Month: April 2010

Call for session organizers 2011 North Central Soc Assn meeting

Please Circulate Widely

North Central Sociological Association

2011 Annual Conference

The Hyatt at the Arcade in Cleveland, Ohio, March 31 – April 2, 2011

The conference theme this year is Pragmatism in Research and Education

What is the purpose of scientific inquiry?  The characteristic idea of philosophical pragmatism is that ideas and practices should be judged in terms of their usefulness, workability, and practicality and that these are the criteria of their truth, rightness and value. Both classical Pragmatism and contemporary Neo-Pragmatism have had a deep impact on social science. It is a perspective that stresses the priority of action over vague principles. In deciding how to deal with any complex social problem a useful question to ask is what practical difference any specific theoretical distinction might make. As sociologists and social scientists, are we involved in a search for truth? Are we seeking consensus or agreement on the patterns and nature of human experience?  What is it that we wish to discover about human interaction in research, practice, education, service, and involvement in both communities of scholarship and the real lived experience of human society?  How important are “interpretive networks”?  These questions suggest that a further exploration of our philosophy and practice might be useful.  Better theorizing in the discipline will help us as we work to develop teaching and research as a complement and alternative to the dominant models of ‘disinterested’ social science, and to reframe research activities and address a broader range of concerns than traditional questions of scientific validity.  Research, teaching, and other sessions might address the theoretical involvement in social amelioration.  Or these sessions might investigate how political action, various social events, military engagements, civil society, criminality, religious rituals and faith traditions, community spaces, popular culture, artistic endeavors, and social media and the Internet further a pragmatic concern in the discipline of sociology.  We welcome all proposals for papers and panels that bring scholarly and theoretical interests in pragmatism to bear on relevant concepts in the contemporary age. But we also welcome papers which authors may not necessarily feel fall into the main theme of the conference.

Keynote speaker: Jack A. Goldstone is the Virginia E. and John T. Hazel Jr. Professor at the George Mason School of Public Policy and an eminent scholar.  His work on issues such as social movements, revolutions, and international politics has won him global acclaim.  The author or co-author of nine books, Professor Goldstone is a leading authority on regional conflicts, has served on a U.S. Vice-Presidential Task Force on State Failure, and is a consultant to the U.S. State Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the U.S. Agency for International Development.

If you are interested in organizing a session, send a title and a very brief description of your session to the appropriate conference organizers by August 15, 2010:

Research Paper Sessions Organizer:
Carrie Erlin, Saint Mary’s College

Teaching Sessions Organizer:
Melinda Messineo, Ball State University

Thematic Panels and Workshops Organizer:
Art Jipson, University of Dayton

Non-thematic Panels and Workshops Organizers:
Art Jipson, University of Dayton
Melissa Holtzman, Ball State University

If you have any questions about whether your session would be appropriate or would like to organize a session directly related to the conference theme of Pragmatism in Research and Education, please contact: Art Jipson, Program Chair and 2011 Annual Conference Organizer, University of Dayton

NCSA 2011 Conference Deadlines

April 21, 2010                        Call for Organizers circulated
August 15, 2010                  Session Organizers have session information to Conference Organizer
August 30, 2010                  Call for Papers circulated
December 15, 2010                  Paper and Presenter information Due to Session Organizers
January 1, 2011                  All session information Due to 2011 Annual Conference Organizer
January 15, 2011                  Notification of Acceptance of Papers, Panels, and Workshops
February 15, 2011                  Hotel Registration Deadline
March 31 – April 2, 2011          2011 NCSA Conference

New readings on social media ICs Aoir special issue

Special Issue: AoIR Special Issue

Authors: Caroline Haythornthwaite; Lori Kendall
DOI: 10.1080/13691180903497078

Author: Elizabeth Ellcessor
DOI: 10.1080/13691180903456546

Author: Sandra Braman
DOI: 10.1080/13691180903473814

Authors: Kjerstin Thorson; Brian Ekdale; Porismita Borah; Kang Namkoong; Chirag Shah
DOI: 10.1080/13691180903497060

Author: Matthew Allen
DOI: 10.1080/13691180903456553

Author: Lauren F. Sessions
DOI: 10.1080/13691180903468954

Authors: Karine Barzilai-Nahon; Robert M. Mason
DOI: 10.1080/13691180903490578

Authors: Susan Halford; Ann Therese Lotherington; Aud Obstfelder;
Kari Dyb
DOI: 10.1080/13691180903095856

Between “digital divides” and the “truly disadvantaged”

“Digital divide” is a concept in use to denote differences in

1. Access

2. Use

3. Skills

between groups of the population. The concept has being coined out of the recognition that access, use and Internet skills provide advantages that are required in the information age. Information is becoming more and more digitalized, communications are being sustained through internet platforms and the ones that are at disadvantage in access, use and lack skills are deprivated from this resources.

In recent years, less attention is being paid to inequality in access and more to inequalities in skills and use. Yet, in this post I want to warn from making methodological and thus, social policy mistakes.

1. there is still a digital divide in access. In most western countries around a quarter of the population do not have access.

2. Access is not randomly distributed. It is much higher among disadvantaged minority groups. For example, access is lower for African-Americans and Mexican-Americans in the use, is lower for the Turkish in Germany,  is lower for the Arabs in Israel.

3. Use is also not randomly distributed. When comparing within a minority group between the ones with access and the ones without access, the results are likely to be that the average education and income of members of minority groups with access is higher and similar to the level of the majority of the population while the ones without access are by far the less educated within the ethnic group.

4. This result is important. Why? because indicated an amplification of the existing inequalities in society. The educated and well off members of the minority groups are getting ahead (nothing wrong with this, the other way around). But, the disadvantaged members of the minority are not only staying behind but becoming segregated not only from the members of the majority but also from the members of their own group.

The remainds to me the idea of Julius Wilson, a professor of Sociology at the University of Chicago that wrote a book indicating that equal opportunity provided opportunities for the members of the African American middle class to residentially and socially separate themselves from the Black underclass that become more and more disadvantaged.

I am suggesting than when conducting research on Internet users to be aware of the sample selection bias of the minority group and be carefull to conclude that in Facebook there is racial integration. This post is inspired by some findings that I am getting in analyzing data on digital divide and on the social inequality in access to health information