racism in my white working-class roots

I really enjoyed Andy Perrin’s recent review of six books that hope to explain the white working class (WWC). His key insight is that the white working class is a product of social and political forces, rather than something fixed and authentic, to be “discovered” by liberal city dwellers who make anthropological visits to their culture:

[The WWC was] weaponized by economic desperation and media manipulation, and deployed by an opportunistic Trump campaign happy to trumpet their authenticity for its own electoral ends. The WWC was made, not found; deployed, not discovered.

I am a class migrant from the white working class, and I have been rolling my eyes so hard as book after book “discovering” the true sentiments of WWC voters and their worries that whites have been left behind. Andy’s thoughtful analysis of these works takes them seriously and exposes the flaws of this post-hoc search for cultural authenticity, in a review that is important and smart. Read the whole thing, as we like to say. I don’t have any arguments with Andy’s analysis here, but I do have one thing that I’d like to add to it, based on my own roots in the WWC.

Continue reading “racism in my white working-class roots”

guest post: who hires whom?

analyzing from where sociology’s top 10-ranked programs hire their faculty

The following is a guest post by Michael O. Emerson, Provost, North Park University and Senior Fellow, Rice University’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research.

I remember when I decided to apply to graduate schools in sociology. I knew almost nothing about where to apply, so I met with my sociology advisor. He told me how sociology programs were ranked in a hierarchy, and that if I ever wanted to work in a top ten department I would need to go to a top ten program; if I wanted to work in a top twenty program, I would need to go to a top twenty program, and so on.

I took his advice to heart and earned my MA and Ph.D. from North Carolina, Chapel Hill, ranked then and now in the top ten. I ended up teaching for fifteen years at Rice University where we started a Ph.D. sociology program about six years ago (too early to be ranked), before becoming provost at my current university.

Although I have always found my sociology advisor’s advice to be qualitatively true, I often wondered how true it is quantitatively. Specifically, for professors working in the top ten ranked sociology programs, where did they earn their Ph.Ds.? Using the 2017 ASA Guide to Graduate Departments of Sociology, with just a bit of work, the answer is fairly straightforward. Continue reading “guest post: who hires whom?”

ask a scatterbrain: will a women’s studies certificate help me on the job market?

From a graduate student:

My institution offers a graduate certificate in Women’s Studies through the Women’s Studies department. As someone who aspires to be seen as a Sociologist who does gender/sexuality, how helpful do you think this would be on the job market?

I hope to get some answers that break it down a bit:

  • Will it be a leg up for gender-focused sociology jobs?
  • Will it open opportunities for joint appointments in Women Studies and Sociology?
  • Is a 3-course certificate worth the opportunity cost of working on a side project or pushing dissertation research forward?

more excellent grad school advice

Life doesn’t end if you drop out of graduate school. It doesn’t. No matter what anyone says, we don’t shoot, shun, or shade you for dropping out. If anyone does shoot, shun or shade you when you consider withdrawing from graduate school, they were always going to shoot, shun or shade you. Nothing lost.

The brilliant Tressie McMillan Cottom has written up some excellent advice for people considering grad school in sociology and related programs. It’s too late for most of us, but as we advise others whether and how to choose grad school, it is tremendous food for thought.

use the asa app with this one weird trick!

This year, the ASA meetings will have an app with more features than you can shake a stick at. If you are a careful planner and be sure to log in when browsing the online program, you can add sessions to your schedule, and they will automatically download to a calendar feature on your app.

There are also maps of each floor of the hotels, so it will be much easier to find your way around. I haven’t tried it yet, but it even boasts a feature to give you directions to a particular room. If you know the author of a paper at the session you are heading to next, you can search for their name, find the session, and click a button to take you straight to the map of the hotel rooms to find your way.

All this and more, but you can’t get to any of it unless you login to the Members Only section of the ASA website. Continue reading “use the asa app with this one weird trick!”