orgtheory.net

brass against/killing in the name

leave a comment »

++++++
50+ chapters of grad skool advice goodness: Grad Skool Rulz ($4.44 – cheap!!!!)
Intro to sociology for just $1 per chapter – INSANE BARGAIN!!!!!
A theory book you can understand!!! Theory for the Working Sociologist (discount code: ROJAS – 30% off!!)
The rise of Black Studies:  From Black Power to Black Studies 
Did Obama tank the antiwar movement? Party in the Street
Read Contexts Magazine– It’s Awesome!!!!

Written by fabiorojas

September 20, 2020 at 12:42 am

Posted in uncategorized

the magic level of academia

with one comment

A long time ago, I learned that you didn’t need to be a scientist or scholar to become a professor. I think it was sometime after Michael Dukakis had run for president because I remember being surprised that a politician became a professor. Dukakis wasn’t alone. Many politicians acquire positions in universities after their political careers are over, including a few at my own institution such as the late Richard Lugar and Lee Hamilton.

I was reminded of this fact a little while back when I counseling a graduate student. I was giving the standard advice. Write good dissertation chapters, show your committee, and workshop them so you can submit to a journal. This student was certainly doing that but also had an extra mission. The strategy was that soon after graduation, they would have a low teaching load and run a research center. Normally, this sort of appointment is reserved for people who are a little older. They’ve established themselves in a field and start a center at their institution, sometimes as part of a retention offer. And I said that. But this person then pointed out a few people who were essentially at junior level and were doing this. In those cases, they had parlayed a career in journalism and popular writing into a cushy job directing a center at a university.

The world I operate in is the “normal” version of academia. You get cushy jobs only if you’ve grinded through a PhD program and spent 5-10 years grinding through the journal system and the junior faculty track. And that’s if you’re lucky. Lots of people complete a PhD and never land academic jobs. But my student had a point. If you look around, you see people who seem to bypass this system. Not a huge number, but’s definitely “a thing.”

I call this zone the “magic level of academia.” This is a world filled with best selling authors, MacArthur prize winners, retired politicians, star musicians, and political activists. It’s obviously not a huge world, but it does exist and it is a career goal one can have. It seems that most of this world is built for “stars” who have reached a pinnacle in their profession and need a terminal position in their career. Thus, most of “magic level” academia is really about older people. Yet, you can still get into this stream of academia at a younger age if you are a normal academic, but become a star in the popular press. A while back, I might have put someone like Richard Florida into such a camp. He became a huge focus in the popular press and was able to move very easily between high profile positions and centers.

I use the word “magic” level of academia because success in a non-university domains allows the individual to completely by pass the standard work of academia. People in the “magic level” aren’t expected to battle for space in elite journals or do the grind of running a lab. They have editors at major popular presses eagerly listen to their latest pitches. They don’t mentor dissertation students, or explain why a paper was a B- instead of a B+. And they certainly don’t do faculty meetings! Their job is simply to bring their charisma to the campus, maintain their presence in the public sphere, help some folks make connections, and teach the occasional seminar, where most get As.

I don’t begrudge them this. If having a fancy retired politician helps the university bring in donations, I won’t complain. I also understand that universities are cultural and symbolic institutions. Most people won’t care if a university hires the best scholar who studies symplectic geometry, but they are impressed that a Pulitzer prize winner is on the staff. The magic level of academic has its uses.

As for myself, I will keep treating the magic level of academia as a nearby curiosity. It would be nice to be in that realm, but it’s not really what my life is about. I’m here to do science and I’m here to teach. If the public loves what I say and they promote me to the magic level, cool. If not, I remain grateful. I get to do a job that’s really amazing in an institution that has been nice to me, That’s a good thing.

++++++
50+ chapters of grad skool advice goodness: Grad Skool Rulz ($4.44 – cheap!!!!)
Intro to sociology for just $1 per chapter – INSANE BARGAIN!!!!!
A theory book you can understand!!! Theory for the Working Sociologist (discount code: ROJAS – 30% off!!)
The rise of Black Studies:  From Black Power to Black Studies 
Did Obama tank the antiwar movement? Party in the Street
Read Contexts Magazine– It’s Awesome!!!!

Written by fabiorojas

September 17, 2020 at 12:00 am

Posted in uncategorized

how dangerous is it to open college campuses? evidence from enclosed communities at sea exposed to COVID, the us and sweden

with 5 comments

How damaging would in-person college be for the college population? I think we have some evidence to help us sort through this issue. Namely, there are some relatively closed communities where people lived in close quarters and were exposed to COVID. We can estimate the damage. These communities are similar to colleges in that they housed people together. We also know, months later, how many people got sick and how many died. Specifically, we can look at ships where people were in close contact and got a lot of COVID.

Worst Case Scenario: The Diamond Princess is a cruise ship that was at sea early in the epidemic. People got sick and it wasn’t allowed to port for a while. The result? According to the wiki, 700 out of 3711 tested positive (18%) and 14 died (.3%). This is a population with many elderly passengers and, also according to the wiki, at least 12 of 14 fatalities were 60 or older. The Diamond Princess did not practice social distancing and, also according to the wiki, held social events like parties. I call this “worst case” because you had an elderly population, high density, and no social distancing. Also, my presumption is that the Diamond Princess medical clinic did not have access to much medical equipment, like ventilators, that could save people. In other words, this has all the conditions leading to maximal harm.

Bad but Closer to Colleges: Many naval ships experienced COVID epidemics. This is important to look into because naval have few elderly people, lots of young people, and those people tend to be in good health. Also, most naval ships have medical staff and facilities that would be better at handling severe COVID cases. Thus, it is more similar to college dorms or fraternity/sorority buildings where people live close together, are mostly young, and mostly in good health. Also, infected college students could access campus clinics. The result? The wiki list of Naval ship COVID epidemics reports that in 24 ships with known epidemics and known crew sizes, there were about 8,890 sailors and 3 fatalities (.03%). Overall, that’s one order of magnitude less than the worst case scenario of the Diamond Princess. In other words, a large boat of young people has 90% fewer mortalities than a boat full of old people.

The CDC has reported on the USS Theodore Roosevelt specifically and there is some good evidence on how social distancing measures worked. For example, the CDC reported that 1273 out of about 5000 sailors tested positive COVID (25%). In a convenience sample, the CDC reported that infection rates among those assigned to wear masks was lower (80% vs. 50%).

Now, let’s get back to the general population and compare mortality rates:

  1. THE US population: As of September, we have about 188,000 fatalities and the trend is downward in the short term. Let’s say that 220,000 people die in the US in the 2020 calendar year. Then the overall fatality rate is .06%.
  2. Worst Case Scenario (mostly elderly, close together no social distancing): .3%
  3. Bad but With Mostly Young People (young health people, some distancing): .03%.
  4. Sweden/Let’s get herd immunity/little prevention: 6,000 / 9,800,000 = .06%.

If you believe colleges are places with young, healthy people close together and some social distancing, then the Navy ship is a similar situation. These ships have a mortality rate *below* the US population as a whole (.03% vs. .06%). Also, Navy ships have a lower mortality rate below Sweden, which has chosen the “no resistance/herd immunity” path (.03% vs. .06%). If you think college campuses would be a complete disaster (like the Diamond Princess, .3% mortality), then you are assuming that colleges are not like Naval ships, not like the US population, not like the Swedish population and more like a population of partying old people. It is theoretically possible, but unlikely in my view.

In terms of policy, I say the evidence suggests that letting people back to college is no more dangerous than these situations: Naval ships – close contact, some distancing; the US – mixed density, mixed distancing; and Sweden – high urban density, no distancing. Value is subjective and maybe these cases horrify you, but as loyal readers know, I think most people would accept this level of risk if they can gain back employment and their social lives.

++++++
50+ chapters of grad skool advice goodness: Grad Skool Rulz ($4.44 – cheap!!!!)
Intro to sociology for just $1 per chapter – INSANE BARGAIN!!!!!
A theory book you can understand!!! Theory for the Working Sociologist (discount code: ROJAS – 30% off!!)
The rise of Black Studies:  From Black Power to Black Studies 
Did Obama tank the antiwar movement? Party in the Street
Read Contexts Magazine– It’s Awesome!!!!

Written by fabiorojas

September 15, 2020 at 8:50 pm

Posted in uncategorized

sharon isbin/capricho arabe

leave a comment »

++++++
50+ chapters of grad skool advice goodness: Grad Skool Rulz ($4.44 – cheap!!!!)
Intro to sociology for just $1 per chapter – INSANE BARGAIN!!!!!
A theory book you can understand!!! Theory for the Working Sociologist (discount code: ROJAS – 30% off!!)
The rise of Black Studies:  From Black Power to Black Studies 
Did Obama tank the antiwar movement? Party in the Street
Read Contexts Magazine– It’s Awesome!!!!

Written by fabiorojas

September 13, 2020 at 12:27 am

Posted in uncategorized

notes on stanford’s black studies panel

leave a comment »

I was very lucky to be on a panel with some very excellent scholars such as Kimberly McNair, Aileen K. Robinson, and Eddie Glaude, Jr. The issue was how to move Stanford’s unit from program to department. I started off with a historical over view of how Black Studies and Black Power are related. Then, Eddie Glaude, Jr. spoke about the challenges of moving Princeton’s program to department status. Kimberly McNair spoke about the role of activism in the Black Studies field and Aileen K. Robinson spoke about her experiences in various kinds of Africana Studies units.

A few brief comments:

  1. The bureaucratic resistance to Black Studies has been constant for over 50 years. Many of the issues that Professor Glaude mentioned also happened at other programs. While Black Studies is urgent for students and scholars, it must overcome either indifference or hostility at higher levels.
  2. Professor Robinson spoke about the variety of educational experiences to be found in programs organized at departments and interdisciplinary. A key issue is that she found both forms of academic organization had important things to offer.
  3. Professor McNair raised multiple issues. Once that I thought was interesting was the role of activism. One thing that I found in my historical study of Africana programs is that many activists don’t have a sense of what make the university tick and thus sometimes have a tough time.

The big issue in the talk was the shift to the department structure, which grants relative permanence, stability, authority, and resources. I look forward to when the Clayman Institue posts the discussion.

++++++
50+ chapters of grad skool advice goodness: Grad Skool Rulz ($4.44 – cheap!!!!)
Intro to sociology for just $1 per chapter – INSANE BARGAIN!!!!!
A theory book you can understand!!! Theory for the Working Sociologist (discount code: ROJAS – 30% off!!)
The rise of Black Studies:  From Black Power to Black Studies 
Did Obama tank the antiwar movement? Party in the Street
Read Contexts Magazine– It’s Awesome!!!!

Written by fabiorojas

September 10, 2020 at 3:06 pm

Posted in uncategorized

black studies at stanford: check it out!!!!

leave a comment »

On Wednesday, noon PST/3 pm EST, I will be on a panel with Eddie Glaude and Kimberly Thomas McNair speaking about the proposal at Stanford to change its Africana studies unit from a program to a department. Register here to attend the event. Thanks for checking it out.

++++++
50+ chapters of grad skool advice goodness: Grad Skool Rulz ($4.44 – cheap!!!!)
Intro to sociology for just $1 per chapter – INSANE BARGAIN!!!!!
A theory book you can understand!!! Theory for the Working Sociologist (discount code: ROJAS – 30% off!!)
The rise of Black Studies:  From Black Power to Black Studies 
Did Obama tank the antiwar movement? Party in the Street
Read Contexts Magazine– It’s Awesome!!!!

Written by fabiorojas

September 8, 2020 at 3:53 am

Posted in uncategorized

rare early alice coltrane

leave a comment »

++++++
50+ chapters of grad skool advice goodness: Grad Skool Rulz ($4.44 – cheap!!!!)
Intro to sociology for just $1 per chapter – INSANE BARGAIN!!!!!
A theory book you can understand!!! Theory for the Working Sociologist (discount code: ROJAS – 30% off!!)
The rise of Black Studies:  From Black Power to Black Studies 
Did Obama tank the antiwar movement? Party in the Street
Read Contexts Magazine– It’s Awesome!!!!

Written by fabiorojas

September 6, 2020 at 12:04 am

Posted in uncategorized

should harvard randomize admissions?

with 3 comments

We recently discussed in detail the podcast “Nice White Parents,” which was about the lack of racial integration in a Brooklyn middle school. Interestingly, one policy reform that emerged in the end was that parents successfully lobbied to end the labyrinthine system of admissions. If you want your kid to go to public middle school in that district, rank your schools, send it in, and then wait for the lottery to be announced.

A question I had at the end was: Why not use lotteries and randomization to hand out public school resources more generally? For example, a huge problem in elite college education is that parents invest a huge amount into making their kids “special” so they can get through ultra competitive admissions processes. Low income families and people of color don’t have the financial or cultural resources to play that game, and frankly, that’s by design in many cases (see Jerome Karabel’s The Chosen, for example).

So instead of tinkering with elite college admissions, why not just bypass them? Just say, “look, students with at least XX% SAT or GPA tend to do well here. If you are above that cut off, you will be entered into an admissions lottery.” Since colleges need private donors and public support, you can reserve some slice of admits for alumni, athletes, children of senators, and so forth.

Bottom line: We can’t prevent wealthy parents from pushing their kids, but we do have some tools for dealing with the problem.

++++++
50+ chapters of grad skool advice goodness: Grad Skool Rulz ($4.44 – cheap!!!!)
Intro to sociology for just $1 per chapter – INSANE BARGAIN!!!!!
A theory book you can understand!!! Theory for the Working Sociologist (discount code: ROJAS – 30% off!!)
The rise of Black Studies:  From Black Power to Black Studies 
Did Obama tank the antiwar movement? Party in the Street
Read Contexts Magazine– It’s Awesome!!!!

Written by fabiorojas

September 2, 2020 at 6:41 pm

Posted in uncategorized

open borders: 2020 conference announced and it’s ultra amazing!!!!

BIG ANNOUNCEMENT: It is my pleasure to announce the 3rd Open Borders conference, on November 21, 2020. It will be amazing.In order to promote public safety, we have decided to do this year’s conference online. By going online, we can bring the ideas of the open borders movement to more people in more parts of the world. So check this out: the 3rd Open Borders conference will be held in three different time zones!

Each time zone will have a key note speaker, additional panels, and more. Below, I list our key notes. SIGN UP HERE.

London/GMT: Helena Maleno – the internationally recognized human rights activist and journalist will speak about supporting migration.

New York/EST: Shikha Sood Dalmia is a nationally known writer who covers migration, and other pubic policy topics, for the Reason Foundation.

Los Angeles/PST: Harsha Walia is the executive director of the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association.

In order to attend, simply sign up using THIS LINK. We ask for a small donation to help with costs, like paying for bandwidth and translators. I really hope you can donate or attend the event.

Special thanks goes to our organizing committee: David Bennion, Steve Sacco, Jammila Hammami for making this happen.

++++++
50+ chapters of grad skool advice goodness: Grad Skool Rulz ($4.44 – cheap!!!!)
Intro to sociology for just $1 per chapter – INSANE BARGAIN!!!!!
A theory book you can understand!!! Theory for the Working Sociologist (discount code: ROJAS – 30% off!!)
The rise of Black Studies:  From Black Power to Black Studies 
Did Obama tank the antiwar movement? Party in the Street
Read Contexts Magazine– It’s Awesome!!!!

Written by fabiorojas

August 31, 2020 at 3:19 pm

Posted in uncategorized

2sich covers gojira who covers deliverance, yes, indeed it is “too sick”

++++++
50+ chapters of grad skool advice goodness: Grad Skool Rulz ($4.44 – cheap!!!!)
Intro to sociology for just $1 per chapter – INSANE BARGAIN!!!!!
A theory book you can understand!!! Theory for the Working Sociologist (discount code: ROJAS – 30% off!!)
The rise of Black Studies:  From Black Power to Black Studies 
Did Obama tank the antiwar movement? Party in the Street
Read Contexts Magazine– It’s Awesome!!!!

Written by fabiorojas

August 30, 2020 at 12:34 am

Posted in uncategorized

the political economy of “nice white parents, part 3 – are lotteries justice?

This is the concluding post to my discussion of the NY Times podcast, “Nice White Parents.” A constant issue in education is that we have shifting and competing goals. Pre-Brown v. Board, the whole point was that public schools failed Black students on both counts. Schools simply failed to educate Black students and they obviously treated them in unequal and degrading ways. Post-Brown v. Board, legal separation is over, but there are two related, but distinct issues. First, since schooling is tied to housing in the US, low-SES minority groups will usually have fewer resources. So there is no equality in resources, even if there is legal equality in access (e.g., any resident of this neighborhood is allowed to go to a local school). Second, a lot of parents want “positional goods,” they want the best schools, not merely satisfactory schools. In fact, schooling in the US has shifted toward a model where parents compete for schools – bidding up the price of homes with good schools, competing for spots in “good” schools in urban centers and suburbs, and then competing for college admissions. This, in turn, encourage racial inequality in school.

In the Nice What Parents podcast, this system of parental and child competition is shown to have perverse consequences. Parents endlessly agonize over getting their kids into the right school, coalitions of NWPs endlessly demand more for their kids from the school without including PoCs.

The last episode of the podcast shows how some parents pushed back against this system. They also tackled the issue of equity and by passed the problem where low SES neighborhoods get underfunded schools. A coalition of parents lobbied to have the school district abolish the system where kids compete to get into a school and kids are assigned to school by lottery.

Is the lottery system “justice?” Was the previous system just? A lot hinges on what you think justice is. At the very least, you should get what you pay for. Black parents work hard and pay taxes. Their schools should be adequately staffed and safe. Furthermore, the point of public schooling is not to provide extra special education for some people, but solid basic education for all people. If NWPs want special French classes, they can pay for them.

Ironically, the lottery system of admission is the way that many charter schools run. To prevent parents from gaming the charter school system, many states and jurisdictions require that admissions be randomized. The fact that the PS. 93 parents in Brooklyn pushed for a lottery leads me to suspect that they ultimately decided that parent gaming is not a solvable problem. You just have to by pass it.

So here’s a political ethics question for readers. In what areas of public policy would it be fair and just to randomize access? Can the lesson of schools be transferred to other situations? It’s a good question.

++++++
50+ chapters of grad skool advice goodness: Grad Skool Rulz ($4.44 – cheap!!!!)
Intro to sociology for just $1 per chapter – INSANE BARGAIN!!!!!
A theory book you can understand!!! Theory for the Working Sociologist (discount code: ROJAS – 30% off!!)
The rise of Black Studies:  From Black Power to Black Studies 
Did Obama tank the antiwar movement? Party in the Street
Read Contexts Magazine– It’s Awesome!!!!

Written by fabiorojas

August 27, 2020 at 3:00 pm

Posted in uncategorized

the political economy of “nice white parents,” part deux – what do people actually want from schools?

Note: In the previous post, I called the non-white parents “local,” which Andrew Gelman thought was inaccurate. I will now call them “PoCs” (Parents of Color).

This is the second post on the podcast called “Nice White Parents” by Chana Joffe-Waltz. It is produced by the New York Times and it is about the history of a school in Brooklyn where “Nice White Parents” (NWPs) demanded and then bailed on school integration. In the last post, I focused on the fact that public schools often have multiple, conflicting constituents.

In this post, I want to focus on a related issue – exactly what do people want schools to do? If you are an education researcher or sociologist of education, you know this issue well. People want schools to do everything, and I mean everything. A small example: a few weeks ago, I was rereading Angela Davis’ Are Prisons Obsolete? What is her replacement for prisons? You got it – schools!

In the podcast, I found that people discussed or interviewed wanted public schools to do the following:

  • Make good citizens
  • Provide a racially diverse experience for kids
  • Provide a safe place for learning reading and the basics
  • Provide advanced topics like French immersion
  • Provide schooling close to where they live
  • Provide discipline and order for kids
  • Improved standardized test scores
  • Individualized education
  • Prepare people for jobs
  • Equal access to schools
  • Rewards for gifted or high achieving and/or special needs students
  • Provide for democratic input into schools

These are not bad goals, but they do compete with each other and sometimes they conflict. For example, since schools usually draw on local populations, you may get de facto segregated schools if housing markets are segregated. So “school close by” and “racially mixed” are simply incompatible in many places. Something has to give.

In private school settings and charter school settings, the administration can pick goals. They choose some and tell parents “take it or leave it.” In fact, the Success Academy does exactly that. They focus on standardized education, classroom orders, and “one size fits all.” Parents are not allowed to have input and lots of parents leave. This is often easier said than done, as wealthy parents will still press private schools that need money, but I’d would guess the private or charter school administrator has an easier time than their public school counter part.

In terms of PS. 93 in Brooklyn, the school (until recently, which we’ll get to later) seems to have simply let everyone try everything. NWPs tried international schooling and French immersion, which PoCs did not want or need. PoCs wanted basic skills and safety, which NWPs weren’t interested in as their kids often had special tracks. And the administration itself was constantly juggling the demands of all these groups.

The bottom line here is that “Nice White Parents” is not merely a story of racial division in education, it is also a great example of the conundrum of trying to provide a service in a highly open and democratic manner. The intentions are good, but when everyone gets input and no one is really accountable, you get very murky results.

++++++
50+ chapters of grad skool advice goodness: Grad Skool Rulz ($4.44 – cheap!!!!)
Intro to sociology for just $1 per chapter – INSANE BARGAIN!!!!!
A theory book you can understand!!! Theory for the Working Sociologist (discount code: ROJAS – 30% off!!)
The rise of Black Studies:  From Black Power to Black Studies 
Did Obama tank the antiwar movement? Party in the Street
Read Contexts Magazine– It’s Awesome!!!!

Written by fabiorojas

August 25, 2020 at 1:35 pm

Posted in uncategorized

laid to rest (2020 quarantine edition)

++++++
50+ chapters of grad skool advice goodness: Grad Skool Rulz ($4.44 – cheap!!!!)
Intro to sociology for just $1 per chapter – INSANE BARGAIN!!!!!
A theory book you can understand!!! Theory for the Working Sociologist (discount code: ROJAS – 30% off!!)
The rise of Black Studies:  From Black Power to Black Studies 
Did Obama tank the antiwar movement? Party in the Street
Read Contexts Magazine– It’s Awesome!!!!

Written by fabiorojas

August 23, 2020 at 5:05 pm

Posted in uncategorized

the political economy of “nice white parents” – part 1, schools are complex organizations

The New York Times has a new podcast series called “Nice White Parents.” The story is reported by Chana Joffe-Walt and it’s about the her child’s school in Brooklyn. The focus of the series is the fact that the school, and many others in New York, has remained segregated throughout most of its history.

The main characters in the story are “nice white parents,” non-white parents, and various school officials in New York City. Her main thesis is that “nice white parents” (NWPs) constantly make demands on the school, ask for special privileges and often bail on schools when it comes time to actual enroll in the school. The result is a school that remains segregated. The podcast I think will be very interesting to sociologists of education, organizational sociologists, and political sociologists. There’s even a cameo by sociologist Eve Ewing, who has written a book on the Chicago public schools, and was a consultant for the series.

I’ll write a few posts about the series. This first one will be how the podcast illustrates something that organizational sociologists have always appreciated about schools, but that non-specialists overlook. Schools have murky goals and multiple sites of decision. The average person thinks of schools in Weberian terms – their is a goal (teaching), a hierarchy, and an trained experts (teachers) whose job it is to carry out instruction. While this is true on paper, the reality is much more complex.

For example, Joffe-Walt describes two groups of parents who participate in the school in extremely different ways. A group of NWPs push for dual language instruction in French and even go to the effort to create a private foundation that will raise earmarked money for the project. The PTA, in contrast, collects funds through “mom and pop” activities like bake sales and raffles. I’ll call these people the “Local Parents,” who are mainly Black, Latino, and Middle Eastern, as reported by Joffe-Walt.

The reporting focuses mainly on cultural differences, There is clearly discomfort by the local parents when they are asked to participated in a fundraising activity associated with the French embassy in Washington. The local parents often feel that the school is being co-opted.

But at other points, Joffe-Walt hits on a deeper point that I want to elaborate on: NWPs and Local Parents simply want different things out of schools. As the narrator points out, earning a high school degree and obtaining basic skills is an extremely valuable thing that a school can offer. It’s a stepping stone to college and better jobs. In contrast, the children of NWPs seem to want a luxury good. Their kids will get the basics not matter what. If their kids want college, they’ll get it regardless of what their local school does For them. The issue is that the school doesn’t offer luxury goods, like dual language instruction. And yes, in comparison with basic literacy and math skills, having a class in French is a luxury.

In my reading of the story, a big issue is that the school has two constituencies who simply need different things and they are allowed to assert influence, which results in the somewhat chaotic series of changes at the school. Some want luxury education and while others want the basics. When she looks at the historical record, she finds NWPs who demanded desegregated schools and bailed on them. They framed things in terms of the benefits of a diverse, to use a modern term, school. In contrast, Local Parents wanted safe and clean schools that were nearby and that offered basic education. Desegregation was not a luxury item for them, it was just about obtaining basic public services.

Getting back to organizational sociology, Joffe-Walt has stumbled upon is the “garbage can” model of organization. According to that theory, there are some organizations that characterized by vague goals (“making citizens”), vague technologies and decentralized decision making. Public schools, like the one in Nice White Parents, fits that description perfectly. You have a situation where multiple groups (the school board, the principal, NWPs, Local Parents) use the school to all pursue their own goals. What makes things worse is that some actors have very little investment in schools, so it is easy for them to make demands and then not follow through. NWPs have the money for private schools, Locals don’t.

I’ll conclude with a comment about institutional design. If a key issue is that NWPs make these demands on schools, why not simply prohibit them from doing so? Or have a rule that if you make a demand on a school, you must have enrolled kids or commit to enroll them? Why not work harder to de-emphasize the chaotic “garbage can” aspect of public schools? In the podcast series, Joffe-Walt does talk about the Success Academies, a network of charter schools that does exactly that. These school basically use a one size fits all model and they really don’t want input from outsiders. But this is probably a non-starter for most parents who don’t want a rigid approach to school, they *want* a messy system with PTAs, school boards, and private foundations involved. The deepest lesson is that public schools deliver what their structure allows: a system where a concern with teaching basic skills is bundled with external interventions.

++++++
50+ chapters of grad skool advice goodness: Grad Skool Rulz ($4.44 – cheap!!!!)
Intro to sociology for just $1 per chapter – INSANE BARGAIN!!!!!
A theory book you can understand!!! Theory for the Working Sociologist (discount code: ROJAS – 30% off!!)
The rise of Black Studies:  From Black Power to Black Studies 
Did Obama tank the antiwar movement? Party in the Street
Read Contexts Magazine– It’s Awesome!!!!

Written by fabiorojas

August 20, 2020 at 5:40 pm

Posted in uncategorized

open borders: a response to jake syma about refugees and self-selection effects

Last week, we had an ASA session on open borders. Tanya Golash-Boza, David Fitzgerald, and my self gave short talks on open borders. Overall, I am very happy with what happened. Not only did all panelists deliver a set of interesting comments, but about 30 in total. Not bad for a session with minimal advertising on a controversial topic. If someone out there wants to help with audio processing to make a nice podcast, please reach out. My zoom recorded it.

Here, I want to discuss an issue about open borders that Jake Syma brought up on Facebook. When I talk about open borders, I often discuss self-selection of immigrants. People often wonder if immigrants will bring crime or become dependent on public services. I say that this is counter-intuitive because of self-selection. Immigrants are not a random sample of people from the home country. Rather, immigrants tend to b above average because migration often requires that you save money, plan ahead, and learn a new language and culture.

When I was speaking, I casually said that maybe refugees are an exception. On Facebook, Jake then asked why I thought that. This post is a response to Jake’s query. My mental model of refugees is that a war or other forms of mass violence occur and that entire populations move. In this model of refugee migration, everyone is moved out. So there is no self selection for better people. But this might not be true. It probably is not the case that wars randomly move people. For example, perhaps some people are part of the conflict and they stay home in order to fight and settle grievances. Another issue is that moving is costly no matter the reason. So refugee populations may be more middle or upper class than the population average. The public image of Syrian Civil War refugees was that may were middle class. I would be very interested in knowing if that impression is true.

The two selection processes that I mentioned (people who fight stay home/wealthier and more educated people are more likely to move) produce migrant populations that will likely be less likely to be incarcerated or rely on public services. However, war and internal conflict has complex effects on society and it may be the case that selection effects produce populations that have high incarceration rates and might be less well off economically.

Still, this would not dampen my enthusiasm for open borders. Refugee crises are the exception, not the norm, in immigration. Most immigration brings people who seek work and opportunity. Even in the case of refugee migration, I would be hesitant to stop their movement. As I note above, there are reasons to think refugee populations are above average due to selection effects. But even if that weren’t the case, the benefits to be gained (e.g., not dying) really outweigh the likely modest strain on public services.

++++++
50+ chapters of grad skool advice goodness: Grad Skool Rulz ($4.44 – cheap!!!!)
Intro to sociology for just $1 per chapter – INSANE BARGAIN!!!!!
A theory book you can understand!!! Theory for the Working Sociologist (discount code: ROJAS – 30% off!!)
The rise of Black Studies:  From Black Power to Black Studies 
Did Obama tank the antiwar movement? Party in the Street
Read Contexts Magazine– It’s Awesome!!!!

Written by fabiorojas

August 17, 2020 at 4:52 pm

Posted in uncategorized

teaching resources on employee ownership – guest post by adria scharf

For those of you who are constructing courses or gathering materials for students or practitioners, please have a look at Adria Scharf’s guest post about a new online resource.  Adria Scharf  is the director of the Curriculum Library for Employee Ownership at Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations.

“Teaching Resources on Employee Ownership

The Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations houses a free online library of teaching resources about employee ownership with more than 600 teaching materials and links, including case studies, videos, policy reports, syllabi, and articles. Find the Curriculum Library for Employee Ownership (CLEO) site here: http://cleo.rutgers.edu.

 

RutgersCLEOScreen Shot 2020-08-07 at 5.33.04 PM

The library includes about 75 resources–such as journal articles, films, case studies, and policy reports–about worker cooperatives. It provides 90 links to company case studies–most of which were written for business school classrooms;  50 resources on “capitalism,” and more.

The site is designed to give instructors in business schools, sociology, labor studies, and other fields resources to teach about, and research, employee ownership. It conceives of employee ownership to include a wide range of organizational forms ranging from truly democratic worker cooperatives to more traditional public and private companies that share stock broadly with their employees.

From the CLEO home page, you can search by key word, title, or author name. Click on “Advanced Search” to filter your searches by multiple criteria. At the bottom of the home page, you can browse the database by search categories including Format, Discipline, Subject, Industry, World Region or Country, Company Name, and/or Publication Date.

RutgersCLEOsamplesearchScreen Shot 2020-08-07 at 5.34.53 PM

Also on the home page, click on “CLEO Collections” to find free downloadable case studies, recent videos and new policy reports.”

RutgersCLEOcollectionsScreen Shot 2020-08-07 at 5.36.17 PM

Written by katherinechen

August 10, 2020 at 3:19 pm

the sociology of worker ownership – guest post by adria scharf

In this guest post, Adria Scharf, director of the Curriculum Library for Employee Ownership, invites you to watch a video workshop that can help inform research, course syllabi, reading lists, and work with practitioners.  Read on for more info, including a special Q&A session at the 2020 ASA meeting.

“The Sociology of Worker Ownership

“Worker ownership” offers both an alternative to the dominant capitalist model of the employment relationship and a means to broaden the ownership of wealth in society.

In this video workshop, “The Sociology of Worker Ownership: New Data Sets and Research Approaches,” leading researchers introduce datasets and research approaches to study worker ownership and its effects:

The video opens with comments from Joyce Rothschild and Joseph Blasi, and is moderated by Adria Scharf.  Janet Boguslaw, Laura Hanson Schlachter, Nancy Weifek, and Joseph Blasi present data sets and research. Sarah Reibstein also contributed.

Alternatively, you can view the video (automatic cc: available) here: https://cleo.rutgers.edu/articles/the-sociology-of-worker-ownership-new-data-sets-and-research-approaches/

This Research & Policy Workshop was developed for the 2020 Annual Meeting of the ASA.  A live Q&A with the presenters will take place at the 2020 ASA virtual annual meeting on Tues., August 11th at 5:30 EDT.

Find a list of several datasets, with information on how to access them, here:

https://cleo.rutgers.edu/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Datasets-on-Employee-Ownership-2.pdf

 

Written by katherinechen

August 4, 2020 at 6:46 pm

in memory of primo pisares

My father in law, Primo Pisares of Salinas, California, passed away at the age of 84. Here is his obituary at the Struve and La Porte Memorial Chapel. Thank you.

++++++
50+ chapters of grad skool advice goodness: Grad Skool Rulz ($4.44 – cheap!!!!)
Intro to sociology for just $1 per chapter – INSANE BARGAIN!!!!!
A theory book you can understand!!! Theory for the Working Sociologist (discount code: ROJAS – 30% off!!)
The rise of Black Studies:  From Black Power to Black Studies 
Did Obama tank the antiwar movement? Party in the Street
Read Contexts Magazine– It’s Awesome!!!!

Written by fabiorojas

July 24, 2020 at 5:58 pm

Posted in uncategorized

open borders talk on youtube + blogcation

Hi, everyone:

I will be taking a break from public writing for a few weeks. In the meanwhile, feel free to watch the recent panel with Ilya Somin and Daniel Morales on the legal foundations of open borders.

Sincerely,

Fabio

++++++
50+ chapters of grad skool advice goodness: Grad Skool Rulz ($4.44 – cheap!!!!)
Intro to sociology for just $1 per chapter – INSANE BARGAIN!!!!!
A theory book you can understand!!! Theory for the Working Sociologist (discount code: ROJAS – 30% off!!)
The rise of Black Studies:  From Black Power to Black Studies 
Did Obama tank the antiwar movement? Party in the Street
Read Contexts Magazine– It’s Awesome!!!!

Written by fabiorojas

July 21, 2020 at 3:16 pm

Posted in uncategorized

get more jensen

+++++++
50+ chapters of grad skool advice goodness: Grad Skool Rulz ($4.44 – cheap!!!!)
Intro to sociology for just $1 per chapter – INSANE BARGAIN!!!!!
A theory book you can understand!!! Theory for the Working Sociologist (discount code: ROJAS – 30% off!!)
The rise of Black Studies:  From Black Power to Black Studies 
Did Obama tank the antiwar movement? Party in the Street
Read Contexts Magazine– It’s Awesome!!!!

Written by fabiorojas

July 19, 2020 at 6:56 pm

Posted in uncategorized

defense for the “open” position during covid

On Twitter, my good friend Mike Bader asked me if I still believed that “opening” is a good thing. My answer is yes. Roughly speaking, I believe that most institutions should try to resume normal operations and we should end most versions of the lock down.

In this post, I will explain my position in some detail. Here is the argument in brief, then I will explain the different parts below.

  1. Public policy should usually be focused on understanding trade offs and assessing risk. Totally eliminating a problem is often not technically viable or it has very large costs. Public policy should explore low cost partial solutions rather than seek perfect solutions.
  2. In understanding COVID risk, I focus less on case numbers, because they are ambiguous and there is a wide variation in terms of the impact on individual lives. Instead, I focus on mortality.
  3. We will likely have multiple waves of COVID if it is similar to other epidemics in US and world history.
  4. COVID is extremely dangerous for elderly people, but not for most other people. Deaths seem to be disproportionately concentrated in nursing homes.
  5. There are reasonable way to drastically reduce COVID transmission that do not entail more severe lockdown measures: remove people from nursing homes; wearing masks; avoid large gatherings.
  6. The level of COVID mortality is in the range of previous epidemics (except Spanish flu, which was way higher) and similar in magnitude to other risks that we already live with.
Read the rest of this entry »

Written by fabiorojas

July 16, 2020 at 12:52 am

Posted in uncategorized

medieval jolene

++++++++
50+ chapters of grad skool advice goodness: Grad Skool Rulz ($4.44 – cheap!!!!)
Intro to sociology for just $1 per chapter – INSANE BARGAIN!!!!!
A theory book you can understand!!! Theory for the Working Sociologist (discount code: ROJAS – 30% off!!)
The rise of Black Studies:  From Black Power to Black Studies 
Did Obama tank the antiwar movement? Party in the Street
Read Contexts Magazine– It’s Awesome!!!!

Written by fabiorojas

July 12, 2020 at 4:01 pm

Posted in uncategorized

open borders: a free webinar with daniel morales and ilya somin on july 16th, 1pm est

On July 16th, at 1pm, we will have a 1 hour discussion/Q&A with legal eagles Daniel Moral and Ilya Morales. The topic will be the legal theory for open borders. Participants will have the chance to ask their own questions. It is free and all you have to do is sign up here.

Be there or be square!!!

++++++++
50+ chapters of grad skool advice goodness: Grad Skool Rulz ($4.44 – cheap!!!!)
Intro to sociology for just $1 per chapter – INSANE BARGAIN!!!!!
A theory book you can understand!!! Theory for the Working Sociologist (discount code: ROJAS – 30% off!!)
The rise of Black Studies:  From Black Power to Black Studies 
Did Obama tank the antiwar movement? Party in the Street
Read Contexts Magazine– It’s Awesome!!!!

Written by fabiorojas

July 8, 2020 at 6:18 pm

Posted in uncategorized

contexts and the police insurance bill

A general view of an NYPD SUV on patrol in the Harlem section of New York, NY

The New York Post reported today that the NY state assembly is considering a bill to require officers to buy their own insurance to cover misconduct claims:

Biaggi’s proposal would require each officer to obtain individual liability insurance. The city or other local governments would still be required to cover the basic insurance policy to cover tort litigation costs.

But Biaggi said her bill would better hold officers accountable by requiring them to pay any increase in premiums related to payouts for wrongdoing.

“Officers who have misconduct claims brought against them may see their premium go up and will be required to pay those costs. The purpose of this bill is to establish a financial disincentive for police misconduct and create accountability for abhorrent behavior,” she said.

Between July 2017 and June 2018, New York City paid out $230 million in 6,472 cases for alleged misconduct or alleged wrongdoing by officers, according to a report released by city Comptroller Scott Stringer’s office.

Wow.

Contexts has a policy brief by Rarkimm Fields on exactly this policy. Read it here. The main issue is that many reforms that aim to reduce police misconduct don’t work terribly well. So making officers invest in insurance is a way to restructure incentives in a more positive way. I am very pleased that Contexts was one voice that promoted this reform. Check it out.

++++++++
50+ chapters of grad skool advice goodness: Grad Skool Rulz ($4.44 – cheap!!!!)
Intro to sociology for just $1 per chapter – INSANE BARGAIN!!!!!
A theory book you can understand!!! Theory for the Working Sociologist (discount code: ROJAS – 30% off!!)
The rise of Black Studies:  From Black Power to Black Studies 
Did Obama tank the antiwar movement? Party in the Street
Read Contexts Magazine– It’s Awesome!!!!

Written by fabiorojas

July 7, 2020 at 4:34 pm

Posted in uncategorized

i loves you porgy (botti edition, indiana special)

++++++++
50+ chapters of grad skool advice goodness: Grad Skool Rulz ($4.44 – cheap!!!!)
Intro to sociology for just $1 per chapter – INSANE BARGAIN!!!!!
A theory book you can understand!!! Theory for the Working Sociologist (discount code: ROJAS – 30% off!!)
The rise of Black Studies:  From Black Power to Black Studies 
Did Obama tank the antiwar movement? Party in the Street
Read Contexts Magazine– It’s Awesome!!!!

Written by fabiorojas

July 5, 2020 at 12:55 am

Posted in uncategorized

book spotlight: american bonds – how credit markets shaped a nation by sarah l. quinn

Schumpeter, in an essay on fiscal sociology, once said that if you want to know what a society really values, look it spends in the budget and who it taxes. Sarah Quinn would add, “sure, but you have to pay for it somehow.” American Bonds is a very interesting historical sociology of how the American state used credit markets to manage economic and political problems. The book examines multiple cases of how credit markets were made, and unmade, in the 19th and 20th centuries. If the book has a core argument, it might be that where ever you see political development, credit markets are not far behind.

The book itself is fiscal sociology. It examines things like the history of credit expansion after the 1873 crash, mortgage bundling before the Great Depression, and the rise of securitization in the late 20th and early 21st century. The lesson is an important one: credit markets are a tool for state making, in good and bad ways. When you read 19th American history, you see this out of the corner of your eye – all that home building was financed by someone. Of course, in the Great Depression, credit markets take center stage, and they also did in the Great Recession of 2007. In this way, Quinn’s book is an important to economic and political sociology. You can’t understand American political development unless you understand how credit is made and distributed.

I am not an economic historian, so I can’t assess whether Quinn reads the evidence right or wrong on a specific historical episode. Instead, I’d like conclude by stepping back and thinking about the sorts of things she describes from a political economy perspective and tease out some normative points. Theoretically, she relies on a Polanyi style frame. Markets uncontaminated by politics are not reasonable, instead the history of markets is the history of politics. This leads her in the concluding chapter to side step the issue that state actors may have bad effects. She is odd since earlier chapters describe how state managed lenders enforced racial inequality and may have laid the groundwork for the Great Recession. My intuition is that she doesn’t want to lay the blame on state institutions because she doesn’t to align her self with laissez-faire defenders, which she critiques at various points in the book.

Instead, I would probably borrow a few ideas from outside economic sociology to think about bad faith state actors. First, I’d appeal to the Madisonian idea that states are just normally populated by bad actors, like lenders with anti-Black prejudice. That’s why we need checks and balances in a constitutional framework. Similarly, I think economic sociologists might think what checks and balances exist to counter credit markets and state run agencies. Second, if the issue is that cheapening credit leads to over investment and busts, then might there be a technocratic solution, in the same way the Fed tries to hit certain inflation targets or to be “neutral” in terms of the money supply? It’s an interesting thing to consider.

So overall, very good book and strongly recommended for anyone interested in economic sociology.

++++++++
50+ chapters of grad skool advice goodness: Grad Skool Rulz ($4.44 – cheap!!!!)
Intro to sociology for just $1 per chapter – INSANE BARGAIN!!!!!
A theory book you can understand!!! Theory for the Working Sociologist (discount code: ROJAS – 30% off!!)
The rise of Black Studies:  From Black Power to Black Studies 
Did Obama tank the antiwar movement? Party in the Street
Read Contexts Magazine– It’s Awesome!!!!

Written by fabiorojas

July 3, 2020 at 12:19 am

Posted in uncategorized

protest, covid and the social construction of risk

The purpose of this post is to discuss how Americans assess risk in light of COVID. In the last month or so, we’ve seen Americans break lock down and social distancing for many reasons. Most notably, we saw thousands of people across the nation appear for political demonstrations. At first, there were pro- and anti-lockdown protests. Later, we saw anti-racism protests in response to the murder of George Floyd. Other people broke lock down for religious reasons, jobs, and entertainment, like going to the beach.

The purpose in drawing attention to these mass gatherings is not to say that they are right or wrong, but to use them as an example of revealed preference. Given what we know about COVID, a lot of people seem comfortable in accepting a slightly higher mortality risk so they can mobilize for social change, engage in religion, find jobs, and enjoy life. This is not unexpected as people accept risk for many other activities such as driving a car (40k deaths in 2017), hospital acquired infections (99k deaths in 2013), and narcotics and alcohol consumption (67k deaths in 2018). In other words, COVID-2019 is will claim 200,000 lives in 2020, which two to five times the rate of some risks that people already accept. It should not be surprising that people are breaking lock downs for COVID.

In normative terms, I am not dismayed by this, given that COVID fatalities are disproportionately concentrated among the elderly and those in nursing homes. Thus, the risk to non-elderly, non-immune compromised people is quite low and comparable to other mortality causes that we don’t think about much. So, it doesn’t seem horrible if people start resuming parts of their lives. Perhaps the main policy directive should be to erect a barrier between the elderly and non-elderly, rather than engage in society wide lock down.

++++++++
50+ chapters of grad skool advice goodness: Grad Skool Rulz ($4.44 – cheap!!!!)
Intro to sociology for just $1 per chapter – INSANE BARGAIN!!!!!
A theory book you can understand!!! Theory for the Working Sociologist (discount code: ROJAS – 30% off!!)
The rise of Black Studies:  From Black Power to Black Studies 
Did Obama tank the antiwar movement? Party in the Street
Read Contexts Magazine– It’s Awesome!!!!

Written by fabiorojas

July 1, 2020 at 2:38 pm

Posted in uncategorized

academic free speech: blm dissent edition

At Inside Higher Education, Jonathan Zimmerman has a great essay on why professors should support other professors who voice unpopular views. He focuses on the case of Harald Uhlig, the Chicago economics professor who, quite simply, thinks Black Lives Matter is lame. In summary, Uhlig thinks BLM has completely unrealistic goals, he implies that BLM protesters are childish, and he compared them to flat earthers. Soon thereafter, there were calls by many prominent economists to have him removed from his position as the editor of the Journal of Political Economy and some alumni accused him of racist actions in the class room.

Zimmerman thinks people should lay off:

What I cannot accept is the way they called for his head, which is different from criticizing his comments. The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago cut ties with Uhlig, who had been a consultant in its research department. And economists around the country demanded that he step down as editor of his journal, arguing that his tweets had made him morally unfit at such a charged political moment.

Zimmerman then goes through the long, and tragic history, of people trying get professors fired for a wide range of actions, such as criticizing America’s role in World War I and arguing that the Cold War had gone too far. He concludes on a powerful note:

I say that as an unabashed ally and supporter of BLM, which has done more than any other organization to expose and challenge racism in policing. But it doesn’t need to rest of us to police the university on its behalf. That patronizes the movement, all in the guise of protecting it.

So if somebody else gets hit for criticizing Black Lives Matter, stand by them. It is not a time to lecture them about what you think they did wrong. They need your support, not your moralizing and sanctimoniousness. And we’re all in this together.

Well said.

++++++++
50+ chapters of grad skool advice goodness: Grad Skool Rulz ($4.44 – cheap!!!!)
Intro to sociology for just $1 per chapter – INSANE BARGAIN!!!!!
A theory book you can understand!!! Theory for the Working Sociologist (discount code: ROJAS – 30% off!!)
The rise of Black Studies:  From Black Power to Black Studies 
Did Obama tank the antiwar movement? Party in the Street
Read Contexts Magazine– It’s Awesome!!!!

Written by fabiorojas

June 29, 2020 at 12:46 am

Posted in uncategorized

patrice roushen is one totally amazing piano player

++++++++
50+ chapters of grad skool advice goodness: Grad Skool Rulz ($4.44 – cheap!!!!)
Intro to sociology for just $1 per chapter – INSANE BARGAIN!!!!!
A theory book you can understand!!! Theory for the Working Sociologist (discount code: ROJAS – 30% off!!)
The rise of Black Studies:  From Black Power to Black Studies 
Did Obama tank the antiwar movement? Party in the Street
Read Contexts Magazine– It’s Awesome!!!!

Written by fabiorojas

June 28, 2020 at 12:51 am

Posted in uncategorized

will the real intersectionality theory please stand up?

I thought that I was done discussing the debate on intersectionality theory between Jacob Levy, Phil Magness and myself. Well, 200 Proof Liberals (a new successor blog to Bleeding Heart Libertarians) has a post by Jess Flanigan. She argues that there are multiple version of intersectionality theory and that it’s easy for libertarians to accept the mellow version, which they never opposed anyway, but there’s a serious issue with the more hard core version:

Rojas’s point is that it’s a mistake to equivocate between these two conceptions of intersectionality. If the theory (T) refers to the first definition (T1), then it doesn’t seem like classical liberals should oppose it, but it’s also not clear how many classical liberals do oppose it. If it’s the second definition (T2), then they should clearly oppose it because T2 is directly opposed to classical liberalism. Levy doesn’t make the case that T2 is consistent with classical liberalism.

So what are the different versions of the theory that are at issue? Let’s simplify:

  1. Basic: In this version, the only point is that people are unequal in multiple ways and these hierarchies intersect in important ways.
  2. Intermediate: The intermediate version of the theory focuses on the distinctive aspects of intersecting hierarchies but does not anchor them in larger normative or empirical claims. In my original post at the Cato Unbound web site, I argued that standpoint epistemology could be one example.
  3. Hard Core: Intersectionality theory is really a whole sale critique of the modern liberal capitalist social order. Damaging inequalities are structural, not epiphenomenon. The reason we have gender inequality is wrapped up with the reasons we have poverty, inequality, and racism. You have one, you have them all.

Basically, Levy asserts that any rational person would want intersectionality #1. Magness, Flanigan, and myself respond by saying that nobody opposed #1 to start with. Magness deepens the point by documenting how racial domination, such as slavery and apartheid were well discussed and rejected by classical liberals and libertarians since the 19th century. My essay was a defense of the view that pro-market liberals could have a constructive dialogue around #2. However, most of the dedicated practitioners of intersectionality theory probably adhere to #3, which makes a dialogue incredibly hard. If you buy #3, then a classical liberal who even considers intersectionality theory is probably a walking contradiction. If Levy retreats from #1, then the next thing that would need to happen is for a social theorist/normative political theorist to reconstruct intersectionality theory on different grounds so that it would be compatible with classical liberalism.

++++++++
50+ chapters of grad skool advice goodness: Grad Skool Rulz ($4.44 – cheap!!!!)
Intro to sociology for just $1 per chapter – INSANE BARGAIN!!!!!
A theory book you can understand!!! Theory for the Working Sociologist (discount code: ROJAS – 30% off!!)
The rise of Black Studies:  From Black Power to Black Studies 
Did Obama tank the antiwar movement? Party in the Street
Read Contexts Magazine– It’s Awesome!!!!

Written by fabiorojas

June 26, 2020 at 7:46 pm

Posted in uncategorized

discussion of research on violent protest

Word on the Street, the blog of the Urban Violence Network, has a short piece by me on the research linking violence to negative outcomes. A key clip:

In the current context, these findings have sparked much online debate, including critiques of Wasow’s work and a sustained rebuttal by the author of claims that his research “allows people to blame ‘inner-city rioters’ and ignore other causes.” But the overall message of research on violence during protests is coming into focus. Violence, in the form of protests or riots, may receive attention and some policy response, but it comes at great cost. In the case of Black social movements, violent protest has been associated with more repressive administrations and sustained damage to Black communities. More generally, violence allows counter-movement actors (e.g. far right activists) to depict African American activists (e.g. of Black Lives Matter) as unreasonable and not worthy of support. In short: violence does not work for social movements.

Check it out.

++++++++
50+ chapters of grad skool advice goodness: Grad Skool Rulz ($4.44 – cheap!!!!)
Intro to sociology for just $1 per chapter – INSANE BARGAIN!!!!!
A theory book you can understand!!! Theory for the Working Sociologist (discount code: ROJAS – 30% off!!)
The rise of Black Studies:  From Black Power to Black Studies 
Did Obama tank the antiwar movement? Party in the Street
Read Contexts Magazine– It’s Awesome!!!!

Written by fabiorojas

June 25, 2020 at 3:29 pm

Posted in uncategorized

santa cruzin’

++++++++
50+ chapters of grad skool advice goodness: Grad Skool Rulz ($4.44 – cheap!!!!)
Intro to sociology for just $1 per chapter – INSANE BARGAIN!!!!!
A theory book you can understand!!! Theory for the Working Sociologist (discount code: ROJAS – 30% off!!)
The rise of Black Studies:  From Black Power to Black Studies 
Did Obama tank the antiwar movement? Party in the Street
Read Contexts Magazine– It’s Awesome!!!!

Written by fabiorojas

June 21, 2020 at 12:11 am

Posted in uncategorized

the covid recession kills a great bookstore: university press books in berkeley

One of the great pleasures of the 2010s was the discovery that the independent bookstore business was still viable, if challenging. Sadly, COVID not only wrecks lives, but it is also destroys businesses. University Press Books, in business for over 40 years, finally gave in as COVID removed all the foot traffic, which was vital to a small business located across the street from the UC Berkeley campus. The $10k/month rent was simply too much of an obstacle during normal times, impossible during a recession.

Personal memory: One of the reasons I loved Berkeley as a city was its abundance of actual physical places for culture – obscure music spaces, cool record stores, and, of course, Berkeley’s truly majestic bookstores. On this blog, I reported on the closing of Cody’s Books a while back and Moe’s used book store is so epic that it even garnered it’s own issue of the famed Cometbus zine. UPB was relatively small in square footage but it maximized it’s rarefied air – it stocked mainly super hip, super cool university press monographs and it was next to a classical music cafe. When I was first accepted to Chicago’s PhD program in sociology, I went to the sociology section, which was on a small mezzanine overlooking the rest of the shop, and bought a copy of Coleman’s Foundations of Social Theory. I still have that memory and it’s a good one.

Slowly, the eco-system of cultural businesses in Berkeley is eroding. The book stores have faded – Cody’s, Black Oaks, UPB – and the music shops have also shut. But hope lasts, UPB has said that they plan to reopen somewhere in the East Bay in a year and will continue online. No replacement for being at the hub, but I do wish them the best and I hope to purchase more sociology texts at their future location.

++++++++
50+ chapters of grad skool advice goodness: Grad Skool Rulz ($4.44 – cheap!!!!)
Intro to sociology for just $1 per chapter – INSANE BARGAIN!!!!!
A theory book you can understand!!! Theory for the Working Sociologist (discount code: ROJAS – 30% off!!)
The rise of Black Studies:  From Black Power to Black Studies 
Did Obama tank the antiwar movement? Party in the Street
Read Contexts Magazine– It’s Awesome!!!!

Written by fabiorojas

June 18, 2020 at 1:57 pm

Posted in uncategorized

intersectionality and jacob levy at the cato institute: a final comment

The Cato Unbound forum on intersectionality theory has now concluded. The first essay is by Jacob Levy, who argues that classical liberals should integrate intersectionality theory into their thinking. The responses are by Phil Magness and my self. I am semi-skeptical and Phil is 100% skeptical.

I won’t restate the arguments, as you can read the original essays yourself. But I think the issue that there are two versions of intersectionality theory: an empirical theory of inequality and a normative political theory. My criticism is that classical liberalism, understood as a belief in limited government, free markets as the primary form of production, and the protection of social and civil liberties, should really be concerned with intersectionality’s empirical claims but should reject it’s anti-market orientation. Phil thinks that the empirical claims are unimpressive and that Jacob overlooks classical liberalism’s long history of rejecting racism and opposing racially motivated regulations. What really concerns Phil and myself is that classical liberals really believe that free trade is generally a good thing, while most intersectionality theorists see free trade and the private enterprise system as one of the reasons we have multiple interlocking forms of repression.

In his final rejoinder, Jacob approved of parts of my essay, which sees links between liberal thought and intersectionality, but labeled my criticisms as part of an undesirable knee jerk reaction. Here’s may take. There are now multiple intersectionality theories. Sure, there are probably many social scientists who are happy to accept the hypothesis that people are “multiply marginalized” and some grumpy libertarians should mellow out and accept that. Jacob is definitely right on that point and accepting a “basic” intersectionality will help classical liberals understand illiberal social practices better. However, there’s a lot more to intersectionality theory than the “basic model,” including a tight alliance with Marxist theory and a deep suspicion of markets. At the end of the day, this more expansive, and very popular, version of intersectionality theory is simply incompatible with a normative framework built on a presumption that markets and trade are the best way to organize an economy.

++++++++
50+ chapters of grad skool advice goodness: Grad Skool Rulz ($4.44 – cheap!!!!)
Intro to sociology for just $1 per chapter – INSANE BARGAIN!!!!!
A theory book you can understand!!! Theory for the Working Sociologist (discount code: ROJAS – 30% off!!)
The rise of Black Studies:  From Black Power to Black Studies 
Did Obama tank the antiwar movement? Party in the Street
Read Contexts Magazine– It’s Awesome!!!!

Written by fabiorojas

June 16, 2020 at 4:43 pm

Posted in uncategorized

meditations on integration

++++++++
50+ chapters of grad skool advice goodness: Grad Skool Rulz ($4.44 – cheap!!!!)
Intro to sociology for just $1 per chapter – INSANE BARGAIN!!!!!
A theory book you can understand!!! Theory for the Working Sociologist (discount code: ROJAS – 30% off!!)
The rise of Black Studies:  From Black Power to Black Studies 
Did Obama tank the antiwar movement? Party in the Street
Read Contexts Magazine– It’s Awesome!!!!

Written by fabiorojas

June 14, 2020 at 12:32 am

Posted in uncategorized