New book on religion and political movements in the US

Braunstein, Ruth. 2017. Prophets and Patriots: Faith in Democracy Across the Political Divide. University of California Press.

Prophets and Patriots coverProphets and Patriots takes readers inside two of the most active populist movements of the Obama era and highlights cultural convergences and contradictions at the heart of American political life. In the wake of the Great Recession and amid rising discontent with government responsiveness to ordinary citizens, the book follows participants in two very different groups—a progressive faith-based community organization and a conservative Tea Party group—as they set out to become active and informed citizens, put their faith into action, and hold government accountable. Both groups viewed themselves as the latest in a long line of prophetic voices and patriotic heroes who were carrying forward the promise of the American democratic project. Yet the ways in which each group put this common vision into practice reflected very different understandings of American democracy and citizenship.

New Book: The Poor’s Struggle for Political Incorporation

Rossi, Federico M. 2017. The Poor’s Struggle for Political Incorporation: The Piquetero Movement in Argentina. Cambridge University Press.

The Poor's Struggle coverThis book offers an innovative perspective on the ever-widening gap between the poor and the state in Latin American politics. It presents a comprehensive analysis of the main social movement that mobilized the poor and unemployed people of Argentina to end neoliberalism and to attain incorporation into a more inclusive and equal society. The piquetero (picketer) movement is the largest movement of unemployed people in the world. This movement has transformed Argentine politics to the extent of becoming part of the governing coalition for more than a decade. Rossi argues that the movement has been part of a long-term struggle by the poor for socio-political participation in the polity after having been excluded by authoritarian regimes and neoliberal reforms. He conceptualizes this process as a wave of incorporation, exploring the characteristics of this major redefinition of politics in Latin America.

Job Posting: Political Sociology at Florida State University

The Department of Sociology (http://coss.fsu.edu/sociology) invites applications for a tenure track assistant professor position, effective August 2018. We are looking for a scholar with expertise in political sociology and/or social policy who will build on our department’s strengths in inequalities and social justice, health and aging, and demography. Those who study the US or international contexts are equally encouraged to apply. Applicants should submit a letter of application indicating their relevant research and teaching interests, a curriculum vitae, and the names and contact information for three references. Materials should be sent in PDF format to sociology@fsu.edu by September 30, 2017. Questions may be directed to the department chair (jrreynolds@fsu.edu).

Florida State University is a Carnegie Foundation-classified Research I institution. Among its 42,000 students are 8,500 graduate students pursuing over 200 programs of study. Tallahassee is Florida’s capital city, with a metropolitan population of over 375,000. Its principal employers are state government and three higher education institutions, including an HBCU. Florida State University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer, and we strongly encourage racial/ethnic minority applicants to apply.

Call for a New ASA Section: Sociology of Reproduction

Are you interested in forming an ASA Section on the Sociology of Reproduction? An increasing number of sociologists are studying reproduction by conducting research on topics such as pregnancy, labor, birth, abortion, contraception, prenatal testing, assisted reproductive technologies, and infertility. Further, the sociological study of reproduction is a critical place of feminist research. Here are a few reasons why an ASA Section on the Sociology of Reproduction is a good idea:

  • According to ASA, “Sections are great for networking with your colleagues and keeping up to date with new developments in your field. Sections write newsletters, conduct panels, receptions and sessions at the Annual Meeting, and connect their members daily through listservs, websites and social media outlets.”
  • ASA sections have official recognition as legitimate areas of sociological inquiry, which helps individuals pitch new courses to teach, request new faculty positions, and legitimate their own research agenda within the area.
  • There is a proposal before the ASA Council to increase the number of sessions controlled by the sections. Such a shift, which appears to have the support of ASA staff, would make it increasingly unlikely that we would be able to continue getting 4-5 regular ASA sessions (as we did in 2017), but also more likely that small sections, such as a section on the Sociology of Reproduction, would be able to get more than the 2 ASA sessions currently promised.

To form a new section, we need to collect 200 signatures of current ASA members on a petition in which the signer agrees, if the section is formed, to pay dues to the section for two years. Dues are typically $5-$10/year.

You can sign the petition with this link: https://tamu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_abjSjMaV21ppG17.

Please encourage other interested ASA members, including graduate students, to sign, too!

For questions, please feel free to email any of the organizers:

Danielle Bessett: danielle.bessett@uc.edu
Shannon Carter: skcarter@ucf.edu
Theresa Morris: theresa.morris@tamu.edu
Louise Roth: lroth@email.arizona.edu
Carrie Lee Smith: Carrie.Smith@millersville.edu

Grant Opportunity: Negotiating Agreement in Congress

The Negotiating Agreement in Congress Research Grants are aimed at scholars who seek to understand the conditions under which political negotiation can be achieved (or not achieved) in Congress and other legislative arenas. The grants provide up to $10,000 of funding for each awardee, to be used for up to one year of research and writing. Applicants must have a PhD in hand by the application deadline and must hold an affiliation with a college or university based in the United States. For more information, please visit www.ssrc.org/nacg or contact democracy@ssrc.org.

Deadline: Sept 15

Eligibility: Applicants must have a PhD in hand by the application deadline and must hold an affiliation with a college or university based in the United States. Additional criteria can be found on our website.

Call for Papers: Non-union class struggles from below

ISA session being organized — “Non-union class struggles from below” — Session of the ISA World Congress of Sociology, July 2018, Toronto. Organized by Marcel Paret (University of Utah and University of Johannesburg)

While many observers lament the declining significance and political power of organized labor, unions were never the only protagonists of resistance from below. Historical accounts include numerous examples of struggles by working classes and other economically marginalized groups. Similar examples of non-union resistance from below are rampant in the contemporary period of widespread economic insecurity. Groups that scholars consider to be especially “precarious” or even “surplus” to global capitalism – the unemployed, part-time and temporary workers, those eking out a living through “informal” activities, etc. – are prominent within these struggles. These struggles from below often connect economic demands to issues of citizenship, nationalism, and community.

This session will focus on class struggles from below, broadly defined but excluding struggles by capitalists and elites, that are taking place outside of formal union organizations. While maintaining emphasis on class-related demands and issues such as wages, land, and basic livelihood, relevant struggles may include significant or even dominant non-class dimensions (e.g. citizenship). Informal social networks, community-based organizations, political parties, or other non-union entities are also relevant. The goal is to highlight and contrast non-union class struggles in different parts of the globe, with attention to the influence of varying local, national, and regional contexts.

Relevant themes may include, but are not limited to:

  • protests and riots by the urban poor;
  • mobilization by, for, and against migrants;
  • struggles by indigenous groups;
  • class dimensions of nationalist movements;
  • Occupy-type movements against austerity and economic inequality;
  • middle class movements;
  • peasant movements and/or struggles against land dispossession;
  • organization by self-employed workers or independent contractors;
  • political party mobilization;
  • workplace resistance by non-unionized workers;
  • worker centers and other community-based worker organizations.

To submit a paper to this session, please go to the following link: https://isaconf.confex.com/isaconf/wc2018/webprogrampreliminary/Session10931.html. Click the “Submit an Abstract to this Session” button to upload your submission. You will need to create an account with ISA if you do not have one already.

This session will be organized as a roundtable, and is listed in the program under “RC44 Roundtable”. Please direct any questions to Marcel Paret at marcelparet@gmail.com.

New Book: Charles Tilly Reader

Ernesto Castañeda & Cathy Lisa Schneider. 2017. Collective Violence, Contentious Politics, and Social Change: A Charles Tilly Reader. Routledge.

Tilly Reader coverCharles Tilly is among the most influential American sociologists of the last century. For the first time, his pathbreaking work on a wide array of topics is available in one comprehensive reader. This manageable and readable volume brings together many highlights of Tilly’s large and important oeuvre, covering his contribution to the following areas: revolutions and social change; war, state making, and organized crime; democratization; durable inequality; political violence; migration, race, and ethnicity; narratives and explanations.

The book connects Tilly’s work on large-scale social processes such as nation-building and war to his work on micro processes such as racial and gender discrimination. It includes selections from some of Tilly’s earliest, influential, and out of print writings, including The Vendée; Coercion, Capital and European States; the classic “War Making and State Making as Organized Crime;” and his more recent and lesser-known work, including that on durable inequality, democracy, poverty, economic development, and migration. Together, the collection reveals Tilly’s complex, compelling, and distinctive vision and helps place the contentious politics approach Tilly pioneered with Sidney Tarrow and Doug McAdam into broader context. The editors abridge key texts and, in their introductory essay, situate them within Tilly’s larger opus and contemporary intellectual debates. The chapters serve as guideposts for those who wish to study his work in greater depth or use his methodology to examine the pressing issues of our time. Read together, they provide a road map of Tilly’s work and his contribution to the fields of sociology, political science, history, and international studies. This book belongs in the classroom and in the library of social scientists, political analysts, cultural critics, and activists.

Memorial event for James A. Davis at ASA meeting

At the American Sociological Association (ASA) meetings in Montreal there will be a Memorial Event for James A. Davis.

Event Name: Memorial Event for James A. Davis
Event Date and Time: Saturday, August, 12; 6:30pm – 8:10pm
Room Assignment: 514A

New Book: Direct Action: Protest and the Reinvention of American Radicalism

Kauffman, L.A. 2017. Direct Action: Protest and the Reinvention of American Radicalism. Verso.

Direct Action coverWhat happened to the American left after the sixties? Kauffman traces the evolution of disruptive protest over the last forty years to tell a larger story about the reshaping of American radicalism. It examines how movements from ACT UP to Occupy Wall Street to Black Lives Matter have catalyzed change against long odds, winning victories in times of crisis and backlash while creating a distinctive new kind of radical politics in the process. Based on decades of in-depth interviews, archival research, and firsthand experience.

Upcoming Webinar: The Problem of Autonomy

Part of the Critical Realism Network Webinar Series, the upcoming webinar is hosted by Professor Philip Gorski (Department of Sociology, Yale University) and Timothy Rutzou (Post-Doctoral Associate, Yale University) and addresses The Problem of Autonomy.

Wednesday, May 17th, 12:00-1:30 pm EST. Click here to register.

Brief Description: At the recent Values and Human Flourishing conference, a single issue continually emerged: how should we understand autonomy, and what place does it serve within ethical and political projects? Questions about autonomy, social solidarity, human dependency, and interdependency in many ways serve as the bridge between empirical research, social theory, ethics, and politics. Like the topic of structure and agency, the complex relationship between autonomy, dependency, and interdependency is a key problematic of social philosophy and sociology. The long tradition of Aristotle, Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, David Hume, Immanuel Kant, G.W.F. Hegel, Karl Marx, Emile Durkheim, and Max Weber were all concerned with unpacking this problematic, often without shying away from addressing its moral, ethical, and political implications. Our modern understanding of autonomy is animated by this intellectual history and the many antimonies this tradition has generated.

How might critical realism help us to address or contribute to this contested history? The answer is not clear. In this webinar Gorski and Rutzou will discuss the manner in which critical realism might be able to help us navigate this problematic by providing an ontologically stratified view of self and society, and a complex account of causation. Where Gorski argues for a more Durkheimian turn, Rutzou argues for a more poststructuralist turn. Are such accounts compatible? Incompatible? Does the ontology advocated by critical realism necessarily entail certain ethical and political positions? Do certain positions become incoherent when one adopts a critical realist ontology? Or is critical realism morally, ethically, and politically promiscuous? The webinar will explore these issues.