April 18, 2013
The ASA Department of Research has released its 2012-2013 analysis of salary trend data for the academic sociology profession and other social sciences. Among our findings: average annual faculty salary changes between Academic Year (AY) 2011/12 and AY 2012/13 show slow or no growth in salaries at public institutions, compared to private institutions.
FACULTY: What happened in the past academic year to salaries at your institution? Why?
March 26, 2013
Recently, a number of academic sociology department chairs expressed to us a desire for the deans of their schools to further develop their understanding of the sociology discipline and coursework. The ASA Department of Research is here to help.
Sociology is relevant to helping undergrads cultivate social science research skills, develop a better understanding of their lives, and make decisions about careers or future graduate study. It also has an interdisciplinary nature, which brings a wealth of subject matter and technical approaches to several different disciplines such as engineering and even medicine.
ASA’s Research Department conducts large- and small-scale surveys of academic sociologists and sociology students, providing information about satisfaction with the sociology major, profiles of and trends in sociology departments, demographic information (e.g., addressing race and gender) in the profession and discipline, and other vital data. The bulk of its work culminates in freely-available research and data briefs that can be downloaded from our web site.
Help us to inform the dean of your school/college of sociology’s role in life and work. If you are a faculty member of a freestanding or joint department that offers a sociology major, please submit the name and email address of your school’s dean using the form below. Information submitted through our blog is transmitted securely and will never appear on this blog site. In turn, we will share with them timely and relevant information to them (via a single email message), such as links to our various research and data briefs on the profession, and other critical findings of interest. If they wish to receive further information or future updates from us, we will provide them with that option.
Should you have questions about this endeavor, please contact Robert Spalter-Roth, Director of the Department of Research, at email@example.com.
February 20, 2013
A AAAS interview with economist Dr. Stephan points out that the biomedical sciences are overproducing PhDs for the research positions available inside and outside the academy and have been for some time. According to Dr. Stephan’s research, many biomedical science PhDs do not perform work for which they have been trained.
Considering that sociologists–although more than capable of interdisciplinary work–are not necessarily encouraged to perform such work (especially in light of the discipline’s concern with disciplinary identity), how will graduate education need to change to prepare students to seek out and perform interdisciplinary research?
What kind of interdisciplinary work are you being trained to do? Tell us whether you’re a PhD candidate or a postdoctoral position holder.
We thank L. Williams of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute for contributing to this blog posting.
February 15, 2013
Are sociology PhDs seeking postdoctoral positions to become more competitive on the job market? What have been the effects on your career of different types of postdocs including sociology, interdisciplinary, research, teaching? Do you think that a postdoc is a necessary step in a PhD career trajectory?
View ASA’s latest data brief: Postdoctorates: Another Stage in the Sociology Pipeline?
Read and comment about this here at our blog site and view our latest data brief: Postdoctorates: Another Stage in the Sociology Pipeline?
July 18, 2012
Data analyzed by the Research Department on ASA’s Minority Fellowship Program (MFP) show that women in the MFP are half as likely as their male counterparts in the program to be employed at research-extensive universities, half as likely to receive National Science Foundation and/or National Institutes of Health grants, about two-thirds as likely to become ASA section leaders, and have about half the amount of peer-reviewed journal publications as men in the MFP, since receiving their PhDs.
We speculate that Women in the MFP might be less encouraged to participate in normative academic activities than men in the MFP. For example, publications in grad school usually suggest that one will have a career of scholarly publishing ahead of him/her. Over three-quarters of MFP men had a least one publication prior to receiving their PhDs, compared to 38.1 percent of the MFP women. These differences will require further study. We welcome you to share your thoughts about these findings.
December 12, 2011
The ASA is calling on members to use the power of Wikipedia to represent the discipline of sociology as fully and as accurately as possible. Additionally, we seek to promote the free teaching of sociology worldwide.
The broad goals of the ASA Wikipedia Initiative are:
- Ensure that articles about sociological research, terminology, and theory are accurate, up-to-date, complete, and written in a style appropriate for the general public,
- Ensure that articles are based on independent reliable secondary sources
- To represent scientific controversies from a social science perspective, writing articles in a neutral style
- Improve and review articles to Good Article and Featured Article quality
- Assess sociology-related articles and tag them appropriately when there are problems
All ASA members are encouraged to participate by adding new entries and enhancing existing ones with more complete and accurate information with references. This is an especially exciting initiative for teachers and students who can make updating or creating Wikipedia entries part of coursework.
Such work can teach students:
- that even the simplest ideas are hard to communicate to general audiences
- the importance of logic, strength of argument, flow and clarity of writing, and citations of the appropriate literature
- the significance of accuracy in scientific writing
To get started, visit the ASA website.
Tutorials are available, introducing you to Wikipedia, its community, and editing process. There are also tools available to match ASA members and students to appropriate volunteer opportunities in Wikipedia, and easy ways to connect contributors to fellow volunteers and Wikipedia experts.
Feel free to download and distribute the ASA Wikipedia Initiative Information Flyer.