The Sociological Quarterly has just published a special issue, organized by Joyce Rothschild, on “The Logic of A Co-Operative Economy and Democracy 2.0: Recovering the Possibilities for Autonomy, Creativity, Solidarity, and Common Purpose.” The articles cover findings, drawn from ethnographic research, interviews, and archival research, about how collectives engage in consensus-based decision making; how decentralization, storytelling, and communication help growing groups; how participatory practices obscure versus reveal inequality; how collectives redress gender inequality; how collectives dampen or harness emotions. Even better: All articles are free! Happy reading!
ASA needs your help!
ASA is conducting usability testing as part of the effort to redesign its website. We are recruiting sociologists: teaching or research faculty, practitioners and graduate/undergraduate students, for one on one testing sessions with our User Experience (UX) consultant.
Lisa A. Keister is currently serving as OOW Section Chair for the 2015-2016 year. Lisa Keister is Gilhuly Family Professor of Sociology at Duke University. She conducts research on organizational startup and performance during China’s transition, wealth ownership in the U.S., the one percent, the role of religion in economic decision making, and immigration and its economic consequences. She is author/editor of numerous books and articles including Chinese Business Groups (Oxford 2000), Wealth in America (Cambridge 2000), Entrepreneurship (JAI 2005), Getting Rich: America’s New Rich and How they Got that Way (Cambridge 2005), Faith and Money: How Religious Belief Contributes to Wealth and Poverty (Cambridge 2011), and Religion and Inequality (Cambridge 2014). She graciously responded to our queries on the state of the field, her research and the Annual Meeting in Seattle.
Ivar Berg, Emeritus Professor of Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania, remembered for his “warmth, humor, quick wit and encyclopedic knowledge” (as quoted by OOW Section member Jerry Jacobs) passed away on January 1st. A few of Ivar Berg’s accomplishments are highlighted in the NYT obituary, and Arne Kalleberg will be writing up a longer entry for ASA’s Footnotes later this month. An overview of Ivar’s career can also be found here.
By Howard Aldrich
Which of these two papers, on the same theme, would you read first: “Patterns of Vandalism during Civil Disorders as an Indicator of Target Selection” or “Mad Mobs and Englishmen? Myths and Realities of the 2011 Riots”? The former is wordy and boring, not reflecting the passion and chaos that typically characterize riots, whereas the latter is cheeky and informative, conveying a sense of an author who’s keen to connect with readers. Sadly, the boring title was chosen by my co-author and I in 1972 for our otherwise well-executed study of civil disorders in US cities in the late 1960s, thus consigning it to the dustbin of academic history. It reported on the only large-scale longitudinal study of small businesses that were at risk of being targeted and convincingly showed that there was an implicit logic to the choice of targets by people involved. Despite being published in the flagship journal of the American Sociological Association, it has been cited only 64 times in the past 43 years. By contrast, the “Mad Mobs” book, published only a few years ago (2011), has already been cited 52 times.
I believe some, but not all, of the difference in the perceived usefulness of these two papers reflects their authors’ choices of titles.
So, what makes for a “good” title? Let me offer four suggestions, based on my experience with writing dozens of titles, good and bad.
The Organization and Management Theory (OMT) Division of Academy of Management is looking for reviewers. OMT received/ is receiving a large number of submissions using the following keywords
- Occupations, Professions and Work
- Organizational Design, Structure and Control
- Status and Reputation
- Work and Family
and is looking for reviewers to match these topics.
Graduate students, junior faculty, and other new scholars are welcome, as well as those not planning to attend the conference (although, as always, please consider submitting your work!).
The 8th edition of the Medici Summer School in Management Studies for doctoral students and young researchers will be held in Paris, June 6th – June 11th, 2016. The school is organized and sponsored by Alma GS (University of Bologna), HEC Paris (Society and Organizations Research Center and the HEC Foundation), and MIT Sloan School of Management (Economic Sociology PhD Program). The theme this year is “Organizational Bases of Inequality.”