sunday morning sociology, millennial employment edition

From The Economist, a chart showing that millennials (25-34 year olds) have the same average job tenure as did 25-24 year olds in the 1980s. 

A weekly link round-up of sociological work – work by sociologists, referencing sociologists, or just of interest to sociologists. This scatterplot feature is co-produced with Mike Bader.

Continue reading “sunday morning sociology, millennial employment edition”

sexism in stock photography, working from home edition

NBC News just published a self-identified “Hot Take” on why working from home is a bad idea. The piece, by public relations CEO Richard Laermer, is titled “I Let My Staff Work From Home, Then Realized It Wasn’t Working” and recounts a litany of problems that the author faced when he let his employees work from home one day per week. Laermer found that employees treated their Friday work-from-home day as paid time off, even leaving home to go on vacation without notifying their bosses. And the empty office was demotivating, apparently:

One of the many reasons we stopped the one-day-at-home was a startling comment made by our chief financial officer on an empty Friday: “Why do we have this beautiful office when nobody’s here to enjoy it?” The change was palpable, as our usually humming work space suddenly felt drained of the collaborative energy that had previously been a hallmark of it.

The actual research on working from home suggests that Laermer’s experience may not generalize. As economist (and tech CEO) Joe Golden describes, recent research suggests that all-remote work can increase productivity when done correctly. But I’m not writing this post to talk about the substance of Laermer’s argument. Instead, I want to talk about the sexism of the stock photography used to illustrate the piece. The top photo associated with the story is this one:

The file name contains “stay-home-mom-work-remote” just in case you were confused.

Continue reading “sexism in stock photography, working from home edition”

earnestly explaining the right

I heard Ken Stern on Morning Joe this morning, discussing his new book, Republican Like MeThis is not a carefully thought out response, but a quick thought and a question:

First, the title, which is an obvious paean to Griffin’s classic Black Like Me, serves at once to show the author’s earnestness and to imply that Republican-ness is like Black-ness: assumed to be unchanging, inborn, and genuine.

Second, the question. This is but the latest in probably at least a half-dozen books seeking earnestly to explain (often in crudely anthropological terms) the virtues of the right to liberals. Stern, in particular, references social division and “bubbles” as problems the book is intended to ameliorate. Are there any examples of the converse genre (books earnestly explaining the virtues of the left to conservatives)? If not, why not? And if not, doesn’t the apparent demand for this genre actually imply that the social division is uneven, with one side more interested in transcending the division than the other is?

ask a scatterbrain: sabbatical funding

A junior faculty correspondent writes to ask: “How do sociologists locate funding to write their first book while on the tenure track? How do they locate stand-alone funding to write and/or funding to be an in-residence scholar at another institution? And is there a central place to look for these opportunities?”

So, scatterbrains, what advice do you have? I know about a few of the high profile, in-residence opportunities (like the Stanford CASBS), but only through informal networks, so I’m excited to hear your thoughts as I start my own search for resources. Are there good databases for finding other opportunities? Strategies for raising grant funds specifically to help supplement a sabbatical for those institutions that offer a one semester sabbatical with an option for an unfunded second? Other thoughts? Thanks!

sunday morning sociology, technology and inequality edition

McMillan Cottom Black Box
Tressie MC on algorithms and racism in a society dominated by black boxes.

A weekly link round-up of sociological work – work by sociologists, referencing sociologists, or just of interest to sociologists. This scatterplot feature is co-produced with Mike Bader.

This week’s links include discussions of the replication crisis and new directions in the science war(s), and sexual harassment, along with economic sociology links focused on the intersection of tech and inequality.

Continue reading “sunday morning sociology, technology and inequality edition”

an object lesson in good interviewing and public health

I have recently experienced an example of a persistent and rigorous interview that yielded an unexpected payoff. I somehow contracted a Giardia infection, a parasite usually associated with contaminated water. The first questions anyone knowledgeable asks are “Were you drinking out of streams?” and “Were you drinking well water?” because there is a problem in rural areas with contaminated water and wells can become contaminated, especially when there is a lot of flooding, as there was this summer. But I am a city person and only drink tap water. No, I haven’t been camping, I have not been drinking out of streams. I thought maybe there was a sick food service worker? Maybe contaminated tap water in a rural gas station in our trip to Duluth? Hard to know.

It turns out that Giardia is a reportable public health infection, so I got a call this week from a public health student. Continue reading “an object lesson in good interviewing and public health”

sunday morning sociology, apocalypse not canceled edition

Screen Shot 2017-10-13 at 4.33.09 PM.png
The NYT covers how rapidly Trump voters have adopted his criticisms of the NFL. has more on the same theme here.

A weekly link round-up of sociological work – work by sociologists, referencing sociologists, or just of interest to sociologists. This scatterplot feature is co-produced with Mike Bader.

Between wildfires in California, violence in Myanmar and the refugee crisis in Bangladesh, the humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico, and everything else in the news, things feel a little grim. The following links will probably not make you feel better, but perhaps they will distract you for a spell?

Continue reading “sunday morning sociology, apocalypse not canceled edition”