Search results for friday roundup

RU111513The Care and Feeding of Co-Authors:

As Chris Uggen pointed out on the Twitters, it’s easy to disappoint your coworkers. Whether it’s producing actual Swedish Fish when a candy-mergency arises in a late-night writing session or dropping the ball when it’s your turn to write the lit review, there are just so many opportunities to co-write badly. Here’s my very quick editorial advice should you decide to undertake a co-authored project: more...

RU110813Missing the Point

I was so struck last night to hear a little piece about the sociologist Clifford Nass on NPR (in a fun side note, I’d like to point out that Nass was also a computer scientist and professional magician… which is pertinent to the next sentence). Yes, he was known for his warning that multitasking was dangerous to real thought and real learning, but what caught my ear was how his colleagues spoke of his relationship with expanding technologies. Nass didn’t seem to have any antipathy for the tech—he saw its utility, of course—but he realized that all those blinky things were going to be attention sucks. Multiple distractions tend to be bad when you aren’t a good multitasker (to be fair, he didn’t think anyone was a good multitasker), but worse, he seemed to believe, the divided attention meant that his students paid attention to too much noise. Over time, he felt his students were getting worse and worse at understanding an argument and repeating it clearly. They weren’t good at finding the point or pulling out a specific nugget of information from a whole article. They had trained themselves (or been trained by their technologies) to see the forest, not the trees. I’m not wholly convinced, but I am intrigued—and I’m sad that the world has lost another great sociologist in the meantime. more...

RU110113At a Loss

The Society Pages is housed, as many of you know, at the University of Minnesota, and stems from a vision Doug Hartmann and Chris Uggen formulated in their term as the editors of the ASA’s journal Contexts. That vision was also shaped by the young sociologists who made up the graduate editorial board of Contexts for each of its four years at the U of M, and later when it came to creating and sustaining The Society Pages. It’s now been a week since we lost one of those bright young minds: Tim Ortyl. I still don’t know what to say, other than that Tim did everything in his life whole-heartedly, and so I’m pleased that you can read some of his work here on our site, as well as a Contexts article that SAGE publications and the ASA are offering as a free download. I believe Tim had contributed immensely to the discipline already, and I hope that having known him as a friend, teacher, colleague, or student will continue to inspire sociological imaginations long after our quiet time of mourning fades. Right now, that time seems impossible. more...

RU102513Becoming Aware

Root canal: that’s what I’ll be doing with my morning. In fact, I’m in the chair awaiting my fate right now. You are welcome to send mocking notes of semi-pity via the comments below. It’s a combination of a routine-emergency thing, and hopefully by noon or so I’ll be nice and numb, by Monday I’ll have a bruised face, and by this time next week I’ll be right as rain, happily eating and breathing and whatnot. But it’s super weird to suddenly become aware of one toothmore...

RU101713A Digression on Writerly Fitness:

I’ve been reading and writing a bit about fitness lately, and I’ve noticed two trends come up again and again: High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and “body confusion.” What does this have to do with TSP and writing you ask? Excellent question.  more...

Ru101413What Does the Letta Say?

EEP! There was no Friday Roundup. Guess who’s fault that is? Mine-oh-mine. But to make it up to you, here’s some fresh Monday morning reading!

In Case You Missed It:

The Fascination and Frustration with Native American Mascots,” by Jennifer Guiliano. A look at the history and fight over mascots, as the Redskins go 1-4 in the NFC East.

Editors’ Desk:

Sketch #4: TSP @ White House,” by Chris Uggen. Dr. Uggen goes to Washington. more...

Dialogue (from

This week, I had my first telephone interview for an assistant professor position. Before it began, I mentally rehearsed the three-minute elevator speech of my dissertation, certain that the initial question was bound to be something along the lines of “Tell us about your research.” When the moment came, however, the search committee began by asking me how I would explain my research to my grandma or my neighbor. Tossing aside the elevator speech I had been advised to practice, I attempted to channel TSP.

As I reflected on the interview afterward, I felt dismay that my combination of nerves and lack of foresight kept me from saying what I’ve told countless strangers about how I study genocide (you would not believe the conversations I’ve had waiting in lines). The dismay soon gave way to excitement, though, because it’s exciting that the question was even asked. As Doug Hartmann shared in his recent sketch, “Dare to Engage in Dialogue,” much good can come from our abilities to translate our findings to the broader public, whether they are policy makers, pundits, or grandmas. And perhaps it’s wise to spend more time reflecting on how to frame what we do so we are better prepared for these conversations. more...

Our snazzy new book!
Our snazzy new book!  Published by W.W. Norton & Co. 

The TSP offices were buzzing with excitement this week, as our second book project—Crime and the Punished—finally arrived! This engaging (and dare I say adorably pocket-sized) volume provides some much-needed sociological insight on crime and punishment in a critical and expansive way.

And that’s not all that has us excited (and potentially over-using exclamation points) this week. Check out some highlights below!

Editors’ Desk:

There’s Research on That!” by Chris Uggen, unveiled the newest TSP initiative (drum roll, please), There’s Research on That! Navigating the world of research is hard, and that’s assuming reporters have the funds to get past pay walls. There’s Research on That! hopes to overcome some of these issues by providing short summaries of social scientific studies that shed light on current events.

There’s Research on That!:

New Pope’s Politics,” by Evan Stuart, suggests a number of articles about shifting views on religion, as well as other shifts within the Catholic Church. more...

RU092013For the next couple of Roundups, I’d like to welcome TSP’s graduate editor Hollie Nyseth Brehm. She’ll be covering for me as I head off on a 3-hour cruise. Actually, there’s no cruise. But I do expect to find myself washed up on a beach for a stretch, so I won’t be rounding up the site until… October 11th? Craziness. For now, one last hurrah before heading for the airport (yet again). more...

RU091313Oh, have you heard of this Scholars Strategy Network? Of course you have! You’re hip, in-the-know sorts. But the reason I’m pointing it out specifically right now is that I want to direct your eyes to two specific things going on over at their site:

  1. As Syria takes the spotlight off Miley (for real), I recommend you return to Richard Lachmann and Hal Brands’s thoughts on America’s foreign policy and its place in the world. SSN’er Jeff Faux also talks war-weariness in the Huffington Post.
  2. September’s topical spotlight on SSN is labor and unionization. While we’ll be featuring several of the briefs in this suite (I believe 17 make up the full complement) on the SSN section of TSP (fun with acronyms!), it’s particularly worth reading Nick Carnes and Jake Rosenfeld’s summary of the spotlight pieces.

Now, back to TSP, riiiiiight after I wish my mom a happy birthday. Happy Birthday, Mom! more...