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orgtheory poll: the new nrc sociology rankings

Edward noted last week that the NRC announced that their rankings will be out in late September. Who thinks that the soc rankings will be much different than the 1994 version?

Written by fabiorojas

September 13, 2010 at 12:05 am

9 Responses

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  1. my favorite cite for this issue is Val Burris 2004 ASR.

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    gabrielrossman

    September 13, 2010 at 5:23 am

  2. I completely agree, Gabriel! There have been a few times when new grad students will say something to the like of “well, sociology is different as a field. It doesn’t have a mechanism of social reproduction.” I kind of laugh and send them the PDF…

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    Hillbilly

    September 13, 2010 at 10:29 am

  3. One issue with the Burris piece (which I like a lot) is that the highly stratified system it does such a nice job of identifying (with elite departments reproducing themselves systematically over time in a pretty stable hierarchy) is also what the long-run equilibrium state would look like in a job market where entrants generally had a preference for being at higher quality institutions over lower quality ones, and departments were (on the average) able to distinguish higher-quality candidates from lower-quality ones.

    Beyond that, I am looking forward to learning what the NRC believes the state of play was in the field about a decade ago.

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    Kieran

    September 13, 2010 at 1:54 pm

  4. “There have been a few times when new grad students will say something to the like of “well, sociology is different as a field. It doesn’t have a mechanism of social reproduction.”

    Ah, young naivete. It’s no coincidence that practically 100 percent of the teachers at the top 15 US schools come from the same top 15 schools.

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    Guillermo

    September 13, 2010 at 3:33 pm

  5. Kieran,

    Has anyone either simulated or formally proven that? I remember a mutual friend of ours suggesting this alternative model around the time Burris came out, but I don’t know if this person or anyone else ever finished it. I’m especially interested whether the alternative model would be consistent not only with the stability of the status hierarchy but also the fact that the status hierarchy is only a loose fit with any reasonable measure of scholarly productivity.

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    gabrielrossman

    September 13, 2010 at 5:11 pm

  6. Here’s something that I’ve been thinking about given the delay in releasing the new rankings: how much have the top, say, 20 departments changed between the time the rankings were supposed to be released and now?

    With new hires, retirements, and moving of faculty you would think that many departments would shift dramatically.

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    Hillbilly

    September 13, 2010 at 11:40 pm

  7. […] at OrgTheory, Fabio asked about how much turnover we expect to see in the NRC rankings. In the comments, myself and a few other people discussed the analysis of the rankings in Burris […]

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  8. Thanks for the simulation, Gabriel, but I guess I always thought that the Burris piece was of questionable value since it is all endogenous (It has long been the practice among network analysts to back measures of status out of patterns of exchange in exactly the manner that Burris does; so the paper just has one measure of status ‘causing’ another)– and something of a poster-child for “Pierre’s Lament” about sociology being weak on identification (see here: https://orgtheory.wordpress.com/2009/07/29/two-empirical-cultures/; I pushed back on Pierre then because we do have examples of careful, creative work that can support causal claims, but the fact that the Burris paper is clear evidence in Pierre’s favor. What did you guys ever see in it?

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    ezrazuckerman

    September 17, 2010 at 7:23 am

  9. P.S. It is ironic (to put it mildy) to note that Pierre’s fellow Frenchman M. Callon also thinks that sociologists should run more experiments (see end of the post Teppo linked to: https://orgtheory.wordpress.com/2010/09/12/bruce-kogut-socializing-finance/ ). Though I thought experiments were for testing theory against data. Silly me! Apparently, they are for “allowing the theory to have an effect” and for saving us from our infernal fate of chanting “embeddedness” to ward off economists. (Um. That paper was published 25 years ago [and was pretty good, for its time]. Isn’t it possible that if you actually read work by non-STS-based economic sociologists, you might find that you can’t trivailize it so easily? And you might even find some experiments!) Hmm.. for some weird reason, I have this urge to go ask Pierre how to say “naked emperor” in French…

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    ezrazuckerman

    September 17, 2010 at 8:06 am


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