I just attended the American Sociological Association Meetings in San Francisco, and while there my friend Marion Fourcade told me about a remarkable little piece of sociological history. It’s an audio recording of Émile Durkheim delivering a talk. I had no idea such a thing existed. The recording is about two and a half minutes long. It’s a fragment of a piece titled Jugements de valeur et jugements de réalité, which you can read in French here.
ASA Conference Bingo is on a permanent vacation pending its return around 2030 in a nostalgic comeback that warms the hearts of fans old and new. But as several people have asked me about it, here is a collection of the cards from years past. Not available in stores. 2008 Back in 2008, the groundbreaking first ASA Conference Bingo was so new and radical, it required instructions to play. 2009 The difficult Second Bingo was presented with no such concessions but subtly higher production values.
My department is looking to fill a tenure-track Assistant Professor line this Fall. Area of Specialization is Race/Ethnicity. If you have access to the ASA Job Bank, you can read the ad here. If you don’t have access to the ASA Job Bank, you can read the ad right here: Job ID: 10444 Date Position is Available: Fall 2015 Listing Active: 8/12/2014 to 10/11/2014 Title: Assistant Professor Department: Department of Sociology Company: Duke University Job Position/Rank: Academic Positions; Assistant Professor Special Program and Areas of Faculty Expertise: Racial and Ethnic Relations Region: Southeast Salary Range: Negotiable Job Description: Duke University.
This afternoon I ended up reading this Vox story about an effort to rank US Universities and Colleges carried out in 1911 by a man named Kendric Charles Babcock. On Twitter, Robert Kelchen remarks that the report was “squashed by Taft” (an unpleasant fate), and he links to the report itself, which is terrific. Babcock divided schools into four Classes, beginning with Class I: And descending all the way to Class IV: Babcock’s discussion of his methods is admirably brief (the snippet above hints at the one sampling problem that possibly troubled him), so I recommend you read the report yourself.
My Annual Review piece with Jim Moody, Data Visualization in Sociology, was officially published just recently. Reaction to the article has been positive and hopefully people will find it useful. One theme of the article is that good use of visualization can help pick out unusual patterns in data and help researchers figure out errors or other anomalies in their data. So, life being what it is, naturally there’s a mistake in one of the figures.
Last Saturday, while trying to plan my ASA schedule, I got a little irritated at the official website and calendar, which I found quite clunky to navigate and lacking in some basic features. In particular the site wanted me to assemble a ‘personal meeting schedule’ by adding events to a list stored on the server and accessible only by logging in and clicking through several screens. Like most people attending ASA, (1) I do many other things at the conference besides attend sessions, like meeting people for coffee or dinner, and I want to schedule these as well; and (2) I have my own calendar, on my phone, where I keep those appointments.
I got sick of navigating the ASA Meeting Calendar thing, so I threw together something some of you might find useful. Instead of logging in to the ASA site and dealing with it, use this ASA 2014 Schedule instead to easily add conference events to your regular calendar The pages list what’s happening on various days, but also—and this is the potentially useful part—every event has an associated .ics file for you to download and import into your preferred calendar application, such as iCal, Outlook, Google Calendar, and so on.
Had I the heavens’ enripened fruits, Abloom with their epicuticular wax, Cherry and sloe and chickasaw fruits, Blue damson, greengage, mirabelle snacks, I would make for you plum jam so sweet: But I, being peckish, ate yours while alone I have eaten the plums you kept out of the heat Tread softly because there may be a stone. (After this.)
Gary Becker, University Professor of Economics and Sociology at the University of Chicago, has died at the age of eighty three. I am certainly not going to attempt an obituary or assessment. But something Tim Carmody said on Twitter caught my eye: “People sometimes talk about ‘neoliberalism’ as a kind of intellectual bogeyman. Gary Becker was the actual guy.” In a somewhat similar way, people sometimes talked about ‘poststructuralism’ as a kind of intellectual bogeyman, and Michel Foucault was the actual guy.
Back in February, when Flappy Bird Frenzy was at its peak, I wrote about some of the social aspects of success and failure in cultural markets, inspired in part by a discussion on ATP. I drew on some work from the early 2000s by Duncan Watts, Matt Salganik, and Peter Sheridan Dodds that experimentally established that there was a strong measure of arbitrariness to success. You can read the original post for the details.