The blog Savage Minds discussed a survey of anthropologists. The focus was race and gender. Predictably, there is the complaint that racial issues are ignored or downplayed. The more surprising finding is that the field appears to have internal gender and racial stratification of practitioners. From Karen Brodkin:
White anthropology faculty are clustered in anthropology and departments with anthropology as part of their title, while racialized minority faculty are more likely to be in ethnic or gender studies departments and in departments without anthropology in their title.
As a discipline that has had an obsession with race and cultural diversity, I am a little surprised at these findings. This suggests to me that there might be a broader social process where major letters and science disciplines out source topics and people that the mainstream doesn’t like. Discrimination is one hypothesis. Another hypothesis is selection effects. Do minority or women faculty in anthropology use the same methodological tools as others? One observation is that it is very easy for an intellectual group to be marginalized because it openly attacks the mainstream on methods. For example, pragmatist philosophers are relegated to margins, while analytics rule the major departments. In economics, neo-classicals have effectively banished heterodox economists.
In addition to the survey cited above, it would be important to look at publication patterns and co-authorship. One of my hypotheses about inequality in academia is that much of it is driven by co-authorship networks in elite graduate programs. How often are women and minority doctoral candidates writing papers with the senior faculty? This would lead to differences in output, which leads to differences in placement. Of course, that issue is related to the overall point that anthropologists under value research on race and gender. Anthropologists, please use the comments.
Looking for new articles to assign to your undergrads? Want to read up on the latest in organizations and work or search for research ideas on where the field should held? Have a look at freshly minted articles by two of our emeriti orgtheory guest bloggers in the Organization and Work section of Sociology Compass. (Full disclosure: I am a co-editor of this section)
Globalization, we used to think, meant the movement of manufacturing jobs to the developing world. It brought work to regions that needed it, while dislocating the lives of the working classes in the richer countries. That was until it moved into the information technology and service sectors at the turn of the century. This article examines the globalization of white-collar service work, with a view to its impact on emerging economies like India. The bulk of evidence suggests that while offshore outsourcing benefits the middle class in receiving countries, it does not appreciably expand it. Nor does it reliably produce upward mobility or recognizable career paths or even significant upskilling – most of the work being outsourced is rote and standardized. It produces decent jobs in holding patterns. And there are more and more of them as corporations look to continue cutting costs. Rather than authors of their own destinies, corporations have made of countries in the global south their willing and faithful scribes. I first provide a bird’s eye view of what is happening and then look more closely at discoveries on the ground.
The literature on participatory practices in organizations has been less coherent and more limited to subspecialties than the literature on bureaucracy in organizations – despite a number of celebrated studies of participation in 20th century American sociology. Due to the practical nature of participatory reforms and the ambiguity of participation as a concept, attempts to review participatory knowledge have a tendency to focus on refining definitions and clarifying frameworks within subfields. This article instead provides a broad thematic overview of three different types of research on participation in organizations, all critical to an understanding of today’s dramatic expansion of participatory practices across a variety of organizations. Classic research studied participation as dynamic and central to organizational legitimacy. Institutional design research has focused on participation as a stand-alone governance reform with promising empowerment potential, but mixed results in domains such as health care, environmental politics, and urban planning. Finally, recent research seeks to place participatory practices in the context of shifting relationships between authority, voice, and inequality in the contemporary era. The article concludes with suggestions for building on all three categories of research by exploring what is old and new in the 21st century’s changing participatory landscape.
There is a symposium for early career management doctoral students. You should apply!
he Southern Management Association (SMA) is pleased to offer a Pre-Doctoral Consortium which will be held October 28th at the 2015 SMA Annual Meeting in St. Pete Beach, Florida. The Consortium is designed to help those who are committed to, or seriously considering, earning a doctoral degree. The goals of the Consortium include: (1) helping students to gain a better understanding of key factors to consider in applying to doctoral programs, and (2) to provide students with a “realistic preview” of life as a doctoral student and beyond as faculty. We are seeking applicants and we hope that you will help us inform students who may be interested in pursuing a doctoral program.
The Consortium will award $500 stipends to invited participants. In addition, breakfast and lunch on the day of the Consortium will be provided, courtesy of SMA, and there will be a networking reception in the evening.The deadline for consortium application is June 28, 2015. All applicants must submit(a) An application form (attached),(b) A recommendation letter from a current or former faculty member,(c) A copy of their vita (resume), and(d) A photocopy of their government issued ID in order to verify that they will have attained the age of 21 on or before October 27th, 2015.Please send any questions or submit consortium registration materials electronically to Dr. Aaron Hill, Oklahoma State University, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Critics charge that Simchowitz often preys on vulnerable young artists without gallery representation — some say without talent — and buys up huge quantities of their work, then flips the pieces back and forth at escalating prices among a cultivated group of buyers: a network of movie stars, professional poker players, orthodontists, nightclub promoters, financiers, football players and corned-beef magnates, many of whom hold Simchowitz in such high esteem that they’re willing to purchase the pieces he acquires for them sight unseen, artist unnamed. In March, in an online screed for New York magazine, the art critic Jerry Saltz tore into Simchowitz with unusual ferocity, dubbing him a “Sith Lord” and the Pied Piper of the “New Cynicism.” Simchowitz’s artists may enjoy a temporary surge in prices, his critics argue, but they typically see little of the upside; in any case, or so the story goes, once their bubbles pop, they’re left for dead.
Many important galleries have blacklisted Simchowitz as a buyer, forcing him to take extreme measures to secure desired work, including using consultants as undercover mules. Simchowitz told me about a recent scheme in which he had a consultant buy three pieces from Essex Street, a Lower East Side gallery. The purchase was nominally on behalf of another client, but the ultimate recipient was Simchowitz; by the time the gallery suspected the ruse, money had already changed hands, but the pieces had not been delivered. The gallery requested that Simchowitz not only cancel the purchase but also return another piece by the same artist that was already in his possession, which he did. Moreover, the gallerist, furious over what happened, called the other client to inform him that he was colluding in fraud, an accusation that heartily amused Simchowitz. (Asked for comment, the gallery responded, “Essex Street has never done business with Stefan Simchowitz.”)
I am a lot less alarmed by Simchowitz and even delight in his irreverence and trash talk. Aside from the trash talk, one reason that he draws controversy is his embrace of the market side of art. He thinks “flipping,” which is just another word for “quickly selling at a profit,” is great and has argued that it indicates strength of an artist. Another source of the controversy is patronage of young artists. One could argue that being so dependent on one person creates too much risk.
I tend to think these arguments, for the most part, are misplaced, or overblown. For example, almost all relationships in the art world have ups and downs. People can get traditional gallery representation and then have stalled careers. There are routinely lawsuits filed against galleries because of shady business deals. Artists can get burned as well. Private “dealers” like Simchowitz have no monopoly on good, or bad, business decisions.
If an artist strives to be in the “right” collections, Simchowitz, and flipping in general, may not be optimal, but he’s still preferable to not having a career at all. He’s probably equivalent to having a good, but not elite, dealer behind you.
On a deeper level, I have to give Simchowitz a thumbs up simply because he puts his money where his mouth is. If he likes it, he pays in cash. The trade off is that you are locked in. But, so what? That’s a standard way to reduce uncertainty. Also, he’s like a good business manager in that he provides personal support to help younger people who may not know how to deal with the business side of things. And worse comes to worse, if you hate him, it seems like you can “paint your way out of it,” in the same way a musician can finish a contract by just chunking out the last few records.
He may be crass and direct, and he may embrace practices the art world deems inappropriate. At the end of the day, there’s some artists who stayed in the game and succeeded because he gave them a room and ten thousand bucks. I wonder if he’ll take my calls?
In my course in introductory sociology, I have a module on health. One lecture describes the leading causes death, across age groups and across time periods. In modern times, one of the leading causes of death is “unintentional injury.” What does that mean? Roughly speaking, the three major categories of unintentional injury death are, in order, falling, auto accidents, and accidental poisoning.
The interesting thing is that these are all types of death that relate to economic development: cars, chemical, tall buildings, stairs and so forth. The other side is that economic development can also help us out. For example, in about one generation, driverless cars will be widespread. The implication is that drunk driving will be eliminated over night and accidents relating to drifting driver attention will disappear overnight. Truck accidents should also disappear. My hypothesis is that computer driven cars will probably be better than most people when they drive in the rain or snow. They might even automatically shut down if conditions are bad enough.
Bottom line: Economic development has unintended consequences. Sometimes they are bad, such as auto related deaths. But development can introduce solutions. The driverless car will be one such example.