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Sociology From the Inside

"The basic contradiction in our discipline is between what students will buy from us and what our colleagues and deans will buy at tenure time. The number of faculty posts in sociology fluctuates with the popularity of undergraduate cosmopolitan indignation at ethnocentrism, for example, and the demand for intellectual foundations for their rejection of ethnocentrism. Graduate education has been about originality and rigor, that lead to promotion in a field whose market size is shaped by indignation at unfair inequality. Now there is no reason that the teaching of originality and rigor in graduate schools and in scholarly journals should balance the fluctuations of indignation among undergraduates. "What Graduate School (Supply) Is About: Universities and colleges they are inclined to over-invest in academic prestige, graduate education, and research. It won't pay the rent, but it is more fun, deeper, and probably more effective in the long run against evil. We are more likely to so over-invest in elite standards for sociology if we are not very good at undergraduate teaching. Then we hope we are at least original and rigorous, even if undergraduates don't care. - Arthur Stinchcombe, Speech for the Illinois Sociological Society Meetings, October 1999

“Sociology From the Inside”