Prof. McCutcheon has Lots of Pots on the Stove

Prof. Russell McCutcheon, who came to UA as the REL Department Chair in the summer of 2001, sometimes says that the career of a scholar involves keeping a lot of pots boiling, all at a different rates. The trick is knowing which can just simmer, on the back burner, and which ones need attention because they’re about to boil over.

Well, this year four pots that were each bubbling away on their own resulted in some new books, all of which were published in just the past few months. But they’re each a different sort of book. Continue reading

Taco Insights on Faculty Service

With the start of another school year right around the corner I’m thinking about service — one of those three main areas into which scholars usually divide up their work (the others being research and teaching, of course — and the order in which they’re written is not insignificant). It’s not hard to find faculty posting on social media bemoaning committee work, as if it gets in the way of a professor’s real work, but I’m here to say how important it is to the long term well-being of a Department — the primary unit that helps to make possible those individual careers. Continue reading

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