From Jay MacLeod Ain’t No Makin’ It, third edition, p 504 (the last paragraph of the methodological appendix):
When I visited Chris in prison and he asked me about my faith, I suggested that spirituality can arrest our inertial drift into self-deception. My faith in a forgiving god allows me to face up to the truth about myself and to deal constructively with my sin. The United States is even more prone to self-deception than I am. We are in the grip of denial and resistance to the reality of our social sin, and sociology can help the world work through its ignorance of itself. Spirituality and sociology have parallel vocations. Spirituality reveals the truth about ourselves. Sociology reveals the truth about our society. Both spur us to struggle for justice, for in the end my redemption is linked to yours.
This resonates for me.
Bibliographic note: MacLeod wrote what became the first edition of Ain’t No Makin’ It as an undergraduate thesis; he went on to be a community organizer and then an Anglican priest. In case you don’t know the book, the first edition was based on observation and interviews with poor White and Black boys in 1983, the second edition caught up with how they were doing in 1991, and the third edition finds them in 2007. The popular hook in the first edition was that the “Hallway Hangers” whose lives centered on substance abuse and crime were mostly White, while the “Brothers” who avoided misbehavior and tried hard in school were mostly Black, so the discussion of the impact of class and structural constraints ran against some of the usual grains. The “where are they now” follow ups pull this book apart from most in the genre. It would be a good book to teach from. Probably the most useful policy implication is MacLeod’s argument that poor youths — and adults — should know the structural constraints they are up against if they are to avoid self-blame, despair, and self-destructive behavior.
Update: Here is the publisher’s page for the book. Most of the “hits” for this title in Google are to term paper vendors. Watch out.
I’ve just learned that I messed up. I was supposed to choose WHICH roundtable session to forward those incoming papers to . According to Kendra at ASA, I should have known this because last October I received an email that says “second priority organizers are responsible for forwarding unused acceptable papers to the appropriate roundtable organizer.” Apparently just clicking reject did not automatically forward the paper (unlike the first round process), and apparently submitters don’t get to choose their roundtable back up, their second choice session organizer is supposed to make this choice for them. Bad word bad word bad word. I sent a complaint pointing out that this system makes no sense, as it is the paper submitter who ought to choose which roundtable session to go to, and that important instructions should be posted on the organizer web site, not hidden in old email messages four months removed from when and where they would be needed. I also alerted Kendra at ASA to this problem so she can hopefully find the lost papers and put them in the right place. Warning to everyone whose paper got “rejected” rather than forwarded to a roundtable: this is probably what happened. It appears that Kendra at ASA is watching for orphan papers that need to be forwarded to roundtables, so I think she is the person to talk to if you got messed with in this way. If you are mad, please curse your session organizer for inability to decipher a cryptic and counter-intuitive system, not an indifference to your career.
Quick question. ASA’s session organizer site appears non-functional. First no response, then administrator’s login where it has never heard of me. Anybody know what is going on? ASA isn’t answering email; I did not try calling. (I’m almost done, just need to forward 1 paper to round tables if it gets released by its first choice. I can see why people don’t remember to do this.)
I like on-line paper submission a lot. But I’m worried that the rigid selection rules ASA has imposed along with the on-line system are dysfunctional, specifically that a paper can only be seen by the organizer to whom it has been submitted and that organizer of choice #2 only sees the paper if organizer of choice #1 rejects it. Back in the bad old days, we had to deal with boxes and boxes of paper — I got several hundred submissions one year — (more…)