untoward

I see in Footnotes the American Sociological Association theme for 2010 is going to be “Toward a Sociology of Citizenship.” Citizenship to me seems fine as a subject matter. My own preference would be that ASA presidents not select conference themes that sound like manuscript titles. Still, better than “Allocation Processes and Ascription,” and, the worst theme of all my years in sociology, “Accounting for the Rising and Declining Significance of Sociology.”

Good themes, btw, have been “Worlds of Work,” “The New Politics of Community,” and, best of all, “Public Sociology.”

I never decided what I thought about “The Question of Culture?” largely because no one would tell me what the question was. Culture people are so cliquish.

Author: jeremy

I am the Ethel and John Lindgren Professor of Sociology and a Faculty Fellow in the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University.

14 thoughts on “untoward”

  1. Wow, you mean people actually pay attention to those themes? Usually, all the conference theme accomplishes for me, is to remind me of my marginality in the discipline.

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  2. I wish that there was a question-oriented approach. It seems that if one focuses on a particular question, rather than an area of sociology, then one is more likely to avoid obscurantism.

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  3. I don’t know where to post this, and I’m sorry if this is inappropriate. But I just read Jeremy Freese’s forthcoming article in AJS. I’m thrilled :) I find his perspective balanced and thoughtful. An “thought-piece” seems just what is needed, rather than yet another article presenting heritability estimates.

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  4. i would have thought the thing in Footnotes that would most grab you was the call for papers for An Interdisciplinary Collection of Essays on the Zombie with an interest in the phenomenon “both pre- and post-Romero.”

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  5. “i would have thought the thing in Footnotes that would most grab you was the call for papers for An Interdisciplinary Collection of Essays on the Zombie ”

    We keep sending in participant observers, but they never come back…

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  6. @8 It depends on which marginal. One marginal may put you back in the middle. The other put you so far out at the extreme that people laugh when you describe what you do. Of course this all assumes a discipline is unidimensional; any more dimensions than that and I cannot tell you anything.

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