My week in public sociology

We have to make choices. As part of trying to convey what it really means to do public sociology (whatever that is), here is the list of what I’ve things done in the past nine days (Written Saturday):

(1) Thursday. I forgot to go to the meeting I was supposed to be at for Unitown’s disproportionate minority confinement project. My bad. It is summer, I got my days mixed up, and was mowing the lawn when my spouse asked me why I was at home.

(2) Friday. Spent time pulling together tables & memos from previous reports relative to American Indians in my state’s criminal justice system for the American Indian activist who asked me to do this last May; I press hard on it because I know I’ll see her at tomorrow’s meeting, so this seems like a good time to do it. She’s older than me, a retired social worker, and does not use email. I also start, but do not finish, reworking the code written by a former grad student so I can access the information from the lastest DOC file I have to meet her request and also update my slides for presentations I’m giving in September and October. (8 hours) Continue reading “My week in public sociology”

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privilege, choices, constraints

This post is a response primarily to the young academics and other young professionals or graduate students who wrote that my story inspired them to think about their priorities or to have hope that they, too, could achieve success despite the stresses of the work-home conflict. Many wrote that it reminded them of their own priorities, and that was my main point. But some people seemed to be trying to “do it all” and viewing me as a model of success. I am fearful that you will think that I was some kind of superwoman. Because I was not superwoman and you will draw the wrong lesson if you think I was. My last post was written from the perspective of privilege and this one will be, too. This is not because I do not know I have privilege. To the contrary. I still remember the young woman in my Lamaze class who was going back to work full time four weeks after her child’s birth. Continue reading “privilege, choices, constraints”

choices, consequences, constraints

“While they are young, the children come first.” Last week, cleaning out old files, I found a stack of priority worksheets I’d written in 1989, in one of my bursts of self-improvement. (Ironically, my taste for self-improvement books and schemes is one of the things my children find embarrassing and annoying.) So I was already reflecting on choices and their consequences when Jeremy posted “someday” and Shamus posted “how do you say no?” With a little luck, Continue reading “choices, consequences, constraints”