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Roscigno, Hodson Are Incoming Editors of American Sociological Review

by Donald Tomaskovic-Devey, University of Massachusetts-Amherst

Vincent J. Roscigno and Randy Hodson, both of The Ohio State University, will be the next editors of ASA’s American Sociological Review, appointed by ASA Council for a threeyear term beginning in January 2007. They will follow the editorship of Jerry A. Jacobs.

Although no two individuals could comprehensively represent the range of intellectual complexity of contemporary sociology, these two cover a good deal of the territory. Between them, they have produced influential and often intersecting configurations of historical, ethnographic, textual, and statistical analyses. Their published work has spanned multiple continents, languages, and political eras, and by last count, they have collaborated with more than 60 coauthors. All this from two scholars who are both young enough to be fathers of children too young to reach the top shelf in a closet.


Hodson’s research accomplishments are consistently impressive. So far, his sociological lenses have focused on income inequality, work and dignity, ethnic intolerance and mental health, and organizational analyses. He has long had a flair for methodological innovation. His dissertation, which was published as an Academic Press monograph in 1983, was the first project to merge firm-level data into a status-attainment-conceived survey of individuals. This dissertation and allied articles convinced a cohort of scholars, myself included, that it was possible and worth the effort to incorporate information on real organizations into what were then becoming theoretically unsatisfying individualistic attainment models.

Hodson’s current comparative workplace ethnography project reverses the flow of incorporation, showing that it is possible to take the rich, contextualized observations of workplaces generated by qualitative scholars over the last 100 or so years and investigate general processes across ethnographic accounts. With doctoral students at both Indiana University and Ohio State, he has content coded all English language workplace ethnographies, producing a wonderfully rich set of quantitative analyses supplemented by ethnographic detail. His 2001 monograph, titled Dignity at Work, uses these data to develop a coherent account of workplace respect, revealing among other things the importance of mismanagement in the production of indignity and co-worker conflict.

Hodson earned his MA and PhD degrees at the University of Wisconsin, after doing his undergraduate work in sociology at the University of Wyoming. He held tenured appointments in sociology at Indiana University-Bloomington and University of Texas-Austin, before moving to Ohio State in 1996.


Roscigno also joined the faculty at Ohio State in 1996 where he has focused on social movements, the sociology of education, historical sociology, strati- fication, the labor movement, and the production of culture— typically crafting analyses that combine two or three of these approaches in a single sociological project. After publishing a series of articles on the spatial-political economy of race in the American South during graduate school, he moved on to a dissertation on race and educational inequality that has lead to many articles on the school, community, and family context of educational success and failure.

Roscigno’s most recent work in the field of academic achievement makes the strong and potentially disturbing distinction between the availability of family and school resources for the education of children and the family- and schoollevel decisions to actually invest those resources in children’s futures. His recent work with William Danaher (College of Charleston) is well known among social movement, labor, and culture scholars. Their 2004 monograph, The Voices of Southern Labor: Radio, Music, and Textile Strikes, 1929–1934, is an important work of history documenting one of the largest mass strikes in U.S. history. It is an equally important work in sociology, showing the mutual constitution of labor insurgency and cultural production facilitated by the emergence of radio. A recent review in Contemporary Sociologysuggests that this book is destined to become a social movement classic.

While it is difficult to predict the future, I am willing to venture that during his co-editorship, Roscigno will educate us in an entertaining way as Danaher and Roscigno have entertained many of us already by pausing mid-lecture, hoisting guitar and mandolin, and illustrating their point by singing the songs that mobilized textile workers in the rural Carolinas 70 years ago. Roscigno’s next project, with a series of talented doctoral students, analyses both qualitatively and quantitatively thousands of accounts of discrimination in employment and housing. After earning an undergraduate degree in sociology at the University of Arizona, Roscigno earned MS and PhD degrees at North Carolina State University.


Collectively, Roscigno and Hodson share a remarkable number of traits beyond departmental affiliation and parenthood. Both have extensive editorial experience, and they have labored over the last few years as co-authors. Together they have published a series of papers on dignity and resistance at work. Because ASR editing requires them to manage the equivalent of a business, including staff, a large editorial board, and a diverse set of customers who are simultaneously— through our professional association—their bosses, Roscigno’s and Hodson’s intellectual sensitivities to issues of respect and insurgency may be useful adjuncts to undertaking this exacting job. Both are praised by co-workers and co-authors as extraordinary choices for ASR. They are variously described as broad-minded, possessors of unbounded energy, sensible decision makers, committed to evidence-based knowledge, joys to work with, professionally organized and persistent, even dogged, and passionate about sociology, fairness, and justice. Many of the people with whom I talked about this editorial team stressed their methodological and theoretical openness and predicted that as editors they would be welcome to diverse intellectual contributions and be likely to innovate, perhaps even take some risks, in the types and format of articles published in ASR.

As an editorial team, Vinnie Roscigno and Randy Hodson share many traits, but they are also two quite different people. While both regularly play poker, like to fish, and both are reported to be married to a remarkable woman named “Susan,” I have both personal and indirect knowledge that these are in fact two different women; one is a great poker player, and the other a fine fisherman. With Susan Rogers, Randy has two children—Debbie (age 3) and Susie (age 1)—both born in China. Vinnie and Susan Roscigno also have two children. Allegra is 10, a budding scientist and a very clever artist. Sevenyear- old Sam is an active gymnast and a creative stand-up comic.

One of my informants praised Hodson’s cooking skills, suggesting that he will edit as well as he cooks and that as a result ASR could not have a better “chef.” Roscigno was singled out for his constructive help with other people’s research, a skill that we all hope to encounter in the editors to whom we entrust our work. Roscigno will probably be the first ASR editor to routinely wear a baseball cap to work. We all look forward to a productive and creative editorship and thank them for taking on this collective task on behalf of the discipline.

I would like to thank David Bills, Judith Blau, Claudia Buckmann, Camille Charles, Tim Dowd, William Form, Jerry Jacobs, Lisa Keister, Garth Massey, Rory McVeigh, David Snow, and George Wilson for contributing insights and stories used in this article.