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.
As a reminder, sociology blogger types will be meeting up in Montreal today(!) from 4-7pm at Le Vieux Dublin for the annual blogger party! Some snacks (and buttons!) will be provided by SocArXiv. Hope to see you there. Now, here’s some links.
If you’ve followed affirmative action debates at all over the past decade or two, you’ve probably heard something about legacy preferences in admissions. Legacy admissions are routinely described as “affirmative action for whites” and their legitimacy is at least a little contested, and are held up as a key example of how college admissions are not and have never been purely about academic merit. And they are that indeed. But they are by no means the only example. Another one, perhaps of growing importance, is what colleges call “demonstrated interest.” Demonstrated interest means showing specific interest in attending that school by contacting admissions officers, visiting the school, and so on. Two new papers emphasize the importance of demonstrated interest in an era when high-achieving students routinely apply to 10 or more schools, frustrating enrollment managers. But, of course, demonstrated interest is not equally available to everyone.
Economic sociology got its modern start by criticizing 1970s-era economics. And, to be fair, there was a lot to criticize – too much perfect markets, perfect competition, perfect information, consistent self-interested preferences, and all that jazz. I worry, though, that economic sociology still hasn’t updated enough to where economics is now. On the one hand, we have the rise of applied microeconomics which is barely indistinguishable from parts of quantitative sociology (compare, say, field experiments on discrimination in the two fields and tell me what’s really different). And on the other, all of those theoretical maneuvers sociologists rightly criticized have, at a minimum, been considered and modified here or there. Well economics of the 1970s may have been a target, I think economics now can and should be much more of a fellow traveler.
The Department of Sociology at Brown is running a junior-level search for a scholar who studies social inequality broadly construed, including (but not limited to) inequalities structured by income, race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and disability. The full text of the ad is below the cut. If you are interested in meeting with someone from the faculty at ASA to learn more about the department or the position, please contact Amanda Figgins to arrange an appointment.
Philip Cohen has a post up on his blog about how we can use ASA paper awards to push sociology towards open access, and specifically towards SocArXiv. Go read it to find out more about the initiative – and specifically, to find good sample award text that your section could easily modify and implement. The original SocArXiv announcement is here, including details on how SocArXiv will provide up to $400 towards an award winner’s travel if your section opens up the award. In addition to encouraging every section to seriously consider this proposal, I want to suggest two alternative ways that sections can promote open access if, for some reason, the SocArXiv plan is not acceptable.