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honestly, people, conservatives (and everyone else) should be open borders

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family

rights

Over at Bleeding Heart Libertarians, Chris Freiman has a great post on how border restrictions are completely inconsistent with what conservatives claim they believe in. Against big government? It’s ok if it’s the border patrol deporting your mom. Pro-family? Totally ok to separate children from families. Against central planning? It’s ok if it’s an immigration bureaucrat deciding which people can come to your country.

It’s time to realize that migration is not a crime. It’s time to realize that migration is not a problem. It’s just normal. Let free people move freely. It’s that simple.

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50+ chapters of grad skool advice goodness: Grad Skool Rulz ($4.44 – cheap!!!!)
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!

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Written by fabiorojas

July 3, 2018 at 4:01 am

Posted in uncategorized

socarxiv highlights for july

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Once again it’s time for monthly highlights from SocArXiv, aka Stuff Beth Thought Was Interesting. This month we’ve got an eclectic set of papers with no unifying theme, other than being uploaded to SocArXiv in the last month. As usual, I remind you that SocArXiv papers are not necessarily peer-reviewed, so use judgment when you read.

In Puerto Rico, Excess Deaths Following Hurricane Georges Persisted for Three Months

Alexis R. Santos-Lozada

In the craziness of political life these days, disasters fall off the radar way too quickly. But we still don’t know how many people died in Puerto Rico as a result of the hurricane last fall. The official death toll is still 64. But a number of scholars have been working to provide better estimates of the real impact of the tragedy. Another widely reported estimate, based on house-to-house survey data, produced a figure of 4600. Now this paper by Santos-Lozada, comparing death records from last year to historical averages for the three-month period following the hurricane, suggests a number around 900. Debate over the true number will continue, but this is a great example of the kind of paper that needs to get out there quickly, rather than lingering hidden in peer review.

The Sources and Political Uses of Ambiguity in Statecraft

Katrina Quisumbing King

Well, this is right up my alley. A large and growing literature examines how states make populations “legible” through censuses, mapmaking, data collection and so on. But it’s also clear that states use ambiguity—in laws, definitions, policies—in productive ways. This paper uses the historical case of the U.S. colonization of the Philippines to show how the institutionalization of ambiguity can resolve imperial conflicts. After the U.S. took the Philippines in the Spanish-American War, debates about what their status should be—a colony? an eventual U.S. state?—were resolved by creating ambiguous categories: the territory would be “foreign in a domestic sense” (according to the Supreme Court), and their residents neither citizens nor aliens. The paper goes on to explore how this institutionalized ambiguity helped the U.S. resolve competing, and contradictory, demands that it remain true to the Constitution while presenting Filipinos, perceived as racially inferior, from accessing the rights of citizens.

Addendum: I just noticed this paper just won the grad student paper award in political sociology, and an honorable mention for the comparative-historical grad award. See, I have good taste!

Inequality Is a Problem of Inference: How People Solve the Social Puzzle of Unequal Outcomes

Jonathan J.B. Mijs

How do we understand inequality? This interesting theoretical paper argues that if people’s informal theories of inequality shape their political views, we need to take more seriously the task of understanding where those theories come from. The paper suggests we do that by conceptualizing inequality beliefs as inference problems – that ordinary people look for theories that explain their everyday experiences and observations of inequality. Personally, I wouldn’t discount the extent to which we learn our theories explicitly from those around us, as well as inferring them from experience, but this is still an intriguing way to conceptualize a challenging problem.

Career Paths and Prospects in Academic Data Science: Report of the Moore-Sloan Data Science Environments Survey

Stuart Geiger, Charlotte Mazel-Cabasse, Chihoko Cullens, Laura Norén, Brittany Fiore-Gartland, Diya Das, and Henry Brady

Ready to ditch sociology entirely? How about a career in the growing field of data science? This report on three major data science institutes—at Berkeley, NYU, and the University of Washington—explains what data science is, what academic data scientists do, and presents interesting interview data on the career paths of early-career data scientists. If you think you might be a data scientist, or would like to be, this report is definitely worth a read.

Okay, that’s it for this month’s SocArXiv update. If you’re in the northeastern U.S., hope you’re staying cool.

Written by epopp

July 2, 2018 at 9:17 pm

Posted in research

announcing orgtheory’s newest member

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Lebron James

It is our pleasure to announce that LeBron James will be orgtheory’s newest member, starting on Monday July 2, 2018. A multiple world champion and league MVP, James brings an unparalleled athleticism and work ethic to sociological blogging. We think that orgtheory can be brought to a championship level with James’ leadership. Whether it be protecting the post or defending against the feared “Reviewer 2,” you can always depend on James to bring intelligence and a winning spirit to the task. In addition to a consistently high field goal average, James leads the ASA in ego-centric network analysis, impression management, and marketing research.

In other news, Jeff Guhin of Los Angeles has agreed to a one year extension on his contract and will continue playing center.

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BUY THESE BOOKS!!
50+ chapters of grad skool advice goodness: Grad Skool Rulz ($4.44 – cheap!!!!)
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 2, 2018 at 4:01 am

Posted in uncategorized

another reason futbol >>> football

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++++++++

BUY THESE BOOKS!!
50+ chapters of grad skool advice goodness: Grad Skool Rulz ($4.44 – cheap!!!!)
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, 2018 at 4:01 am

Posted in uncategorized

how should i teach graduate social theory?

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In a bizarre turn of events, I am teaching graduate social theory in the Fall semester. Here are my promises to my future students:

  1. This will not be a history of social thought course. I will not teach you old stuff just because it used to be popular.
  2. I will not teach you dense and useless abstract stuff. No ontology here. I will not be a bad philosopher of science.
  3. I promise to teach you the basic ideas of contemporary sociology so you can be good empirical social scientists.

So in other words, this class will not start with 1,000 pages of Weber or Luhmann or whatever European dweeb it trendy this decade. I won’t pretend that reading it will make you better. It will just make you boring and condescending.

So what will I teach? This is where I need your help! Here is what I have decided so far. I want your suggestions about modern empirically oriented work that could help fill it out:

  1. I will start with a short discussion of “what counts as theory?” This is about as meta-theoretical/sociology of science as I will get. I will probably stick with Abend’s Sociological Theory article on what the word “theory” means, Kieran’s now classic “Fuck Nuance” article, and chapter 1 of Theory for the Working Sociologist.
  2. About 2-3 weeks on each of the major theories of sociology: critical theory/inequality/power (chapter 2 of Theory for the Working Sociologist), values/institutions (chapter 4), rational choice/decision theory (chapter 3), and social construction (chapter 5). Each section will have a combination of classic theory articles + empirical illustrations.

But that only fills up 8-10 weeks. Other topics?

  1. Bio-sociology/behavioral genetics/epigenetics
  2. Complexity theory/emergent systems/social networks
  3. The new social psychology (dual process models, motivated reasoning, Vaisey’s working paper on decision theory and soc pysch?)

What would you suggest? Self-promotion welcome!

++++++++

BUY THESE BOOKS!!
50+ chapters of grad skool advice goodness: Grad Skool Rulz ($4.44 – cheap!!!!)
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, 2018 at 4:01 am

Posted in uncategorized

social media and social science: a chat with garret m. peterson

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I was recently interviewed by the Economics Detective Podcast. Garret and I spoke about some general issues when you use social media data in research. Then we focused on three papers:

If you like big data and social science, check it out.

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BUY THESE BOOKS!!
50+ chapters of grad skool advice goodness: Grad Skool Rulz ($4.44 – cheap!!!!)
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, 2018 at 4:01 am

Posted in uncategorized

career making v. carer maintaining

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Last week, Dan D’Amico explained to me a simple but important distinction in academic professionalism: career making vs. career maintaining. Here’s the idea and I think most older folks in academia know this intuitively. Graduate students and junior faculty may not appreciate it.

First, there are some things that make your reputation and define your entire career. In most social sciences, they come in a few packages: (a) a book from a major university press, (b) one or two articles in flagship journals, or (c) a handful of high quality articles in respected regional or specialty journals. It varies by discipline, of course, but one of these things tends to be a career maker.

Second, there are things you do that merely show that “are active.” These include publications in most niche journals, edited volume chapter contributions, and encyclopedic and reference works. This might also include administrative or service work, like running a journal or helping out with a conference.

What is the difference? Here’s a metaphor: In sports, you keep your job if you can win games. But you make a career winning championships. In the academic job, there are things you do just to show you haven’t checked out of the hotel and things you do to get better jobs, or move to a more prestigious university, or simply getting more respect from peers. Maintenance might mean things like getting an annual raise or hitting a quota

What is the right mix of “making” and “maintaining?” It varies. For example, if you are in a top 5 program and you are early career stage, there is no difference – you only “make.” That is why you see some profs with CVs that have all top journal hits. There is no incentive for anything else. Publishing in even a good specialty journal is a drag on your time.

On the other hand, a vast majority of academic jobs only ask for “maintaining.” All that is required at many regional universities is that professors produce a stream of competent and respectable research. Long as the journal is run by respectable academics, it will count. This is why you see full profs with insanely long CV that are mostly “The Nebraska Journal of Farm Semiotics.” It’s legitimate research, even if it isn’t high impact.

Finally, it also involves introspection. What do you want out of life? There is no right answer. You want a fancy job? Then you will spend many nights working on that article for American Pikachu Review. But what if you happy where you are? Then Pikachu Studies: Series D – Pokemon Go Inquiries is probably fine.

++++++++

BUY THESE BOOKS!!
50+ chapters of grad skool advice goodness: Grad Skool Rulz ($4.44 – cheap!!!!)
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, 2018 at 4:18 am

Posted in uncategorized