SOCIOLOGY NEWS . VOLUME 4 . ISSUE 1
“WHAT DO YOU THINK?” — Patricio
LETTER FROM THE EDITRESS We are pleased to introduce the 2009-2010 edition of Sociology News. Beverly Pratt and I will be the interim editresses (an actual word in the dictionary) until the election results are in. We plan to alternate roles as lead editress each semester. We have changed the format from a newsletter to a mini-magazine to provide greater ]HYPL[`HUKKLW[O>LOVWL`V\^PSSÄUK[OPZLKP[PVU]PZ\HSS` interesting, practical and relevant. We have received input from faculty as well as students of different backgrounds at different points in their careers. The best part of our new approach is that it is interactive. All of the information in the magazine will be included in the blog, www.umdsocy.blogspot.com, where you can leave your feedback on each segment. We look forward to your questions, comments and suggestions! The theme for this edition is Imagine. I thought this reference to C. Wright Mills,’ The Sociological Imagination, would be appropriate given the new ideas that the new cohort brings and the transitional nature of the department, in general. Perhaps what has attracted most of us to this doctoral program is not the PhD title—and certainly not the torture associated with the process. For many VM\ZP[^HZV\YPU[LSSLJ[\HSJ\YPVZP[`4PSSZOLSWLKTL[VKLÄUL and hone it through his explanation of what he called the sociological imagination.
“Nowadays men often feel that their private lives are a series of traps…What they need, and what they feel they need, is a quality of mind that will help them to use information and to develop reason in order to achieve lucid summations of what is going on in the world and of what may be happening within themselves. It is this quality, I am going to contend, that journalists and scholars, artists and publics, scientists and editors are coming to expect of what may be
LETTER FROM THE EDITRESS called the sociological imagination” (The Sociological Imagination, 1959, p.3).
or qualitative analysis? Why do certain classes tend to be male dominated?
The idea that one could attain a quality of mind to better understand [OLT\S[PWSLHUKZ\I[SL^H`ZOLYSPMLPUÅ\LUJLKHUK^HZPUÅ\LUJLK by local and global forces, one could and could not see, piqued my interest.
I do not pose these questions simply to be provocative, rather they are grounded in my own experiences here. Once in a writing workshop group professor Kestnbaum and Michelle Corbin opened my eyes to the ways in which I had repeated practices of domination in my writing—claiming my argument was valid because popular scholars agreed with me, elevating my claim by elevating them. It is important that we help each other to discern ways in which we may repeat the protectionist, discriminatory practices we critique.
More importantly, I was concerned with how this quality of mind helped sociologists address social problems. Karl Marx famously stated: “Philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways--The point, however, is to change it.” The implicit challenge in this statement calls us to use the skills and tools we have as scholars to imagine a better society. Great scholars like W.E.B. DuBois and Harriet Martineau’s visionary perspectives concerning discrimination remind us that imagination is not simply the stuff of dreams—it is foundational to social transformation. As sociologists, we hold a mirror up to society and identify ways to improve the portrait, in which, we are included (albeit not the central focus). However, we can also hold up a mirror to ourselves and have candid discussions concerning ways to make this department better for the undergraduates, graduates and professors. We might begin by posing questions such as: How might politics amongst faculty members adversely affect the graduate students? How is the junior faculty adjusting to the new department? What can students do to reduce the time it takes to complete the program? How can students help themselves to secure more funding? Is there a sense of mutual respect between students and faculty members who do quantitative
I think the students, in particular, can show our appreciation for this department and this institution in general by working with faculty to identify ways to enhance the program. After all, it is an honor to be a student here. As students, we can imagine the ideal environment and decide how to realize it given our skills and resources, which is what I see several students doing already. In light of our workloads, this [HZRTH`ZLLTZ\WLYÅ\V\ZHUK[PTLJVUZ\TPUN@L[PTHNPUL^OH[ if these ideas began with a simple contribution to this magazine, led to an informal discussion and then became included on the Graduate Student Forum agenda. We hope this magazine can be light-hearted and fun, but also a vehicle for students and faculty to discuss how they would like to see the department grow. If we can stay connected to why ^LYLHSS`JHTL[V[OPZÄLSK^LJHUJVU[PU\L[VZ[YLUN[OLU[OL program—just imagine.
MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR The 2009-2010 year will be a year of transitions for us. We hope to bring in three to four new faculty in demography, military sociology, and qualitative methods. At the same time, we will be losing Bart Landry and Mady Segal to retirements. Each has been with the department over 30 years, and each will leave lasting legacies on [OLZ[YH[PĂ„JH[PVUHUKTPSP[HY`ZVJPVSVN`WYVNYHTZ[OH[^PSSJVU[PU\L [VILULĂ„[\ZMVY`LHYZ[VJVTL This is also a year of transition to a revised graduate program. The changes move us towards more emphasis on mentoring and research apprenticeships and somewhat away from a structured program of coursework. One objective is to permit students to get involved in research and publications earlier in their graduate training. Another objective is to provide more space for individualized programs of study and investigation. Like all plans, its success depends as much on good implementation as on good design, ZV ^PSSILV\YĂ„YZ[[LZ[ The undergraduate program also faces challenges. On the one OHUK^LOVWL[V^VYR[V^HYKZHĂ„YTLYJVUZLUZ\ZVU[OLJVU[LU[ of our core curriculum so that different instructors and different semesters will still provide the same foundation. At the same time we are looking for ways to expand research experiences and honors opportunities for our majors.
Most obviously for me, 2009-2010 is a year of transition to a new chair. So far, everybody has been wonderfully patient as I get adjusted to the new duties. Fortunately, we are building on the great `LHY^LQ\Z[Ă„UPZOLK+PZ[PUN\PZOLK<UP]LYZP[`7YVMLZZVY7H[YPJPH/PSS Collins presided over the annual meeting this August as the 100th president of the American Sociological Association. We continued [VYPZLPU[OL<:5L^ZUH[PVUHSYHURPUNZUV^[O>LNYHK\H[LK almost 150 undergraduate majors in the last year. And we accepted VULVM[OLSHYNLZ[HUKILZ[X\HSPĂ„LKNYHK\H[LJVOVY[ZL]LY So, welcome to a year of transitions. With everybody helping and with a little bit of good luck, it can be a year of lasting accomplishments. Sincerely, Reeve Vanneman Chair
â€œWith everybody helping and with a little bit of good luck, it can be a year of lasting accomplishments.â€?
Heather Marsh and Nathan Jurgenson
WELCOME TO THE GRADUATE STUDENT FORUM The mission of the Graduate Student Forum (GSF) is simple: to provide graduate students in the Department of Sociology with representation and a voice concerning matters relevant to their academic, professional and personal lives while here at the <UP]LYZP[`VM4HY`SHUK According to the GSF “Constitution,” the elected members’ primary functions include, but are not limited to, the following: (1) facilitating faculty-student relations; (2) serving as representatives on departmental committees; (3) assisting the academic and professional needs of the graduate student body; (4) providing an outlet for student grievances in a safe environment; (5) handling administrative graduate student needs; and (6) building and maintaining community peer interactions and relationships. While the mission of the GSF is focused as a body that advocates for us, the graduate students, there are multiple ways in which to participate. First, it is an open venue for all current graduate students PU[OL<UP]LYZP[`VM4HY`SHUK»Z+LWHY[TLU[VM:VJPVSVN`:LJVUK there are elected positions that comprise the GSF’s administrative and foundational body. Perhaps you recently saw an email from us (Heather Marsh and Nathan Jurgenson -- in case you are part of the new cohort, we are the 2008-2009 co-Presidents) calling for election nominations. The structure of the GSF is being changed this year to make the GSF more up-to-date and relevant and we hope to do this through
“Teams” that work together on common projects and report to, and work with, the other GSF Teams. The Teams include: an Administrative Team (2-3 members) that is made up of the President and/or Co-President and Treasurer; a Community Building Team (5 members) that includes the Department News Reps (2), the C. Wright Mills Rep (1), and the Social Chairs (2); the Representative Team (8 members), includes a Pre-candidacy Rep (1), a Ph.D. Rep (1) and General GSF Reps (6); and lastly, there are Committee Representatives (4 members), including Admissions Reps (2), a Policy Committee Rep (1) and an Awards Committee Rep (1). @V\YIYV^ZLYTH`UV[Z\WWVY[KPZWSH`VM[OPZPTHNL7LYOHWZ[OL biggest different between the updated GSF this year and the GSF of old will be the addition of six General GSF Reps. The General GSF Reps will work to stay in touch with issues concerning graduate students and bring these issues to the GSF meetings, organize informational seminars and be available to serve on various department committees as needed. 0UJHZL`V\^LYL^VUKLYPUNHIV\[[OL¸MVY<4¹PU[OL[P[SLVM this article or the logo (credit for our new logo goes to Nathan Jurgenson), this is a play on the word suggested by our own John 7LHZL[OH[JVTIPULZ¸MVY\T¹^P[O¸MVY<4¹VY¸MVY<UP]LYZP[`VM Maryland.” On behalf of the outgoing GSF, remember to pay your dues (thanks Molly Clever!) and vote in the upcoming GSF election.
GET TO KNOW THE COHORT We asked the following questions to the newest members of the sociology graduate student body: 1. Why did you choose to come to the University of Maryland? 2. Why did you choose to study sociology? 3. What do you hope/expect to do when you leave the University? 4. What is one thing, outside of earning a PhD, that you want to accomplish while at the University? 5. Do you have any nicknames you want us to know about? 6. Do you have any nicknames you *don’t* want us to know about? 7. Is there anything funny/ weird/ awesome shameful about you that you think should be advertised to the whole department? Here is what they said:
JOSEPH WAGGLE 1. When I came to the welcome weekend in March, I got to see how close-knit and supportive the faculty and the grad students were. That’s a very different experience to what I’m used to, and it was refreshing to see. 2. 4`ÄYZ[ZVJPVSVN`JSHZZ^HZHSZVT`ÄYZ[ZLTLZ[LYPU\UKLYNYHK It started only two weeks before the WTC attacks on 9/11/01. After that day, the entire campus changed, as did the nation, and my sociology professor really helped me to understand it all. Since then, I’ve seen a lot of answers-- and some interesting questions-- while studying sociology. 3.0^HU[[VHWWS`T`Z[\KPLZ[V^HYKKVPUNYLZLHYJOPU[OLÄLSKVM TLKPJHSZVJPVSVN`HUKZ[YH[PÄJH[PVU 4. I have very little teaching experience. I hope to become a better teacher/communicator while I’m here. 5. At Cal I was JoJoBee. At Chicago I was Wag. I’ll pretty much answer to anything if you say it nicely. 6. There’s only a handful of people who can get away with calling me Joey. I usually hate that name. Also, my mother likes to call me Puppy, but I don’t like that to get around too much... 7.0»TWYL[[`IVYPUNHJ[\HSS`)\[0»TJVUÄKLU[[OH[WSLU[`VM PU[LYLZ[PUNZ[VYPLZ^PSSJVTLV\[VMT`[PTLH[[OL<UP]LYZP[` of Maryland...
GET TO KNOW THE COHORT PATRICK LIU
1. Had everything I was looking for.
1. I honestly applied to Maryland without knowing a great deal about it, but when I visited during the admitted students day, there was very simply a lot that I liked. The faculty seemed engaged and interesting, as well as pleasant and approachable; the other students in the program seemed the same, and they spoke highly of the program and the department during the Q&A. What ended up attracting me most was the strength of the military sociology concentration.
2. Soc is fun! 3. Get on with a career. 4. Brush up on my chemistry. 5. “Latrick Piu” 6. @V\WYVIHIS`ZOV\SKU»[JHSSTL7H[[`*HRL6Y7H[YPJR:[HY 7. Was able to stand and balance myself on a coke can once.
2. I fell in love with sociology as the result of taking an intro course largely on a whim. It offered a fascinating framework for examining and understanding the world, and I knew I wanted to pursue it as far as I could. 3. The ideal situation is, of course, a tenure-track position at a good research institution, but we’ll see what the future brings. I’m trying to keep an open mind. 4. I want to take advantage of the opportunities the university offers [VILJVTLMHTPSPHY^P[O[OLJ\YYLU[YLZLHYJOPU[OLÄLSKPUNYLH[LY depth, to form relationships within it and hopefully to make some real contributions to it. 5. Nope. 6. Not telling. 7. My father, who is a professor of geology, wanted to name me “Glacia Moraine.” At least, this is what he says. I’ve never ÄN\YLKV\[^OL[OLYVYUV[OL^HZRPKKPUN
GET TO KNOW THE COHORT DAVE PAUL STROHECKER 1. I decided to come to Maryland because of the urgings of my mentor, 1VL-LHNPU/L[VSKTL[OH[[OPZ^V\SKIL[OLWSHJL^OLYL0^V\SKÄUK the most acceptance and freedom to pursue my studies in critical race theory. He advised me that this was one of the most diverse campuses PU[OL<:[OH[[OLKLWHY[TLU[^HZTVYL[VSLYHU[[OHUTHU`HUK that it was a state school with a good reputation. 2. I was originally drawn to sociology because of my interest in feminism. I took an intro class on gender and it immedietely sparked my interest. Feminist theory resonated with me and validated my self-identity. From [OLYL0ZSV^S`MLSSPU[VZ[\KPLZVMYHJLL[OUPJP[`0^HZOLZP[HU[H[ÄYZ[ until I became disillusioned with all that I had been taught since I was young. Growing up as a white, middle-class male kept me insulated form seeing much of the injustice all around me. I became disgusted with my own latent prejudices and hatred and began to see social justice as my both my calling and my obligation. 3. I hope to be a well-versed and competent anti-racist. I expect to get a job at a research or teaching university and then use my position as a springboard to teaching future generations about systemic oppression and conducting research that will improve social science.
4.0^V\SKSPRL[VILJVTLHWYVÄJPLU[ZWLHRLYVM[Y\[O"HUK0^V\SK like to become an inspiration for young people who don’t identify with the prevailing social order. I want to teach young people to discover the power of knowledge and how it can be used a tool for solving social problems. 5. 5VWL@V\JHUTHRLVUL\WMVYTL 6. My mom has always called me “Sparky.” I think it sounds like a dog’s name. 7. My entire upper body is covered with tattoos. 0[»ZT`N\PS[`ZLSÄZOWSLHZ\YL
GET TO KNOW THE COHORT MARGARET AUSTIN SMITH
1. Because I’d rather be studying.
1. I love the DC area and it’s a great program that matches my interests.
2. See above. 3. I’d feel very blessed to be able to teach and work on meaningful research. 4. Spend as much time outside as possible.
2. I like the perspectives that sociology offers for understanding society, especially in regards to understanding issues of social justice. 3. I would love to teach at the university level, but I also want to make sure I do research that is useful for policy makers.
5. Meg works. 6. My sister calls me Large Marge. 7.0YHU[YHJRHUKJYVZZJV\U[Y`H[[OL<UP]LYZP[`VM5VY[O*HYVSPUH and have two ACC championship rings. Go heels(!).
4. I feel like if I don’t say ‘publish’ it means I haven’t been paying attention for the last few weeks. Outside of that, I want to make P[HWYPVYP[`[VH[[LUKSLJ[\YLZWYLZLU[H[PVUZÄSTZHUKKPZJ\ZZPVUZ MYVTH]HYPL[`VMKPZJPWSPULZ[OH[[OL<UP]LYZP[`IYPUNZ[VJHTW\Z 5. None in particular, but few people actually call me Joanna. 6. No 7. I’m addicted to Israeli Dancing and Salsa Dancing.
GET TO KNOW THE COHORT MARK GROSS
1. 0JOVZL<4+ILJH\ZLP[PZHIPNW\ISPJ\UP]LYZP[`^P[OHNYLH[ sociology program. I also really like the DC area, so it was HNYLH[Ä[
1.;OL<UP]LYZP[`VM4HY`SHUK»ZYLW\[H[PVUPU:VJPVSVN` for the study of theory and place.
2. I chose sociology because I believe that it is one of the most applicable of the social sciences and certainly the most relevant to the things I care about. And it’s awesome.
2. Sociology is the only thing that has ever made sense to me, and also the only discipline that is diverse enough to keep my interests engaged. 3. Live a full and meaningful life. Enjoy some limit experiences.
3. After leaving here I would like to establish myself in academia but also spend time working outside of academia and applying my knowledge/skills to issues of social justice and development.
4. Learn Chinese. 5. Bill
4. Staying out of the regular labor force for another few years. 6. No 5. Gross Face Killah 6. Gross Face Killah 7.0UÄYZ[NYHKL0W\[HIHSSVVUPU[OLWLUJPSZOHYWLULY and had to miss gym class.
7. I just became engaged to my girlfriend, Meghan Martzolff, of three and a half years at the end of this past July.
GET TO KNOW THE COHORT LORI REEDER
1.0JOVZL[VJVTL[V<UP]LYZP[`VM4HY`SHUKILJH\ZL[OL:VJPVSVN` department is ranked well and the people within the department HYLYLHSS`UPJL0MLS[SPRL0^V\SKÄ[PU^LSSHUKILOHWW`OLYL
1. I was drawn to the diverse research interests of the faculty, as well as the friendly atmosphere among the graduate students and professors.
2. The beauty of sociology is that you can study almost anything from the sociological perspective. I have loved Sociology since I took an introductory course during my freshman year of undergrad.
2. The problem-solving aspect of sociology is appealing to me. Sociological research is fascinating, and it can be practical and relevant to real-life problems. 3. I hope to continue in academia in research and teaching.
3. I hope to acquire a tenure-track position upon leaving the university.
4. Too many to list.
4. I hope to learn how to be a good teacher.
5. My family calls me Sus.
5. Nope, no nicknames.
6. I’m ok with whatever.
6. Fortunately, I have no hidden nicknames either. The trick OLYLPZ[VUV[HJX\PYLHU`^OPSLH[<4+
7. No need to advertise, I’m sure my quirks will be exposed eventually. :)
7. As a small child growing up in rural Pennsylvania, I used to [OPUR[OH[[OLÄYZ[KH`VMKLLYZLHZVU^HZHOVSPKH`ILJH\ZL we got the day off from school.
GET TO KNOW THE COHORT MAREK POSARD
1. The military Sociology program.
1. I have lived in DC before and loved it. Also, when I visited in March I liked the faculty and the other students in the incoming cohort.
2. I have a Political Science background and found myself more intrigued by the Political Sociology literature. 3. Publish. 4. Swim more. 5. No.
2. 0PUP[PHSS`^LU[PU[VZVJPVSVN`MVYJVUÅPJ[YLZVS\[PVUI\[[OH[ quickly changed. I danced around the discipline for a year or so, and soon found out that you can do pretty much anything in sociology, which I have come to love. 3. I hope to work at a university.
4. Other than getting published, which is highly stressed by all, 0^V\SKHSZVSPRL[VQ\Z[MLLSSPRL0OH]LHUL_WLY[PZLPUT`ÄLSK
7. I am a terrible swimmer.
5. No 6. @LZ 7. No
GEMS FROM OUR FACULTY In accordance with the theme, Imagine, we asked professors: What drew you to sociology? What keeps you interested in the Ă„LSK&)LSV^PZ[OL^PZKVT[OL`ZOHYLK Julie Park 4`Ă„YZ[\UKLYNYHKJSHZZPUZVJPVSVN`Â¸PU[LYWLYZVUHSPU[LYYHJPHS dynamics.â€? How could you not be interested in sociology after that?! The continual opportunity to ask interesting questions about society and then trying to answer them... Making connections between two seemingly unrelated ideas to generate new ways of looking at things... Helping to make sense of the world around us as its pace of change is ever accelerating. Itâ€™s all about people, groups of people... and to me, thatâ€™s never boring! Harriet Presser I was planning to be a social worker, and took the required sociology JV\YZLZPUT`Ă„YZ[[^V\UKLYNYHK\H[L`LHYZH[<VM-3ILMVYL getting married and dropping out for a while. When I returned to ZJOVVS.><TVZ[S`H[UPNO[HZOHKH`V\UNJOPSKI`[OLU0 KLJPKLK[VZ[PJR^P[OZVJPVSVN`HZ[OLILZ[^H`[VX\PJRS`Ă„UPZO courses for my B.A. degree. I remained only mildly interested in sociology when, after another break--and a divorce--I went to NYHK\H[LZJOVVS<5*MVYT`4(I\[ILJHTLL_[YLTLS`PU[LYLZ[LK ^OLUHM[LYHUV[OLYIYLHR^LU[IHJRMVYT`7O+<*)LYRLSL`HUK studied demography. It is the many fascinating issues of social demography, especially when viewed from a gender perspective, that have maintained my interest.
David Segal I began college as a geology major, never having heard of sociology, HUKILPUNLU[OYHSSLK^P[ONSHJPHSWHSLVU[VSVN`+\YPUNT`Ă„YZ[[^V college years, I learned that geological processes are very slow (glacial, one might say), and that glaciers are very cold. At the same [PTL0[VVRT`Ă„YZ[ZVJPHSZJPLUJLJV\YZLZHUKILJHTLJVUZ\TLK I`[OLT(M[LYJVSSLNL0KPKT`NYHK\H[L^VYRH[[OL<UP]LYZP[`VM Chicago, where some of the great minds of the social sciences were teaching. It was a time of social turbulence--the civil rights movement, the Vietnam War, etc., and I think a majority of my entering cohort of graduate students saw in sociology a means to address some of the problems of the world. Perhaps as important as the fame of the people I studied with was the fact that they were engaged with the world. Phil Hauser, the chair of the department, had been the director of the Census Bureau, Don Bogue, for whom I was a research assistant, was battling population growth, Morris Janowitz, who was my mentor, was off to Washington or on TV at least once a month to talk about military policy. I was attracted by the possibility of having an impact beyond the walls of the academy. (M[LY*OPJHNV0QVPULK[OLMHJ\S[`H[[OL<UP]LYZP[`VM4PJOPNHU where the dept. chair, Al Reiss, was constantly consulting and testifying in the area of criminal justice. I took a leave from Michigan PU[OLĂ„YZ[`LHYZVM[OL]VS\U[LLYTPSP[HY`MVYJL[VLZ[HISPZOH ZVJPVSVNPJHSYLZLHYJOWYVNYHTMVY[OL(YT`HUKMV\UKP[M\SĂ„SSPUN[V have senior military commanders, federal executives, and members of the Congress interested in my research. I came to Maryland after three years of federal service, intending to return to research on ZVJPHSZ[YH[PĂ„JH[PVUHUKWVSP[PJHSZVJPVSVN`I\[P[UL]LYOHWWLULK The constituencies that had been developed outside the university-the military services, the Congress, and the media, pressed me top continue research on the military. I think if I ever reach the point at which the only people who read what I write are other sociologists, Iâ€™ll turn to my childhood ambition and become a cowboy.
GEMS FROM OUR FACULTY Jeff Lucas
My undergraduate degree was in business. As I was working in a real job and starting to move through my MBA, I was exposed to Weber’s The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism and then Durkheim’s Elementary Forms of Religious Life. I thought the work was fascinating, particularly in how it connected to my own experiences.
I was attracted to sociology because of its wide horizons and many options. It is this that has kept me interested in sociology and keeps me interested to this day. Over the years I have changed my focus many times, including work and occupations, theory (and among many different kinds of theory), metatheory, consumption, social geography, globalization, and most recently prosumption. Following one interest for a time has inevitably led me to others. I hope and expect that this process will continue. There’s always something new; sociology is always new!
I was raised Catholic, for example, and Durkheim’s discussion of the functions of ritual explained well my experiences with religion. These works led me to pursue an advanced degree in sociology. Carrying out research, particularly with students, teaching in its various forms, and learning what other researchers are doing all keep me interested in the discipline. The research I do is in group processes, and there is a one-day mini-conference every year for group processes researchers, usually the day before the ASA TLL[PUNZ0ÄUK[OPZTPUPJVUMLYLUJLLZWLJPHSS`PU]PNVYH[PUN0NL[ to learn what other people in my area are doing, talk with people who approach research in similar ways to me, and get a sense of future directions in the area.
ALTERNATIVE SPECIALTY EXAM OPTIONS As some of you may know there is now an alternative option for comprehensive exam. Below is a step-by-step guide. For those of you who still have concerns, a meeting to discuss this option will be take place October 7 at 1:30 PM in Room 1101. The department has revised the process for completing specialty exams beginning this fall. Currently, students must sit for exams in [^VVM[OLKLWHY[TLU[»ZLPNO[PKLU[PÄLKZWLJPHS[`HYLHZ;OLUL^ system retains the requirement that students show mastery of two ÄLSKZ^P[OPUZVJPVSVN`-\Y[OLYZ[\KLU[ZT\Z[ZP[MVYH[SLHZ[VUL exam in one of our eight specialty areas as the process is currently set up and may choose to sit for both exams in the current system. However, students may now choose an alternative for one of the two specialty exams. The alternative is described below. A student seeking to complete an alternative for one of the specialty exams takes the following steps: The student forms a committee of three members, including one who will act in the role of chair of the exam committee. The committee members must all be regular faculty members in the Department of Sociology. In special cases, students can petition the graduate committee to have one committee member from outside of the department. For these petitions to be successful, the person must be a member of the Maryland graduate faculty, and the student must make a strong case that the person adds expertise in an area of the sociology literature that cannot be found inside the department. ;OLZ[\KLU[HUKJVTTP[[LL[VNL[OLYKLÄUL[OLZ\IZ[HU[P]LJV]LYHNL HUKSHILSMVY[OLL_HT;OLKLÄUPUNMLH[\YLVM[OPZUL^Z`Z[LTPZ [OH[P[^PSSHSSV^Z[\KLU[ZHUKMHJ\S[`[VNL[OLY[VKLÄULHYLHZVM
concentration. At the same time, there is an expectation that the JVU[LU[VM[OLL_HTYLÅLJ[HJVOLYLU[IVK`VM[OLVY`HUKYLZLHYJO PUZVJPVSVN`VMZ\MÄJPLU[IYLHK[O;OL[VWPJHYLHVM[OLHS[LYUH[P]L exam cannot be subsumed entirely within one of our existing areas. The goal of this alternative is to allow students to draw on the strengths of our faculty. Thus, the expectation is that committees will be formed to draw on the expertise of our faculty, and students should not expect faculty to sit on committees in topic areas outside of their areas of expertise. The student and committee together determine how the student will certify that she or he is prepared to sit for the exam. This might involve the successful completion of three courses as required by the current model, or it might involve some combination of courses and other requirements. The student and committee together determine how the component of the exam evaluated by the committee will look. The exam can potentially take multiple forms, from a take-home exam to a research proposal that incorporates extensive literatures. These are only examples, and the content of the exam is to be determined between the student and committee. ;OLZ[\KLU[HUKJVTTP[[LLKYHM[HJVU[YHJ[[OH[ZWLJPÄLZ[OL[VWPJ area of the exam, the requirements for the student to sit for the exam, how the evaluated component of the exam will look, and when the exam will be completed. The completed contract will IL[\YULKPU[V[OLNYHK\H[LVMÄJLH[[OLZHTL[PTL[OH[Z[\KLU[Z declare for the traditional comps. The elements of the contract ^PSSILZ\IQLJ[[V[OLHWWYV]HSVM[OLNYHK\H[LVMÄJL
ALTERNATIVE SPECIALTY EXAM OPTIONS ;OLNYHK\H[LVMÄJL^PSSOH]LYLZWVUZPIPSP[`MVYHKTPUPZ[LYPUN[OL exam (how this will look will of course vary based on the format of [OLL_HT;OLJVTWSL[PVUKH[LVM[OLL_HT^PSSILJVUZPKLYLKÄYT HUKUV[JVTWSL[PUN[OLL_HTI`[OLKH[LZWLJPÄLK^PSSIL[YLH[LK the same as failing an exam under our current system. Again, students need not choose an alternative exam and may sit for two exams in the system as it is currently set up. Students who do complete an alternative exam may complete it before, after, or in the same semester as the other specialty exam, but it must be completed prior to the beginning of the student’s fourth year. (For students who came in under the formal MA thesis requirement, the exam must be completed by the end of the fall semester of the student’s fourth year.) Please contact Jeff or Katrina with any questions about procedural matters. Questions about whether particular topic areas or evaluation procedures represent reasonable options for the exam are best posed to faculty members likely to sit on the exam committee.
A SOCIOLOGICAL IMAGINATION APPLIED Most of us pursue a PhD in Sociology for some reason beyond, or perhaps within, our selves: a theoretical piece â€“ like Baudrillardâ€™s America â€“ demonstrated the creativity of theoryâ€Ś sociologists on the syllabi of our undergraduate Critical Race and Womenâ€™s Studies courses discussed social injustices in ways in which we had yet to consider... a Research Methods class demonstrated the applicability of Sociology â€“ both theory and methods â€“ as a tool to eliminate social injustices. And for those of us who choose Sociology because if theseâ€“ or myriad other reasons â€“ we struggle with how to dutifully apply our budding Sociological Imaginations â€“ both abstractly and in praxis.
So, while I donâ€™t provide direct-care to people, I do get to interact with folks who consider themselves activists, many since the Civil Rights Movement. Iâ€™ve learned of their narratives as social activists, volunteered side-by-side with them at huge mobilizations and Capital Hill rallies, and have been able to witness and experience sweat and tears as natural components to organizing THZZP]LJHTWHPNUZHNHPUZ[[OLJVUZ[HU[S`Ă…\J[\H[PUNIHJRKYVW VM>HZOPUN[VU+*>OPSL[OLUVUWYVĂ„[PZUÂť[WLYMLJ[^OH[ organizations are?), spending time within an organization founded upon Sociological grassroots ideologies has both sharpened and expanded my Sociological Imagination.
Within the tension of this struggle I choose to pursue the Sociological Adventure. I also choose to volunteer time â€“ what little I can afford as a graduate student â€“ at a Washington, +*UVUWYVĂ„[HJ[P]LS`\[PSPaPUN[OLPYV^U:VJPVSVNPJHS0THNPUH[PVU
The potential and application of our Sociological Imaginations arenâ€™t limited to the classroom, our comprehensive exams, or even our dissertations. Our Sociological Imagination extends beyond our selves and our academically gated community to a political, economic, and social world in much need of our Imaginations!
I volunteer at Sojourners â€“ a nearly 40 year-old faith-based social Q\Z[PJLUVUWYVĂ„[PU[OLOLHY[VM[OL+PZ[YPJ[ÂťZL]LYJOHUNPUNÂśMVY better and worse â€“ Columbia Heights neighborhood. Though the organization doesnâ€™t provide direct-care services to people in the neighborhood, it instead mobilizes activists and builds coalitions HTVUNIV[OZLJ\SHYHUKUVUZLJ\SHYVYNHUPaH[PVUZĂ„NO[PUNHNHPUZ[ Z\JOVWWYLZZPVUZHZWV]LY[`YHJPZTHUK[OVZLĂ„NO[PUNMVYZ\JO reforms as immigration and health care parody. In doing so, Sojourners partners with organizations like World Vision, Oxfam, and ONE.
:V0KLĂ„UP[LS`LUJV\YHNL`V\^OL[OLY`V\ÂťYLQ\Z[ILNPUUPUN your Sociological Adventure or are further along and in the midst of one of its valleys to give what time you can to organizations, relationships, and people that need you. I can testify that itâ€™s a reciprocal relationship, for the better.
TRAVELING TERPS 2H[OY`U)\MVYK Rome is like walking into a work of art. Event the clouds look as if God edited them in photo-shop. My friend Candice and I had the VWWVY[\UP[`[VZWLUKÄ]LKH`Z[OLYLLH[PUNNLSH[VHUK[HRPUNPU popular sites like Trevi Fountain, the Vatican and the Spanish Steps. /V^L]LYP[»ZHS^H`ZKPMÄJ\S[OLHYPUNZHKUL^ZH^H`MYVTOVTL0 heard about Michael Jackson’s passing while in Europe. At the time, I was among mainly new friends from different parts of the world. We all shared our favorite songs and dance moves with varying degrees of nostalgia, disbelief and sorrow. Many musicians, dj’s and nightclubs across the world paid special tribute to the timeless “King of Pop.” My friend Candice and I met some kindred spirits from Chile while looking for a place to dance in Via Testaccio, a center in Rome with a lot of nightlife. We all talked about many things, including, of course, Michael. Later that night we had the opportunity to see an appreciation WLYMVYTHUJL^OPSLPU9VTL>LHSSKHUJLKHUKZHUN!¸@V\ can be my baby, it don’t matter if your black or white… dooooodoodoodoodooooodooooo…” Here is a piece of the performance. My favorite songs by Michael Jackson are “Man in the Mirror” and “Bad.” My favorite music videos are “Remember the Time” and “Smooth Criminal.” Michael always danced like his life depended on it! He sang about what was in his heart. The world has lost a king, but Michael left a precious legacy. I love looking around the globe and seeing his style, energy and spirit.
Susan Hong I traveled Europe with some friends for three weeks in August, visiting Rome, Paris, Versailles, Prague, Munich, Vienna, and Koln. We went to several museums, saw the Eiffel Tower, visited the Vatican, Neuschwanstein Castle, and several beautiful gardens in Versailles. The food (and coffee) was delicious, and the music, culture, and art were beautiful. I’m looking forward to visiting again in the near future! Mike Ryan I spent the summer living and working on my dissertation in Lima, Peru. I also set off on trips to see the Nazca lines, the waterfalls of Matucana, and spent a week in Iquitos, an Amazonian jungle town only accessible by air or boat. I leave in a few weeks for Ecuador to continue working on my dissertation and exploring the wonders of South American life! Nanae Nakamoto This summer, I went back to Japan for a month and also visited Korea for a week. Every year, when I visit home, my family would take a trip. This year, we went to Kanazawa (located northwest of Tokyo along the Sea of Japan). It was only a two-nights trip, but it is always nice to spend time with my family… Then, at the end of May, 0]PZP[LKT`MYPLUKMYVT<4+PU:LV\S0^HZZ\YWYPZLK[VÄUK[OH[[OL atmosphere in Korea and Japan was very much alike (e.g. buildings and how people dressed). I want to thank my friend for being a great tour guide as well as a translator! I bought Korean language books in Seoul and am trying to learn Korean since I came back to College Park…
INTERVIEW WITH PATRICIO I had the opportunity to speak with Professor Roberto Patricio 2VYaLUPL^LPJaIL[[LYRUV^U[V\ZHZ7H[YPJPV6UL[OPUN0 admire about Patricio is how he talks about student works as WV[LU[PHSJVU[YPI\[PVUZHZVWWVZLK[VW\ISPJH[PVUZ6MJV\YZL there is nothing wrong with choosing publish over peril, but his language reminds us that we have something to not only gain from, but contribute to, our intellectual communities at such HULHYS`Z[HNLPUV\YJHYLLYZ Patricio came to the United States from Argentina at 17 years VSK/LJVTWSL[LKOPZIHJOLSVYZ»H[[OL<UP]LYZP[`VM:HU[H*Y\a ^OLYLOLTHQVYLKPU:VJPVSVN`HUK3H[PU(TLYPJHU:[\KPLZ/L ^LU[VU[VJVTWSL[LOPZ7O+H[:<5@)PUNOHT[VU·H\UP]LYZP[` which is known for its research strengths in political economy HUK>VYSK:`Z[LTZ(UHS`ZPZ Here, Patricio discusses World Systems Analysis, his new book <U]LPSPUN0ULX\HSP[`HUKVMMLYZHK]PJL[VNYHK\H[LZ[\KLU[Z How did you become interested in World Systems Analysis? I guess I became interested during my undergraduate education. ;OLYL^LYLZL]LYHSMHJ\S[`TLTILYZH[B<UP]LYZP[`VM*HSPMVYUPHD Santa Cruz, who had at least general interest in the approach… Binghamton was actually the only graduate program to which I had HWWSPLK^OLU0ÄUPZOLK0^HZZWLJPÄJHSS`PU[LYLZ[LKPUNVPUN[VH place where they emphasized this World Systems perspective. To me it just seemed evident that it made the most sense to study Z[YH[PÄJH[PVUMYVTHNSVIHSWLYZWLJ[P]L^OPJOI`UV^TPNO[IL more evident, but it wasn’t so evident at the time I began my
NYHK\H[LZ[\KPLZPU ¯;OLYL^HZ[OPZPKLHVMHUHK]HUJLKÄYZ[ world, a socialist second world, a third world…So the idea that you could study all of these countries as part of a whole, was relatively innovative. What makes it an approach and not a theory? Well, there are two reasons why. First, within a world systems approach, you have different types of perspectives. Second, a theory usually implies that you have a set of hypothesis that you can test in different cases in different situations. Whereas, when you’re focusing on the world system as a whole, you’re not dealing with different cases, you’re dealing with a single instance in the development of a world system. So, it’s hard to do a theory that will apply to different instances of this world system since there has historically been only one. World Systems Analysis combines, or we can say transcends, different disciplinary methods and analysis, drawing from LJVUVTPJZOPZ[VY`HUKNLVNYHWO`MVYL_HTWSL>O`KPK you choose sociology as opposed to another discipline? Actually, when I started my undergraduate education, I was interested in psychology—that lasted for like one semester… I think that it happened by chance, to some extent, that World Systems Analysis happened to be grounded in a sociology department at Binghamton. It could have been grounded in a history department and I would have been a historian. I was interested primarily in the approach and it just so happened that that approach was housed in a sociology department.
INTERVIEW WITH PATRICIO 0[OPUR[OH[P[»ZPTWVY[HU[[VOH]LHZLUZLVM^OH[HYL[OL KPMMLYLU[WVPU[Z[OH[KPMMLYLU[KPZJPWSPULZJVU[LUK^P[O·I\[ I think that when it comes to the analysis of the development VM[OPZ^VYSKZ`Z[LT[OLZLKPZJPWSPUHY`IV\UKHYPLZIYLHRKV^U It sometimes becomes more productive to explore the overlaps and interstices between these disciplines than ILPUNJVUJLU[YH[LKVUHZPUNSLHWWYVHJO What contribution did you aim to make with Unveiling Inequality: A World Historical Perspective, which you wrote with Timothy Patrick Moran? I think its returning to what is in a sense the most original contribution of a World-systems perspective—this emphasis on the PKLH[OH[VULZOV\SK[OPURVMZ[YH[PÄJH[PVUTVIPSP[`HUKOPLYHYJOPLZ and inequalities as being global processes. And, once you look at these as global processes as opposed to processes that occur within individual nations, it changes your perspective on what are the possibilities and constraints of different strategies of development, Z[YH[LNPLZVMTVIPSP[`WH[[LYUZVMZ[YH[PÄJH[PVUHUKZVMVY[O¯ 6U[OLV[OLYOHUK0[OPURHSV[VMWLVWSLB^OVLTWSV`DH^VYSK systems perspective have shifted to analyze changing patterns of hegemony and sort of international political relations. I think many people have left behind and, to some extent, forgotten, this particular argument that a world-systems perspective was making about WH[[LYUZVMZ[YH[PÄJH[PVU>OH[V\YIVVRPZ[Y`PUN[VKVPZ[VWYV]PKLH way for a world-systems perspective to critically re-engage with the PZZ\LZVMZVJPHSZ[YH[PÄJH[PVUTVIPSP[`HUKPULX\HSP[`
Finally, is there any advice you have for the graduate students? Anything you wish you had known when you were in our shoes? B3H\NOZD¯>LSS^OH[KV0^HU[[VZH`OLYL& >LSS[OLVI]PV\ZPZ[OH[[OLQVITHYRL[OHZILJVTLKPMÄJ\S[V]LY time and that the level of professional productivity you have to show [VNL[HQVIHUKOH]LNVVKJOHUJLZOHZPUJYLHZLKZPNUPÄJHU[S`@V\ need to be focused on how to do those things that are going to get you work…On the other hand, one has to balance that with the fact that, hopefully, one is involved in this work not just to get a job, but because one deeply enjoys this kind of work and this kind of inquiry, no? This is one of the moments in life where you’re going to have the most time available to dedicate to critical inquiry, critical thinking and having discussions with fellow students and all that kind of stuff…I wouldn’t want to say push the boundaries of how long you can stay in a program, but the idea is that you make this as productive as `V\JHUMVY`V\YV^UZLSMM\SÄSSTLU[0M[OH[PU]VS]LZI\PSKPUN\W`V\Y V^UWLYZVUHS]P[H[OH[»ZÄULI\[PM`V\^HU[[VNL[TVYLV\[VM[OPZ experience, beyond that, you should pay attention to those goals too. 0M`V\^HU[[VRUV^TVYLHIV\[7H[YPJPVOL»ZJVUULJ[LK add him as a friend on facebook!
ASA TOP TEN The annual American Sociological Association conference took WSHJL[OPZ:\TTLY;OL(:(WYLZPKLU[^HZ7YVMLZZVY7H[YPJPH /PSS*VSSPUZ)L]LYS`7YH[[ZOHYLZOLY[VW[LUMH]VYP[LTVTLU[Z MYVT[OLL]LU[7SLHZLSL[\ZRUV^`V\YVWPUPVUZVM(:( ASA 2009 Top Ten List 10. ,UQV`PUN<4+»Z:VJPVSVN`JVTT\UP[`TPSLZH^H` MYVTV\YVMÄJLZ 9. Plenary sessions loaded with sociological abstractions and praxes. 8. Networking with Sociologists whose Sociological Imaginations are similarly inspired. 7. Food, food, and more food (Mexican, Italian, Japanese)… yum(!). 6. Enjoying the colorful tapestry and diversity of San Francisco. 5. Attending sessions with your Sociological super-heroes. And sometimes even getting to be on the same panel as them. 4. Roaming around searching for Foucault-haunts.
Maryland’s own Patricia Hill Collins was 2009 President of the American Sociological Association. She is succeeded by Evelyn Nakano Glenn.
3. Being able to escape the mid-Atlantic humidity for some northern California weather. 2. Dr. Collins’ “The New Politics of Community” address… woo hoo!!! 1. Getting to cheer for Dr. Collins as a community!!!
STUDENT AND FACULTY CONTRIBUTORS: KATHRYN BUFORD SUSAN HONG NATHAN JURGENSON PATRICIO KORZENIEWICZ HEATHER MARSH JULIE PARK BEVERLY PRATT HARRIET PRESSER NANAE NAKAMOTO MIKE RYAN DAVID SEGAL JOSEPH WAGGLE
Published on Aug 13, 2010
Published on Aug 13, 2010
I decided to overhaul the format of our department's Sociology News newsletter and make it into a magazine. With the help of my friend and p...