Because we could all benefit from a burst of enthusiasm and encouragement in the dark depths of February:
Because we could all benefit from a burst of enthusiasm and encouragement in the dark depths of February:
The ASA is catching up with the times. There is WiFi in all the meeting rooms. They are webcasting the plenaries. The organization even announced the twitter hashtag for the meetings (#asa13 – four digit years are so Y2K). It might seem like things are changing too fast for you (if so, you can take a course from The HUB). But there is one thing you can always count on to remain steadfast in these tumultuous times: the bloggers will drink together at the ASA.
Please join us at
5pm on Sunday, August 11
for a bloggerly beverage at
It will be so wonderful to see you there. As always, all blog participants-writers and readers, commenters and lurkers-are most welcome. Rumors to the contrary aside, we also like twitterers and tumblrrs. Come on by!
We encourage faculty to buy at least one drink for a thirsty student, who will someday impress her future colleagues: “I recommend Citizen Speak for your work on democratic participation.” “Oh, yes, Andy bought me an appletini in New York that time. What a nice guy.”
I hope you all can make it.
Princeton U Press editor Eric Schwartz has a great idea for this year’s ASA baseball trip. Why not go to a minor league game? Cheaper tickets, better seats, and a chance to see some great baseball. So this year, we have cooked up the following plan:
Staten Island Yankees: Friday, August 9 at 7pm
If we get a group of 10 together, we can get even cheaper tickets (I know, right?). Please email me at email@example.com if you are interested in joining us. Everyone is welcome; don’t be shy.
Since there is no widely accepted list of sociological journals, I include those journals* where the majority of authors who list a department in their mailing address list one that includes the word “sociology” and which have a significant US editorial presence.† This totals 47 journals and includes all the ones you would expect along with some less widely-known journals, like Social Politics. I downloaded the 1,563 research articles published in these journals between December 1, 2011 and November 30, 2012 from Web of Science. That took nine–just nine–clicks, which isn’t so bad. For each article, I counted up which books or articles they cited, and then summed it all up. Journals that published frequently and publish lots of articles (like Social Science Research) or journals where authors tend to cite lots of things (like AJS) probably have undue influence by this measure, but simply counting the number of times something has been cited is a pretty good first pass at seeing what is being commonly referenced.
Here’s the top 25 (as an image, because I can’t do tables in WordPress):
If you want to waste some time, here’s the full list.
So, one in 33 articles cites Distinction. The majority at the top of the list are books along with a pair each from AJS, ASR and the Annual Review, along with one article from Social Forces. The authors and titles are truncated by Web of Science, so don’t blame me. Remember that the lists only counts citations in this group of sociology journals, so being famous in other worlds doesn’t get you on the list.
Fun fact: 2/3 of things that were cited last year were only cited once, and 95% of things cited were cited less than five times. And, unless one of your articles was cited nine or more times in one of these journals last year, you can consider yourself, like me, one of the 99%.
One thing that struck me was how old everything on this top list was. The median publication year in the top 100 was 1992. Of the top 100, only one piece was published in the last five years. The author ended up at boarding school for future investment bankers, so there is a price to pay for influence.
More generally, things aren’t that bad. It turns out that the average thing we cite is ten or eleven years old. There is a lot of factors that go into what items get cited and how many times, such as the number of papers published in an area or the degree to which there is a common puzzle or cannon in a subfield. But we don’t seem to be in a hurry to cite new stuff. Or alternatively, we aren’t easily swayed by the newest research trend.
I don’t know how that has changed over the long term, but I just ran the numbers for articles published in 2009 in the same set of journals and got the same median lag of ten years.
On a side note, it’s my understanding that Journal Impact Factors are often computed using citations to articles published in the last two or five years. Last year, 93% of the stuff we cited was more than two years old and 78% more than 5 years old, further complicating these measures.
* Social Science Research (110 articles); Sociology of Health & Illness (77); Journal of Marriage and Family (73); Social Forces (52); Demography (48); Journal For the Scientific Study of Religion (47); Sociological Forum (45); Deviant Behavior (44); American Sociological Review (40); Population Research and Policy Review (35); Poetics (33); Sociological Spectrum (31); International Migration Review (31); Sociological Quarterly (30); Social Networks (30); Journal of Health and Social Behavior (30); Review of Religious Research (29); Sociological Inquiry (28); Criminology (28); Social Compass (27); Symbolic Interaction (26); American Journal of Sociology (26); Gender & Society (25); Mobilization (25); Annual Review of Sociology (25); Socio-economic Review (25); Theory and Society (24); Teaching Sociology (23); Journal of Contemporary Ethnography (23); Ethnography (23); Punishment & Society-international Journal of Penology (23); Rural Sociology (23); Sociological Methods & Research (22); Social Politics (22); Homicide Studies (22); Qualitative Sociology (21); Sociology of Education (20); Social Problems (18); City & Community (17); Feminist Criminology (17); Sociology of Religion (16); Sociological Theory (16); Theoretical Criminology (16); Work and Occupations (15); Social Psychology Quarterly (12); Journal of Mathematical Sociology (10); Sociological Perspectives (10). I might be missing the last issue from a couple of journals because they haven’t showed up in Web of Science yet. You snooze you lose.
† My method of identifying sociological journals doesn’t really work for non-US journals as it appears non-US folk are much more likely to lists themselves in things like “School of Social Policy.” Sorry. You can ballpark the effect of including these journals by adding 327 cites to Giddens’s Modernity and Self-Identity and including a couple of works by John Goldthorpe to the list.
Please join us at the annual ASA blog party:
This year, Jenn Lena and Gina Neff have graciously invited us to join their party to celebrate the publication of their brilliant books:
There are even rumors of appetizers being provided for this fabulous event, and drink specials abound. I look forward to celebrating these great books, seeing old friends and meeting newer blog readers. I hope to see you all there.
Did you miss your chance to order tickets for the ASA baseball game? Maybe you didn’t know about your trip schedule, or you didn’t want to take a chance on missing Just Desserts. Perhaps you were so excited about THE HUB that you couldn’t dream of walking away from the beating heart of technology information. It’s okay; we understand. But, alas! Here is another chance for you. I am ordering another batch of tickets, and if we act now we can all get seats together.
The game is Friday, August 17 at 6:40pm. We can walk there from the conference center. Tickets will cost you $18. What are you waiting for? Email me if you want a ticket: firstname.lastname@example.org.
You might think that we have abandoned the scatterplot tradition of organizing a trip to a baseball game during the ASA, but no! The ASA’s move to Las Vegas foiled our plans last year, but we are back on track in 2012, and I am especially excited because I have never, ever been to Coors Field. Ohmigodimgonnadieofexcitement!
I am tempted to suggest the Sunday afternoon game (a day game? in a new stadium? *breathe, breathe*), even though we would need to buy the tickets before the ASA program comes out, as we always do. However, I am willing to be talked down from that plan–here is the schedule. So, who is joining me?
It’s humbling to go to the library every once in a while. Standing in the stacks reminds you of all the things you don’t know – regardless of whether you think of these as the things you have left to learn, the things you’ll never know, or the things that others don’t know either so you’re clearly not all that inferior. If you’re too
lazy busy to walk to the library, watching this video might suffice.
Edited to add: Apparently BBC blocked the video. UK readers are still able to see it (part of the “Super Smart Animals” program) here.
Has anybody played around much with Google’s Correlate tool? Quite amazing, in a frightening sort of way. I found it surfing from this similarly amusing, but less thorough, post. I can come up with no adequate theory to explain the nearly .73 correlation between my scribbled line and searches for “home videos clips” on Google.
However, using a steadily decreasing line, the correlation is mostly with searches for now-obsolete web technologies (how many people now search for “web page” on google?), which indicates, I think, the fact that the meaning of google itself has changed over time.
In the wake of athletics scandals, general budget cuts, and a new athletic director, questions of how athletics fits into the University in general are high on the agenda these days. Yesterday there was a forum with the outgoing Athletic Director, Dick Baddour, and several other people involved in athletics, to discuss the role of athletics. (I couldn’t go because we had a faculty meeting at the same time.) In the Daily Tar Heel story about the meeting, Faculty Athletics Committee chair Steve Reznick is quoted as saying:
Athletics is part of our body. You can’t just remove the pancreas.
Now, the corporeal metaphor is interesting enough on its own, but the choice of pancreas is really creative. It does turn out that pancreatectomy has a very poor prognosis, probably because the pancreas’s contribution to the body is made up of many different roles. Here’s my imagination of the upcoming game next Friday. I can hear Jones Angell now, the new voice of the Heels, aboard the USS Carl Vinson: 26 seconds to go in the second half, Carolina behind 78-75, Marshall with the ball, President Obama on his feet but fearing the worst. Angell has the call:
Marshall gets the inbound pass and crosses the timeline. Marshall takes it inside, fakes the dish to Zeller, then kicks it back out to Henson for the three at the buzzer. The game goes into overtime, all thanks to a sensational play by Kendall Marshall. That kid is all pancreas!
And so, dear readers: if your university is a body, what organ is athletics?
We got the attached invitation to a Jewish holiday celebration (not our congregation) via email. Note the advertisement evite chose to pair with a Jewish event!
Excited for the ASA in Las Vegas? Not so much? Perhaps planning the bloggerly get-together will get us in the mood. Let’s check the possible bars for a meet-up: a poolside lounge? too hot for conference wear vs. too much skin for pale academics. The Numb Bar on the casino floor? perhaps I will want to feel numb by then, but right now it just looks sad. The Pussycat Dolls Lounge? ugh, now I have mixed fanny packs with lap dances in my mind, and I need a shower. It looks like we must lower our standards for decor while raising our tolerance for cheesiness. And so, I am happy to announce:
Sunday, August 21, 4:30pm at the Seahorse Lounge at Caesar’s Palace. Drink, chat, laugh, and look at Australian Pot Belly Seahorses with some two dozen of your closest bloggerly pals, real and pseudonymous. Join in the contest to guess the identity of the Disgruntled Sociologist! Discuss the merits of organizational transparency and amicus briefs, or sneak in a quick game of monopoly with Dan Myers. Despite rumours to the contrary, we here at scatterplot are for progressive fee structures of all kinds, and so we encourage faculty to buy a beverage for a thirsty graduate student.
As ever, lurkers are as welcome as bloggers. You can find us by looking for the redhead who laughs too loudly and resembles her cartoon too closely.
Good takes on Evil this evening at 9:00, on ESPN for those of you not living in the Triangle region (WRAL for those of us who do). We went four years without losing at Cameron before being humiliated last year in a 32-point drubbing. This year we visit on a major roll, having won 10 of the last 11 games and the last several by large margins. The Daily Tar Heel managed to write a narrative that has Good triumphing, 81-79, which strikes me as an unlikely result. Still, recent events have many of us asking “Larry Who?”, and with Kendall Marshall’s stellar play we should be competitive.
Good’s prowess is not just on the Hardwood. The ASR that arrived today contains two articles by Carolina faculty and two by Carolina alumni, out of a total 7 items. To quote our esteemed chancellor:
”At our university [UNC], we would be at the top of a ranking that measures Rhodes Scholarships won, women’s soccer championships, and the scholarly productivity of the Sociology Department and the School of Public Health. Needless to say, we haven’t found a ranking that is limited to these measures.”
– Holden Thorp and Buck Goldstein. Engines of Innovation., UNC press, 2010.
Enjoy the evening, everyone.
A friend sent me this video – what fun, and what a demonstration of the power of culture!
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