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twitter publics

The first “tweets/votes” paper established the basic correlation between tweet share and vote share in a a large sample of elections. Now, we’re working on papers that try to get a sense of who is driving the correlation. A new paper in Information, Communication, and Society reports on some progress. Authored by Karissa McKelvey, Joe DiGrazia and myself, “Twitter publics: how online political communities signaled electoral outcomes in the 2010 US house election” argues that the tweet-votes correlation is strongest when people compose syntactically simple messages. In other words, the people online who use social media in a very quotidian way are a sort of “issue public,” to use a political science term. They tend to follow politics and the talk correlates with the voting, especially if it is simple talk. We call this online audience for politics a “twitter public.” Thus, one goals of sociological research on social media is to assess when online “publics” act as a barometer or leading indicator of collective behavior.

50+ chapters of grad skool advice goodness: From Black Power/Grad Skool Rulz 

Written by fabiorojas

March 18, 2014 at 12:01 am

new labor in new york book now out

GC colleague Ruth Milkman and Murphy Institute colleague Ed Ott have co-edited a new book, New Labor in New York: Precarious Workers and the Future of the Labor Movement (2014, ILR Press), that should interest readers who are looking for content on recent organizing efforts in the labor movement.

Milkman-Cover, 2Final

In the preface, authors Ruth Milkman and Ed Ott write about the genesis of the book, with case studies researched and written by grad students enrolled in a year-long course:

This book is the culmination of a long process of collective effort.  It began in early 2011, when we decided to co-teach a seminar in the Sociology program at the City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate Center entitled, “Toward a New Labor Movement:  Community-Based Organizations, Unions and Worker Centers in New York City.”  To enroll in the course, interested students were required to make a commitment to conduct in-depth fieldwork and to write a case study of an organizing campaign or group, with the understanding that we would eventually try to publish an edited volume like this one.  We were extremely fortunate to attract an extraordinary group of Ph.D. students from various departments at the Graduate Center, as well as a few from the Labor Studies Masters’ program at CUNY’s Joseph S. Murphy Institute for Worker Education and Labor Studies, where both of us are on the faculty.

Check it out.

Written by katherinechen

March 13, 2014 at 1:52 am

2014 Penn Social Impact Doctoral Fellows Program – due date March 14, 2014

For those grad students who are studying non-profits, voluntary associations, and philanthropy, here’s an opportunity to work alongside colleagues and Prof. Peter Frumkin this summer:

Join PhD students from around the country (and world) to critically examine issues in the nonprofit sector and to work on your own research in nonprofit management, volunteerism, international civil society, social entrepreneurship and philanthropic studies.

Under the direction of Dr. Peter Frumkin, students participate in an intensive four week seminar that culminates in the completion of a publishable paper that is ready to be submitted to a peer-reviewed journal. Students are expected to submit a draft research paper that they would like to refine and prepare for academic publication during the summer program. This is a continuation of the program that Dr. Frumkin ran for five years at the RGK Center in Austin, Texas and that had helped dozens of students advance their careers.

Graduate students enrolled in doctoral-level PhD programs are invited to apply for the Penn Summer Fellows Program:

Program Details:

Dates: June 7 – July 1, 2014

  • Application process is competitive and takes into consideration the academic potential of the student and the working paper topic
  • $3,000 stipends are provided to each Summer Fellow
  • Housing in Philadelphia, PA will be arranged and paid for by the Nonprofit Leadership Program

Application Procedure

  • Application Deadline: March 14, 2014
  • Email a current resume, draft paper, and abstract to Leeamy1  [at]  sp2  [dot]  upenn  [dot] edu.
  • Selection is based on past record and academic potential

Written by katherinechen

March 7, 2014 at 4:55 pm

big data: a definition

People often complain, justifiably, that “big data” is a catchy phrase, not a real concept. And yes, it certainly is hot, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t come up with a useful definition that can guide research. Here is my definition – big data is data that has the following properties:

  • Size: The data is “large” when compared to the data normally used in social science. Normally, surveys only have data from a few thousand people. The World Values Survey, probably the largest conventional data set used by social scientists, has about  two hundred thousand people in it. “Big data” starts in the millions of observations.
  • Source: The data is generated through the use of the Internet – email, social media, web sites, etc.
  • Natural: It generated through routine daily activity (e.g., email or Facebook likes) . It is not, primarily, created in the artificial environment of a survey or an experiment.

In other words, the data is bigger than normal social science data; it is “native” to the Internet; and it is not  mainly concocted by the researcher. This is a definition meant for social scientists-  it is useful because it marks a fairly intuitive boundary between big data and older data types like surveys. It also identifies the need for a skill set that combines social science research tools and computer science techniques.

50+ chapters of grad skool advice goodness: From Black Power/Grad Skool Rulz 

Written by fabiorojas

February 25, 2014 at 12:32 am

more pre-conferences!!!

This year, there are many great pre-conferences. In addition to the New Computational Sociology conference on August 15, there is also:

Please put links to more ASA pre-conferences in the comments.

50+ chapters of grad skool advice goodness: From Black Power/Grad Skool Rulz

Written by fabiorojas

February 22, 2014 at 12:05 am

sociological science is here!

The new open access journal, Sociological Science, is now here. The goal is fast publication and open access. Review is “up or out.” On Monday, they published their first batch of articles. Among them:

Check it out, use the comments section, and submit your work. Let’s move sociological journals into the present.

50+ chapters of grad skool advice goodness: From Black Power/Grad Skool Rulz 

Written by fabiorojas

February 20, 2014 at 12:04 am

the new computational sociology conference – sign up today!

This coming August 15, Dan McFarland of Stanford University and I will host a conference on the new computational sociology at the Stanford campus. The goal is to bring together social scientists, informatics researchers, and computer scientists who are interested in how modern computation can be brought to bear on issues that are of central importance to sociology and related disciplines. Interested people should go to the following web site for information on registration and presentation topics. I hope to see you there.

50+ chapters of grad skool advice goodness: From Black Power/Grad Skool Rulz

Written by fabiorojas

January 31, 2014 at 12:01 am

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