a peril of public sociology?

As you may remember, I got in a somewhat public tiff with a local Republican/libertarian blog, the Red Clay Citizen, over the veracity of their poll numbers on a state labor issue. Among other things, I was accused of being “basically a government-paid lobbyist for the labor unions,” a particularly incredible idea since NC government is deeply anti-union!

When I returned from vacation this weekend, I had a message waiting for me from UNC’s head of internal audit, whose job is to insure that UNC employees don’t abuse their positions for commercial or political gain. Continue reading “a peril of public sociology?”

name that blog

All right, I need y’all’s sage advice. I’m going to have my first-year seminar this fall maintain a blog as part of their course work, and I need a name. The seminar is “Citizenship and Society in the United States,” and it’s focused on political participation, writ broadly, but using the election as a consistent point of consideration.  My current top choice is 6608.wordpress.com since it’s sociology 66 and the election of 2008, but I can’t decide if it’s hip and tangential or just geeky. Other ideas?

francophilia

So I’m sitting in an incredible house in the Cote d’Azur after four days in Paris. This is the life! First time overseas since my kids were born, and Europe is definitely a different experience with kids–and, by the way, with the Internet.

I made my visit particularly Francocentric by reading Jean-Noël Jeanneney’s Google and the Myth of Universal Knowledge: A View From Europe while in Paris. Continue reading “francophilia”

offentlichkeit and the problem of translation

My friend Jeff Olick and I are working on a translation of, and introduction to, Gruppenexperiment, a “lost” public opinion experiment in immediately postwar West Germany carried out by Theodor Adorno and his Frankfurt School colleagues.  It’s really fun and interesting, and a great post-tenure project as it’s kind of quirky. (I’m sure I’ll blog more about it later.) Anyway, we just got back the reviews of the proposal for Harvard University Press, and one reviewer complained about my translation in an earlier piece of the German word Öffentlichkeit as “publicness.” As the reviewer pointed out, it’s a technically relatively precise definition, but he claims “public sphere” would have been a better translation for this piece.

Continue reading “offentlichkeit and the problem of translation”

more on the gene fetish

I confess, I don’t read the NYT regularly because with two small kids I just don’t have time. Frankly even the hometown rag often goes days before being read (forgotten as history and reborn as second nature). But my father-in-law sent me this editorial while he was reading and commenting on an article I’m working on for Contexts on voting in America. Continue reading “more on the gene fetish”