…an international conference on Global Resistance in the Neoliberal University organized by the union will be held today and tomorrow, 3/3rd-4th at the PSC, 61 Broadway.Scholars, activists and students from Mexico, South Africa, Turkey, Greece, India and the US will lead discussions on perspectives, strategies and tactics of resisting the neoliberal offensive in general, and in the context of the university in particular.You can visit this site for a link to the conference program:Due to space constraints, conference registration is now closed. But we’re thrilled by the tremendous interest in the event! You can watch a livestream of the conference here: https://www.facebook.com/PSC.CUNY. If you follow us on our Facebook page, you will receive a notification reminding you to watch.We look forward to seeing some of you tonight and to discussing the conference with many of you in the near future.
I will be travelling the next few days, so blogging will be light. But to tide you over, here is a list of books that we have reviewed recently.
- Abolish Work, edited by Nick Ford
- Postcolonial Thought and Social Theory, by Julian Go.
- Digital Kenya, edited by Btange Ndemo and Tim Weiss
- Inside Graduate Admissions, by Julie Posselt
- Girl in a Band, by Kim Gordon
- Thinking Through Social Theory, by John Levi-Martin
- The End Game, by Corey Abramson
- In the Face of Inequality, by Melissa Wooten
And don’t forget that we’ll delve into Catherine Turco’s “The Conversational Firm” in March. It’ll be good.
Neo-institutionalism was and remains a major strand of organizational theory. However, it seems as if it has receded from sociology programs. Some of the esteemed senior scholars in this tradition, such as Art Stinchcombe and Lynn Zucker, are emeritus faculty. A number of key figures such as Woody Powell, Brian Rowan, and John Meyer work in professional schools (education). And the bulk of early and mid career institutional scholars work in the b-schools, with Oxford and Alberta being the center of much work.
So where in sociology do we still see institutionalism? If you look at, say, the top 20-30 PhD programs, you get the following count: Neil Fligstein (Berkeley), Paul DiMaggio (NYU), Tim Hallett (IU), me (IU), Melissa Wooten (U Mass – Amherst), Tim Bartley (Ohio State). And it would be easy to whittle this list down. Paul DiMaggio’s recent work is more culture and cognition rather than institutionalism. Tim Bartley is less of an institutionalist per se and more of a scholar of industrial regulation. Perhaps, you might add Berkeley’s Cristina Mora, whose book on pan-ethnicity employs some aspects of institutionalism. But once again, you could argue her work is mainly immigration and ethnicity, not an attempt to develop institutionalism. Still, out of the 300-400 faculty who teach in the biggest PhD programs, it says something when only about 5 of them actually work on one of sociology’s most important contributions to the social sciences.
Is this a bad thing? Probably not. There is no reason to believe a theory of organizations has to live in sociology programs. One might also argue that institutionalism in sociology has simply transformed into a different thing – a theory of fields/dynamics of contention school that focuses more on conflict and mobilization than isomorphism. So perhaps the number of people I could have identified would be larger. But I suspect it would not be larger.
What are your thoughts? Is this another example of org theory migrating to b-schools?
I’m a hard core supporter of open borders, the view that we should let people travel peacefully across borders. However, for many years, I agreed with the restrictionist view that it is appropriate to deport criminals. And not those who violate unjust immigration “laws.” I thought that deportation was appropriate for those convicted of actual crimes against people, like assault or theft.
I have come to question this view after I realized that we don’t deport native born criminals. This observation made me to think about why we don’t deport native born criminals. I can think of four very persuasive reasons:
- Deportation is an extremely harsh punishment that is not appropriate for most crimes. If you steal a car, you may deserve a few months in prison. You don’t deserve to be sent to a country where you don’t know people, where you have to start over from scratch, and, in some cases, where you might be killed.
- Restitution is unlikely. That is, if part of the reason we put people in prison is to “pay back” the victims or the state, then it makes no sense to deport them. The penal system has no way to collect fines or money for victims if the criminal has been deported.
- No rehabilitation. If you believe that criminals have the potential to be rehabilitated, then deportation prevents people from the chance to show improvement. If you deport them after they have served time and they have been rehabilitated, then it undermines the impulse for rehabilitation.
- Harm to friends and relatives: Criminals have spouses, children, and friends. It is bad enough to have a parent spend time in prison. It is much, much worse to have them sent to another country. Perhaps criminals deserve the punishment and humiliation of prison and deportation but their children don’t.
I also think there is a “spill over effect” of deportation. Enemies of immigrants will expand the scope of deportable offenses if they know that criminal convictions allow the state to deport people.
To sum it up: Deportation is cruel, prevents rehabilitation, prevents restitution, and creates negative externalities. So make them do the time and move on with their lives.
We had three posts on the value and teaching of social theory. Take a few moments to catch up!
It’s not just the names, it’s a philosophical issue. If two creatures fight for the same turf, there has to be a winner. Nature demands it. There can only be one and I side with “futbol!” Here’s my reasoning:
- Accurate advertising: In soccer, the main way you play is by bringing your foot to the ball. In North American “football,” kicking the ball is rare.
- Simplicity: Soccer’s a game where the rules are simple and short. Anyone can understand them.* In the NFL, you have bizarro rules like “the Tuck Rule” and the cryptic onside kick rules. And don’t even get me started on over time scoring rules.
- Fake injuries: In soccer, it’s a big scam!!! Nobody is injured and the flops are part of the show. It’s a sport with some high school drama tossed in. People rarely get hurt. In football, people get injured for life. Very bad.
- Excessive celebration: In the NFL, there’s a weird rule. You get a penalty for being too happy about scoring. In contrast, soccer players are encouraged to go nuts on the field. It’s part of the fun.
I will give the NFL one point. The scoring is optimal. The combination of 1, 2, 3, and 6 points plays seems to work fairly well. It avoids the NBA problem where the first 200 points of a game mean nothing and the soccer problem of low scoring games. But soccer even has an answer for this – indoor soccer. Faster, higher scoring and fun.
* Ok, ok, nobody gets “offsides.” I’ll give you that one.