Category Archives: methods

more on text analysis

Laura Nelson has an excellent discussion of topic modeling on badhessian, which in part takes me to task for my comments on the Poetics issue on topic modeling. Unfortunately the diqus system that handles comments there doesn’t like me, and so has eaten my comments twice. So I’m posting them here, and perhaps someone smarter […]

topic modeling and a theory of language

The much-anticipated special issue of Poetics devoted to topic modeling in cultural sociology is now available, and it’s a beaut! Props to John Mohr and Petko Bogdanov for editing the special issue, and to all the authors for an exciting group of articles. There is, quite appropriately, a lot of buzz about the potential of […]

that faculty impact “study”

I got a call this morning from the Daily Tar Heel because, while UNC was dead last among the 94 universities covered in the study Kieran has been mocking for its invention of an MIT sociology department, I am apparently the third-most-impactful faculty member in that dubious list. Talk about damning with faint praise.

beyond the existence proof

In response to Fabio’s defense of nonrepresentative sampling, Sam Lucas sent his paper, “Beyond the Existence Proof,” published last year. Fabio mentions Lucas’s article in his follow-up, but doesn’t really address the claims in the paper. I hadn’t seen it before Sam sent it, but after reading it I think it’s really smart and deserves […]

counterfactuals and historical logic

One of my favorite articles to teach in graduate theory is Richard Ned Lebow’s “If Mozart Had Died at Your Age,” (paywall, sorry) which very cleverly lays out a counterfactual theory in which Mozart not dying at 36 changes the aesthetic, thereby the philosophical, thereby the political, history of Germany and therefore the world. Now […]

biernacki, “reinventing evidence”

OrgTheory’s current book forum is on Richard Biernacki‘s Reinventing Evidence in Social Inquiry. I provide my views here to contribute to the discussion. Biernacki attempts a wholesale indictment of the practice of “coding” texts as a social scientific technique. Through careful attempts to replicate three studies, Biernacki seeks to show that the attempt to bridge […]

The 2013/14 US News Rankings

This morning, US News and World Reports published their graduate school rankings. However, rather than report rankings based on the data they collected last fall, they decided (for the first time in history) to average data collected in 2008 and 2012 to generate many of the lists, including sociology.

aaup new report on irbs and academic freedom

AAUP has released a new report, the first in five years, on restrictions posted by the IRB system on academic freedom. The report is here.  A couple of key points:

ego-networks on twitter

Neal Caren of UNC Chapel Hill has written up a handy guide to deriving the ego-networks of Twitter users as part of his series of tutorials on text analysis for social scientists. Neal uses my twitter account as his starting point, so you may find some familiar names in the network. I recommend the whole […]

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