ASA Annual Report

We’ve been asked to be sure Scatterplotters read and comment on ASA’s first-ever annual report, prepared in response to our and other gripes about lack of information in the past.  Here’s the link:

Author: olderwoman

I'm a sociology professor but not only a sociology professor. I keep my name 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. You can read about my academic work on my academic blog --Pam Oliver

4 thoughts on “ASA Annual Report”

  1. I don’t want to be some jerk who opens this discussion by zooming in on a wee bitty detail when faced with a 48 page document…but I can’t help but read the pages in order and have questions.

    Can someone explain to me why the Culture section is listed on page 17 (labeled pg. 15) as having the second most student members? On page 37/39 you can see it has 424 student members which is (both absolutely largest and proportionally largest with) 37.5% of total membership.

    Then can you tell me what the “percentages” on page 17/15 reflect? Because it clearly isn’t the percentage of culture section members who have student memberships. Is “group” = “all sociologists that belong to ASA”?

    Ugh. Sorry. My question’s annoying.


  2. Hi Jenn, I think you’re reading it reversed. It’s “full members” in the Culture section that’s 2nd, for students it is identified as #1. As for the numbers, it appears that the denominator comes from p. 15 (e.g., 4511 students, 7337 regular members, joined some sections, it’s the proportion of those in each identified section – i.e., for culture 424/4511=9.4%).


  3. @Jimi: Thanks for clarifying–I was not looking carefully enough. Now that I am: can you explain why the total # of individuals in each category (e.g., 4511 students) is being used as the denominator instead of the total # of memberships within a category (e.g., 8506 student memberships, reported page 37)? It appears as if the numerator and denominator are capturing different things (memberships on the top, people on the bottom).


  4. In a similar, small detail complaint: What’s with the graph on page 25? It does a decent job of showing trends in Bachelors degrees (though without some context, it’s hard to figure out how much of the 80s decline was due to overall declining enrollments vs. shifts to other disciplines), but by putting Masters and Doctoral degrees on the same axes it makes it absolutely impossible to see trends there (or absolute levels). A more useful set of graphs would compare these trends to similar fields (Poli Sci, Anthro, Econ, etc.) and/or overall enrollments, and look at each kind of degree on its own axes.


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