OnDemand
September 19th, 2011

Walking the Walk and Talking the Talk: Working in Sociological Traditions

Description

In this session, four senior scholars will discuss the experience of working within particular sociological traditions. Given the diverse traditions involved and the differences of the speakers' personalities, the papers will no doubt vary greatly. But they may cover topics like what traditions are in the first place, how and whether one gets associated with a tradition, what are the advantages and disadvantages, merging or shifting one's tradition-identity, and so on. Beyond that loose agenda, the speakers are on their own. Our aim is to provide an entertaining but substantive opening to the meeting.

Speakers

CALHOUN: Good evening, everybody. Welcome to the ASA and Caesars Palace. I'm Craig Calhoun. I'm honored to be chairing this session. I'm so honored that I've put on a suit, despite the location. This
is, yeah, see, it's . . . MAN: Unlike . . . MAN: It's plastic. CALHOUN: And this session is called, Walking the Walk and Talking the Talk: Working in Sociological Traditions. Our panelists all need
introductions, contrary to the common saying. Not because they aren't famous, but because they have needs like everybody else. Here's what you need to know. Andrew Abbott is the Gustavus F. and Ann M.
Swift Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago and also Editor of the American Journal of Sociology. His most recent book is Methods of Discovery. And he received his Ph.D. at
Chicago, before returning to Chicago, and possibly represents that tradition in American sociology, possibly more than almost anybody else around. Myra Marx Ferree is the Martindale-Bascom Professor
and Director of the Center for German and European Studies, I believe it was the Center for European Studies until Germany bailed out all the other funds in the countries in the European Union and
asked for it to be renamed, at the University of Wisconsin. Her new book, Sisterhood Since the '60s, is about to be released by Stanford University Press. Myra received her Ph.D. at Harvard, and she
may or may not embrace that as the tradition of sociology for which she speaks. Doug Massey is the Henry G. Bryant Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs and Director of the Office of Population
Research at Princeton. His most recent book is Brokered Boundaries: Constructing Immigrant Identity in Anti-Immigrant Times with Magaly Sanchez. He received his Ph.D. at Princeton, before returning to
Princeton from other distinctive places. And that may or may not be the tradition of sociology. Frankly, I couldn't figure out this issue about the traditions that were being represented. Michael
Burawoy is Professor of Sociology at the University of California at Berkeley. His most recent book is The Radiant Past: Ideology and Reality in Hungary's Road to Capitalism. Like Andy, he hails from
the University of Chicago, but Berkeley has traditions of its own. Noting that Chicago is slightly overrepresented, I only want to close with saying, I wish we were in Chicago. ABBOTT: Thanks, Craig.
And I'll add my welcome too to Caesars here. It's nice to know we're in the Augustus Room and that Augustus was poisoned by his own wife. I'd also like to say that the only thing that really is true
because I'm the Gustavus F. and Anne M. Swift Distinguished Service Professor is that I'm not allowed to eat Oscar Meyer wieners. Before I say a few words about working in the Chicago tradition, I
want to make a more general point. Each of us will talk about working in a particular area or tradition and to be sure we all pretty clearly are identified with the traditions on which we're speaking.
On the other hand, we're also identified with lots of other traditions as well, Michael with the Manchester School of Ethnography, for example, Myra with the study of social movements, Doug with
migration studies. Any scholar finds him- or herself in not one, but quite a number of scholarly lineages. And that fact reminds us that every scholar works in a tradition, indeed, several traditions
in some sense. No one starts de novo. We read some works and not others. We study with some scholars and not others. We're best at some methods and not others. We have tastes for some theories and not
others. All scholarship is situated in time and place. And unless those works, and scholars, and methods are randomly connected over time, that puts almost all of us, by definition, in a tradition,
indeed, in more than one tradition. Now as I see it, the Chicago School's core theoretical argument was that all social facts are located in social time and space, that they inevitably lie in
localities and lineages. So it's a little surprising that I should begin with that idea. Yet, at the same time, that idea is actually common to many sociological and social scientific traditions. It's
just that Chicago School was particularly obsessed with it, and it's convenient to have a quick mnemonic or index for those ideas about locality. And for some of us, the phrase Chicago School serves
as that index. Now if all of us are willy-nilly involved in sociological traditions, what really varies is our sense of that fact. What marks the four of us, I think, is a self-consciousness about
this status as workers in and potentially bearers of various traditions. That raises a number of questions. What is this particular kind of self-consciousness, when did it start, to what extent does
it shape our work, and so on? It seems to me then that I have two basic tasks ahead of me, first to say something about the nature of the Chicago tradition, and, second, to say something about how I
ended up as a conscious bearer of it. So here's the first bit, two Chicago schools. Of the traditions that we'll discuss tonight, mine, I think, is the only one that really has to do with the place.
Marxism, feminism, demography are all not geographical locations or particular social organizations. They cut across places, departments, and other such structures. That makes the Chicago tradition
seem different, but, in fact, it isn't all that different, for there are two very different versions of Chicago tradition. One of them, the one we usually call the Chicago School, is no more
place-based than Marxism or feminism. It involves allegiance to a body of ideas and practices, usually identified as urban ethnography, but extended by many to human ecology and median social
psychology, and extended by some even further to a broadly pragmatic and processual theory of the social world. This first Chicago School is historically related to the University of Chicago, in that
it looks back to a set of classic texts produced by Chicago faculty and graduate students in the period from 1915 to 1935. But this first Chicago School is not directly connected to the department.
Only a small fraction of the people who identify with this Chicago School have ever been students of or faculty at Chicago. There are plenty of students of Jonathan Lofland, for example, or of Everett
Hughes in his post-Chicago years, or of Howie Becker's at Northwestern, who, with very good reasons, think themselves more Chicago than most of Chicago's own graduates. Conversely, only a relatively
small proportion of Chicago's actual graduates, a maximum of 5%, I would think, embodies this conceptual version of the Chicago School. Rather, Chicago graduates embody a much more literal Chicago
tradition. They face the same exams, the same prelim and field requirements, the same very annoying faculty, the same graduate-heavy university, the same rundown and often dangerous neighborhood.
Indeed, many of them would add to that list that they also face the irritating self-obsession that characterizes not only the Department, but the University more broadly. This second Chicago School,
the school of hard knocks, to put it mildly, has very little to do with the first Chicago School of ideas and practices. Take my classmate on the panel, Michael Burawoy, or some of the other students
of our era, Paula England, Carol Heimer, Ron Berg, Sayid Arjeman(?), Terry Sullivan, Peter Marsden, Joe Galaskiewicz. These sociologists aren't Chicago School, in the ideas and practices sense, but
they do have that peculiar, often grudging relation to their university and a better relation to their peer graduates, I think, that is the Chicago version of the allegiance Harvard alums have to
Harvard, or TAMU alums have to TAMU, or UCSD alums to UCSD. Now the Chicago tradition is, thus, always intention between the graduates of the Department itself and the scholars elsewhere who think
themselves the real inheritors of what was great and unique about Chicago sociology. It may well be that the overall endurance of the Department's tradition comes from the tug of war between these two
Chicago schools. But beyond that tension, it's also true that, for most of the period since the Second World War, there has been some faculty member in the Chicago Department who is interested in
maintaining the first Chicago School, the tradition of ideas and practices. This may be through a concern for the heritage of urban studies and ethnography, or it may be through a broader penchant for
the tradition of contextualism and processualism that marks Chicago's social psychology, as much as they do its human ecology and urban studies. After 1956, the standard of the traditional was Ernest
Burgess. From 1962 to the mid-1980s, it was Morris Janowitz. From the early 1980s until late 1990s, it was Gerry Suttles. And since then, as far as I can tell, it's me. So the question arises, how did
I end up filling this role, given that, as of the mid- 1980s, I was writing historical studies of professions, developing a computational method for the analysis of sequence data, and writing
polemical articles about the philosophy of methods? There's nothing inevitable about my return to Chicago, much less about my taking up the role of tradition tender. And that brings us to the problem
of the personal experience of the tradition. By discussing how I ended up in this role, perhaps I can uncover some of the issues of what we might call, choosing to become traditional. And note again
that, just as the idea of localism is central to the Chicago tradition, so also is the idea of life history. Even in talking about the Chicago tradition, I can't avoid falling into its intellectual
habits. So second bit, becoming Chicago School. I was not preselected for the University of Chicago. I grew up in eastern Massachusetts, and went to both school and college within 30 miles of home. I
never heard of Robert Park or Ernest Burgess as an undergraduate. I wasn't a sociology major. But I majored in history and literature, pursued a general education in the social sciences, which, at my
university, meant a m‚lange of Freudian psychology, Durkheimian sociology, Keynesian economics, and a large dose of comparative politics, dressed up in modernization theory. Symbolic interactionism
was mentioned in one course, but only as a curious belief held by people who lack the talent for genuine social theory. I came to Chicago as a graduate student, mainly, as most of us do, because I was
accepted and got better money there than elsewhere. Chairman Morris Janowitz was then in the middle of his self-conscious attempt to reconnect the Department with the Chicago tradition. The new
preliminary examination list had 41 items, yes, Michael, I still have it, of which 8 were from Chicago. Not all of those were Chicago School in the narrow sense. They were simply works by Chicago
graduates or faculty. So the quantitative stuff was by Ogburn and Duncan, for example. The race stuff was by Frazier. Janowitz also taught Chicago School material prominently in his section of the
inquiry course, which was required of all beginning graduate students. Many of these Chicago tradition writings were taken from the University of Chicago Press Heritage of Sociology series, which
Janowitz had begun in the mid-1960s, and whose early volumes nearly all concerned major early figures of the Department, each one introduced by one of Janowitz's own Chicago classmates. Myself, I
referred to that series as the Heritage of Morris Janowitz and secretly despised its acolytes. This attitude was made easier by Mr. Janowitz's personality. For despite his commitment to sociology and
his students, he came across as abrasive, difficult, and even hostile, qualities that became stronger as the student involved was, himself, more ambitious and difficult. As for me, I was both of those
things, and I was somewhat lost into the bargain because my undergraduate education had taught me absolutely nothing about sociology as a research practice. Mr. Janowitz obligingly sent me to the
field, but gave me no direction or supervision. I found myself hanging around in a psychiatric clinic with a vague interest in the sociology of knowledge, no particular research questions, and no
instructions, other than to take good notes. These notes, 400 or 500 pages of them, still molder away in my file cabinets, for I never did figure out what I was studying. A year later, hoping to
clarify things a bit, I decided to compare the use of psychiatric knowledge in that clinic with its use in a mental hospital. Suddenly, I had an archetypical Chicago School field placement, although
no more idea of how to take advantage of it. All of this psychiatry complimented my coursework, however, in one of Edward Shils' courses. I had promised to write a serious history of psychiatry as an
academic discipline. Unfortunately, I had no more idea how to write a seminar paper than I did how to complete a fieldwork project. I could only conceive of grand, archival research projects that
would take a lifetime. So I had a drawerful of notes on the history of European and American psychiatry, moldering away like my notes on the clinic in the Manteno State Hospital. Now I ended up
working at Manteno for five years. Contrary to Michael's belief, I was not a patient. A year after I started, my graduate school money ran out, and friends at the hospital obligingly edged me onto the
payroll. I became, in effect, a marginal person in both settings. In Chicago, I was a part-time graduate student who was really in the field, left field. And in Manteno, I was one of the city people
who came in for days on end. Every six months or so, I would tell Mr. Janowitz's little research group what I was learning in the mental hospital. Of course, these talks often degenerated into war
stories, for the hospital was a truly amazing place. As for the talks themselves, while Mr. Janowitz conveyed his disappointment clearly enough, either he didn't give me good advice about improving
them or I wouldn't listen to it. In the spring of 1975, however, I suddenly had an idea that seemed to me to capture both the hospital as a daily experience and the history of psychiatry that stood in
its background. I saw that one could understand the history of American mental hospitals as an eclipse of community. The hospitals were not failed purposive organizations, but rather everyday
communities that had gone through the same evolution as American towns, ghettos, slums, and suburbs, whose transformations had been the subject of so many studies. This insight was within the
Gemeinschaft/Gesellschaft tradition that I had learned as an undergraduate, but it was also a Chicago School kind of insight, and I had bragged to friends that Janowitz would find it absolutely
wonderful. At last, I actually read the many community studies that I had so despised in my first year in the Department. I then wrote a piece, framing both the history of the hospitals and their
current realities, in terms of the great trends discussed in those studies. Now I have the original document, and novelistic is the most polite word of Mr. Janowitz's that I can find as a written
comment on this paper, and stupid is the one that remains in my memory from the day he handed it back to me. In a rage, I set the paper aside and spent the next two years preparing a proposal, based
on one sentence in that stupid paper, the sentence about psychiatrists becoming absentee landlords of the mental hospitals. Why, I asked, had they left? Answering that forward question took me five
years, 68 tables, 44 pages of bibliography, and about 190,000 words. By the time it was finished, I was three years into a job at Rutgers. My final dissertation had absolutely no hint of the Chicago
School themes that had sustained my first stupid proposal, but it was organized around a set of questions that might have interested Everett Hughes. Why would a secure profession completely change its
type of work, its venue of work, and its special knowledge system? And the final quarter of the dissertation involved the conflict of psychiatry and its competitors in the task area of social control.
Moreover, I knew a great deal about interprofessional conflict because I had seen a lot of it in my fieldwork years. In addition, I had been attending a Princeton seminar on the history of professions
for two years, by this point, and I knew perfectly well that history showed professions were always fighting with each other. Now in the very fall in which I defended my thesis, I suddenly needed a
job talk for an unsuspected opportunity, and I fell to thinking about interprofessional competition. That was another aha moment. I saw, in a flash, that professions were perpetually squabbling over
turf. This, in turn, meant that the dynamics of vacancies were the key to the system, as I knew well from Harrison White's book about vacancy chains, which I had investigated when I was studying job
mobility among hospital superintendents. Now my little job talk was called, The System of Professions. Five years passed. This time, I wrote a little less, a mere 30 print pages of bibliography and
only 170,000 words. At least there were no tables. In retrospect, System of Professions may obviously seem a Chicago School book, but, in fact, I had read very few of the Chicago studies of
occupations when I wrote it. System was a Chicago book, rather, because I had spent five years working at a mental hospital and I knew the everyday details of interprofessional competition like the
back of my hand. There's no ethnographic data in the book, but it's completely shaped by the ethnographic experience of having watched a group of particularly inept professionals fight their way
through five painful years of de-institutionalization, unionization, and failed professionalization. No one who had seen that could have believed for five minutes the fantasies of Talcott Parsons
about the professions that were the sick role. But not only does this ethnographic experience dominate the book as, in retrospect, the book, I can't see anything because there were so many PowerPoint.
All right. In retrospect, the book seems an obvious transference of the Chicago ecological model of ethnic conflict in real neighborhoods to interprofessional conflict in imagined, culturally
constituted neighborhoods of work. But I had no idea of that transfer while I was writing it. I can only attribute it to an underground memory of the Chicago ecological work that I had read for the
prelims. The themes of conflict, accommodation, assimilation, process, and ecology were simply the apparatus of my mind by that point. When I needed to think about conflict and dynamic structures,
that was the set of ideas at hand. In 1991, I returned to Chicago. And when I had the opportunity to give the ASA's Sorokin Lecture, I thought it would be both fun and kind of appropriate, in a silly
sort of way, to write a eulogy of Chicago, and to do so by asserting that Chicago style of sociology had something to tell sociology today. To be sure, I wasn't quite sure what that something was. But
in the resulting paper, in effect, I wrapped myself in the flag. I did this, not so much by simply choosing to do it, as by trying to make sense of my own work to that point, and, in the process,
accidentally systematizing what I, as opposed to somebody else, thought was the heart of the Chicago tradition. In writing this paper, it seemed to me that the core idea of the Chicago School was the
notion that I mentioned at the outset, that facts were located, rather than context-free. Now the Chicago School version of that idea of location had been overwhelmingly spatial. And it had been that
spatial idea of location that drove the book, System of Professions. But my other main activity in the 1980s had been methodological polemics, not about space, but about time. Now I had turned to
those polemics because of changes in the field that were totally unassociated with the Chicago School. After about 1980, sociology included something called historical sociology. And although in the
Scotchpolian(?) sense I wasn't an historical sociologist because I didn't study large social structures and macro processes, I had certainly spent many months sucking dust in archives in esoteric
libraries. My first graduate course at Rutgers had been on historical sociology, and it had lead me, quite arbitrarily, to a focus on the vicissitudes of narrative in sociological methodology. This,
in turn, had lead, among other things, to the methodological polemics and to my first moves into sequence methods, which I applied, actually, originally to professionalization in chapters that were
originally in the book, System of Professions, but later taken out. And indeed, at some point late in the 1980s when I was trying to envision a book that might come after System, I didn't undertake a
detailed analysis of concepts of time in the Chicago tradition. But in any case, when I came openly to theorize the Chicago School, space and time were considered together. I argued for differing
levels of contextuality. Standard methods were decontextualized in both space and time. Network analysis and its cousins worked formally on context in space, natural histories and career theories
worked on context in time, and what I called the theory of interactional fields worked on both. My examples of the latter from the classic works was Zorbaugh's The Gold Coast and the Slum. For more
recent work, I took Wallerstein's World System Theory and my own theory of professions. In this grid, I could place the Chicago School work and identify its central contributions, but I had, myself,
stepped into the picture. But it's important to realize that I would probably not have written that piece at all, had I not moved to Chicago. It's quite arbitrary. It just seemed kind of clever and
fun thing to do. Now as it turned out, I could wrap myself in the flag, but the locals weren't about to hoist the flag up the flagpole. The AJS rejected that piece, which eventually appeared in Social
Forces. Around this time, as she rejected the piece, Marta Tienda however also approached me to write a history of the AJS for its centennial in 1995. I've told elsewhere the story of how that piece
also failed to appear in the AJS. There's no need to repeat it. But the task meant that I spent much of the 1990s working in great archival detail on the history of the Department, a project both
particularly convenient because I had foolishly taken an administrative position and didn't have the concentrated time and attention for a more amorphous project. As a byproduct piece, I wrote a
detailed study of the Department faculty after the Second World War, when the very idea of a Chicago School was first created. By 1997, I thus had a small historical monograph on the AJS on my hands,
as well as the Sorokin Lecture and the byproduct piece. It took only a newly written new essay on the historiography of the Chicago School to produce the book, Department and Discipline, which made me
more maroon than ever. Only two things more were necessary to complete my transformation into the poster child of the Chicago School, and they came soon enough. As a faculty member with some
administrative experience, it was inevitable that I become Chairman of the Department at some point, and that point arrived in 1999. More welcome and certainly more appropriate to my actual skills, it
was also inevitable that somebody, like me, would become Editor of the AJS. And although I turned it down the first time I was asked, I said yes the second. By this long sequence of random events and
elective affinities, and by my habit of reusing old ideas and work in new contexts, I found myself, in 2000, Chair of the Department, Editor and Historian of the AJS, and author of an essay defining
what I thought to be the central core of Chicago sociology. My best known piece of work could easily be read as an exercise in classic Chicago-style reasoning. It's kind of hard to argue that sort of
list. But there was no long-term intent here at all. Probably the most central cause, if there was one, is my habit, just mentioned, of using and reusing certain basic ideas and readings in new
contexts. Mr. Janowitz had put a bunch of ideas in the hopper early on, and I simply found them useful to think with. But, in closing, I should note that the Chicago ideas and readings are by no means
the only ones that I have so used. I have also used a whole set of mathematical ideas picked up in various places, Markov processes, structural constraints, algorithmic logics, axiomatic analysis.
I've also used a similar collection of ideas from philosophy, originally from epistemology, but later from the philosophy of history and time. And I've used a similar collection of literary ideas,
andeles(?) detects(?), structuralist theories of meaning, all the stuff from just before deconstructionism. The Chicago School is, thus, just one of my basic sources of ideas and approaches, but it is
the main one in sociology, and I happen to be a sociologist. So I look like a member of the Chicago School. Now I said we should answer three questions, what is the particular kind of
self-consciousness that goes with being in a tradition, when did it start, and to what extent does it shape our work? I've told you that, for me, it started by accident. It more or less crept up on
me. Most important, overt identification with Chicago was simply a possibility available to me when I, by accident, got invited back. And I decided, somewhat on a lark, and certainly without
suspecting the consequences, to take it up. But there was an underlying logic of elective affinities that's also important. Accident played a role, but there are lots of predispositions and common
themes, and, as always, my tendency just to reuse old stuff. As for shaping my current work, I don't know. At this point, I couldn't escape the Chicago School label if I tried. Indeed, it may have
reached the point where certain intellectual moves have become identified with some version of Chicago School, simply because I do them. And some aspects of my, Goddamn, Michael, can you read this, my
connection to the tradition, whatever. I'm simply amusing. I serve as the local tour guide for foreigners visiting the Department. My picture gets taken. Books about Chicago sociology are sent to me
in languages which I do not understand. And it is true that I have gotten used to taking the writers of the Chicago tradition as my own, as a set of interlocutors, a set of critics, a set of examples.
There is, after all, something a bit overwhelming about working in an office whose four prior occupants were Ernest Burgess, Morris Janowitz, Everett Hughes, and Bill Wilson. The very chairs in that
office are stamped on the bottom with a stencil that gives you the date of the building's opening, 5 October 1929. I sometimes wonder in which seat Mr. Burgess was sitting when, 19 days later, the
bottom dropped out of everything. CALHOUN: Thank you, Andy. Myra Marx Ferree is next, speaking on revisioning gender. FERREE: Okay, let's see here. It's really wonderful to be here because it's
thinking about sociology as having achieved a disciplinary transformation, sufficient to recognize that it is important that people are walking the walk and talking the talk of gender. Just a few
decades ago, feminists spoke of a revolution needed to make sociology aware of the social meanings and effects of gender. It was irritating then to feel excluded and ignored, but also thrilling and
empowering to think that all of our apparently secure knowledge was now to be placed in doubt. Once the invisible half of humanity became part of the empirical research and theorizing that was based
on that, sociology's knowledge claims were going to be in need of thorough re-examination and revision. What great work there was to do and what a scientific revolution lay before us. In many ways, we
were not wrong. The revolution is no longer missing, even if it's incomplete. Sociology has undergone more transformations in more subfields than Stacey and Thorne predicted in the 1980s when we
revolutionaries were still out on the streets, largely ignored by a nearly all-male set of disciplinary gatekeepers. We have gone in a generation from a situation in which highly accomplished
sociologists, like Alice Rossi and Matilda Riley, were stranded outside the academic mainstream, to electing them as Presidents of this Association. In the 1980s, it was still shocking that the
President and Vice President of ASA should, at the same time, be held by women. It now seems unremarkable that we have just elected two feminist scholars, not merely two women, Cecilia Ridgeway and
Jennifer Glass, to these offices. Almost 30 years ago, a proposal for ASA to sponsor a new journal focused on gender was rejected by Council on the grounds that it would siphon off all the implicitly
few good gender papers from the ASR. Now that this journal, Gender & Society, is in its third decade and has become, by the way, the fourth most frequently cited journal in the discipline, we can
reassure Council that the threat did not materialize. There is still more path-breaking work out there to be published than Gender & Society can include. And as Jocelyn Hollander has pointed out, some
topics, like violence against women and women's resistance to such violence, are still underrepresented in all of our sociological journals. Yet the inclusion of gender as a subject of sociological
analysis has gone from being rare and noteworthy to routine and unremarked. The understanding of gender relations as being about power and inequality, rather than an essential functional difference or
an unimportant secondary contradiction, is not exactly breaking news either, although the word has not yet reached every corner of the discipline. And it has been a thrill to be in the midst of this
emerging transformation. It seems impossible to go back to a time when such social realities as the gender division of paid and unpaid labor, or the politics of care and social reproduction, or the
consequences of gendered violence and the exclusions of sexual citizenship, or the social-psychology of embodiment and emotions were simply hidden from the sociological imagination. Sociology, as a
discipline, has expanded to include women scholars and research questions centered on women's lives. But too many sociologists still fail to recognize the social world as not merely populated by both
women and men, but as organized by gender. The breakthrough making women truly present in our field has brought voice and vision to women's experiences, but in much of the discipline it stopped there.
Within the sociology of gender, it went further. We transformed fundamental sociological concepts, like labor, to now include the unpaid work of reproduction, and power to include forms of
non-democratic authority in families and violence against women that was perpetrated with impunity. Gender sociologists also drew concepts from the social movements that engaged gender politics
head-on, such as feminist work on violence against women that named sexual harassment and date rape. Sociologists of gender also discarded terms that failed to work theoretically. The concept of sex
roles was the first and most significant casualty of the conceptual rigor that feminist sociologists brought to the understanding of gender, although the misbegotten and atheoretical mutant known as
gender roles still refuses to die. Gender is a concept, gender, not gender roles, gender is a concept grounded in the truly social relations of power, status, exclusion, and inequality that work at
multiple levels, from the transnational, to the local, to the individual. As a sociologist of gender who thrives on the excitement of this revolutionary transformation, I am often perplexed by the
reluctance in other parts of the discipline to embrace this process of deep revisioning. Some reasons for this, of course, can be found in the gender composition of subfields, since, within the
discipline, the sociology of gender remains subject to the stratification processes it identified in society as a whole. The lower status of women rubs off on whatever is associated with women, and
the association of gender research with women scholars studying women's lives remains strong. Despite the rethinking within the sociology of gender to highlight masculinity and men as just as
significant for understanding gender as a social relation as women are, about 90% of those that identify with the sociology of gender by membership in the gender section or the race, class, and gender
section of this Association are women. Despite the impressive contributions to the sociology of gender by men, such as Phil Cohen, Jerry Jacobs, and Don Tomaskovic-Devey, relatively few men make
gender questions central to work on inequality. Sociological gender analysis is certainly done by more researchers than just those who identify with these sections, but the huge gender imbalance
indicates a certain level of active disidentification by men that remains disturbing. Not only are the sociology of gender and feminist identity linked, but both are gendered female and neither enjoys
much status. Additionally, the extent to which subfields embrace a prerevolutionary understanding of sociology also predicts their gender composition. The idea that scientific rationality is the
opposite of emotion, moral values, or political engagement remains alive and well in some sections of the discipline. By contrast, gender sociology recognizes the politics of exclusion as shaping the
questions sociologists ask and the answers that we find convincing. Rather than an excuse for seeking truthiness, rather than truth, the admission is a clarion call for reflexivity that provokes
action to facilitate the participation of actual people from marginalized or disempowered groups in the process of expanding sociological discovery. When such people come to the table, they inevitably
make the dominant groups uncomfortable by challenging some of their taken-for-granteds. This is a good thing, if one cares about truth. Assuming a correlation between numbers and objectivity is
another especially misleading problem. It reinscribes a modern stereotype associating men with quantitative research. And while noting the explosion of exciting gender work that has spilled over into
other largely qualitative sections, like the sociology of culture of bodies and embodiment or of sexualities, such observers wall themselves off from the impact of quantitative work on gender in
fields like work and occupations, demography, and family. As Paula England, Harriet Presser, and other gender sociologists who prefer the quantitative style have explicitly pointed out, there are
gendered blind spots remaining in these fields, especially in how so-called objectivity hides, rather than eliminates, biases in favor of the status quo and creates two distinct and virtually
non-overlapping bodies of research and theory, one that is informed by gender research and one with its collective heads still in the sand. Feminist work has brought attention to gender, race, and
class as something other than social problems. And by changing its perspective to see from the margins has challenged key assumptions supporting dominant arrangements, such as the definition of money
and love as opposite motivations, which is a belief that leads to the serious underpayment for caregiving work. We need to remember that the methodological choice to ignore any processes that are too
system wide or confounded with others to be fitted into strong causal models is, itself, a value and political commitment, as the debates over sociological intervention into the Walmart sex
discrimination case have shown. In all these ways, implications of feminist rethinking of sociological premises have not yet been fully realized, either theoretically or empirically. But despite these
all too real limits, the second half of my talk focuses on why the worries that gender research is somehow too political to be science are so misplaced. By embracing gender research as both a talk and
a walk, a melding of theory and practice, I argue that gender scholarship is pushing all of sociology to become more inclusive in perspectives, more accurate in its understanding of the world of which
it is a part, and, thus, a better social science. Given the unmistakably political origins of studying gender, the contributions made by social movements to its theoretical tools, and the
self-conscious struggles it took to bring gender awareness into our discipline, the continuing relationship between the sociology of gender and feminism as a social movement matters. Is the sociology
of gender still political, and is being political its weakness or its strength? One difficulty in answering such a big question is that the sociological field of gender research today has expanded so
much that it is too broad for any one scholar to have a real overview. And having learned to distrust the view from nowhere and to insist on a perspective situated in the reality of the perceiver's
life, my answers have to be taken as a certain kind of partial view, one that is connected to my own research in comparative politics, discourse, and culture, as well as reflective of my particular
academic privileges. From this angle, I see sociological gender research as providing a vital link between feminism as a political project and sociology as a quest for accurate knowledge about the
social world. I also see this link as a two-sided relationship. While sociological theory and its empirical findings contribute in various ways to the movements that seek gender justice in the world,
the knowledge that social movements produce in their struggles with the recalcitrant reality improve our sociology. When feminist practice informs gender theory and gender research informs feminist
politics, we have constructed a virtuous circle, in which action and knowledge support each other's development. In support of this claim, I offer two examples of the virtuous circle, the emergence of
intersectionality as a concept that both describes reality and defines a standard for feminist practice, and the vigorous growth of transnational feminist organizing and theorizing. I begin with
intersectionality, a concept central to much recent gender scholarship. Intersectionality, in case you haven't picked this up, is a theoretical approach that presents race, class, gender, and
sexualities as closely intertwined, structured forms of institutionalized inequality, and argues that these forms of stratification need to be studied in relation to each other and cannot be
politically addressed in isolation. The term intersectionality was imported into sociology from practical engagement and political struggles. It was coined in 1989 by feminist legal scholar Kimberl‚
Crenshaw to describe the practical barriers black women faced in being represented before the law. Whereas women, they were deemed too particular to represent race discrimination, but, as blacks, they
were too particular in their experiences to make a case for gender discrimination either. To bring their cases effectively meant to identify where the multiple forms of inequality could determine
outcomes in practice. Intersectionality has since come to be the preferred term for research that considers these dynamics of codetermination in society more broadly, not just in law. The type of
analysis, however, began well before Crenshaw crystallized this term for it. In fact, U.S. sociological theory and research on gender often lead the way. To mention just a few of the sociologists at
the heart of this early development, Judith Rollins pointed to power relations between women employers and domestics that were configured by class and race, as well as gender, Patricia Hill Collins
developed a more generalized model of a matrix of domination, in which gender figured interactively, rather than in an additive fashion, Yen Le Espiritu wove together macro and micro levels of
nationality, gender, racial politics, and social class for Asian-American women and men as a specific case of complex inequality. Since Crenshaw, there's been a virtual explosion of intersectional
research, not only in sociology and law, but in political science, history, and social-psychology, and not only in the U.S. Hae Yeon Choo and I recently identified three different types of
intersectional analysis entering now into sociological mainstream. First, the inclusion of minorities approach, which prioritizes the perspectives of the marginalized and chooses methods that will
give them voice. Second, the processes of privilege approach, which emphasizes the means by which some groups dominate others and chooses methods that will expose the hegemonic character of whiteness,
masculinity, or heterosexuality in particular settings. And thirdly, the institutional approach which looks at the more cross-cutting, macro-level relationships that co-configure settings and
struggles, so that, for example, class mobilization works through ideas about national, racial, and male privilege or racial denigration employs a discourse of gender, family, and sexuality. The
inclusion in voice approach made advances, particularly through the work of women of color, such as Joyce Ladner, Deborah King, Bonnie Thornton Dill, and others, who could see that the opening of the
door to gender scholarship in sociology did not go nearly far enough to challenge the exclusions and misconceptions of the discipline, either about them or about the communities they studied. The
second, the processes of privilege approach, gained impetus from scholars of masculinity, such as Raewyn Connell and Michael Kimmel, from sexuality scholars who drew attention to the force of
heteronormativity in maintaining gender, and from critical studies of whiteness that highlighted the workings of power, both as costs and privileges, for those in the dominant group. The third
institutional approach is indebted to the insights of gender scholars, such as Barbara Reskin and Joan Acker, Barrie Thorn and Patricia Yancey Martin, whose work exposed how gendered power relations
worked in and across class relations in workplaces and schools, to also to work such as that of Evelyn Nakano Glenn, which draw out the historical nature of the intersections of race and gender in
labor and citizenship, and from such comparative political work as Ann Orloff's cross- national studies of social policy. Much of this pathbreaking, intersectional scholarship of all types drew from
political practices in which these scholars were engaged, including such important projects as Michael Kimmel's testimony for desegregating VMI, Joan Acker and Paula England's work on comparable
worth, Barbara Reskin's on job discrimination, Michael Messner's on Title IX enforcement, Dorothy Smith and Ann Ferguson's work on schools and their mistreatment of black boys in non-standard
families. These kinds of political engagements enabled these and other scholars to ask innovative questions about intersectional realities. But intersectionality, as theory, has become a political
force itself, traveling internationally and feeding back into the norms of feminist organizing. As translated back into feminist practice, intersectionality now means three things. First, it makes
divergent positions and interests among women visible, rather than advancing, essentializing, and homogenizing views of women. Second, it implies choosing priorities politically with an eye towards
inclusive solidarity, that is, seeking common ground against a background of acknowledged difference. Third, it assumes organizational variability in strategies and priorities, rather than the
universal strategic interests theoretically understood and represented through a single movement, as socialist political precedent would suggest. Within sociology itself, SWS, in particular, has been
at the forefront of decentralized, multi-pronged efforts to recognize and include greater diversity of experience and perspectives by class, race, sexuality, and nation, even endowing an ASA minority
fellowship with monies that it has earned from Gender & Society, the journal that ASA once rejected. The virtuous circle is now feeding back in to scholarship, as much recent empirical work in the
sociology of gender draws its vigor from the intersectionality of the practical political struggles on which it focuses, be that over the consequences of so-called welfare reform movement in the
United States, the rise of right-wing anti-immigration politics in the U.S. and Europe, the anxiety over falling birthrates and aging populations in Europe and Asia, the losses of women's reproductive
rights in Eastern Europe and parts of Latin America, sectarian warfare and human security in South Asia and the Middle East. Attention to intersectionality across these and other contexts is essential
for understanding gender's place in the variety of matrices of domination that are being both intensified and challenged by globalization. Looking beyond the U.S., and this is my next point, the
virtuous circle between the development of transnational feminist practice and the internationalization of gender scholarship highlights the ways in which feminism has always been a transnational
movement. In the past 20 to 30 years, however, we have seen feminist ideas become institutionalized in international treaties and in the practices of global civil society, bringing that strong global
shift from thinking of women as the dependent and, more or less, protected relatives of men, to being democratic citizens in their own right. Feminist organizers successfully placed women's right to
be free of violence on the international human rights agenda, reproductive rights on the international population agenda, and women's education and poverty on the global development agenda. These
gains provided a lever to push many national governments to adopt policies to realize such goals, not so much our own. However, they also moved feminist practice upward from the grassroots into
positions of political influence and even authority. Feminist institutionalization not only produced what Sonia Alvarez has called NGOization, but has spread electoral quotas, women's ministries, and
gender mainstreaming initiatives virtually everywhere in the world. Again, bracket the United States. This shift in feminist practice has given rise to important questions about the effectiveness of
political strategies to achieve policy change, as well as about the actual impacts of policies introduced with feminist support. The question of where equality policy comes from and what makes it work
are important theoretical questions for all sociologists. But the research being done now in the U.S. necessarily has either a more comparative international or a more historical cast, in the sense of
exploring where U.S. equality policy came from, when we actually had an equality policy, while for Europeans, Africans, and many others, the questions of what kind of choice of feminist policy,
implementation, and measurement of effects one should have are very real, immediate, important issues. There is an excitement in much global gender research today that is not to be found in studying
the political retrenchment and reaction in the United States. Perhaps this contributes to the increased interest of U.S. gender scholars in comparative cross-national and transnational research
topics. International studies is, today, one of the most intellectually vibrant areas within the domain of gender sociology. This virtuous circle of theory and practice feeds the internationalization
of U.S. gender sociology in multiple ways, in developing the reflexivity necessary to question power, as expressed in transnational organizing, in the awareness of how tropes, such as modernity and
backwardness, are being mobilized, in consideration of how intersectional movements of liberation intersect differently for men and for women. Internationalization is also reflected in theorizing the
intersectional inequalities in global deaspers(?) of immigration, displacement, and political exile, issues of transnational family work for women and men caught up in global care chains, of gendered
labor relations in global sweatshops and sex work, of sexual self-determination for women and men, gay and straight, in different political regimes of sex education and reproductive rights, partner
choice, and marriage rights, all point to the need to study institutions organized to produce and regulate gender through and beyond the nation state. The issue is, therefore, not only inclusion, but
understanding global processes. As Chris Bose recently argued in her Presidential Address at the Eastern Sociological Society, sociologists of gender face a challenge to understand the reasons that
regional, national, and local agendas vary in the way they do. When we shift gender scholarship up to the level of transnational processes, such as export-oriented economic growth, flows of more or
less permanent migration, and fragile and incomplete democratization, we see intersectional inequalities less as being about differences in norms or customs and more in terms of relationships of
intersectional power that matter to both those who are privileged and those who are exploited and oppressed by the these relations. The complex institutions under girding these power relations are
organized not by capitalism alone and not by gender alone, but by making gender, race, sexuality, class, and nation truly count conceptually is not going to be easy. Gender scholarship has been rising
to the challenge of informing U.S. work with international research and vice versa. Gender analysis has become integrated into the study of citizenship, as both a national and transnational process of
racialized exclusion and inclusion in new work by Hae Yeon Choo and by Sarah Breh(?). Sexuality as politics, a fact brought home in new comparative studies of sexual citizenship by Nancy Naples, Mary
Bernstein, and by Chatonia Locksum Setty(?). Intersectional scholars, such as Winddance Twine, Rene Almeling, and Rita Ponday(?), are studying the impacts of changing technologies of reproduction, as
they are commercialized in the U.S. and internationalized in processes, such as gestational surrogacy for pay in India. This list could go on and on. The point I want to emphasize is that this new
scholarship is not about gender in isolation, either from other intersectional inequalities or from global processes, such as the marketization of intimate relations. Both intersectionality and
institutional approaches to change have their theoretical roots in the practical feminist politics of change. But they have become sites for innovative gender research, where it is blossoming
empirically and producing much theoretical fruit. The insights coming from this new research are, in turn, being used by feminist activists to better reach their intersectional, transnational,
organizing goals. The virtuous circle connects the sociological search for accurate knowledge about the social world and the feminist commitment to transform that world, a world that we have come to
know much better than we did when we first resolved to change its injustices. Feminist scholars are using political commitments as tools to build a richer and truer picture of the complexity of
institutions, inequalities, and identities, with which we continue to struggle. If we can grasp the revolution in gender scholarship that has been brought, but still admit that there is a long way to
go to realize the depth and breadth of transformation we are seeking, we may yet find the path ahead thrilling. Thank you. CALHOUN: Thanks, Myra. Doug Massey is next on making the world safe for
demography. MASSEY: I'm a demographer and I'm a sociologist. More specifically, I'm a University of Chicago sociologist. I taught at University of Chicago for seven years. I've always felt that my
work has been in the Chicago tradition. I was actually Chair of the Recruitment Committee that recruited Andy to the University of Chicago. At the same time, I'm a demographer. I have a Ph.D. from
Princeton. The Office of Population Research is the oldest population research center in the world, founded in 1936. And I'm currently Director of the Office of Population Research. Making the world
safe for demography is actually the motto of the Office of Population Research. As any of you historical buffs will realize, this is an ironic comment on Woodrow Wilson's statement that he was
entering the First World War to make the world safe for democracy. Woodrow Wilson was the President at Princeton University, before he was President of the United States. You get the historical
references. Demography is much more than a simple subfield of sociology. It's an independent discipline that has its own association, its own set of journals, its own set of institutional practices,
and it has been around almost as long as the American Sociological Association. Nonetheless, the histories of sociology and demography have been intertwined from the inception of both disciplines. So
one indicator of this is the number of presidents who have been president of both ASA and the PAA. When I did my historical research, I discovered there are eight, including yours truly. But
luminaries, like Dorothy Swaine Thomas, Phil Hauser, Kingsley Davis, Amos Hawley, who were simultaneously, not simultaneously, but, at one point or another in their careers, President of both the
Population Association of America and the American Sociological Association. I'd like to highlight Dorothy Thomas. She was not only the first female President of the Population Association of America,
she was also the first female President of the American Sociological Association. And I do not think that she has received the stature and recognition she deserves as a sociologist. She's well
regarded in demography, but she was very important in the development of sociology. One indicator of that fact is the Thomas connection. Dorothy Swaine Thomas was the second wife of W.I. Thomas. W.I.
Thomas was the first Ph.D. of sociology from the Chicago School and was on the faculty of the University of Chicago, until he was caught in flagrante delicto in a hotel on the south side of Chicago
with the wife of a lieutenant serving in the U.S. Army in France, who also had communist connections. And after this illicit affair was discovered, he was railroaded off the faculty and never held
another permanent academic position. Nonetheless, he was one of the founding fathers of American sociology. The connection goes deeper. Dorothy Thomas actually has, in the late 1990s, an anonymous
benefactor endowed a chair in the name of Dorothy Swaine Thomas, and there have been two Dorothy Swaine Thomas Professors of Sociology. The first one was, again, yours truly, and the second one is our
current ASA President, Randy Collins. So these ties, familiar and otherwise, actually go rather deep. What's essential to demography is the concept of population. A population is not just a number of
people at a certain place at a point in time, it's a more abstract concept. It's any finite or infinite aggregation of individuals, subject to three basic processes, entry into, exit from, and
mobility within. That's all you need to know about demography. And, of course, in classic demography, entry into is birth, exit from is death, and mobility within is migration. But mobility and
mobility processes are not just physical. There's biological mobility, movement into and out of biologically defined categories. Life itself is a state, and entry into is birth, and exit out of is
death. So, in essence, it's all mobility. Death is an exit, and birth is an entry. And in between, you move through the ages. You progress from one age to another. But you can generalize these
processes even more broadly and think about social mobility, movement into and out of socially defined categories. Gender, with modern scientific advancements, and newer understandings of gender
identity and sexuality, we can actually move in and out of gender categories these days. Witness Sonny and Cher's former daughter, now son, Chaz. You can't change your sex. You will either have the
two XX chromosomes or an X and a Y chromosome. But you can change your gender. Many other demographic categories are also socially defined, marriage, that's a social convention, and it differs from
culture to culture, motherhood, separation, divorce. But social mobility is not just demographic. There are a huge variety of socially defined categories, class, occupation, race, ethnicity, kinship,
the population of college graduates, people who are rich, people who are poor, sociologists, and demographers. And within each of these categories, there's entry and exit, and mobility. In population,
in a population or in a society, categories define structure. Demographers talk about the demographic structure of a population. And this is the famous adage, broken down by age and sex, which was the
motto of the East-West Center's Population Center and Hawaii's Population Center. I actually like it better than Princeton's, broken down by age and sex. It has a certain je ne sais quoi. But also,
you can think about, just instead of the simple demographic categories of age and sex, you can think about household status, household composition, and marital status. These are much more socially
defined categories. But we also talk about social structure. Social categories that exist in any society define its social structure. What do sociologists do? Basically, they study how social
categories are constructed and maintained, they study processes of categorical assignment, how one gets into different social categories, and they assess the consequences of categorical assignment for
wellbeing. If you're assigned into black versus white, what are the consequences of that for wellbeing? We also study movement between social categories, and this gets us back to mobility processes.
What do demographers do? Demographers study how social categories are constructed and maintained, yes. They study how marriage is defined, and how entry into and out of marriage occurs. They study
processes of categorical assignment, how race and ethnicity are defined, and how people get put into one category or another. Demographers spend a lot of time studying the consequences of categorical
assignment for wellbeing. Demographers spend a lot of time documenting differential mortality between blacks and whites, between rich and poor. These are important demographic subjects. And
demographers also measure movement between categories, how you progress from lower class to upper class, or from upper class to lower class, patterns of occupational mobility. In the study of
mobility, demographers have relied very heavily on life tables and survival curves. And you can tell a lot about a society or a population, just by looking at its life table or its survival curve.
What we have up here are the survival curves for the United States population in 1900, which is the lowest line, and the projected survival curve for 2100, which is the top line. So from the bottom
line, you can instantly tell a lot about the society. You can see infant mortality and childhood mortality is huge. There's a huge drop in survival in the very early ages of life. And this means that
you have a society where lots of people are dealing with the grief of losing infants and children, and a society in which there are relatively few old people. They're very scarce. In contrast, the
society we're moving into, hardly anybody dies until starting around age 50. And then, they start dying, but this means we don't have much of a social structure of bereavement for children anymore,
and we have a very old and aging society. Where did the life table come from? The invention of the life table goes back to 1662 with a guy named John Graunt, who wrote a pamphlet called, The
Observations on the Bills of Mortality. The Bills of Mortality were published in the 1600s in London because of recurrent episodes of the plague. And he discovered that mortality varied systematically
by age, sex, and he also was the first epidemiological study to actually pinpoint the source of epidemics. He found that mortality rates around certain wells were higher than other places, and,
therefore, began to understand the germ theory of contagion that certain wells were poisoned. They didn't understand why at this point, but they knew that some wells were not good for people. The life
table was developed in demography over subsequent years. Alfred Lotka is, in many ways, the second father of the life table in working in the 1920s. Ansley Coale, who was one of my mentors at
Princeton, Nathan Keyfitz, and Samuel Preston, all distinguished demographers. Alfred Lotka worked in the life insurance industry. Ansley Coale was a demographer par excellence. But Nathan Keyfitz and
Samuel Preston were actually in sociology departments for almost their entire career. So you see a progressive movement into sociology. And I would say that although demography is an interdisciplinary
field, which embraces economics, sociology, political science, biology, history, policy, all kinds of different things, the biggest single element within demography is still sociology. The life table
got generalized and became the basis for thinking about a number of different social processes. One of the first persons to really generalize thinking about the life table was, of course, Norman
Ryder, who came up, the concept of the cohort in demography was old, it goes back to the life table. A life table was basically a way of looking at a cohort of people who were born at the same time,
and then, following them through life as they're exposed to different rates of mortality. And that's basically the concept of the life table. Norman Ryder generalized it. And in a classic article in
1962 wrote, The Cohort as a Concept in the Study of Social Change. And he realized, drawing on his insights as a demographer and he later became Editor of the American Sociological Review, he realized
that social change doesn't occur because people change their minds, so much as people with one mindset die out, and they're replaced by other people with other mindsets. So it's really a
cohort-replacement process, rather than a process where people actually change their minds. So if you are more of the liberal tradition, this will give you great courage for the future because the Tea
Party movement is old, white people, and the entering cohorts are young, multiracial, multiethnic people. And change will occur. It's in the demography. It's written in the demography. He was the
first person to really understand this dynamic, and it grows out of the life table. The life table then became generalized in a, more and more widely. Sir David Cox published an article in 1972
called, Regression Models and Life-Tables. And he developed something called the proportional hazard model, where he basically generalized the concept of the life table, and put it in a statistical
framework, and talked about it as a basic social process. So people proceed through time, and they're subject to a certain risk, and then, that risk exerts an effect over time. This was then
generalized even further by Bob Schoen, who's a demographer and a sociologist, who talked about increment/decrement processes. That is, the life table is only a decrement process. When people die, and
then, the cohort is diminished over time. But you can think about it more broadly and think about how any group of people who go through time can experience increments and also decrements. So a cohort
can experience decrements from death or out-migration, but the population can also experience increments through in-migration. And he set up the mathematics of a much more generalizable, universal set
of processes. And this eventually broadened into event history analysis, which has had a huge effect in sociology. And these are just a few of the titles. As you can see, the first two are
demographic, but then, they branch out into sociology and, indeed, into all of social science. So event history analysis, Kaz Yamaguchi, event history analysis by Paul Allison. Prominent sociologists.
This is basically a generalization of something demographers came up with, starting in 1662. It's a generalization of the life table. Now in the 1980s, the Chicago School entered with William Julius
Wilson's publication of The Truly Disadvantaged. Space, and residence, and place had always been important in American sociology. Going back to the founding, if you read W.I. Thomas, if you read Park,
if you read Burgess, if you read any of the early ethnographers, Zorbaugh, anybody, they all talk about the importance of context, the importance of place. That's what Chicago School is all about. But
American sociology kind of forgot about it for a while in the 1960s and the 1970s. The . . . school became dominant, sociologists were enthralled with survey research methods, and it all became
individual and family processes, and they forgot about place. The person who really redirected all of social science back to studying context and place was Bill Wilson at the University of Chicago at
the time when he wrote The Truly Disadvantaged, and the field began to talk about neighborhood effects. And this found its way into event history analysis, because now, we have multi-level event
history analysis, where you look at the effect of contexts on people's life trajectories and looking at how people's lives unfold over time, over person years of lived experience, and you try to
understand how the context affects that. So just to show you that I'm both a demographer and a sociologist, but I've also kind of been an evangelist for demography within sociology. In 1982, I
published an article with my undergraduate mentor, G. Edward Stephan, Ed Stephan, at Western Washington University. It was Western Washington State College when I went there. And we published, I may
be one of the few ASA presidents and professors at research one universities that have actually published in Teaching Sociology. I published the Undergraduate Curriculum in Sociology: An Immodest
Proposal. And what Ed and I proposed in this article, way back when, 1982, was that the best course to use for introductory sociology would actually be an intro demography course because it introduced
students to the basic social processes, the basic understanding, it provided an empirical basis for understanding society, it had natural lab experiments you could do. It would be a lot like intro
chemistry. Unfortunately, our suggestion was never acted upon. And, in conclusion, I would like to thank my many role models in sociology and demography, Ed Stephan, who was my undergraduate mentor,
the late Ed Stephan, Ansley Coale, my graduate mentor in demography, and the many other people who I only came to know through their readings, and then, some of them later in person. I've been deeply
influenced by Dorothy Thomas and W.I. Thomas. I've read almost all their works, and I truly think that W.I. Thomas is one of the founding fathers of American sociology, and Dorothy Thomas is
underappreciated, both as a sociologist and, to a lesser extent, as a demographer. I've read all the works of Robert Park, Ernest Burgess, Otis Dudley Duncan, Phil Hauser. Phil Hauser was extremely
important. He was one of those people who was both a sociologist and a demographer, president of the PAA, president of the ASA. He is responsible for the current population survey of the United
States, which provides almost all the detailed information that we get on a monthly basis on labor force and other characteristics of the United States. Kingsley Davis, Amos Hawley, Stanley Ruson(?),
and Sam Preston. And as Newton said, if I've been able to make any contributions, it's because I've stood on the shoulders of giants. Thank you. CALHOUN: Thanks, Doug. Now lastly, Michael Burawoy,
Marxism after Communism. BURAWOY: Oh, good. Well, that was a wonderful panorama history of sociology in the 20th century that we just had, and I'm probably going to give you something slightly
different. I don't know how many people know what this is a picture of. Anybody? Any guesses? MAN: . . . WOMAN: . . . BURAWOY: That's very good. That is not '92, '91. It was not a revolution, by the
way. Well, I suppose we could debate that. But, yes, this is Boris Yeltsin standing on his tank, August 19, 1991, exactly 20 years to this day ago. Standing on the tank and repelling a coup that would
have inaugurated a new, rather authoritarian Soviet society. He, in fact, inaugurated a new order, post-Soviet Russia. This is August 19th, and the Soviet Union would collapse by the end of the year.
And since we're in Caesars Palace, I thought we should sort of begin with a sort of quote. You know, it's one my mother always used to tell me, veni, vidi, vici. That was Julius Caesar conquering
England. I came, I saw, and I conquered. Yeah. So that's what Yeltsin tried to do, only he was not quite as successful as Caesar. Actually, in 2007, Yeltsin died a sort of rather sad and ignominious
death. What I want to talk to you today is what happened to Marxism after the collapse of the Soviet Union. So let me begin. Okay. Well, we sociologists think in four's. I don't know about
demographers, but. I don't know if that's what Whituse(?) taught in the Chicago School. Hmm? MAN: I like three's. BURAWOY: Yeah, well, you can't do so much thing around with three's, that . . . more
sophisticated mind. MAN: . . . BURAWOY: Okay . . . and we've got . . . we need four. Okay. Now, all right. So what is Marxism after communism? Well, for many, Marxism simply died with communism. The
view is Marxism was an ideology. There are two notions of ideology. One notion of ideology is simply the ideology is a set of ideas that have compelling power, has a force of their own. And there are
many people who thought the Soviet Union as already concentrated in, as having the seeds and the writings of Marx. So it goes Marx, Lenin, Stalin, Soviet Union, collapse. And so, it was the emergence
of a set of ideas that the Soviets' totalitarian regime actually was born in the ideas of Marx and, perhaps, Engels. That is a very idealistic view of the power of ideas. Others take the view, again,
Marxism as ideology, that Marxism and Leninism was, indeed, the ideology that justified their class system, a totalitarian order in the Soviet Union, a position that I, myself, take. But, essentially,
what this first view of Marxism does is reduces Marxism to ideology. And Marxism after communism becomes, therefore, a desert. Marxism. Only appropriate that we are here in Las Vegas talking about
deserts. But note, even in deserts, you can create Caesars Palace. That is the first view. The second view of Marxism after communism is a complete antithesis. That is, the view that Marxism is a
science, that the Soviet Union had nothing to do with socialism or communism, as Marxists understand it, and that, in fact, we have to capture Marxism and understand Marxism as a science. And we
think, I want to portray this, the idea of Marxism as a science as something that is grown in a greenhouse. In a sense, you see out of the world, but you're not really affected by it now. You
cultivate the Marxism in a greenhouse. Now a third view is that, is rather agnostic about whether Marxism is a science or an ideology. It is seen to be an archive, an archive of ideas, from which you
pluck the ones that you are particularly interested and take fancies, like going into a supermarket and just taking whatever you want, and not paying the bill. Marxism as an orchard. Now there is a
fourth box, and this is the view that Marxism is both science and ideology, that Marxism has to be understood as developing over time, that Marxism itself claims that ideas are, in a sense, a
reflection of the world. As the world changes, so Marxism, as a set of ideas, must itself change. Indeed, it must change, because if it was to change that world, it must change its understanding of
that world as that world changes. So Marxism is an evolving, unfolding tradition. It unfolds and evolves in ways that are congruent with the specific Chicago School, specific context, the specific
context locality. And so, we get this fourth view, Marxism as a beautiful redwood tree, a tradition. And it is this idea that I want to develop. I believe that the Marxism as a desert eclipses,
eclipses the multiple traditions within Marxism, and I believe that Marxism as a greenhouse ignores what is absolutely crucial, that Marxism has to grapple, has to grapple with the Soviet Union as a
form of socialism, state socialism. That this was a real endeavor, you might even say a real utopia, ha, ha. A real endeavor in the construction of socialism, and it is a copout to call it statism or
to call it anything but with a label, some label of socialism. Marxists have to deal with this historical phenomenon, the Soviet Union. And that has to be included, therefore, in our redwood tree. All
right, so Marxism as tradition. Let me begin with the tree roots, the foundations of Marxism. Now these foundations will vary over time, but you might say they include the preface to the contribution
to the particular political economy, those two fantastic pages, theses on Feuerbach, the premises of history and the German ideology. Hmm. That will do for now. Perhaps the early manuscripts for
humanist Marx. Those are the foundation, but they're shifting foundations. But then, we have the theoretical foundation, the trunk of the tree, the three volumes of Capital. And to make everybody
happy, I got two little, I don't know, little branches there. One we could include the Communist Manifesto, and the political writings on France that Marx does. Okay, so there is the sort of, that is
my, I call the, what Lakatos would call the positive heuristic, the foundations of the negative heuristic. Out of that tree trunk emerges a series of branches. The German Marxism of Bernstein,
Luxemburg, and Kautsky debating, you know, revolution and reform. Responding to the specific historical circumstances in which German Marxists found themselves between 1890 and 1920. That capitalism
was not immediately going to collapse, and, in fact, the trade unions becoming less and less revolutionary. How they dealt with this, this was the debate within the Social Democratic Party, but built
on a Marxism, built on the foundations laid by Marx and Engels. And then, we have Russia Marxism, initially, a very inspiring, different branch, responding to the backwardness of Russia, a largely
peasant society. The arguments that Trotsky, and Lenin, and Bukharin had with one another, leading almost well into the 1920s. The problem of wars(?), the problem of building socialism in one country,
or even the relationship between plan and market. Well, all this was resolved very simply by Stalin, by Stalinism. And we get from Russian Marxism, which was a progressive branch, to a rather
degenerate branch, Soviet Marxism, which becomes then an ideology for justifying class society. And in response to that, we get something called Western Marxism, the soxism(?) of the Frankfurt School,
of Gramsci, of Lukach, of Adorno, of Horkheimer, of Marcuse, in a sense responding to the failed revolution in the West, but also, the disaster that is Russia. And then, we get what I will call Third
World Marxism, responding, in a sense, both to Western Marxism, and to Russian Marxism, and Soviet Marxism, building a distinctive Marxism of their own. We associate, perhaps, with the name of Mao.
But I particularly am particularly committed to the ideas and works of Frantz Fanon, who theorized the idea of colonialism, and post-colonialism, and the potentialities of a national liberation
struggle that would lead to socialism, but anticipating the worst case scenario to the degeneration of a democracy, and to one-party states and dictatorships. So the question is, in this very quick
overview, what is next? A cloud. Question mark? Now some people will say, aha. Well, Marxism after communism, which is where we are in the cloud up there, means that we just have to . . . and . . . we
have a flourishing Marxism. No way. We have to continue to recognize the importance of that tradition. So it's coming back. But what is this new Marxism? Well, very briefly, it is, of course . . . of
course, but it is Sociological Marxism. Like Doug, I like to bring things together. As we get older, we like to bring our different parts of our bodies together, intellectual body. Yeah. Sociological
Marxism. What is Sociological Marxism? Well, there are three Marxisms. The first Marxism, you might say, is the Marxism, classical Marxism in the 19th century. That is the Marxism that had a vision of
socialism, was rather utopian. Marx never really told us what socialism would be about, and the German Marxists didn't tell us much more. They just thought, well, capitalism was going to collapse.
Well, as you say, Bob's your uncle, up comes socialism. You don't have to worry about it. That's the first. The second tradition was actually a more practical one, where we have to build it here and
now, state socialism. So one is perhaps an economically oriented, the second a state-oriented. And, obviously, the third is a societal organized vision of Marxism and of socialism. As Erik Wright
would say, bringing the social back into socialism, a civil society perspective on Marxism and socialism. It is particularly pertinent in the world today because state and market are in a collusive
relationship to actually crush civil society and, indeed, threatening humanity in all sorts of novel ways. And it is to theorize that threat that I turn to Polanyi, dancing with Polanyi. Well, there
he is. Oh, I, you know, Karl Polanyi writing The Great Transformation in 1944 was really reflecting upon the disasters of fascism and Stalinism, attributed them to a reaction to the market, to market
fundamentalism, thinking that there could never, ever be another market fundamentalism, and he was wrong. We are in the middle of, well, we don't know where we are in the wave, what I call third wave,
and I explain in a second, third wave marketization. We have to dance with Polanyi, okay? What we have to do is reconstruct Polanyi from the standpoint of the present. And this means that we have to
think about a series of waves. Polanyi saw there was one wave of market fundamentalism, and then, a countermovement. There are, in practice, as I will suggest in a minute, three waves, three waves of
marketization. And they are roughly in the 19th, 20th, and then, the end of the 20th into the 21st century. And we have to think about marketization, not in just quantitative terms, but in qualitative
terms. And to do that, we need the idea of fictitious commodities, an underdeveloped concept in Polanyi. He thought that land, labor, and money were entities that should not be commodified. If
commodified, they'd lose. If they are subject to exchange, they lose their use value. When labor is subject to exchange in an unconstrained manner, it loses its capacity to labor, just as land, when
it is subject to exchange, is unable to deliver subsistence existence. And we know about that today, of course. We can extend land to water, to climate. We can broadly talk about nature. And, of
course, money. When money becomes subject to exchange, and we know that only too well today, when money becomes subject to exchange, we have such radical uncertainty that businesses, economies cannot
survive. And I think we can think about Polanyi's third fictitious commodity, money, as precisely a way of getting a handle upon the financial crisis in which we live. Okay, those are the fictitious
commodities. And Polanyi argued that as the market extended itself into these fictitious commodities, there would be a countermovement against them. And he talks about the countermovements in the 19th
century, which were of a more localistic character, trade unions, the emergence of political parties. And then, he talks about in the 20th century, which he didn't distinguish, essentially, in a
fundamental way from the 19th century, more as a continuation of the 19th century, fascism, and Stalinism, and New Deal, and social democracy were national reactions to the extension of the market.
And the question, of course, is, what sort of countermovement might we expect in this present era? Okay, that is the way I like to think about Marxism. Marxism after communism has to focus upon the
centrality of the world in which we live, a world dominated by markets. Yes, okay. So there, in a nutshell, that's what I turn Polanyi into. Okay, I turn Polanyi's single wave of market and then
countermovement into three waves, and you can . . . MAN: Not four. BURAWOY: I've suddenly become more sophisticated. Thank you, Doug. I don't know what I'm going to do about this. Well, you know,
there may be something after this. Never shut off history. Yes. Well, that just shows history doesn't end with the ecological catastrophe, I guess. Well, look. What I'm arguing here is that we have to
think about Polanyi's work extended. So in the first wave that he talked about, 1795 to 1814, he there talked about, you know, the Speenhamland system as the sort of, as a restraint on the labor
market, which then is opened up by the 1834 Poor Law in England he's talking about. And then, you get the countermovement, 1848, then the Depression, and so, World War I. There is a sort of
countermovement accumulating, voluntary organizations, trade unions. In England, it's the Chartist movement, the factory movement, the emergence of the Labour Party, and so forth, that to World War I.
And then, World War I, Polanyi doesn't quite see it this way. But, in fact, in practically a week after, you see a new wave of marketization that then ends around in the 1930s with the abolition of
the gold standard and the movement towards a sort of national closure of economies, whether it through fascism, whether it through Stalinism, and, after all the 1920s saw in Russia, the opening up of
the market. It was only Stalin who closed it down and introduced an idea that the Bolsheviks had lost sight of, namely, the idea of a plan. He introduced planning, collective five year plans, but
also, collectivization of agriculture. We saw fascism, New Deal, social democracy as these sort of reactions to the market, until we come to the oil crisis of '74. And then, we get another
marketization move. And where are we here, 1989 was just an endorsement, an acceleration, you might say, of marketization. And when it turned out that the one alternative to marketization, the planned
economy collapsed, the Soviet Union and its satellites collapsed. And so, we now, because 2008, we have a big crisis, and some of us thought there would be a countermovement, but there's no sign of
that countermovement. And it has been, as they say, socialism for the bankers. That is to say, an endorsement of and a perpetuation, acceleration, in many ways, of marketization. And the question is
whether, how far and how long this can go on for? And if we follow the Polanyian trajectory here, if we follow the Polanyi trajectory, does this work? Yes. If we follow the Polanyi trajectory, then,
you know, in the first wave, labor dominates as the fictitious commodity. In the second wave, it is money, plus labor, in a new arrangement with one another. And finally, we have nature, plus money,
plus labor, with nature ultimately, I would argue, the environment becoming the central feature, around which commodification struggles will take place. Yes. So we can actually extend this, the
countermovement in the first wave is local labor rights. In the second wave, it's national social rights. And in the third, it has to move to a global level, something that Polanyi did not anticipate,
and involving human rights, the very rights for human existence. Those have got to be the struggles, has to take place on the global level. And it's interesting that Myra too was talking about the
ways in which feminists are moving into the global arena to understand the importance of their politics. Yes. And then, the contradictions are different in the three waves. Capital labor
contradiction, then the production exchange, overproduction crises, and then, the production environment contradiction. Socialism looks, as I said, utopian in the first wave. And we have, according to
the correspondence of classical Marxism that's always concerned with the collapse of capitalism, not with the creation of an alternative. The second wave saw the centrality of the states, state
socialism, and we get a whole series of Marxisms that respond to that and will try to appropriate it, Soviet Marxism, Western Marxism, and Third World Marxism. And I'm arguing in the third wave, in
which we are now, we need a societal socialism, a socialism that actually centers civil society or civil society understood as a self-organizing entity that actually, in a sense, controls, directs
state and market, rather than being controlled by state and market. These are the ideas of Gramsci and Polanyi. And this is where, in a sense, Marxism begins to converge with sociology. Yeah, well,
we'll leave that one out. Okay, right. And debates, the debates occur differently in different, in the first wave there is the debate, when, actually, will capitalism collapse? And they have this sort
of mechanical theory of history that comes from the profits and the contributions of a particular political economy that actually informs the works of Rosa Luxemburg, and Kautsky, and Bernstein. All
we're asking, you know, when is the final crisis? Are we there, or do we have to wait or not? The second wave, the debates are socialism in one country, and the big debates are socialism in one
country, and plan versus market, and the nature of dictatorship and democracy. And in the third wave, if we follow our to-be inaugurated president, we should, under a sociological Marxism, we have to
now think about alternatives to capitalism in new ways. We have to, in a sense, what it will be argued in social lit, dispense with the laws of history that Marxism has relied on in the past and begin
to think about, so a micro level ethnographic approach almost to the constitution of the imagination of alternatives, real utopias. And there are two sorts of, in a sense, real utopias, those that
respond directly to the market and socialize the market, as opposed to those that involve deepening democracy. And I'm sure you'll hear all about it, if you haven't already, next year. Okay. And
finally, strategy. Well, you know, I think in the first wave, you know, there was a sort of embrace of theory that would, in fact, inform practice. Whereas, in the second wave, practice informs
theory. And in the third, I'm suggesting again, as Myra was saying about feminism, the interaction of theory and practice. That we have to, in fact, look out there in the world for imaginations. The
participatory budgeting import or allegory, universal income grants in Europe and Africa, even, you know, Erik Wright loves to talk about Wikipedia as a sort of real utopia, in which we collectively
organize our lives. We have to think about their principles and their possibilities of extension, as well as their internal contradictions. And in doing so, we're engaged in a relationship of theory
and practice. Okay. And the real trick is to see whether that column, the third wave, really makes any sense. And I'm not going to try and make sense. Whether along the vertical dimension we can
integrate these different aspects, the pursuit of human rights, global level social movements, a societal socialism, and the idea of real utopias. So this is a very quick run through my vision of
Marxism after communism. And I should say that these real utopias have to embrace, have to embrace the experience of state socialism. They have to embrace the dangers of trying to realize utopias that
we found in the case of state socialism, and they have to embrace the utopias that were created in reaction to state socialism from below, the sort of the social movements associated with Perestroika,
the effervescent civil society of Perestroika, Russia or Soviet Union, the solidarity movement, the worker council movements of Hungary in 1956. These states generated all sorts of visions of
socialism, alternative to state socialism itself, contesting it. But anyway, let me summarize. Here we have the three waves again, and these are four reflections I would like to make. First, that we
should think, did I say four then? MAN: You said four. BURAWOY: Oh, isn't that funny? Okay. Yeah, all right. Well, I got four reflections, but three waves. Okay. The first reflection is that, in fact,
we should look at these three waves as not sort of separated, but as actually building upon one another. That each, in a sense, incorporates features of the others. That in the second wave, we have
money plus labor, and, in the third, we have nature, plus money, plus labor. We have to see how there is rearticulation, rearticulation amongst these fictitious commodities. That is the, the alliance
says the scientific sociological project. How does that marketizing and the commodification of nature, money, and labor come together in the period in which we are now living? And the third is that
these waves appear very differently. In China, it appears as though those three waves are actually compressed upon one another. Whereas, they're much more extended in a country like the UK or, perhaps
the U.S.A. And the question is, of course, whether there will be a countermovement. Polanyi assumed there would always be a countermovement. The question is, as commodification of nature, along with
the re-commodification of money and labor, as it progresses, as it progresses, is there going to be a countermovement? At what level will that countermovement be? We see also some movements today in
the world. We read about India, most recently. We read about the Middle East. We read about Latin America. We even read about that, post such a peaceful country called the United Kingdom. We hear
about Spain and France. There are movements everywhere. They are not movements so much of the exploited, but of the excluded, those subject to the exclusion, in a sense, from markets and subject to
commodification. They are often the victims of what David Harvey calls accumulation through dispossession. The question is, will they add up to anything more than local movements? Will they become
national? Will they become global? What are the forms? What are the forms of countermovement in this new period? That is the task, I think, of a sociological Marxism. Thank you very much. CALHOUN: So
we heard, back at the beginning of this discussion, that everyone inhabits multiple traditions. Yet people also make their own traditions, and they make their traditions, wait, isn't there some line
in sociological Marxism I could be . . . make their own traditions. But not under conditions of their own choosing, and, in fact, not entirely with conscious plans and self-awareness. We heard a
discussion about how the feminist revolution became, in part, a tradition woven into sociology, but with the added point about sociological traditions that stratification processes in the field and in
the society at large shape the ways in which traditions take form. Biases and blind spots are also reproduced by tradition, not just the contents we praise and we see, practice, in theory, informing
each other in each intervening and tradition. We heard a discussion of demography as an independent discipline overlapping sociology, not just a subfield, but a growing presence, and a tradition that
sociology traditionally marginalizes, despite human ecology and other mainstreaming efforts. And this reminds us, I think, that resistance also shapes the course of traditions. And then, we heard that
tradition extends to styles and devices, like 2x2 tables. And in thinking about Marxism as an ideology, science, archive, and tradition, Michael Burawoy brought in also that tradition is not just
fidelity to origins, but innovation and appropriation of other sources, like bringing in Polanyi and the double movement. And the traditions point to the future, sociologizing Marxism, simply
innovating in sociology, repurposing and renewing older theoretical and practical traditions. We have been, I think, inspired, encouraged, instructed, and included in a tradition. Unfortunately, for
better or worse, it is a sociological tradition that speakers never honor their commitments to speak for only 20 minutes. MAN: You did it. What is he talking about? CALHOUN: And, as a result, there
are less than ten minutes left, but let us invite questions. Unfortunately, you are all in darkness, as far as we are concerned. So if you wish to speak up, let there be light, feel free to stand,
move to one of the microphones to either of the sides, identify yourself, and ask a question. Move to the microphone, just next to you. Yeah. SERENE DELILOU(?): Can you hear me? Can you hear me? Yes?
MAN: Yes . . . SERENE DELILOU: I'm Serene Delilou. I'm from Essex University. The last speaker, he talks about the sociological Marxism, as if it's the sort of final stage after all those other
traditions. I would like to say that Marxism has been deeply entrenched in sociologic analysis for that case now, and I actually think it is time to move on to some different theoretical perspectives.
Particularly the older generation is so much influence by Marxism. CALHOUN: That was a call from the younger generation. Are there other questions? If there are two or three, we can take them, and
then, invite a panelist to respond. MAN: Maybe we'll start a new tradition . . . CALHOUN: If there are not, Michael gets a chance to respond briefly and, for the first time in history, we will end
slightly early. BURAWOY: No, I think the younger generation should speak. I am from the older generation, so I have a particular vision on this. But I do think that Marxism is actually changing and is
dynamic all over the world. I think that Marxism will never disappear, so long as capitalism appears. So you're going to have to learn to live with it. And it's a matter of whether, you know, you
don't have to be part of that tradition, but I will try to suggest to you that it is a very dynamic, pluralistic, and open tradition, very open, indeed, to youthful regeneration. Thank you.