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  1. The Uses of Ambiguity in Sociological Theorizing: Three Ethnographic Approaches

    Claims of causality and generalizability are the primary means through which sociologists triumph over ambiguity. Yet ambiguity also has significant uses in the process of theorizing.
  2. Review Essays: Little Shop of Horrors? A Digital Age Startup’s Experiment with Radical Transparency

    TechCo, the conversational firm at the center of Catherine Turco’s ethnography, is a fast-growing social media marketing company. Turco opens The Conversational Firm: Rethinking Bureaucracy in the Age of Social Media by introducing the founders of the firm, Eric and Anil, whose mission is “radical openness” in the service of succeeding in the digital economy (p. 15). Eric and Anil believe their organization must be nimble, responding directly and personally to their business customers through social media of all types.
  3. Conformers, Adaptors, Imitators, and Rejecters: How No-excuses Teachers’ Cultural Toolkits Shape Their Responses to Control

    In the past, sociologists have provided keen insights into the work of teaching, but classic studies by scholars like Dan Lortie and Willard Waller are now decades old. With the current emphasis on teacher evaluation and accountability, the field is ripe for new sociological studies of teaching. How do we understand the work of teaching in this new context of control? In this article, I use the case of an urban, ‘‘no-excuses’’ charter school to examine how teachers responded to the school’s intensive effort to socialize them into a uniform set of disciplinary practices.
  4. All That Is Solid: Bench-Building at the Frontiers of Two Experimental Sciences

    The belief that natural sciences are more scientific than the social sciences has been well documented in the perceptions of both lay and scientific populations. Influenced by the Kuhnian concept of "paradigm development" and empirical studies on the closure of scientific controversies, scholars from divergent traditions associate scientific development with increased consensus and stability. However, both the macro/quantitative and micro/qualitative approaches are limited in key ways.

  5. Saving Our Kids

    Reviewing Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis.

  6. My Debt to the Nepali People

    A researcher on ethnographic dharma after disaster in Nepal.

  7. Can New Media Save the Book?

    The New Books Network is using new media to stoke interest in books across a range of disciplines.

  8. Romancing the Data

    A review of Aziz Ansari and Erik Klinenberg’s Modern Romance.

  9. Attention for Sale

    Contexts, Volume 16, Issue 2, Page 60-61, Spring 2017.
  10. Glory and Gore

    Who’s the most important character in the Iliad? That depends. Using the poem, Rossman illustrates how to understand related but conceptually distinct concepts through social network analysis.