dog bites person; right winger endorses ignorance

North Carolina is “blessed” with a statewide center dedicated to right-wing attacks on higher education, the John W Pope Center for Higher Education Policy. One of their more prolific commentators is Jay Schalin, a small-time journalist with no credentials, experience, or expertise in education, research, or scholarship, but who apparently feels entirely qualified to present himself as an expert on higher education policy.

Some of Mr. Schalin’s gems in the past have included calls for less education overall, and a thoroughgoing plan for redesigning “essential education” to match Mr. Sahlins’ personal preferences. Yesterday’s entry, though, was particularly revealing.

Continue reading “dog bites person; right winger endorses ignorance”

from paper to article

Now that you’ve submitted your paper to the ASAs, how can you turn it into a publication? Two ideas. First, if it is nifty and about social movements, please consider submitting it a special issue of Mobilization that I’m putting together. Deadline is Friday, January 11th.

Second, you should stop calling it a “paper” and start calling it an “article.” Seriously. You might also want to ditch wishy-washy words like: seeks, attempts, looks, and presents. Instead, have hypotheses, analysis and results with consistent, positive effect sizes. And certainly delete the word preliminary. At least that is what the data suggests we find.

Continue reading “from paper to article”

preparation for shared governance

Some of the most rewarding things I’ve done since leaving graduate school are under the umbrella of shared governance: faculty input on the direction and operation of the university. UNC is fortunate to have a generally well-operating, open, and respected faculty governance system and an administration that is relatively respectful of that system. I’ve been a member of Faculty Council (our Faculty Senate), the Educational Policy Committee, an appointed committee to reform the Honor Court system, and am currently on the Faculty Athletics Committee. And tomorrow at the Faculty Council meeting I’ll be rolling out the first part of Carolina’s contextual grade reporting effort: an online reporting tool that will provide instructors broad ability to assess their own grading patterns relative to colleagues across campus. Continue reading “preparation for shared governance”

mary mcintosh

Mary McIntosh, author of “The Homosexual Role,” among other things, has passed away. This piece is of course one of the foundational works of a sociology of sexuality. It always struck me as such a brave work, as it applies general sociological concepts to a topic that, at the time, was so strikingly marginalized and “owned” so completely by psychology. Of course, it wasn’t written independently of a fledgling lesbian and gay movement; Mary McIntosh was a feminist and an lesbian activist. Still, it is a piece that reminds me of how powerful sociological concepts can be in re-imagining what we think we know.

Here is an excerpt from Ken Plummer’s memorial:

Mary was a serious intellectual and a passionate activist. A strong, caring, quiet presence – she also had a very strong sense of fun and always ready for a dance and a laugh.  I missed her greatly when she left Essex; the department could never be quite the same for me. And now she leaves a gaping hole in the world. But she will be loved in remembrance.

I won’t get a chance to meet her, but she certainly has left her mark on me.