Where did the "Miscellaneous" thread go? I don't look at the board for a day and it disappears. Did something happen to get it removed? Just curious.
Yeah, what's up with that? There was a good discussion going on.
it got pushed off the main page by this silly post (see, I'm venting). you can click on older posts to find it. not sure if there is an admin, but it would be great if they fixed this if there is an admin.
This whole thing would work a lot better as a forum than a blog.
Here's what makes me pout and what I need to vent about:- uncertainty about this whole process- SCs that have an "inside" preferred candidate- SCs that don't review ALL applications because there are too many (boo-hoo)- one of my references who is chronically delinquent about sending letters- SCs that spell my name wrong!- SCs that review applications differently that what was stated in the ad (searching only for "entry level" asst profs; searching for specialties other that those stated)Oh, yeah, and:- nasty candidates posting ignorant statements that are dismissive of vast proportions of colleagues in the field
I second you. I am finding this whole process very stressful because I really HAVE to land a job this year and I am getting nowhere fast. I just hate not knowing WHY I'm not being called by anyone. Maybe it is a supply and demand issue? Then again, I graduated from a top-5 department, have good publications, did a short but productive post-doc......I'm starting to conclude that there's something about me that is making SCs lunch for the trash can when they see my CV.But I also really hate the vile and rude nastiness that pops up around here sometimes. It makes me wonder - where does such venom come from? Are those people like that in person, or is it job frustration brimming over? And if you hate sociologists and the work they do, please go ahead and find another line of work so I can get a job doing what I love!
Anyone else totally depressed about the job situation and therefore unable to get any work done? Around 2/3rds of the schools I applied to have made short lists/scheduled interviews according to the wiki, and I have yet to make a single first cut! The only schools I have left are open positions or very highly ranked schools- most of the openings in my subfield have already rejected me, as have lower ranked schools that I actually thought I had a shot at. :( What's worse is that other people in my program seem to be getting all the interviews I want- and when I compare our CV's, there's not a huge difference (similar # of publications in similarly ranked journals, similar teaching experience). So why are they getting multiple interviews and I'm getting nothing?At this point I can hardly work on my dissertation, cause I feel like there's no way I'm going to get a job this year, so it's pointless to work my ass off to finish it in time to graduate this year (since I'll probably stay in grad school another year if I don't get a job).
I'm sorry to hear how distressing the search is for you. As a SC chair, I hope these few bits of advice/info will be helpful.1. If you're getting no bites from SCs: Ask your advisor to critique your CV. Better yet, have him/her call friends who are on the search committee at the schools you've applied to. Perhaps they can give some insights about why you weren't chosen for the short-list?2. Do NOT despair just yet. The top "draft picks" can only take one job each, even if they're hogging all the good interviews now. When they turn down schools, those schools will dig back into their list of very strong candidates. The next one they call could be you!3. Your first job (even if non-academic or a post-doc) exists to get you your second job. You don't need your first job to be a 'dream,' but rather a place where you can publish, get teaching experience, and figure out what kind of career you really want to have.4. PLEASE do not bitch and moan about having your name misspelled in rejection letters. If there's anyone who's more overworked and underpaid than a grad student, it's department staffers who handle the paper work for searches.Good luck!
Fuck this bullshit. i have done everything, EVERYTHING I am supposed to do to land a good job, and so far have not even made it to a short list. tens of thousands of student loans, 7 years of the grad student bullshit....ARRRRRRGGGGH. FUCK. And everyday there's more of the schools I applied to showing up on the wiki. I'm attached to my phone, and my email, waiting, waiting, waiting. FUCK. FUCK. FUCK.
I hear you, 7:46. I'm feeling the same. I am aggravated... My CV is nearly everything that I could have wanted it to be, and yet, nothing. Silence. I'm feeling like a failure, that's for damn sure.
I haven't given up all hope yet, but I've gotten ridiculously obsessive about checking my email and phones. I wish the rest of the schools would just get on with it. This process is sooo . . drawn out:(
Well my cv is not what I want it to be and my dissertation is awful, progressing, but awful. My findings will do little more than support current research. So for all of you that have great cv's and fantastic dissertations, congrats. The jobs will come, eventually. The market is just slow.
I was an ABD candidate last year and got only one short listing and one campus interview. Did not get the job. I had a long cv last year. So people who are ABD, please keep in mind that job market is more like a 2-year process than 1. Please do not stress yourself. Go out and stop checking the rumor mill because it produces more stress.
RE: 4:27pmThat's the best advice I've seen. We all need to get off of this list. What was, I believe, a very good idea in theory, has gone way wrong. You guys are totally freaking me out. Peace out and good luck.
I hate it when various volunteers from MoveOn call me to ask me to volunteer because their numbers come up as places out of this area and I think maybe some school is calling me for an interview...but no. It is just freaking MoveOn again!!!
Everywhere I want to move does not allow the kind of "dangerous dog" I have! I am not giving up my children! That's all. Good luck everyone! :)
I went on the job market last year and had one interview and no offers. This year my CV is a little stronger and I got one interview so far. I the guess the fact that I have **an** interview doesn't give me any right to complain (even though that doesn't equal an offer), but I will say that this process has been much different than I thought it was going to be when I started grad school, and I feel I've learned a lot from it. I knew it was going to be tough, but now that I'm seeing that getting a research university job may require a postdoc, one or two "starter" jobs at less than desirable locations, and all of the low wages and geographic mobility that goes along with it, I'm beginning to wonder why I've always viewed this lifestyle as so glorious and the "gold standard" and whether it's for me. Somehow, I got an unrealistic portrait in my head of what this is life. Maybe it's due to my own ignorant bliss or overly hopeful pep talks from those who advise me. Non-academic jobs are seeming much more appealing, as are jobs at more teaching-oriented colleges. Unfortunately, many of the deadlines for the latter have already passed, and I was a little more selective with my intiial list of schools. If I am lucky enough to get a tt job, I'm not sure I can advise any undergrad to go to grad school in soc without a realistic assessment of the difficulties of the job market.
I think there has been a shift in the job market in the past 5-6 years. Up till that time, I saw people from my top 5 department get jobs in top 30 departments, sometimes without a publication in a major journal (and a few without a publication from their dissertation). That rarely happens now, but I don't think advisors have adjusted to the new context. I'm in a good postdoc and have an article in a top journal and several articles in other journals, and still no interviews. I know there's probably an element of not finding the right fit or just being unlucky, but I can't help feeling like I missed the boat. It's frustrating when you look at the CVs of faculty in various departments and see how many seem to have been hired on the basis of one publication. I'm just hoping that search committees next fall will consider how bad the market was this year and give those of us who didn't find jobs the benefit of the doubt.
9:15: hear, hear. I've been trying to explain this shift to my advisor, and he doesn't seem to get it (and still pushed me to apply for those jobs, completely unsuccessfully at this point).
Studs Terkel is dead, one of the major reasons why I went into sociology. I honestly don't see anyone currently in the field with even half the integrity, intellectually, politically or otherwise. Everyone, even folks like Mike Burawoy and Pat Collins, are just pathetic careerists. Whatever happened to passion, whatever happened to pursuit of the truth? Sociology has become nothing but the pursuit of intellectual whores. Whooooo, I'm so glad I got THAT off my chest!
to "October 31, 2008 5:21 PM", i know both buravoy and collins and they are not careerists. you would be hard pressed to find more two scholars who are more supportive and committed to student achievement and excellence. talk about what you know and your own experience and strive for your own excellence, but don't break down our leaders with your own personal troubles.
7:36, everyone is very impressed. This is the "need to vent" board, and I vented. Your reprimand is condescending and presumptive. I know one of the folks I mentioned as well, and I stand by my vent.
I certainly recommend steering clear of this blog. The job market is stressful enough without it. I already have a job and this blog never fails to depress the hell out of me.
8:18 p.m.: There is a big difference between wanting or "needing" to vent and making near-slanderous remarks about actual individuals, and disclosing their names. While I empathize with your need to vent--trust me, I know that the job market sucks--your comments throughout this thread, and in others, reveal more than just a need to vent. If I were on a search committee, you are precisely the type of person I would want to weed out immediately. I'm pretty sure that most, if not all, sociology departments have no desire to hire extremely angry, vicious people.
8:31, who appointed you the moral majority for this board? Seriously, this is the need to vent board. If you don't like it, don't read it. Further, you made a number of questionable assertion and assumptions. Slander? Hardly. Opinion, yes. Angry, vicious? You don't even know me. And for the record, I have a job at a top 25, pubs, the whole nine yards. And I've been on enough search committees to know how people actually get weeded out. I'll let you have the last word because you seem like a person who feels the need to.
Would both of you please stop waving your virtual cocks around?Thank you.
we are free to vent as we choose! get your hand out of my pocket!
I love a good online fight. :)
Sociology is full of careerist ASSHOLES! Look at these fuckers and their studies of inequality. With the right mind, you can easily and successfully call BULLSHIT! on a lot of the so-called big names (names big among a fraction of the 8,000 other sociologists in the nation)
Oh yeah: Yale is FULLL OF ASSHOLES!Unemploy me and I'll fuck you up, you Mr./Ms. "Search Committee Chair." You don't like it? Here's my apology and one more thing: FUCK YOU!
I've only submitted 8 applications so far. Well, 7 of those applications had deadlines of Oct 1 or mid October. I've been bugging three (of four) reference letter writers to submit their letters SINCE August, the time when I submitted my applications. I emailed them with reminder at least 3 times since August. Two of the institutions emailed me to tell me that their letters were missing. This was shortly after their deadlines. I reminded them again. Well, at the very end of October, the three fuckos finally got around to writing the letters--if they did even write them and sent them in. This is one month AFTER the fucking deadlines. Well, one of the institutions that notified me of my missing letters now has in-person interviews. I have the most fucking unreliable letter writers. What sucks is they keep promising me that they will send their letters. Two of them claim they are "busy." Fuck that. They are at a fourth-rate institution and do not do research at all. I don't think they even have a single publication under their name! One of them, though, is my diss co-chair. He claims that I will not be penalized for one missing letter. I seriously doubt that. In addition to the repeated reminders, I've also emphasized to these three delinquents how horrible the job market is this year. They obviously seem unphased by it. One of them claims that he doesn't think I will be penalized for one missing letter. That's easy for him to say; he has a job. What the fuck is up with these reference writers? If any of my reference writers are reading this, you really should know that writing letters is part of your job. Your failure to help me really sucks, but I realize you don't give a shit. Also, don't make promises you cannot keep. And please don't even bother with the "I've been so busy" routine. Busy with what? Griping about how busy you are at a fourth-rate institution where there are zero expectations for research and where you make zero attempts to publish? Puhleese.
It does seem unfair that some candidates have advisors who will call search committees individually, while some others of us can't even get a recommendation letter on time:(
...More importantly, I'd say, is that it sucks SCs can't/won't identify how an inequality in phone calling and emailing does not reflect the character and quality of the applicant. I've seen real stinkers be trotted out by famous faculty for a few years now, and it's just too damn depressing for me to think about.
This is 7:28 again. I cannot f***ing believe this. My diss advisor has still not mailed the letters--and most of the deadlines have passed--some a month ago!
I totally can not handle this waiting . . . I am getting NOTHING done! :(Anyone else out there telling themself they need to stop obsessing (& then feel unable to take your own advice!)Uhhg!
I'm annoyed with the schools that specified a "list of references" in their postings. Some of these schools emailed me after they received my application saying my application was not yet complete because the references weren't there! Don't these folks even know what was in their ad? It makes me look flaky, even though I was just following the directions.
I wish all these schools that use the exact same web-based application system would somehow just use a single database so I could apply for jobs without having to go through the screens asking whether I am white or back over and over and over...
Does anyone else look at their online CV throughout the day, as if hoping it's going to sprout a new line while you aren't watching?I think I'm going crazy.
Ohhh...I like that possibility! Maybe my CV is like a gremlin and it will transform in to something big and intimidating if I feed it after midnight. Right now it is just small and cute. As in, "Isn't it cute that she thinks we'd consider giving her a job?"
The comments above are very funny:)I have to stop checking this website and get my stuff done!!!!!
The waiting is killing me! I think I'm going to start directly calling the schools I'm interested in and insisting they make a decision right now. Think it will work? ;)
I just have to vent. Like most everyone else here, I am not hearing anything. I have almost no pubs, NO PEER-REVIEWED PUBS, you heard that, right? And yet I was told by my advisor to apply, APPLY, APPLY, everywhere, R1s, everywhere, and see what happens!!! And by another advisor, "you have nothing to lose by applying everywhere!! Because, after all, the job market might be even worse next year!!" And oh, I should add that these people are not calling SCs for me or anything like that. No one seems to know anyone or else they're all just whispering behind my back and not telling me and making me suffer, which wouldn't surprise me either. Do these people have no clue whatsoever?? Applying to 45 or so jobs has cost me approx. $500 and the hours to do all of this while I am teaching and supposedly writing a dissertation and oh yeah, making appearances everywhere so I am being a good colleague, and reviewing for journals and trying to finish this R&R so that maybe I will have something for my cv or else I don't have a prayer of getting a job, and mentoring students, and sometimes I actually have to sleep a few hours and eat. Why oh why did I not go to medical school? This is super grueling. Everyone try to hang in there. Sigh. Oh yeah, one more thing ... if one more person tells me not to worry, that I need to not think about this and WRITE, or that "it will work out, there is a school out there for you, you just have to trust" ... I'M GOING TO SCREAM. Sigh. OK, I feel better. Thanks. Weak smile.
The same thing happened to me last year. I had zero pubs and my advisor INSISTED that I apply widely. "People without publications gets good jobs. They just want potential."Sorry, that is total bullshit. I wasted a lot of time and effort. I never heard a single thing from anyplace. Nothing. I learned the hard way that if you do not have publications, YOU WILL NOT GET A JOB! Period. I know it sucks. Sorry, but that's the reality. And our advisers need to know that and tell their students so we don't waste time and resources trying for jobs we'll never get.
I echo 5:45. But I think it's important to consider that many of us are trying to compete in one of several academic job markets. I've noticed over the past few months that the jobs on the wiki and those mentioned in the discussions are tilted towards schools that most people are familiar with--not necessarily top programs (although they're in there), but still places you've heard of. A search of websites other than the ASA Job Bank--the Chronicle, HigherEdJobs, etc.--will turn up many jobs not listed on the wiki, including tenure-track ones. Many of these jobs are at institutions that are not very prestigious, have extremely heavy teaching loads (4-4+), or are in departments other than sociology. In my own job search, I was somewhat selective based on the advice given to me not to "waste my time" with these sorts of places. My hunch is that most of us are trying to get jobs in departments similar to our Ph.D. departments. I could never get a job in my department, and the reality of this is not known to faculty for some reason. I'm not saying everyone should consider moving into the "lower-tier" job market (I'm not even sure that I would), but I think it fuels the argument that there's only one type of job that is worthy of attaining according to some, and there is little realism among faculty about the chances of getting these types of jobs or of the types of jobs that comprise the academic job market.
I'm so bummed and sad and miserable and downright stuck. My position ends in May and who knows where I'll be?? The world seems better, lighter, & freer since Obama's victory, but my place in it right now seems oh so effin tenuous. Intellectually I realize that this is an off year -- it's especially slow and all, but PLEASE SOMEBODY CALL ME FOR AN INTERVIEW SO I CAN KNOCK YOUR SOCKS OFF!!
Uhmmm...anybody get the feeling that you didn't need publications as much on the job market 10, 20 or 30 years ago, and that our advisors are remembering the job market back THEN when they are giving us advice and guidance all these years? My advisor has been giving me the encouragement that I am just as good as anybody out there, and has never pushed me to publish in my 5 years working with him. And he is a pretty big deal, actually, in Sociology in general and especially in his substantive area. So I have taken his guidance all this time. I keep thinking that he is guiding me in some transcendently wise manner, and that if I keep focusing on doing quality work instead of focusing on the dog and pony show then the cosmos will align for me...but I wonder if maybe he is just out of touch?
Yeah I think your adviser might be leading you astray. I can tell you that my advisers have been pushing publications since the day I got in grad school, and when I served on a SC, that was one of the key variables (how many pubs? where? solo authored?). That, and external grant money or a book deal, I'd say were 3 key components at my R1. Not saying it's right, just giving my impression of how the job market works, at least at an R1.
My adviser got a job at a good school with no publications...15 years ago. Your adviser is probably not malicious, but s/he is misinformed.
I hate the soc rumor mill! I wish it would just disappear.
The job market seems to be extremely quirky this year. I know of some people with pretty thin CVs and narrow interests who have gotten multiple interviews and offers. At the same time, I hear that some generalists with interests in social inequality and pubs seem to be left in the dust.
8:04: that's probably a matter of fit, as those people with narrow focuses may have just the narrow focus a particular school is looking for (and are applying to schools looking for people in that area), while generalists would probably be applying to more open positions (I assume) where the competition is much higher. And there's so many other factors that you can't even control. I've had one interview, and they mentioned really specific things about my application that made it stand out to them; like that as an undergrad I went to a school with a similar student body, and that I grew up close to where the school is located (Which I mentioned in my cover letter, and which was mentioned by several people at my interview). Everyone I talked to had something different to say about me, like one prof wanted to talk about something I had done research on years ago as an RA (and had not been an author on) that was like one line buried on the last page of my CV under "research assistantships." Point is, at this point it's totally a crap shoot, so trying to analyze why one person got an interview over another is a useless (and frustrating) exercise. The one thing that definitely makes a difference is publications, so all you can do at this point is send out as much stuff as possible to realistic journals, and hope that if you have to go on the job market again next year, some will be at the r and r or even published stage.
I am so worried about not getting a job next year that I actually just looked into selling my eggs (only briefly, and not seriously, but still)...I figured with a PhD, they'd pay me more, right?
I hear you 9:27 a.m. With the economy the way it is, and with my job prospects slim to none, I wonder how long it is until I have to prostitute myself.
i can't fucking believe this, 30 schools a good CV and nothing!!!!since i don't have a job, i now have a grudge, perhaps i can find a position where i can aid in the attack of how unscientific and full of shit sociologists are, yank more NSF funding, ha ha ha
I just found out that a fellow job-market candidate-grad student in my department scored a job talk at the school I really really wanted. I feel bad for feeling jealous, because I really like this person and think s/he would be great, and I know with the crap-shoot that this market is that I shouldn't take it as a personal slight against me or my work. But still.
Re:9:34 I get that;)
merry fucking xmas you assholes! (not the candidates with bad luck, but the assholes who are getting interviews/jobs/ offers and the bastard search committees who make my life miserable and cause us to be unemployed), happy chaunakuh, merry fucking xmas!
Using biographical errors to explain the outcome of systemic processes will take us only so far. (Thanks, Ulrich.)By and large, we've done what we can/should. Don't you suppose?
Every day, just a little more hope fades away. Three of the schools that I applied to now have interviews scheduled.
Life sucks. I hate finding out that a school of my choice has moved on without me (almost as much as I hate the waiting).
When I am feeling depressed about being rejected, I like to go to that department's webpage and look up one of their multiple 1970's-PhD Associate Professors whose most recent pub is a book review from 1994. I then like to imagine them sitting in a search committee meeting and smugly proclaiming through their gray beards, "Oh my word, this candidate clearly is not up to our standards. Reject!". That cures my depression by replacing it with white-hot rage. Works every time.
1. I am 100% happy for the people who are getting interviews and jobs. Nice work or dumb luck, either way I say good on you.2. Honey, 17 places I applied have scheduled their interviews! And I only have about 8 places left. Given which schools DIDN'T want me (ie: NOT top places!), I stand a snowball's chance in hell of being employed next year. So if anyway wants to take pleasure in someone elses suffering, feel free.3. It WILL all work out in the end. It might totally suck ass, but there will be an ending to this process. I can hope that ending does not involve the phrase "Welcome to Waffle House! Smoking or Non-smoking?". But there will be an end.
Re: 5:41 PM"But there will be an end" . . . at least until next year when the whole process starts again ;) It's too bad totally stressing out about it doesn't get one a job--I'm sure a lot of us would be employed by now!
if i get a job at the local wal-mart, i will have a much higher level of education than the store manager and probably most of the top-level personnel that works for those evil bastards
Let's be honest, you're getting your PhD. Sam Fucking Walton didn't have your education. I googled him- he had a BA from the University of Missouri in economics...
So, I've applied to some departments other than sociology departments. Lately, I've been seeing a lot of jobs in that field for temporary, non-tenure track assistant professor positions. I find it absurd that some of these positions (some of which ask for three-year contracts!) say things in the job requirements like "distinguished scholar" or "strong record of publication." FUCK THAT SHIT!!! There's not even a possibility of tenure and I've got to commit myself to them for three fucking years AND have an outstanding publication record to be selected. I'd rather sell my soul to some corporate job and make real money!
I recently returned from an interview at a SLAC; almost everyone asked me "illegal" questions. Top among these were questions about my ethnicity and whether or not I was married. For those readers who are members of search committees, please, please, please remind faculty and students which questions are appropriate and which ones are not.
what are the subtle ways in which jobs are "race"-anchored?when someone draws up an ad for "sexuality and gender" does it mean they have a white woman in mind? when the ad says "stratification" and "quantitative methods" does it men they have a white guy in mind, when an ad says "asian american studies", they are looking for an asian person, when the ad says "race and ethnicity" are they looking for an african american?sociological theory...how many people of color simply get hired for their main area of interest unless it has SOMETHING to do with their race/ethnicity?while in know this is not ALWAYS true, i think it generally holds that ads are subtly written to attract people who look a specific waythey also exploit people of color by giving them joint appointments and over-extending them so they must mentor every student of color, perform more dept. service, etc.they would never hire a person of color as a pure sociological theorist or demographer unless they can get some "added value" out of it
we can guess the racist fascination/self-interest/obsession with ethnicity...what are the reasons for asking if we are married?is an unmarried person more attractive than a married one?
If it is an isolated area, it is more attractive to have a married candidate (because otherwise the person is miserable and might leave). Marital status questions can also lead into talking about one's sexual orientation and if one has children. Also, schools want to know if you will need a partner hire.
Asking candidates about their marital (or parental) status is just wrong. You can mention it, but they cannot ask. They can drop hints to let you know that they're curious, but THEY CANNOT ASK. If you are asked illegal questions during an interview and are not offered the position, you may have the right to sue based on unfair discrimination. (Consult a lawyer.)In line with 5:15pm, some of these old, non-publishing farts actually write their marital and parental status on their CVs!!
Someone posted earlier in another thread that people are allowed to ask, but they cannot use the information as a basis for discrimination. I don't know if that's true or not. But in any case, it is good to have a polite response to avoid the question if you decline to answer, assuming you want the job.
I was asked my nationality at dinner by a faculty member's wife (not on the faculty), but it was kinda a natural part of the conversation since we were talking about the country she came from. I also outed myself as being married at some point, and a search committee member asked during dinner what my husband does (and I answered with ms mentor's advise, and also the truth: Freelancing) :) In retrospect that nationality question was kinda weird, but it felt like a normal part of the conversation at the time. Oh also they directly asked me who I voted for (and I'm glad I voted for Obama, since they followed that up with "good, we could never hire someone who voted for mccain"). I could probably sue them if I had no sense of humor. :)
4:20, what a bunch of jackasses. I wouldn't want to work with them no matter how hard up I got.
4:39- (4:20 here)- I don't think they were jackasses...it was the kinda questions I probably would have been asked by anyone I was just getting to know a little better. The Obama thing was probably because my interview was the day after the election, and that's all anyone was talking about.
Once more for the record. There is nothing illegal about asking you questions re:family, race, parental status, etc. It is only illegal if they discriminate in the hiring process against you on the basis of those characteristics. The primary justification for avoiding the question or refusing to answer is the assumption that they cannot discriminate on the basis of information they do not have. Stop pretending it is legally actionably for people to ask you questions.
7:10, I don't think anybody has suggested that it is illegal to ask those questions; they are illegal only if they are used in the hiring decision. But employers, at least in the real world, are constantly reminded by their HR departments to shy away from such questions.But asking who you voted for is just plain tacky.
Keep in mind that there is a high correlation between having a PhD in Sociology and being somewhat socially awkward and oblivious (funny, ain't it?!). Most of the awkward, inane, uncomfortable, rude, and just plain stupid questions you get have a lot more to do with people who just don't "get it" when it comes to appropriate conversation than any kind of discriminatory agenda. I agree that if someone says something like "We only want to hire married white people here", you have cause for alarm and a legitimate case of discrimination. But I'd like to think such incidents are rare if they happen at all in our field, and that most awkward questions happen because there are awkward people doing the asking.
Ok asking who I voted for may be tacky (this is 4:20 again), but I actually appreciated that they said that everyone voted for Obama- these are things that are really important to me in a workplace.I don't want to work at a place where people are always questioning the fundamental value of my research, since a large chunk of my research is basically aimed at disputing myths held by conservative people. (I don't want to give myself away, but I do research on topics like poverty and race and gender, a lot of which is aimed at examining stereotypes and how true or not true they are). I know it's probably a bad idea to surround myself exclusively with people who think just like me, but on the other hand I think things like political views will count when it comes to getting tenure, and I'd rather not work at a place where I start off at a disadvantage because of the politicized nature of my research. I know it's probably illegal for them to not give me tenure because I'm too liberal too, but in real life, these things matter.
what a fucking waste of 10 years of college! FUCK SOCIOLOGY!
We all need to reflect on why we liked sociology in the beginning! Certainly no one goes into this field thinking about it from the standpoint of the great job they will some day land...This is not to say that we don't want decent jobs...but that it is easy to lose sight of our initial attraction to this field. If jobs were are primary concern, we would certainly have majored in something much more strategic -- business, social work, medicine...but, somehow, each of us got drawn into this wonderful field (and yes, at times, contradictory) field...and here we are...together, looking for life beyond grad school. I wish everyone the best of luck in this job search confusion and I would love to hear more stories about what made you like sociology...in the beginning...!
i liked sociology in th beginning because it was cute. it also had a good beat, and you could dance to it.
I'm a bit surprised that these posts view the search process as so adversarial. The reason we (SCs) ask marital status is to figure out: (a) does your spouse need a job; (b) what we can do to help him/her get a job near our Univ. That may involve reaching out to friends at local employers, etc. I understand that these are stressful times, but everyone will be much happier (and will have more productive job visits) if they lose the paranoia. Talking about family background, our kids & spouses, hobbies, etc. is something that NORMAL people do during the course of a dinner conversation. Believe it or not, some sociologists actually can and do hold such chats. No need to read conspiracy into it.
2:31 - I agree, and thanks!
Thanks for that, 2:31. I hope there are more SC people like you out there when/if I get some interviews. I like normal conversations where I don't feel like I have to read into everything, and my wife would be relieved if I work with people in sociology who are fun for her to talk to.
2:31, thanks for your perspective, but the reality is that there are a lot of people out there who would use that information against you in the hiring process. It's not paranoia, it's cautiousness. Personally, I always tell people upfront I am married and have two children. If that is a negative, then I don't want the job. And I know that was a big factor in not getting a job last year. How do I know this? I had a friend on the SC. There was a concern that someone with a family would not be sufficiently invested in what they expected of new faculty.
3:31 here, sorry about the double post.
search committees are full of dirty bastards who will do what they must to eliminate you from getting a job...sociologists are just as sleazy as the rest of academia, despite what they delude themselves into thinkingwhat they don't know is that they have opened themselves up to lawsuits and when such suits go through, deans and presidents get pretty pissed off and that's the only way they will change their behavior is when someone sues
the goal of a search committee is to find a good candidate and offer them a job. sorry to disappoint, but that's it.but some of these postings do make me wonder...i really hope none of the people writing these paranoid crazytown things end up in my department! its all very "beautiful mind" delusional. yikes!!
Regarding personal questions on interviews, I think a lot of SCs at non-top 10 schools fret about whether their top candidates will accept the job (and secondarily, whether they will stick around). A big part of that is the likelihood of getting other offers (and some faculty would flat out ask where candidates are interviewing), but the second big issue is family.My school is hiring this year, and the way it would typically go is this: [at lunch] CANDIDATE: Oh, my husband loves to mountain bike. SEARCH COMMITTEE MEMBER: Oh really, what does your husband do? If the spouse is an academic, a lawyer, a higher-up in some company, it's not good. Those people can be hard to move. But if the spouse is movable, it's reassuring. Almost as good as being single. Simply put: if you are lucky enough to get an interview this year, anticipate the perceived obstacles to your accepting an offer and explain why they're not issues. Make your spouse seem movable. If asked, admit to having other interviews, but don't overdo it.
The spousal thing is nightmare. Last year, on a campus interview, a faculty member found out somehow that I was married to another sociologist and conforted me before my job talk. I was grilled about why I didn't mention before applying, and was even asked about the length of my marriage and if I had children. It's been added stress when applying for positions this year. I've been constantly advised not to talk about my 'family situation' in my application letter, but I have a campus visit coming up next month and the stress is awful. E.g., since I've been married a long time, I find it hard to talk about myself without talking my family. I had another campus interview last year filled with awkward moments and odd conversations.
3:31 here again, I've been married a long time as well and have two kids. I'm always open about my family situation and, as I mentioned, it has cost me a job (maybe more, for all I know). Luckily, I have also been in a soft money, non-TT position for the past few years, so I have had the luxury of being able to call my own shots to a certain extent. But this kind of stuff just drives me crazy. We're in a discipline that *supposedly* studies all of this stuff and understands inequality, but SCs continue to perpetuate inequalities. And although 4:56 seems to think that all SCs just want to "hire the best person", the definition of best person is highly subjective. My advice is always to be yourself. If you can't be yourself in the interview, can you really put up a front in working with those same people for however many years? Good lord, you'll give yourself an ulcer!
4:56 here - i should clarify that i meant SCs want to hire the person they believe will be best, but i don't deny that their idea of the "best person" may involve things other than your teaching & research record. i only meant that they were not a bunch of evil people looking to disqualify candidates.if a department expects 50+ hour work weeks, then candidates with family obligations need to make sure they let the SC know that they are willing to put in those hours, just like anyone else would. they probably don't want to disqualify someone based on family status, but they want to make sure they get someone who will fulfill expectations. they'll hire you, kid and spouse and all, if you're willing to work your ass off as much as the single person without kids.having said that, i can also say that i have far more "family obligations" than most candidates since i am a single parent with five children including three who have physical disabilities. so on the one hand, it does make me angry that any SC who knows this probably writes me off without thinking twice. on the other hand, i don't want to work anywhere that would not allow me to put my family first.it is a conflict all the way around. the biggest question is whether a 50+ hour work week is good for anyone! some sociologist should study that...oh wait, i think we already do (but apparently not as it applies to our own lives?).
sociologists get pretty stupid, they love to critique everyone else, but have no idea that the same workplace/discrimination issues pervade the hiring, employment, and labor process of sociologya lot of the SCs are full of racist, sexist, classist bastards who generate an income from writing about 'inequality'You can go to the ASAs and other conferences and find (bigwig X) who publishes on the horrors of inequality and watch low-wage hotel employees waiting on them while they act like the elitist jerks from the corporate class occupying the same hotel.
As an SC member, I'm surprised at the rancor expressed in some posts above. Yes, it's frustrating to have to apply for a job and then not get as much interest as you had expected. But let's throw several issues into the blaze of your anger:1. Who choose sociology as your intended field? Did you really believe that our discipline would be one of the "Top Ten Hot New Careers for 2009" likes those listed in the news and money magazines? I thought most undergraduates, even high schoolers, know that some majors lead to high salary and ample job chances, and other majors are chosen for idealism or for being less demanding.2. Were you aware of the simple math involved in comparing the number of students accepted into your doctoral program, the number of PHDs produced each year, and the number of "good enough for you" positions announced in the Employment Bulletin every year?3. When selecting a specialization, did you think about which fields are in higher demands than others? When choosing a dissertation topic, did you pick a cute or obscure topic that would be easy to do, or a mainstream topic, perhaps of policy importance, that would interest serious search committees?4. When arranging your dissertation committee, did you decide to work with the most active, even if demanding and critical, faculty who place their students through national networks? Or did you work with the new professor who has no reputation or contacts yet, or the tenured failure whose recommendation for you is almost more of a stigmata?5. When expressing contempt for SC members whom you may deem to be less productive than you are or will be, or feel envy toward your more successful peers, do you think that those attitudes just might leak out and betray your self-presentation when communicating and visiting with other people? Remember that search committees are looking for backstage or "given off" cues about what kind of personality would be part of their lives for decades.6. Finally, on the question of race/gender identity and searches. At some schools there is pressure on the committee to hire from a group/category that is under-represented and/or who would somehow have more personal knowledge of a race/gender topic. Oddly, though, searches to teach marriage and family courses do not usually exclude divorced or single people. Questions about an applicant's family status are ill-advised for legal reasons should a rejected applicant dispute the bases of an appointment. However committees do consider, if covertly, whether family ties might keep a new faculty member happy in the local region or else might draw her/him back to join relatives or a partner elsewhere. If you're out-of-state or international in origin, the SC will also wonder if you just might leave because you found you didn't like the lifestyle or climate of your new locale. For reasons like these, the SC will try to learn about your non-academic characteristics. I hope, though, that the poster who wants to work only with politically like-minded colleagues is not really that biased against the diversity of collegial and student attitudes.
You seem a bit defensive, Mr. SC member. But at least you set all of us children straight (please note: heavy sarcasm).
along these lines...a friend of mine is currently on a SC at a pretty good school. he told me that the SC members generally have a lot of respect and admiration for everyone who applies. everyone! if they had 200 jobs to fill, then we'd all get jobs. they are faced with having to pick one person out of 200+ very qualified, very desirable candidates. so i think it is worth pointing out that the vast majority of people on SCs are NOT looking down on applicants who didn't pick a "hot topic" for their dissertation or who have a letter of recommendation from a "tenured loser". just like the vast majority of candidates on the market are NOT filled with hate and venom towards their chosen field.
hey, if you don't like the venom, don't piss and moan about how hard it is to be on a search committee, YOU WILL BE EMPLOYED NEXT YEAR AND I WON'T (i just wasted 10 years of my life in this bullshit) so FUCK YOU!
Cool it, alright? I am angry at the discipline and annoyed at myself that I don't have a job lined up for next year (and I have a few good single authored articles and a book contract), but ratcheting up the tone here brings us all down a few notches. That said, I'm not sure why SCs want to comment/read/engage with anyone on a post that is clearly for venting off those frustrations... It is almost like baiting. So, SCs: Go to the Misc Discussion post and pay no mind to the venting.
Re: 6:19I agree with everything you said.Some people here appear to be a little out of control, which probably doesn't accurately represent most of us--however, the "I Need to Vent" post is not a good place for SC members to be responding (although I'd love them to go update the status link!!)
this is economic stress at its finest, sucks to be a loser in this marketsociologist internalize the 'thomas theorem' and waste time reassuring people with empty reassurancesit does not matter how you define the situation, no health insurance, a PhD, and "you are over-qualified" or "you have no experience" are what many of us are facing when seeking non-academic employmenttime to get on those anti-depressants and sell your library on half.com
this job market has put a lot of us "out of control", but this is for venting so there
i love it...i actually DID start listing my books of half.com last week!what i hate is when my partner starts trying to make back-up plans and figure out if we can live on his salary alone next year. i did NOT spend all this time in school studying gender inequality to wind up being supported by my partner because i can't find a freaking job!!!!!
I'm not even upset anymore. Mostly perplexed.
i think i am mostly curious...why is no one calling me? i actually did most of the stuff they tell you to do: published, got a grant and some awards, worked with established faculty, etc. i'm not sure now if i picked the wrong sub-field, wrote a bad cover letter, what???i just wish i knew. i'm resigned to not getting a job, but i don't know what i did wrong.
Does anyone need to defecate? I ask because I think my career in sociology has gone down the toilet...just as I suspect some of your careers have as well.
7:31: i hear that, i did too, i published sole-authored in decent peer-reviewed journals, been quoted in international media, been cited in an article in Science! and everyone in my dept. said i was good enough to get a job at a good school...but i haven't even heard from anyone...what they hell did i do to myself?was it a bad cover letter?did my teaching philosophy not fit?did they think i was boring?what the hell happened on paper? i can give a good job talk, most people are intrigued by my dissertation, i can do statistics with the best of them, i can also do theory, shit what happened? where did i go wrong? it sucks, but i took some sudafed today and i feel a whole lot better, shit might even try to get my brother-in-law (a pfizer employee) to hand over some samples of the good stuff b/c i don't want to be depressed anymore and my wannabe dept. put all this pressure on me to get a "good" job and i feel this crushing weight on my back
in a thick italian accent, i will soon be hearing, "Why can't you take care of your family?"
Anyone who says that we should have known how difficult the job market is for Sociology PhDs doesn't belong on the venting thread!! Ditto what everyone says about all this studying inequality and then no awareness or recognition of actual inequality. I never ever felt class until I came to grad school and was surrounded by people who make their living writing about inequality who could care less that I am a first generation college student and have $100,000.00 plus in loans because of this academic journey. And no, I had no clue about the job market until seeing who gets hired and mostly who does not and trying to find any apparent rhyme or reason. When I was told that I really should stick it out here and endure all of this crap because, "get a degree from here and you will have your pick of SLACS since everyone from here wants an R1 and everyone wants a ________ grad!"; yes, I believed it! Now that I know more how academia works, I wonder if I'm cut out for this after all. Problem is, I love to teach (and do research). Sigh. And now there is the matter of these school loans and the fact that I'm overqualified for lots of jobs. I just try to stay off anti-depressants at this point and trust in something beyond all of this or else I would go completely insane.
yeah 12:23, they make it hard to get out of the working class and they all love to scribble about "inequality"...let's see them stick it out on food stamps, that oh so tasty gov't cheese (pure fat), and not turning on the heat so their little bottoms have to freeze...they don't give a damn about anyone but themselves and their status and material possessions(woops someone found them out)instead they sit in nice heated offices at places like Cornell, Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Wisconsin, Indiana, Berkeley etc. and scribble about the suffering of others while they login to check to their 401k's, listen to NPR in their Volvo's and talk about how radical they are because they voted for Obamafunny thing is these people could barely survive in the real world without their legacy appointments, mommy and daddy's money, wasteful cultural capital, and all the other bullshit they don't want to admit to having been advantaged byproblem is us working class academics ...we might be rougher around the edges but some of us are much smarter and we work much harder (how do they think we got here?)they are always doing stuff to keep working class and/or people of color, women, gay people, you name it, out of their professorships, they don't like us, they think we're trash, they think we eat like pigs, they think we're weird, they despise having to be at the same level cause they know deep down inside we had to work 10 times as hard to get here, let's not let them steal this from us, fuck them and their cultural capital and all their other corrupted ways, these people need to be called out for the hypocrites they are(they are not all that bad, but you see the type of rage that "blocked opportunities" can provoke)
LOL! Don't you just cringe when certain people get awards at the ASA when you know the inside dirt on them
"Brother can you spare a dime?" (sociologist scurries away)
It seems to me from talking with friends at hiring-schools across the country (I'm an ABD on the job market and as unsuccessful as many of you), that one of the main reasons we're not getting jobs that we might have gotten just 5 years ago is that the bar has been raised ACROSS THE BOARD. With each school getting more applications than ever before, SCs are looking for more publications, more external grants, more more MORE. And, thus, for ABDs competing with postdocs and people who are already asst profs at other schools looking to move (for prestige, geography, whatever), what was *good* is often not good enough now. This is not always the case - I'm sure each of us could point to exceptions - but overall, this seems to be (unfortunately) the trend.
My fear is sinking into obscurity while I work at Wal-Mart for a year. no more journals, no library access, no colleagues to talk to, no money for conferences, publishing?
I think that is true. I have had many profs who were on the market 10 years ago tell me that back then you were a superstar if you published in grad school.Wonder what could account for this change?
I am with you 6:25, but at least many of them have never experienced the deliciousness of a grilled government cheese sandwich! I have been very frustrated with comments like "you went into sociology, what did you expect?" Are these people independently wealthy? Of course we don't expect tons of money but would like to be able to feed ourselves and our families, we just want employment!
search committee can you spare an adjunct position?
panic, disbelief, shock, horror, unemployment...-get used to the smell, it does not smell like the pampered fannies of the tenured professors in the line at the welfare office-get used to the stigma in line at Wal-Mart when you give them your food stamps or even your EBT card and they tell you got the wrong brand-get used to high-fat foods -get used to getting evicted, -get used to selling all your academic books on half.com to more fortunate assholes who are still in grad school or worse yet to the sniveling tenured/pampered no-good faculty who have their jobs but want a good deal on some books you thought you needed for your career that just ended-get used to your kids getting sick more than they used to and yanking them out of daycare (if they had it)-get used to head start programs (if they aren't already in it)-get used to the disappointed look on your kids' faces this holiday season-get used to asking mom and dad (if they have a house) to move in -get used to being disrespected-get used to your CV with the pubs no longer mattering, it won't get you a job and no one respects you anymore (if they ever did)-get used to credit card debt (if you have any space left on your account)-get used to the accumulating interest on your student loans that you can't pay back-get used to phone calls not getting returned-get used to dial-up internet-get used to downward mobility-get used to the coming great depression and (hopefully) the hiatus of your career
For anyone who got a job, FUCK YOU and CONGRATULATIONS! I'm a little jealous. Seems I didn't measure up.I'm sorry, you should be happy :-)
If sociology teaches you to have an analytical mind, then why not examine the causes for a social fact of underemployment in an occupation? Do all people who want to be, say, baseball players and spend years in training, then get a major league position? How about all who want to be professional artists, or actors? Students wanting a higher grade on a test often complain that they really tried, even though they didn't know the answers. Should you get a passing grade for effort, instead of meeting the standards?Doctoral programs admit students generally without regard for eventual employment. This has been true for decades in the humanities and some social sciences. Do you think that PhDs in English or History or Art get cushy tenure-track positions? A university is supposed to be aimed at learning, not an employment agency, so it doesn't usually limit graduate enrollments for lack of eventual positions for graduates. If your seminar in conflict theory taught you to ask "cui bono?" (Who benefits?"), instead of blaming the hiring departments for not having enough positions for you, look to your own doctoral program. Did they engage in false advertising to recruit you just so they would have TAs, RAs, and enough students to justify their teaching graduate seminars instead of having to face the undergraduate throngs?
12:16, you hit the nail on the head. Responsibility goes both ways. Anybody getting a PhD in sociology (and then studying obscure topics on top of that) should have known that academic employment was a crapshoot, especially if you went to a lower tier school. Caveat emptor! On the flipside, what about the professional responsibility of current doctoral programs. Is it ethical to recruit and produce more PhDs knowing that they will have a time in the job market? Of course, as you point out, this likely does not come up because they have an overriding need for TAs and GAs and the resulting academic prestige. When an undergraduate tells me they are considering graduate school in sociology, I always tell them to get an MBA or a JD.
Here's something that drives me nuts. I send an application (over a month ago) to a school following the directions in the job listing. I just got an email saying they got they application, but I needed to submit it online. I went back to the listing to make sure that I didn't make a mistake and, sure thing, the listing said to send the materials by mail DIRECTLY TO THE PERSON WHO JUST SENT ME THE EMAIL. AAAAAHHHH!
I think ASA likewise does a pretty good job of promoting the idea that jobs are plentiful for sociology PhDs. I got really irritated when I read their most recent report about how glowing the job market is for us.I have no doubt that all of us could find a job in any given year. However, I also have no doubt that a good number of those jobs would be in undesirable places, offer no opportunity for autonomy or research, be outside of academia, etc. I think ASA needs to be more honest in their own research on the profession.
Thank you 2:10, my feelings exactly. Many of the jobs available pay less than teaching public school and don't offer decent quality of life. Instead of depicting the job market as wide open, ASA should focus more on how to place sociologists in excellent non-academic positions, as well as helping to convince departments that sociologists who have worked in thinktanks, non-profits or international development would have much to contribute to the faculty. Other fields like political science and public policy have much more of this back and forth between academic and non-academic research, and I suspect that it has helped to boost academic salaries and also create more opportunities.
Excellent point! It strikes me sometimes that sociology prides itself on being irrelevant and shies away from efforts to connect our work to "real world" questions. Perhaps it is our effort to carve out a niche that is distinct from public policy, social work, psychology, and economics. Very "Systems of Professions" of us...
Stupid sociologist. Unemployment is not just an occupational factor, it is much broader. If the economic news came in April instead of in September and October, the market would look much better.When GM is on the verge of bankruptcy, many sociology departments are going to cancel searches. Funny how sociologists, when in a privileged position, suddenly become big defenders of the status quo and start blaming the victim. You know, the kind that follow around the ASA president and try to bullshit with them.
To 5:00 PM, the market was bad last year too, long before the current economic slump. Look at this site's archives. There has been overproduction of PhDs for many years; that's why there are so many temporary or adjunct faculty.And, no, those temporary positions cannot all be made tenure-track, because faculty positions depend on fluctuating student interest in majors. Without work, tenure-track faculty can be laid off too.
Dear Search Committee chairs,I can be a great asset to your department in the areas of medical sociology, quantitative methods, social stratification, race and ethnicity, and political sociology.I have several sole-authored peer review publications written and published while a graduate student. Various drafts of papers are in the pipeline now.I have also prepped and taught nearly eight different courses at a large Research 1 in the Northeast where I am finishing my doctoral degree.I have sent out many applications and only made a few long-lists. Most faculty said I would have an easy time on the market, but as we all know this is not the case for anyone.I work very hard and would love the opportunity to work as a tenure-track assistant professor in your department.I understand making sacrifices in hard times.I will take a $5,000 pay cut for my first two years (depending if there is a loophole in your faculty contract that allows such). I can also teach an extra course each semester for the first two years.I will defend my dissertation in early Spring of 2009.While I recognize this is unorthodox, I really hope you might consider contacting me. I am a serious person.Interested Search Committee chairs please email at:email@example.comThank you for your time.To avoid professional embarrassment, I prefer to remain anonymous until I confirm a serious inquiry. I have most of my documents on the web.
Word of advice. This goes for any career. Ask yourself why you are doing this? Are you doing this to solve some real problem? Or do you just want ego gratification and prestige? Is it the destination or the car you are driving in that matters most?? If it's really about solving problems or something you are just passionate about, I doubt not getting a tenure track job is going to dissuade you from your quest. We all need to eat that's true. And a five star meal sure beats McDonald's. But don't give up on why you chose this field to begin with. Realize there are a lot of people out their far worse off than us that don't get much of a choice about jobs. Inject some reality into this.
Well that's it, I'm tapping out. This is when I now get pissed at the clueless faculty who made me think that having numerous, well-placed publications as well as external grant money would actually make me a superstar (or at the very least, easily employed). What a joke! This whole process has left me sour...
Great advice 12:33. It is too easy to get caught up in this search for status. I have been victim to this myself, and believe it's partly due to my grad school environment where students who don't want to get prestigious jobs at R1s are belittled. My 'calling' in undergrad wasn't to get a TT position at a top school; how was I so easily brainwashed?
To the other person who put an 'x' next to the one school that decided to interview me: please bomb your interview. Most of the other schools I applied to have already scheduled their interviews (not with me), and I really really liked this department. Barring that, please turn down the offer if they decide to give it to you instead of me. To the superstar in my department: You may get all the good interviews, but everyone in our department thinks you are a cutthroat hyper-competitive self-absorbed gigantic douche.
i once wanted a TT position, but not for status, but to make my area of study legitimate...i will take anything...if you need me to 4-4, i will step up to the plate and make sure you have the happiest/best trained students on the planet...i do not want to be homeless, i need health insurance like the rest of the population
12:41: same here, I remember the spark of reading Mills' The Power Elite as an undergrad and I was hooked/fascinated/ready to dedicate my life to sociology. Now I am reduced to a nervous wreck dealing with ridiculous politics.I guess even the politics of academia killed Mills having a heart attack in his 40s while the Columbia faculty derided him.
one of the elderly faculty in my dept. said Erving Goffman loved to chase female grad student "tail" (her words not mine)
To everyone who put an 'X' next to a place I applied to and made the long=list. Please, bomb the interview so us "lesser people" can get have a change. Please!!!!!!!!!1
Many faculty, male and female, are known to "chase" romantic and sexual relationships. Ditto for some grad students.I'd venture to say that there's even an erotic attraction in some job searches. But this topic is a different mode of "venting."
To the "applicant" at 11:20:Your resume sounds good but the uncontrollable factor is whether you offer anything distinctive for a particular department that would differentiate you from the many other, similar applicants.You might re-think, however, listing so many areas of expertise as you do in your mock letter. That sounds very superficial to a search committee, especially coming from a grad student.
Yesterday at school, I took the biggest dump ever. I must have expelled at least 7 lbs worth of food and other bodily debris and fluids. I kid you not. A coincidence in this economic climate? I think not. I also think it may be suggestive of my job prospects.
next time at the ASAs, if you find someone from a SC who really messed you over, get them back-steal their laptop...or get a jump drive and put a little program called 'kill disk' (but with an automated script) on it and reboot that machine so they lose all their data and at best would have to pay a company in the $1,000s to recover the data from the hard diski'm so disgruntled, i might do something like that, but we'll see how i feel in august
oh lord,please don't destroy my laptop. Honestly, our sc is so dysfunctional, you're better off not getting the job with us. promise.
i know this is the thread for venting, but...i just want to share that i just got back from an interview at one of those "middle of nowhere" schools that most people write off when they start the job search. this place didn't get 250+ applications from all over! the department resources are limited, the location is not compelling, etc.and it was the BEST interview i have had! (granted i have not had a lot, but you get the picture). the faculty were all really interested in my work, which is fine, but even more interested in "talking shop" about sociology and developing new opportunities in the department. i met with several senior professors, the baby boomer types of have been doing this forever and you'd assume they are just phoning it in at this point. oh no, these folks were passionate about the research they are doing and how to connect it to policy makers and community activists.my point is, if you are disgruntled with the stereotypical pretentious, status-driven, cut-throat world of academia, consider looking outside the world of elite R1s and prestigious SLACs. if your career objective is status, i can't help you there. but if your goal is to do meaningful research in a supportive environment, take a look at the small, regional universities. you might find what you are looking for.best of luck to all!
Re: 4:07Thank you. It was nice to laugh out loud on this thread....
4:07, I laughed out loud, best thing I've heard all day!!!
the sociology of shitting, ha!
In response to 8:03...I've had two interviews (but no offers yet--I know I wasn't offered one of the positions and the other is still up in the air) at what would be considered by some to be lower-tier universities. These were departments that were mostly concerned with undergraduate teaching, which was reflected in the relatively high teaching loads and low research activity, particularly among tenured faculty. Both places, however, were not located in the middle of nowhere but in major cities. I have to concur that I was quite positvely surprised by how nice and down-to-earth everyone was and how happy everyone seemed. It definitely seemed like a fairly low pressure environment. And when faculty did publish, publications in peer-reviewed journals other than ASR, AJS, and Social Forces were highly valued, including those in more specialized subfields.At the same time, however, faculty at both schools questioned my seriousness about the positions, whether I'd really take it if offered, and whether I'd still be there in five years. I believe that these questions were motivated by the fact that my Ph.D. is from an R1 school, and I definitely have been cast in the mold of someone who goes out and looks for jobs at R1s. To be honest, I'm not sure what the answers to those questions are. I definitely applied to mostly research universities, but none of them have called back, and I suspect none will. I'm glad I'm fortunate enough to have had interview opportunities, even if they weren't at places I initially imagined myself working. I'd definitely take one of these jobs if offered, but it's hard to say whether one will be happy there or looking to move up in the world until one tries it out for a while. I'm wondering whether anyone else has encountered similar lines of questioning and how they have handled them? I think asking such questions partly represents a lack of understanding about just how difficult the job market is these days, especially this year.
I have had the same experience. At one school, someone asked whether my adviser was disappointed that I had applied to their department instead of someplace like Michigan. I have fielded a lot of questions about why I was applying somewhere with a 4/4 teaching load and an emphasis on teaching over research. I think I get those questions because I am from a top R1 and I have published in graduate school.In my case, I answer honestly that I do value research but see it as an opportunity for teaching rather than being an activity distinct from teaching. This has lead to some interesting discussions about ways to bring students in to research and incorporate research in the classroom.However, I have not yet been offered a job either and I don't have a sense of whether I will. My background does probably play against me at some places.
I too was asked those questions... I had a hard time not saying: Are you kidding me?? Do you have any idea of what the market is like? "Well, that job at Wendy's was appealing, but I suppose that I would be willing to make the sacrifices that would be needed to accept your TT position
I am in a somewhat similar position. I have been invited to a campus interview at one of the places that I seriously considered not applying to. I haven't had the interview yet, but I am hoping that I have a similar experience (finding the place nicer than I thought), because of how crazy the job market is. I do not feel like I can be choosey this year!
The curse of the 2nd tier PhD: Not fancy enough for 1st or 2nd tier jobs, too fancy for 3rd and 4th tier...
is anyone from an R1 dept. where nearly all faculty earned their Ph.D. from a Top 20, but the students they graduate typically end up in "4th tier" depts?
What's with all this "tier" crap. If you have a job or you don't; either you like your job, or you don't.
Re: 11:26Yes, I'm in exactly this type of department. It causes some frustration because it seems like the faculty think I should be able to get a job at a top 20 school, since that was a viable option for them when they were on the market. I feel like they have unrealistic expectations sometimes.
It's misleading to say that aspiring young scholars are "searching for status," just to stroke an ego.It's not the status alone or even primarily. Generally status brings with it higher salary, lighter teaching load, more travel support, better prepared students, nicer office and building, strong staff support, more ambitious colleagues and other factors which are why the institution is "higher status."
before getting into sociology: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=voZhgI7-aL8maybe i should go back to doing this given this job market (a lot of good weed was smoked)
"more ambitious colleagues" Really!? Maybe more status-seeking and pretentious. I agree with the rest though...
5:54, I think you hit on some good points about the positives that lead to status. However, for those entering the market, I think you need to add that "top" departments are usually more cutthroat, grant tenure very selectively, and are often less family-friendly. It might be a big gamble to go to a "high status" department if you want job security. Or inner peace. Or a baby.
some portion of good talent might go for high research activity 2nd tier schools and leave the R1 faculty to their stress, judgments, ASR-article bean counting, and Prozac to be in a more friendly and less stressful place (but you may not land the job till 2012
If you are strapped for cash (given this horrible job market) and can don't mind some very easy hacking, you can get a free Windows OS for your computer. I sold my Vista on Ebay to turn over some quick cash after doing this (made a fast $125).Register at Microsoft's Dream Spark (https://www.dreamspark.com/default.aspx) and you can obtain various versions of different MS software for free as a student. Best of all is Windows Server 2008 which can be configured to run like Vista, but is much more stable.This website even has a free utility for doing so:http://www.win2008workstation.com/wordpress/The product key that Dream Spark give you works with either 32 or 64-bit Server 2008 Standard.I installed the 64-bit version and my STATA MP/10 x64 runs very quickly (I legally own this very expensive copy that cost about 80% as much as my laptop). I got a pre-activated version of Office 2007 Enterprise, figured a way to hack Acrobat 9 professional by manipulating the license. On Vuze there is a great copy of SPSS 17.0 that runs very well (license), university provides Symantec Corporate edition for free, and the rest is free software.So while I may not have a TT job, I have a great machine for cranking out research while waiting for the market to get better.
Nostalgic trip back to when the stress of not getting a job and a great depression didn't ruin your holidays:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ek8zGzA6lgU
yeah, but dude, pantera captures my emotions better:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rakf-LRP0VM&feature=related
BURN IN HELL!!!!SLAYER!!!!!!!!!!!!http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BwLtTa2trRs&feature=related
Please, can't we all get along? How about something that captures a little bit of everything.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=THyrZ6DXWVQ&feature=related
So, who else isn't ready for the extended (or close) family Q&A "You're looking for a job now, right?" Or, "how's this job hunting thing that you're doing going for you?" on Thursday? How are you going to respond? (both ridiculous and real answers acceptable, I suppose...)
I always use the sports team analogy with family and friends,: getting an academic job is like being drafted into (insert professional sports team or league here). "Well, Uncle Steve, it turns out that not too many teams were looking for (insert position here___a goalie, line backer, outfielder) with my qualifications so its not looking good for this year." OR "I can't believe my good fortune that (insert institution) was looking for someone with just my skills." I like the analogy because I think it accurately conveys the scarcity of positions, the intensity of the competition for jobs, explains why you can't just apply to local college/university X for a job, and also the process of departments looking for very specific people/players. If you know me I'm sure you've heard me use it...
What are you THANKFUL for this Thanksgiving??Well, I'm thankful that I'm NOT currently interviewing for my current crappy job at my current crappy university like several folks I met recently who marched through this hell-hole, eager as beavers trying please a bunch of supposed scholars who either haven't published a god-damned thing for about a decade or have published but are not able to reconcile a theoretical idea with an empirical observation in a single paper. These are the people who lied to the candidates to their faces about all the great opportunities at this university, the same people who are already plotting how to manipulate whomever they do hire into doing more work for them with little reward and then six years later gleefully stripping them of that puny little carrot called tenure. I hope they, my current "colleagues," just rot. I'm thankful that they're closer to the grave with each passing second. I am sorry for the fine scholars who came here to interview for this crappy position. And I'm especially sorry for the poor schmo who ends up taking the job 'cause the market is so darn sorry this year. Best of luck. Sharpen your fangs, folks, you will surely need 'em!
re: phone interviews.. what the fuck is up with the question "on how you address 'diversity' in your teaching?" i find this to be kind of a bullshit question and i was just wondering if others feel the same way, or how they answered it.
Re: diversity statementsIt's total bullshit. Basically it's a way for departments to look like they're trying to do something about the fact that their faculty is 95% white, 70% male and almost uniformly from upper class backgrounds without ACTUALLY having to work toward the structural changes in academia that would create authentic diversity.I spent about 2 days carefully crafting a "diversity statement" for UC Santa Cruz, since they asked candidates to write and send one with their applications. And the only courses I've taught so far are soc of race and soc of gender & sexuality. The whole syllabus is "diversity," so what the hell else was I supposed to say??Eat me, Santa Cruz. I didn't even make the damn long list.
re: diversity.for me it was a question posed in a phone interview on how i would plan on dealing with a diverse student body, and what measures i would take to ensure they succeed. what the fuck do i say to that? i dumb the material down for hispanics? i give special treatment to asians? its an unfair question and theres virtually no way to tactfully answer it that doesnt either sound canned, or like youre a gigantic douche.i gave an answer i thought was adequate, on defining diversity broadly, in terms of experiences and opinions, maintaining an open door policy with respect to students, being aware of and sensitive to different learning styles and needs, etc., but i didnt get a campus invite so perhaps it wasnt what they were looking for.this was at a california school as well.
I think that so long as you don't sound like a racist asshole then they just breeze over that question/answer, including it only to show a structural component of their being an equal opportunity employer, etc. BTW, as long as I'm on the topic, I always figured that I probably have had many advantages in my life as a white male raised in a supportive middle class home that I wouldn't care that I would have a harder time getting a job in academia later on. I'm still kind of OK with this, but now actually being on the job market it does suck a little bit.
I had the "diversity question" come up at a campus interview and based on how it was phrased, the person asking seemed to be asking whether I had any experience with students who come to college less prepared than we'd like (poor study skills, disorganized, no experience with college-level work). I guess that assumes that minority students are more likely to fit that description. I gave some examples of how I had worked with such students and emphasized that lack of experience does not mean lack of ability to succeed. 3.41 - I know exactly how you feel! I struggle a little to reconcile my understanding of structural inequality and my own privilege with the fact that I know some SCs specifically do want a non-white candidate (I sat on one once as a student rep. and that was an explicit consideration), which I am not.
I feel betrayed. I've always been told by my advisors, "Do what interests you, and if you do it well, the rest will work itself out." I've done that, damnit. Pretty damn hard to focus on what I'm thankful for today.
6:44, welcome to the 90s, Mr. Banks. Quite frankly, that was bad advice. You need to gauge what the market is buying and tailor what interests you around that. I study organizations and networks, and that's not a particularly big draw on the labor market right now. If I were entirely focused on the sociology job market, I would probably add a race or gender component because that's what the market values right now. So my advice, if you choose to take it, is to suck it up, buttercup. Continue to do only what interests you, but at your own peril. And begin to explore other markets (if you can).
I agree. Simply doing what interests you without thinking about fit, niche, or however you wish to put it, can be very risky. A part of this planning (or strategy) involves knowing where you come from (departmental rank) and where you want to end up. The risk is greater the lower the preceived rank of the dept, especially in times of uncertainty. Having gone through the ups and downs of the job market for three years, I speak with some experience. After the first year, I quickly focused on two streams of research and have 'marketed' myself for each stream. I have been invited for interviews by departments who have been attracted to stream A and others who have been attracted to stream B. I enjoy all the research I do, but you have to figure out a way of combining 'strategy' with pleasure. Admittedly, it took me a while to figure this out.
how do you know if you make a "long list"? Also, I just checked ASA and there were NO jobs, there hasn't been any new listings for awhile. There will be more, right?
I doubt there will be any new TT jobs posted. Maybe a very small handful. There will be a few VAPs in the spring.
I think the number of tenure track jobs posted will be pretty small; however, I think there will be a lot of visiting positions. A lot of schools that had their TT lines frozen will end up hiring visiting profs. Of course, there will be a lot of people applying for those to . . .
There are usually only a handful of TT positions in December. Other's are correct is saying that the majority of openings will be for VAPs. That's what I'm waiting for...
Thanks November 29thers! You sound like seasoned pros. How do you know this stuff? I am so worried and panicked, can you offer any reassurances? Aside from the VAPs that you say will begin to pop up. Will those be less competitive, for example?
i have seen this coming for so long, for i am not blind, and you were always so weakFUCK SOCIOLOGY!
I hate the waiting! I hate the waiting!Sorry, I just had to share.
6:42AM - As one of those who commented - I've been following the job market for three years and have been 'on the market' for the past two. The amount of supply and demand for VAPs, and therefore the extent to which they will be competitive, is just too hard to say. I'm guessing there will be more of us applying for VAPs. At the same time, Deans may end up expanding the residual, exploited, labor pool of VAPs by allowing (or even encouraging) depts to hire these cheaper workhorses. But don't panic, the VAPs will start to appear from now and you should even see some in April. If of course this year is any reflection of the past...
this is my second, and last, year on the job market. i have family attachments and really can't put them all through yet another year of playing the "where might we move?" game. so here's what really pisses me off...i did all the shit they tell you to do in grad school! i went to a top-ranked department, published with well-known people, selected a hot sub-field, got some grants and awards. i applied to well over 50 jobs (every one of which i would be thrilled to accept) and took the time to research each and every school and write a cover letter specific to that institution.and at the end of the day, i have a PhD in sociology and NOT ONE SINGLE UNIVERSITY/COLLEGE thinks i merit even an interview. i'm happy for those of you who are landing the interviews, i really am. bit i'm also seriously pissed off that my research is good enough to merit national media coverage and yet somehow not good enough for the technical institute of western south dakota (i totally would have worked my ass off for you, by the way).would you like fries with that?venting...
9:31, same boat, peer-reviewed, solo-authored multiple times, international media coverage, even been cited by top names in their articles, yet NOTHING, but it is my first official yearit really sucks putting your family through that, i feel your pain and not knowing about health insurance is keeping me from getting my diss. doneit is 'market forces'...this year, and from a non-random convenience sample, it seems as if they want strong teaching AND research even at Research-intensive schools
I agree with 6:20, I think people who have no teaching experience are really up a creek this year... So maybe folks who are fully funded and didn't have to work are actually at a disadvantage. Ironic.
How many pubs do you all realistically think we need to land a job? Yes I know that people are going to say "there is no rule, the market is strange..." but what is the bare minimum?
Pubs are not the deciding factor. Sure they help, but if you look at some of the stars on the market this year, many of them have very limited publications. Pubs are important, but there are so many other factors that come into play.
Well, I'm certainly no star, but I only have one almost publication--a chapter in an interdisciplinary book--and I've had two phone interviews and I've made one short list; however, I have yet to be invited for a campus visit, so who knows? I should add that all of my nibbles are from small liberal arts colleges (not the really prestigious ones, but not completely unknown). I'm also not done with my dissertation, which I understand can work against you. I do, however, have lots of teaching experience thanks to the exploitative policies of my top 25 department. Hope that gives some perspective.
I have 3 publications in tier-two journals (not ASR/AJS/SF) and no teaching experience whatsoever. I have zero interviews, phone or otherwise.I think my lack of teaching experience is killing me, but my funding source prevents me from teaching.
I think they want well-rounded people. Others who are senior faculty or SCs or have more experience than a 28 year-old ABD can chime in...but my assessment here is that (from observing a very successful colleague in terms of getting many campus invites), you need to be well-rounded. Let's say this:-several publications in specialty journals (one solo author)-awarded teaching and extensive experience and prepping many classes-paper award from ASA section-major award from other sociological associationsI'm getting the sense from reading posts on this blog that those of us who have sunk most of our eggs into the research/publications basket must re-think our labor market strategy and really ramp up our teaching experience.Basically, we have to become well-rounded scholar/teachers. There is nothing wrong with that. I was trained in our dept. where the culture is to have almost contempt for teaching while celebrating high research productivity. It is possible that deans, search committees are shifting gears and in a highly competitive market are looking for people who excel at both T and R.The advice of people on the market as recently as 3 years ago may be obsolete. Market signals are suggesting to me that my teaching, service, and other things must be better for next year (which will be even more competitive if many people are "carry-overs" from this year and that there will likely be fewer positions available with declining budgets and private schools dipping into their endowments to stay afloat. So the focus should now be not only research, but really ramping up your teaching, service, and possibly trying for teaching awards, etc. Really want to make that teaching portfolio impressive (I know my research portfolio has been 'impressive' as per comments from colleagues around the country).
7:52-- if you can't teach at your own university (because of funding source) see if you can teach a class at a nearby community college or perhaps even at nearby baccaleaurate college. Teaching is teaching. And, your home university may not even know you're teaching the outside class.
you gotta cover all your bases: Research/Teaching/Service
I have 3 peer-reviewed articles that have been well received (1 sole author in a good specialty journal, 1 first author in the #1 journal in my specialty, 1 second author in a crap journal), taught my own class 3 times (and TAed once) and got great student reviews, won a very competitive national fellowship, am at a top 10 university, am in a subfield with a fair amount of demand and do research that is relevant to a whole lot of people, and do quantitative research. I've also done extensive service (have served on university/department committees, and on a committee in my regional soc society) I wrote personalized cover letters, and all my application materials have been reviewed by many of my peers and advisers. I'm sure I have excellent letters of recommendation. So far I've had one interview at a school that most people in my program wouldn't even deign to apply to (and that apparently wasn't even good enough to make the wiki until I added it). Almost every other school has already scheduled interviews, and I didn't make it onto a short list or even a long list at any of them. Many of the schools I was applying to were looking for people in my subfield. Basically if I don't get this one job, I'm going to be spending an extra year in grad school. If I do get this job, everyone in my department is going to be disappointed that I had 'so much potential' and ended up at a 'school that's not really up to your level' (I've already heard comments like that from advisers when I told them about the interview). Someone please tell me what more I can do here? Why does it feel like getting a tenure track job is about as easy as winning the lottery?
Is your research in race/gender/class or criminology? These are the hot topics. And it would help if you were a diversity applicant (not a criticism, just a market reality).
I am scheduling a very heavy spray-on tan and including a head shot with all my applications. maybe that'll get me somewhere.12:34 - my cv looks about the same as yours and i've had the same result. guess there are a lot of us out there.
12:34: I feel I could have written the same bio. Same boat.
if a university wants to diversify, that is fine with me as that old bastard Jim Crow continues to do enough to keep a lot of people of color out of academiawhite supremacy as an ideology and set of institutional arrangements that ensures the naive way in which affirmative action policies are appliedi've heard supposedly left/progressive sociologists brag how a latino demography job candidate could also be counted as a "diversity" hire which would make the (at the time) theory search "go more smoothly" (i didn't understand it at the time), but now i do--what a bunch of racists!i don't think the blackface stuff is a good idea 1:14 (see david roediger's work)
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