devey

I’m at PAA, where the dues are cheaper and conference registration comes with a free drink ticket. Don Tomaskovic-Devey, former secretary/treasurer of ASA, wrote a response to my post complaining about the Footnotes article on the dues increase. It was a long, thoughtful response and so deserves to be linked from a post. I thought […]

asa dues petition: call for participation

Anyone who is interested in crafting the wording of the petition or making decisions about whether anonymous signatures should be allowed, etc., should email Ezra at ewzucker [a t] mit [d o t] edu by 8am Thursday. When all decisions are made, we will circulate a petition and everyone can decide whether they would like […]

more re: asa dues increase

Given that we have a couple of other posts today, I don’t want to push them down the page too much, so I’ll put this after a jump. But, I looked up the ASA Council minutes regarding the dues increase:

ask a scatterbrain: mentoring

A question about mentoring, sent to me: I’m a new assistant professor at the end of my 2nd year at a R1 university. Research is fine. Teaching is fine. But I’m having a really hard time figuring out how to manage research assistants. I suspect that the first thing you will tell me is this: […]

going after email

Wisconsin Historian Bill Cronon’s NYT piece criticizing Wisconsin Republicans for their “radical break” got a lot of play earlier this week. Behind that piece was a March 15 scholarly blog post sketching the recent history of the Republican Party and the key role of the American Legislative Exchange Council in planning strategy. (The blog post […]

proposed asa dues increase

Anybody else notice that ASA Council’s proposal for updating the income brackets for ASA membership implies a hefty dues increase? Keep in mind that Council cannot approve a dues increase larger than cost-of-living without membership approval. Note that the main increase in progressivity is differentiating the $70K+ category. The ASA footnotes article provides this long, […]

libya, the deficit, and morality in politics

I know I am defecting from my usual comrades here, but I find myself pretty sympathetic to American involvement in Libya in this situation. It’s hard to argue that a dictator may threaten and carry out mass murder without consequences, and it’s hard to argue that the major military power in the world need not […]

the return of the nrc rankings

The much-maligned NRC graduate program rankings dropped quickly from many radar screens. However I was part of a committee that produced a detailed, very critical report for the ASA Council, which is receiving a bit of press. I do think it was important to note the dramatic deficiencies of the rankings, even though UNC basically […]

npr and federal funding

By now it’s common knowledge that Ron Schiller, NPR’s already-lame-duck fundraising executive, was punk’d by serial liar James O’Keefe. The scuffle over Schiller’s inconvenient truth-telling about the Tea Party notwithstanding, Schiller’s off-the-cuff comment that NPR would be “better off” without federal funding is interesting. Although this puts me in the “wrong” camp, I’m inclined to […]


After insisting for three weeks that smashing public worker unions is a necessary “budget repair” measure, the Wisconsin Republicans went into Executive Session this evening to delete the fiscal parts of the “budget repair bill” (which lack a Constitutional quorum without the absent Democratic Senators) and voted to pass the non-fiscal parts, including most collective […]

ask a scatterbrain: recent theory books

All right folks, it’s spring break which means it’s also time for me to think about what books to order for fall. On the docket this time around: a revamped introduction to sociology and graduate theory. For graduate theory, I’m looking for recommendations for recent (last 2-3 years) important theory books linked to current practice […]


FYI I posted an essay over on my own blog that contrasts the pro-protest ethos at my church (reflecting on it) and a meeting about teaching Black youth not to talk to police. There is sociological reflection on communities of discourse and repression, but it is a reflection, not an academic essay. It seems too […]

teaching deviance by doing nothing

Below is a guest post from Nathan Palmer, creator of a site focused on spreading ideas and resources for teaching sociology. Want to teach your students about norms, deviance, and the social construction of reality in a way that they’ll never forget? Try Doing Nothing, literally. Have your students silently stand in a public […]

tally’s corner, then and now

The New Deal Carry-out shop is on a corner in downtown Washingon, D.C. It would be within walking distance of the White House, the Smithsonian Institution, and other major public buildings over the nation’s capital, if anyone cared to walk there, but no one ever does. Across the street from the Carry-out is a liquor […]

madison: now what?

Preview: I wrote this chronologically. At the bottom I give extensive discussion to an incident in which a Republican was surrounded by an angry crowd, an event that is likely to get circulated in some arenas. Quite a day. Despite a court injunction issued this morning that the Capitol should be open, the Capitol stayed […]


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