sunday morning sociology, democracy(?) edition

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This is what democracy looks like? Marginalia in the GOP Senate tax cut passed at 2am, mere hours after being released to Senators and the press for consideration (NYT coverage 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.

We just can’t even this week. Here are some links.

Continue reading “sunday morning sociology, democracy(?) edition”

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?

sunday morning sociology, gender and work edition

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The Economist covers a working paper by economist Heather Sarsons showing that women surgeons see a much bigger drop in referrals than men surgeons after similar bad patient outcomes. Further coverage in Vox 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.

Continue reading “sunday morning sociology, gender and work edition”

sunday morning sociology, tax cut edition!

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At the Monkey Cage, John Sides graphs just how unpopular the GOP tax reform proposal is. At OrgTheory, Beth Popp Berman explains to nonacademics how the bill would imperil graduate education.

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, tax cut edition!”

mechanisms, “mechanisms”, and a call for pluralism in sociological explanation

The following is a guest post by Natalie Aviles.

The language of social “mechanisms” has become so widespread in recent decades that it seems sometimes to operate as a stand-in for any mid-range theoretical proposition about a given social phenomenon. Despite the ubiquity of “mechanism-talk”, there is little agreement over what social mechanisms are and how they should be used in sociological explanation.

In “Ratio via Machina: Three standards of mechanistic explanation”, I (with Isaac Reed[1]) argue that debates over how we might explain social phenomena mechanistically must contend with the existence of (at least) three separate practices of mechanistic explanation that have emerged over the years, each of which assumes different standards of what a mechanism is and what it can achieve.

Continue reading “mechanisms, “mechanisms”, and a call for pluralism in sociological explanation”

are adjuncts asked to write too many reference letters?

A Twitter exchange in response to my post saying that mediocre students deserve reference letters raised the problem of adjuncts’ reference-writing woes. Some adjuncts apparently get asked to write a lot more letters of reference than many full professors.  Some of the people who are being asked to write a lot of letters are contingent faculty who are already being overworked for poverty wages and it seems particularly unjust for them to be expected to shoulder this burden. My Twitter exchange was with an adjunct who teaches in five different departments and has a post doc besides, so I’m going to assume that the wage per course for this person is low. There are, of course, other adjuncts who are in regular non-contingent positions for reasonably good wages whose situation is somewhat different.

Writing a reference letter for an undergraduate takes at least 3 hours. Continue reading “are adjuncts asked to write too many reference letters?”

ask a guest scatterbrain: should i write to professors in the grad programs i’m applying to?

The following is a guest post by Daniel Laurison.

Many things about the grad school application process (not to mention everything that comes next) are not at all obvious, especially if you do not already know a lot of people (besides your professors) who went to academic graduate school themselves.  The formal requirements can be tricky enough (what goes in a research statement, exactly? How is it different from a personal statement, for schools that require both? How important are the GREs?). When you add the possibility of informal expectations or norms – oof.  So here I want to address one potential unspoken norm: Apparently a lot of students have heard that they ought to write to professors of programs they intend to apply to.

Continue reading “ask a guest scatterbrain: should i write to professors in the grad programs i’m applying to?”