Member Publication: Gendered Interpretations of Job Loss and Subsequent Professional Pathways

Check out this new article by OOW member Aliya Hamid Rao:


Rao AH. Gendered Interpretations of Job Loss and Subsequent Professional Pathways. Gender & Society. Online First.


While we know that career interruptions shape men’s and women’s professional trajectories, we know less about how job loss may matter for this process. Drawing on interviews with unemployed, college-educated men and women in professional occupations, I show that while both men and women interpret their job loss as due to impersonal “business” decisions, women additionally attribute their job loss as arising from employers’ “personal” decisions. Men’s job loss shapes their subsequent preferred professional pathways, but never in a way that diminishes the importance of their participation in the labor force. For some women in this study, job loss becomes a moment to reflect on their professional pathways, often pulling them back from paid work. This study identifies job loss as an event that, on top of gendered workplace experiences and caregiving obligations, may curtail some women’s participation in paid work.

Call for Papers: Special Issue of Soziale Welt on Career Paths Inside and Outside Academia

Special Issue of the journal Soziale Welt on
“Career Paths Inside and Outside Academia”

Guest editors: Christiane Gross and Steffen Jaksztat

The special issue aims to understand the social mechanisms of career decisions, chances, and paths of higher education graduates inside and outside academia. From a cross-cultural perspective, there is a huge variation of typical career paths both inside and outside academia. While most English-speaking countries provide tenured positions in academia beyond the professorship series (assistant, associate, full professor) – e.g. lecturer – the academic labour market in German-speaking countries is characterised by precarious working conditions and a declining proportion of full or associate professorships and other permanent researcher positions. However, conditions in academia are changing in most developed countries. Differentiation and stratification, as well as competition for resources, and evaluation of achievements are increasing among institutions of higher education.

More than in other areas of society, meritocratic principles are a functional imperative of the career system in academia. Robert K. Merton has described this norm as ‘universalism’; the recognition of academic achievements can only depend on objective performance criteria – regardless of social characteristics such as gender, social origin, or ethnicity. Although academia has established a variety of measures to ensure compliance with this principle, social inequalities remain an issue, for example with regard to promoting early career researchers or recruiting professors. More empirical research is needed to explore the social mechanisms underlying social inequalities in access to postgraduate education as well as inequalities in subsequent academic careers.

As research careers within academia become increasingly competitive, the demand for scientifically trained staff outside academia is high and likely to continue to grow in the future. A large number of doctorate holders work outside academia – in the public service, in company research and development departments, or in non-governmental organisations. Moreover, career paths in science management, administration, and services become increasingly relevant for doctorate holders. In general, the scientific workforce is recognised as a key factor in the ability of modern economies to innovate, and in the ability of societies to solve future problems. At present, its great societal relevance is clearly demonstrated by the global Covid-19 crisis. Yet there is still insufficient knowledge on doctorate holders’ career paths and success outside academia, on the relevant decision-making processes, on job requirements, and on potential social barriers to career success.

Fortunately, various research projects have recently helped to improve data availability. In
light of this situation, a number of questions arise:

  • Who decides to stay in academia following graduation and why? What are the prerequisites for successfully completing postgraduate education?
  • Is academia producing more highly qualified researchers than can be absorbed by the labour market?
  • Are career decisions and chances determined by social origin, gender, migration background, or intersections of these dimensions? And what role do new career paths (e.g. tenure-track positions) play in this context?
  • Which countries provide the most meritocratic (academic) labour markets? And what are the driving forces?
  • What achievements are particularly rewarded inside and outside academia (e.g. publications, international mobility experiences, raised research funds, or patents)?
  • Are there discipline-specific determinants of career success? And if so, how can they be explained theoretically?
  • Are cooperation patterns in science changing? Does cooperation foster new ideas and innovations? Do scientists benefit from being part of interdisciplinary, international, or non-scientific professional networks?
  • What are the mobility patterns between the different labour market sectors?
  • To what degree are tasks in jobs outside academia related to the skills acquired during the studies and/or the doctorate?

Contributions that examine other than these research questions, but are still related to the topic, are also welcome. The special issue will include both theoretical and theory-driven empirical contributions. We encourage international and national contributions from all social science disciplines. The special issue will be published with open access and no OA fees for authors. The publication will be listed in the Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI). The guest editors will conduct a fair but challenging peer-review process to guarantee the high quality of the special issue.

Deadline for the submission of proposals is May 31, 2021. Please send your proposal (up to 3,000 characters) to and


  • Notification of acceptance or rejection of proposals: July 2021
  • Submission of manuscripts: Feb 2022
  • Peer-review process: Mar-May 2022
  • Submission of revised manuscripts: Oct 2022
  • Notification of final acceptance or rejection: Nov 2022
  • Language editing/proofreading: Dec 2022
  • Publication of special issue: First half of 2023

The guest editors

Prof. Dr. Christiane Gross is professor for quantitative methods in the social sciences at the University of Würzburg.

Dr. Steffen Jaksztat is researcher at the German Centre for Higher Education Research and Science Studies (DZHW).

Click here for information on the journal.

Call for Papers: 2020 Industry Studies Association Annual Conference

Organizations, Occupations and Work

June 3 – 5, 2020 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston, MA, USA

Submission Deadline: January 17, 2020

The Industry Studies Association (ISA) cordially invites submissions of individual paper abstracts and proposals of panels for the 2020 ISA Annual Conference to be held June 3 – 5, 2020 at the Samberg Conference Center on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus. Industry studies research is grounded in observations of firms and workplaces and in a deep understanding of the markets, institutions, and technologies that shape the competitive environment. It draws on a wide range of academic disciplines and fields including economics, history, sociology, and other social sciences, management, marketing, policy analysis, operations research, engineering, labor markets and employment relations, and other related research and policy areas.

The conference welcomes research from all disciplines that incorporates this approach. ISA is especially interested in organized panels and papers that are…

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Job Posting: Assistant Professor Position at Queens College

The City University of New York Career Opportunity
Rank: Assistant Professor
Queens College—City University of New York
Employment level: Tenure Track
Category: Sociology, Data Analytics

The Department of Sociology seeks to fill a vacancy at the rank of Assistant Professor. This is a tenure track position set to start in Fall 2019.

We are seeking candidates with a strong empirical bent and expertise in advanced analytics techniques, whether quantitative or qualitative. Area of specialization is open, but the ideal candidate will have a research agenda that applies computational research techniques to mainstream sociological topics. We seek a candidate who can, in addition to producing cutting edge research, help us to move our curriculum forward at both the MA and BA level, which share an emphasis on data analytics.

Continue reading “Job Posting: Assistant Professor Position at Queens College”

Message from Outgoing OOW Chair, Elisabeth Clemens

Dear OOW members,

With exams and annual reports mostly behind us, I hope that all are enjoying hammocks or beaches or international conferences – each to his or her own taste.  But before heading off on my own escape, I want to finish some of the most important section business for the year – elections, awards, and membership – as well as to highlight some of the events to come when ASA meets in Philadelphia in mid-August.

Continue reading “Message from Outgoing OOW Chair, Elisabeth Clemens”

New Book: Everitt on Teacher Orientation and Training

We are pleased to announce the publication of a new book (Rutgers University Press) from OOW member, Judson Everitt.   Everitt is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Loyola University Chicago.  The book is titled, Lesson Plans: The Institutional Demands of Becoming a Teacher.
Continue reading “New Book: Everitt on Teacher Orientation and Training”

OOW at ASA 2018

We look forward to seeing you in Philadelphia this August for the annual ASA meeting.  Thank you to the Section Council, Committees and volunteers for your efforts in preparing an exciting program.  This year, we have five section panels, and over twenty roundtables, scheduled for Saturday, August 11 and Sunday, August 12.  There are 14 additional regular panels in Family and Work, Gender and Work, Jobs, Occupations and Professions, Labor Market, Labor/Labor Movements, Organizations and Work and the Workplace scheduled from Saturday, August 11 through Tuesday, August 14.

Also on Saturday, August 11, we invite you to attend the Section Business Meeting and announcement of Section awards in the morning.  In the afternoon, we welcome you to attend the invited session on “Rethinking Organizational Power,” organized by OOW Chair, Elisabeth Clemons.  Please also join us for our Reception from 6:30-8:10pm in the Pennsylvania Convention Center (Level 100, 103C).

Please see below for a list of Organization, Occupations and Work Panels.

Continue reading “OOW at ASA 2018”

Meet Your Council: Elizabeth Popp Berman

Popp-Berman1b(1)Elizabeth Popp Berman is currently serving on the OOW Council.  Berman is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Albany, SUNY.  Her current book project, Thinking Like an Economist: How Economics Became the Language of U.S. Public Policy (Princeton University Press), examines the role of economics in the development of science, antitrust and antipoverty policy in the U.S. from 1960 to 1985.  Her first book, Creating the Market University: How Academic Science Became an Economic Engine (Princeton University Press, 2012) earned the OOW’s Max Weber Book Award in 2013.  Below, Berman expands upon her research and teaching, as well as her thoughts on the state of the subfield.  Continue reading “Meet Your Council: Elizabeth Popp Berman”