Comparing Apples to Apples

screen-shot-2016-09-18-at-9-07-49-amThere’s an interesting article, from July 2006, making the rounds on social media. Published in the bilingual, peer-reviewed quarterly, Bulletin of Sociological Methodology/Bulletin de Méthodologie Sociologique, it’s entitled: “Editing a Normal Science Journal in Social Science.” It’s abstract reads as follows:

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Using Thomas Kuhn‘s once well-known notion of normal science (a collective endeavor inasmuch as researchers share the same paradigm), the author, Linton Freeman, argues that work carried out in the sociological sub-field of social networks is more closely aligned with the natural than the social sciences (the latter being characterized by theoretical disagreement and methodological diversity far more than the former). Continue reading

Sticks and stones and all that

ManufRelA grad student elsewhere in North American recently contacted me to say that my first book, Manufacturing Religion, was on their class’s reading list and so asked if I’d answer a few questions in advance of their discussion on the book. Continue reading

A Response to “Responsible Research Practices,” Part 10: Peer Review

journalsThis is an installment in an ongoing series on the American Academy of Religion’s recently released draft statement on research responsibilities.
An index of the
complete series (updated as each
article is posted) can be found here.

As with the eighth and ninth points of the draft document, the tenth also strikes me as unproductively redundant:

digitalhumanitiesFor while the previous two were both concerned with scholars talking plainly to wide audiences, this bullet point focuses on that too, but narrows in on the medium by which the committee seems to recommend we (increasingly) do this — online. Continue reading

A Response to “Responsible Research Practices,” Part 4: Research on Human Subjects

Picture 18This is an installment in an ongoing series on the American Academy of Religion’s recently released draft statement on research responsibilities.
An index of the
complete series (updated as each
article is posted) can be found here.

The previous post ended by citing the fourth of Bruce Lincoln’s “Theses on Method” — specifically, his call for scholars always to contextual, historicize, what they study by asking “who speaks here?” and “to what audience?” Among my difficulties with the AAR’s draft document is that it reads as if its authors had never read or taken seriously comments on the field such as Lincoln’s. Again, while I have no idea what debates took place between the members — or better yet, what compromises were required — reading their draft’s second bullet point’s advice that we “promote good” by, among other things, “telling the truth” flies in the face of Lincoln’s own widely read thoughts on what we ought to be doing in this field when we do research. Continue reading