Author Archives: olderwoman

I’m a sociology professor but not only a sociology professor. It isn’t hard to figure out my real name if you want to, but I keep it out of this blog because I don’t want my name associated with it in a Google search. Although I never write anything in a public forum like a blog that I’d be ashamed to have associated with my name (and you shouldn’t either!), it is illegal for me to use my position as a public employee to advance my religious or political views, and the pseudonym helps to preserve the distinction between my public and private identities. The pseudonym also helps to protect the people I may write about in describing public or semi-public events I’ve been involved with.

sociology elevator talk

We met with our board of visitors (generally sociology majors who are now successful business people with a sprinkle of academics) and in talking about developing internships for sociology majors it was said that we need a paragraph blurb for what undergraduate sociology majors bring to a job. Employers tend to think of business or […]

empirical political sociology

Hi, Scatterplotters. I’ve got an inquiry from a social movements fellow traveler who has been assigned to teach political sociology after a long hiatus. She is dismayed to find that political sociology in sociology seems to have become entirely theoretical. She says: “I have been through most of the texts advertised on Amazon and even […]

asking for an appointment

One of my pet peeves is an email that says: “Would you be available for an appointment some time?” but does not give information about when that person is available. The answer to such a request is rarely “No.” This is really an opening gambit for and exchange that will involve finding a time to […]

interfolio, letters and such

I realize this is just another instance of a privileged person not knowing what is going on, but I have just become aware that the price to an applicant of having reference letters sent out via Interfolio is now $6 “per delivery” (which can be one letter or a whole set of letters or a […]

starting a new job?

This post in the Chronicle has great advice for people starting their first job. It reminded me that it has been five years now since I posted my own advice to new assistant professors, so with your indulgence, I’m linking to it again. I’ve been told often that it is well worth reading if you […]

how much do you charge?

Here’s an “ask scatterplotters” for mid-career folks. I got an email from a younger colleague that I don’t know the answer to: “I am being asked by a government contractor to provide an estimate of how much I would charge to write a white paper and two fact sheets. Do you have any clue what […]

liability insurance?

Someone asked me about liability insurance on research. The person is concerned about the risk of being sued for libel for research that makes a company look bad. The research is based entirely on publicly-available materials and truth would be the ultimate defense, but the company has a history of suing activists as a strategy […]

too many reviewers

I freaked out recently when, after reviewing an article, I received a packet of FIVE (5!!!)  reviews on the same article. I chewed out the editors for wasting my time and told them I would never review for their journal again. After an exchange (in which I got a little less testy), I told them […]

Words to numbers bleg

Dear Scatterplotters, I’m cross-posting an inquiry from my advisee and collaborator Alex Hanna regarding text parsing to convert qualitative descriptions of events into numerical estimates. I’ve done this myself in the past, but as a human coder using the text descriptions to do qualitative categorization of group size based on my best judgment reading […]

domestic violence & employment bleg

I got an email from a former student who is now working in an employment program and asked me about research on the problem that victims of domestic violence sometimes lose their jobs due to victimhood. She’s asking me for relevant research. We know about Matt Desmond’s work on victims of domestic violence getting evicted, […]

session organizer bleg

I’m late doing my ASA session organizing work this year. Ugh. I still the hate the interface. It’s a Saturday, I can’t ask ASA. So questions for experienced Scatterplotters. (1) Before sending a paper off to another session, I’d like to know whether that session organizer is already done. If they are, there is no […]

social movements and organizational choices

I’m fielding a question from a colleague who is advising a student. Can you provide some pointers to literature on tensions/debates within movements about whether to turn into a formal organization or stay “a movement” i.e. not organize. I know this is a long and ongoing debate and I’m sure with some work I could […]

a bit of self-promotion

I can’t help but be pleased to see the link to the McCarthy award lecture on Mobilizing Ideas titled “The Ethnic Dimensions in Social Movements”.  I only wish it already were a paper (as the synopsis implies) instead of just a big powerpoint, but the PR motivates me to try to get it written up. […]

ASA Calendar with locations!

I got this link from Eszter Hargittai via FB. Directions for how to download schedule information WITH LOCATIONS from the ASA my schedule link into Outlook. It turns out this also works for Google calendar. The steps for Google include saving the calendar file, deciding whether to create a separate ASA calendar (I made a […]

Mayer Zald

I just got word via my Facebook feed that Mayer Zald passed away this morning. He was a prolific scholar best known among us social movement people for two foundational papers with John McCarthy on resource mobilization. His major academic focus was on the organizational dimensions of social movements. He was also a warm and […]


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 223 other followers