reminder: blogger party this sunday, now with swag and snacks!

A quick reminder: the annual blogger party is this Sunday! Join us from 4pm-7pm at the Pine Box Bar in Seattle, a scant 10 minute walk from ASA.  Longer description here. This year’s blogger party will feature some free food and exclusive (not really) swag for SocArXiv. So, come for the scintillating intellectual conversation and open access advocacy, stay for the snacks, booze, and buttons!

SocArXiV Buttons.jpg

“stylized facts in the social sciences” in sociological science

I’m happy to announce that Sociological Science has just published my paper Stylized Facts in the Social Sciences. The paper is a quirky mix of social theory, history of social science, and politics of knowledge that made it a tough sell for other journals but a nice fit with Sociological Science. If you read the paper and have a comment, post it as a reaction on their site!

As a note, the publication process was just as fast and smooth as they advertise. I think Sociological Science acquired a reputation for publishing primarily tighter quant papers in its first issues, but I’m glad to say that they seem to have had no issue with my theory piece, and they’ve also just published a historical article by Josh McCabe and Beth Berman on child tax credits. So, if you’re looking for an Open Access-friendly, high quality, fast outlet for sociology of all sorts, check out Sociological Science!

And, because the journal is open access, I can easily post the final paper onto SocArXiv!


yes, there is racial “bias” in police shootings

The following is a guest post by Michelle Phelps.

A new study by Harvard Economist Roland G. Fryer, Jr. hit The Upshot column at the New York Times today, with “surprising new evidence” that there is no racial bias in who gets shot by the police. The study is currently posted as a working paper with NBER, so it has not yet received peer-review or been published. As we saw last week with The Upshot column by Justin Wolfers on gender bias in clock-stopping policies (which was heavily critiqued), such research findings should be treated as provisional. (I’m also putting aside the fact that the study relies primarily on police reports, which in several cases we have reason to doubt.) However, even if we take the paper at face value, there is strong reason to question the conclusion of “no bias” in police shootings.

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13th annual sociology blogger party & socarxiv pre-launch!

Back when blogging was a bit newer, and more rough and tumble, the kindly proprietors of scatterplot began a yearly tradition of hosting a party to bring together the “unruly darlings of public sociology” – those who put their sociological thoughts into the void, without the benefit (or mainstreaming pressures) of peer review. Sociology blogs seem to be everywhere now. Journals have blogs, sections have blogs, universities have blogs, and everyone from graduate students to department chairs gets in on the act. And yet the blogger party remains a vital institution for bringing them together and encouraging our peculiar brand of “doing sociology in public.”

This year’s blogger party coincides with the announcement of the SocArXiv project. Just as blogs started in part to give an outlet for less filtered, less polished – but more timely, and perhaps more cutting –  sociological insights, SocArXiv hopes to serve as a public repository for working papers as they wind their long and twisty way through the peer review process (or not!). Modeled after the incredibly successful, and developed in collaboration with the folks at the Center for Open Science, SocArXiv 

But what’s this got to do with the blogger party precisely? Well, at the party we’ll have information about the site, a little pre-launch commemorative button, and – courtesy of the project – some free food! Full details are below, we hope to see you there!

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2016 junior theorists symposium

Each year, on the day before the main ASA conference, the Junior Theorists Symposium brings together graduate students and recent PhDs to present theoretical works of all sorts. As has become traditional, the three main panels will be followed by a star-studded “after panel” of slightly-less junior theorists. The program for this year’s JTS, to be held on August 19 at Seattle University, was just announced and is available below! And if you’re interested in attending, please RSVP by emailing “JTS RSVP” to As a past organizer, I can tell you that having a reasonable guess of attendance is a huge help for planning.

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should we ban cognitive group differences research?

Having been raised a good child of modernity, Science(!), and the Enlightenment, my instinctive reaction to the question “should we ban research on X?” is “of course not!” Much as we know (hope, believe) that more speech is the right response to harmful speech, we know that the solution to bad, racist, sexist research is better, emancipatory research. But just as critical scholars of race and law have recognized that free speech and equality offer “conflicting promises“, philosopher Janet Kourany argues in a forthcoming Philosophy of Science piece that freedom of research may also conflict with the principle of equality.

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