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go to big cities, big data!

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This August 15, Alex Hanna, a computational sociologist at Wisconsin, will host “Big Cities, Big Data” at the campus of UC Berekeley. BC/BD is a “hackathon” – a meeting of people who program all night long to develop new projects. The next day, the results will be presented at a workshop at ASA. From the announcement:

The theme is “big cities, big data: big opportunity for computational social science,” the idea being looking at contemporary urban issues — especially housing challenges — using data gathered and made publicly available by cities including San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Austin, Boston, Somerville, Seattle, etc.

The hacking will start at noon on August 15 and go until the next day. Sleeping is optional. We’ll have a presentation and judging session in the evening of August 16 in San Francisco, exact location TBD.

We’re working with several academic and industry partners to bring together tools and datasets which social scientists can use at the event. So stay tuned as that develops.

Check it out! It’s the place to meet the next generation of sociology hackers!

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

Written by fabiorojas

July 8, 2014 at 12:01 am

book spotlight: democracy in the making by kathleen blee

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ASQ has just published my online my review of Kathleen Blee’s Democracy in the Making. The book is an intensive study of the development of 97 activist groups in Pittsburgh. It’s a book that has earned its praise. Two key quotes from my review, on methods and the implications for political theory:

A number of empirical points about this book deserve mention. First, the diversity of the groups Blee studies is a nice counterpoint to the focus on highly professionalized groups that often dominates the literature on social movements.
We encounter many small groups run by a single person, in addition to groups that have attracted large followings. Second, Blee employs the language of sequences and turning points to organize the argument, which allows her to focus on specific events that have effects on further development, such as defining issues and setting group boundaries. Third, by identifying the turning points, Blee is able to discuss the paths not taken, which is an analytic strength of this work.

And:

The implication for democratic theory is that the effectiveness of citizen action depends a great deal on what might be seen as innocuous choices made by activists. This is not obvious from other theories of political economy. Mancur Olson’s work, for example, argued that basic features of groups, such as their size, affect their influence. Blee’s work suggests a rather subtle link between culture and democratic decision making. The choice that activists make in defining their group relies on their cultural repertoire: when people define who is in the group, they will likely rely on the practices in their society. This, in turn, will affect how the group develops, which affects its ability to promote its agenda. Thus culture indirectly affects democracies through its influence on activist groups.

Recommended!

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

Written by fabiorojas

July 7, 2014 at 12:01 am

music is my sanctuary

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

Written by fabiorojas

July 6, 2014 at 12:02 am

rethinking Jerry Davis

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I’ve spent the past few days at the EGOS meetings in Rotterdam. If you’re not an organizational scholar, EGOS is the acronym for the European Group for Organizational Studies – an interdisciplinary network of organizational scholars from both sides of the ocean. The theme of this year’s meeting was about reimagining and rethinking organizations during unsettled times. Naturally, they asked Jerry Davis – who has done more reimagining and rethinking of organizational theory than most – to be the keynote speaker.

Jerry’s keynote was, as expected, a witty, concise, empirically-driven argument for why the corporation has ceased to be a major institution in society (the impromptu dancing was an unexpected delight). If you’re not familiar with his argument, you should really read his book, Managed by the Markets, a real page-turner that explains how the growth of financial markets accompanied the deterioration of the public corporation as a major employer and provider of public welfare in contemporary society.  I’ve heard him give a version of this talk several times, and like every other time I left his talk feeling uncomfortable with some of his conclusions. Feeling uncomfortable is an understatement. I disagree with his conclusions. But I still think that Jerry has done an excellent job of marshaling data that can lead to a scarier and even more cynical conclusion than the one he claims.

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Written by brayden king

July 5, 2014 at 3:53 pm

Posted in brayden, power, the man

this post’s just six words long

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

Written by fabiorojas

July 5, 2014 at 12:01 am

higher education readings: faculty

The final installment in our readings on higher education:

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

Written by fabiorojas

July 4, 2014 at 12:01 am

Posted in education, fabio

welcome to Beth Berman!

Our blog has been very lucky this past month to have Beth Berman as a guest blogger. She’s generated a lot of interesting ideas and discussion during her short stint. We’re thrilled to announce that Beth is  taking a permanent chair at the orgtheory table.  Starting now, Beth is a regular member of orgtheory.net. Welcome Beth!  We look forward to many more insightful posts about economics, organizational sociology, or on any other topic that is on your mind.

Written by brayden king

July 3, 2014 at 4:41 pm

Posted in introductions

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